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Author Topic: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?  (Read 24428 times)

Offline AHideyo

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #60 on: September 10, 2015, 06:18:06 AM »
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I really love this place for just having intelligent people who are into anime but also have other tastes to take about as well

Agreed.

We're something of the "snob" circle, actually.   Though most of the conversations are TIF trying to understand the stupid within an anime.

Though we'll always have Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse.

You guys are certainly not being decent people when discussing whether it makes sense for horse girl in monster musume to be wearing skirts.

Offline KS

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #61 on: September 10, 2015, 07:08:18 AM »
Quote
I really love this place for just having intelligent people who are into anime but also have other tastes to take about as well

Agreed.

We're something of the "snob" circle, actually.   Though most of the conversations are TIF trying to understand the stupid within an anime.

Though we'll always have Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse.

Well for starters you people don't seem to have a total breakdown and ignore anything that's longer than a couple of sentences worth of posting so that's been extremely refreshing.  I don't know if twitter did something to the length of a post people are willing to interpret but it's nice not to be totally ignored for my tendency to want to actually get it all out there and make it worthwhile if I'm going to post something.  If people find that snobbish than so be it, I'll gladly wear the label.  :)

Offline Sidenote

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #62 on: September 10, 2015, 05:16:28 PM »
Quote
We're something of the "snob" circle, actually.   Though most of the conversations are TIF trying to understand the stupid within an anime.

Though we'll always have Muv-Luv: Total Eclipse.

Oh, I agree with that too; if we weren't a little snobbish, I wouldn't be here. But this place is no where near as bad the general anime internet community, or most review websites for that matter. I can easily think of multiple threads here where people have had incredibly meaningful/educated/worthwhile conversations, considering that this is the internet anime community where people will take their ErinxLevi shipping with them to the grave no matter how obviously non-existent it is.

Not to unnecessarily sing the praises of NHRV or make things seem nicer than they really are. But you guys gotta give yourselves some credit.

TIF you are excluded from any compliments that may have been mentioned above.
Hunter X Hunter really isn't that good, guys....

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #63 on: September 10, 2015, 09:41:19 PM »
Okay!
I'm just like you, only smarterô.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #64 on: October 21, 2015, 12:55:46 PM »
A Feast for Crows

The fourth installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) saga. A scant year and a half it has taken me to get this far in the series, in anticipation for the (hopefully) soon to be released sixth novel, among other reasons. All of the books thus far have been page turners with this one possibly being the fastest read yet. Though likely due to familiarity and more time I devote to reading these days.

It takes from the strengths and weakened of the previous installments fairly closely. The complex character webs with several multi dimensional characters within them. The richness of the world. The dark humor. The ability to shock. It's all here. Likewise remains he excessive minutia that pad the books, over repeatin of themes, and the excessive roster of pawns among other things. I know this one is given flack as the weakest in the series, and to an extent I agree. While A Storm of Swords took more time than it needed to get the ball rolling, it kept up the momentum through several major events. AFOF likewise doesn't finish its setup until about halfway in and doesn't have any major payoff. There are resolutions of course. But for most little is felt as if it was accomplished. Fitting to the title it's a story about aftermaths and with little action to occur is mostly plotting of setup to greater plots. While GOT season V got a lot of flack for many of its changes, they did give many characters fuller arcs. Sansa here only really takes a lateral step from the last book (and I die of boredom whenever a character named Royce is mentioned) while Arya's arc feels anemic. The one off POV characters also felt like a cheat. I don't think it would have taken tooich effort to simply make Asha and Arianne permanent characters instead.

To the book's credit, the intense amount of plotting only serves to boost anticipation for the latter novels. Seeing Doran Martell silently play the game of thrones near the end added a lot more nuance to the Dorne arc and no doubt going to cause greater waves. The Cersei chapters were compelling for a character who is neigh impossible to love. Watching her try and fail at the game is viscerally painful as one reads her dig her own grave. The paranoia her chapters bring to light solidify her as a human being much the same way the Kingslayer's did last book. Speaking of him, while I felt early on that his addition her was superfluous, he continues to be one of the most faso mating POVs as his true feelings noble intentions continue to cast him as a wiked man. From the way AFOF ended with Winter's arrival in both a literal and figurative sense makes the only reason I'm not starting A Dance with Dragons tomorrow is the simple fact that I don't own a copy.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2015, 01:28:26 PM »
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

The story of a logistics clerk seeking wealth and finding lust on the island of Dejima during Japan's isolationist era and the twilight years of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). If I keep harping on about how much I love David Mitchell novels, it's only because they are legitimately that good. For a generally genre bending and experimental novelist, this one is an oddly straightforward historical novel (possible supernatural element notwithstanding). Though from a meta level it Mitchell working within the confines of historical fiction. Within those parameters, the book does an excellent job at portraying Japan's only open port to the world. The work put into the historicity (with some liberties for drama's sake) grants a great deal of credence and authenticity. It also makes it somewhat of a more challenging read, but not nearly as much as the Melville inspired journal from Cloud Atlas. This may be in part to the story demanding that one knows quite a bit about Edo era Japan as well as the VOC, both of which I had some knowledge. Though not knowing doesn't take from the style, humor, or the horror of the work.

In a departure from other Mitchell novels, several character viewpoints are utilized within the same single story rather than each voice also having its own separate arc. There's nothing wrong with this so to say, and Mitchell has always been able to imitate any voice his so desires. Though the transitions between them can be rather jarring, causing minor lulls in the book's momentum. It is, however, for the best that the story isn't confined to Dejima where the outside world remains an abstract concept, as it does for Jacob. A gout ridden captain set on making a name for himself in British maritime history as well as a midwife trapped is a monastery committing subtle yet terrible abuses of human rights both serve to flesh out the setting while granting more urgency to Jacob's own arc. As for Jacob himself, while he makes a decent central viewpoint on a count of his moral uprightness contrasting with the hedonisms and corruption of Dejima and Nagasaki, he less grows as a persons as he withstands the trials and tribulations before him. Character growth is sadly fairly absent in general. The sarcastic and forward thinking Dr. Marinus doesn't ever seem like he is more than Mitchell's mouthpiece (although an entertaining one at that) while the rest of the Dejima residents fall under one archetype of scoundrel or cheat, even as their backstories are offered. The antagonist Lord Abbot Enomoto, while being irredeemable to the bone, is an utterly frightening presence, serving as a precursor to what would entail in The Bone Clocks.

Offline Kavik Ryx

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Re: What books have you been reading (or have read recently)?
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2016, 04:40:44 AM »
The Sun Also Rises:

This is one of those cases where I understand why a book is celebrated, but I don't enjoy a moment of reading. I get the book being about the imasculating nature of war. But it does such an effective job that it is unpleasant to sit through. There's not much fun to be gleaned from reading about people who have reduced their lives to work, cafes, and dancing, trying hard to avoid reality, all the while barely being able to tolerate each other's company. It also difficult to empathize. I kept waiting for someone to come to terms with their self annihilation, only to see people be resigned with being broken. It's not lost on me why all of this makes the book a classic. But then again the constant and deliberate antisemitism got way too overbearing for me to appreciate the nuances. It's a bit of a shame since I do recall enjoying The Old Man and the Sea quite a lot.
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