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Post the books you are currently reading, or books you have read, with a small summary of the story and your opinion of it. The below poster(s) will give his opinions and review the book. Try not to give away the ending or any integral twists in the plot.

 

I'll start with some of the books I've been reading in the past few weeks:

 

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

 

A World War II story in the Pacific Theatre about the USS Caine, a fictional destoryer-minesweeper, centered around Ensign (later LTJG) Willis Seward Keith. The crew of the Caine get a new skipper in Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg, and soon begin noticing strange obcessive-compulsive/paranoid behaviour from their captain during the cruise. In a typhoon Queeg seems to lose possession of his mental faculties and freezes in fear leading the Caine's executive officer, Lt. Maryk to heroically take command of the ship to save it from foundering, which results in a court-martial for the two "muntineers" Keith and Maryk where it is argued if relieving Queeg of command was really necessary.

---

 

Big fan of the 1953 film version starring Humphrey Bogart (as Queeg), however like most adaptations, the novel completes the story of the Caine. The court-martial in the novel is a deeper investigation into Queeg's mental fitness for command. The novel also covers what becomes of the Caine and her officers.

 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

The scandelous story of a mysterious millionare named Jay Gatsby and his obcession of the effervecent and now-married Daisy Buchanan as he tries to win her love back with his extravagent parties.

---

 

Fitzgerald's words are beautiful and capture the mysticism of everyday life - the story is juicy and out of this world. I feel like a literary slob just getting around to this classic. For the past three years people have been telling me, "Martini Land (yep, that's what they call me), you simply must read The Great Gatsby, you ARE the real-life Jay Gatsby!"

 

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

 

About to read this book - any opinions? Saw the 1945 film version and loved it!

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Currently I'm reading To The Last Man and No Less than Victory, both by Jeff Shaara. To The Last Man is about WWI, through the eyes of General Sherman, the Red Baron Richthofen himself, and Raoul Lufbery. I'm not very far into it, but so far it's focused a lot more on the Red Baron and Lufbery more than Sherman, as he hasn't made an appearance yet.

 

No Less Than Victory is the 3rd part of Jeff Shaara's 3-part series on WWII. This one focuses on the Battle of the Bulge, just like before through the eyes of both men on the ground and from some higher-ups, namely Patton, Monty and Eisenhower.

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Doing a bit of SF atm

 

The Dreaming Void

Peter F. Hamilton

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The Picture of Dorian Grey, is a magnificent book. It is full of intrigue and has multiple levels to understanding. It is a little lengthy, however it does make up for it. It is written like a impressionist painting, not focused so much on the actual picture, but on sending messages to the reader. Oscar Wilde's diction and syntax make the book very enjoyable to read and analyze. I very much recommend it.

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The Picture of Dorian Grey, is a magnificent book. It is full of intrigue and has multiple levels to understanding. It is a little lengthy, however it does make up for it. It is written like a impressionist painting, not focused so much on the actual picture, but on sending messages to the reader. Oscar Wilde's diction and syntax make the book very enjoyable to read and analyze. I very much recommend it. Sorry the review is short, I'll post a more extensive one later.

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The Wheel of Time Series:

 

It is a very enjoyable series that further opens up the world that Tolkien and Lewis started. Robert Jordan has created, like Tolkien, a fully functioning world, with life like characters and cities. Robert Jordan focuses very much on his character development and as a reader that can be seen. All of Jordan's characters have multiple layers that make them feel real. He is detail heavy, so if you don't enjoy detail then this may not be the series for you. The social commentary in this series rivals that of Tolkien and Lewis, and the Christian symbolism does too. Very enjoyable, and life like. One of the great fantasy series.

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The Picture of Dorian Grey, is a magnificent book. It is full of intrigue and has multiple levels to understanding. It is a little lengthy, however it does make up for it. It is written like a impressionist painting, not focused so much on the actual picture, but on sending messages to the reader. Oscar Wilde's diction and syntax make the book very enjoyable to read and analyze. I very much recommend it. Sorry the review is short, I'll post a more extensive one later.

 

Thanks for the review man! Did you know Wilde served two years in prision for "gross acts of indececey?" I think he believed he was Dorian Grey because society told him that his lifestyle was wrong and immoral, and his guilt as a "sinner" made the "picture."

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though not in the NADC(I'm a diplomat) I love books.

 

My favorite is The Great Gatsby

 

In Dubious Battle

by John Steinbeck

 

 

This covers a workers strike in the apple orchards of California. The main character is a recently turned Communist that is sent to help organize the strikers, with him is a more seasoned man who knows how to control a crowd. In Dubious Battle contains many of the same themes as the rest of Steinbecks works( ex. rich vs poor). This book won Steinbeck a noble prize in Lit I believe and I highly recommend it.

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The Wheel of Time Series:

 

It is a very enjoyable series that further opens up the world that Tolkien and Lewis started. Robert Jordan has created, like Tolkien, a fully functioning world, with life like characters and cities. Robert Jordan focuses very much on his character development and as a reader that can be seen. All of Jordan's characters have multiple layers that make them feel real. He is detail heavy, so if you don't enjoy detail then this may not be the series for you. The social commentary in this series rivals that of Tolkien and Lewis, and the Christian symbolism does too. Very enjoyable, and life like. One of the great fantasy series.

 

I've pretty much read all but the last 3 books (at least, if it'll finish at 13 volumes as has been planned since a bit after Jordan's death. And yes, it is definitely greatly inspired upon the works by Tolkien and the depth of character develoment isn't often displayed, but by book 9 (heart of winter), story progress and tracking all of the main characters has derailed his story so far that the storyline is as good as frozen... pun intended. I had to wrestle my way through it by that point, though crossroads of twilight finally finalized a couple of plot points and it finally seems to have picked up some speed. Hopefully, the change in writer has not changed the refocusing of the storyline again. Jordan spent far too much time following not only all 3 pivotal characters, but also their loves AND another 3-5 main characters as well as another selection of important characters in each volume. When this party breaks up more and more in subsequent volumes, people WOULD have trouble keeping track of what was going on if he'd not also have decreased plot-progression to a virtual standstill as each each person has to have his or her own important many roles to play, in a bit too much detail...

 

I'm afraid I cannot lightly recommend this series, especially since 13 (or more) volumes of each 750-800 pages is quite a hefty pill to go through.

 

 

 

Currently, I'm reading Robin Hobb's "Forest Mage", part 2/3 of 'the Soldier Son Trilogy'. Shaman's Crossing (part 1) definitely was a nice book. The country of Gernia, seemingly on the cusp of it's Industrial Revolution while still being mired in a tightly regulated Aristocratic Monarchy is definitely a backdrop that I haven't seen much before (at least, not in Fantasy books). Though the technological aspect isn't overly explored, the Imperialism displayed by Gernia and it's modern, technological battle against more 'primitive' people wielding magic is certainly and interesting backdrop.

 

And the main character seems to be destined to become the pivotal figure in this battle of science vs natural magic. which side he chooses and how he manages to get through this rather orderly society seems to be the central theme of this trilogy. Book 1's main subtheme is how he handles being a new noble's soldier son when the old nobles'

 

 

I also recently finished reading Jules Verne's 20 000 Leages under the sea (science fiction).

A nice classic in which we follow a french sir Aronnax, natural scientist, as he ends up on Captain Nemo's submarine on his long voyage below and on the waves of the earth's seas, seeing many wonders (and often going painstakingly far into classifying all sorts of animal species and subspecies).

Aside from the many classifications that may bore the reader, it's still a nice and readable classic.

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I don't have time to write a full review, but I strongly recommend John Grishams "The Summons" and "A Painted House"

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I don't have time to write a full review, but I strongly recommend John Grishams "The Summons" and "A Painted House"

 

What are they about?

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"The Summons" is the main character is summoned to his fathers house who does not really care for the childeren, when the main character arrives he finds his father dead. His father had money stashed away 100k and no means of actually making the money. The main character tries to figure out where the money came from, but there is a killer who is also competing for it.

 

"The Painted House" I am not done with yet, but so far is about baseball and segregation, it takes place in Alabama during segregation and it is mainly about Mexicans coming and the boy realizing what they go through kind of thing.

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I have a lot of books to add to my list now: The Summons, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and some of the other suggestions here.

 

I am now halfway through The Picture of Dorian Grey, and for Impact Strafe or anyone else who's read it, I find it to be very interesting but a lot slower than a lot of books I've read; not nearly as creepy as the film. The parts where Wilde is painting his scenes and his characters kind of drag on-and-on, but the dialouge is brillant; especially Lord Henry Watton's theories on the "charming" class of people. It's a play in the form of a novel, and I can't help but seeing George Sanders in the role of Lord Henry.

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I'm bringing this back from the grave.

 

I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. I'll post up a review when I'm done!

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I'm currently reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It's really long.

I'm also reading Natural Law and Natural Rights by John Finnis. It's really dense.

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Just finished Dead Spy Running by John Stock. For someone like me who reads Ludlum and Clancy, its a nice break away from the usual spy thriller in that it has a British flavour xD

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I'm also reading Natural Law and Natural Rights by John Finnis. It's really dense.

Sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy.

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Sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy.

It was recommended to me by a law professor on my uni's IRC network, so probably. :P

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On China by Henry Kissinger. A book by the key man behind one of the Cold War's monumental diplomatic moves: formation of the anti-soviet alliance between China and the U.S. 

 

The book is very readable and is really great way to understand China's rather unique approach to geopolitics, but Kissinger is like Churchill-- their books are meant to improve their perception so to speak. 

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On China by Henry Kissinger. A book by the key man behind one of the Cold War's monumental diplomatic moves: formation of the anti-soviet alliance between China and the U.S.

 

The book is very readable and is really great way to understand China's rather unique approach to geopolitics, but Kissinger is like Churchill-- their books are meant to improve their perception so to speak.

I've been meaning to read that book for a while. My ex's mum was reading it and recommended it to me. Kissinger's Diplomacy is also an interesting read but it also is intended to fluff his own reputation.

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How to Rig an Election

By Allen Raymond.

 

This one was recommended to me by an old politics teacher who wanted to expose to his class the political activities that actually occur behind closed doors.  

 

So basically the book is about a disillusioned college graduate who joins the GOP because of the rumour that there is lots of money to be made. This guy went onto become a major player in the party, helping other corrupt and dishonest GOP politicians twist the truth beyond recognition. However, he ended up going to prison because of corruption and lies which culminated in a scandal. 

 

It's a great book and I highly advise everyone to have a read.

 

51NpY6ngrnL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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best-childrens-books-5.jpg

By far my favorite book. It's exciting, it's happy, and it's sad all at once. The boy spends his savings on a couple of awesome coon dogs (raccoons if you're foreign) and the tale continues from there. I won't spoil it, but it's an awesome read.

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I originally read this short story in Kurt Vonnegut's Palm Sunday, an excellent read in its own right. The short story, The Big Space Fuck is about the inhabitants of a dying Earth launching a rocket ship full of jizzum at the Andromeda galaxy in an attempt to proliferate the human species. You can read it here: http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/wf041307.htm

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Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

 

and

 

The Lost History of 1914 by Jack Beatty

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I'm currently reading James Clavell's Shogun, an oldie but a goody.

 

Shogun.jpg

It details the adventure of an English pilot in feudal Japan. It's meant to be vaguely based around the events that led to the rise of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first of the most enduring shogunate lines in Feudal Japan. So far, I would definitely recommend it as it's quite an interesting read. Then again, I am a Japanophile, so I may be biased. :P

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