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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4141
    Lee Smolins' Three roads to Quantum Gravity, finally determined to get thru it had it for years, already about 80 pages in out of 200.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  2. #4142
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Thanks for the links - I will definitely revisit his writings.
    you are right: Sheckley's stories are aging very well: now they sound tongue-in-cheek rather than outdated... :-D

  3. #4143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Barabino

    This is borderline appropriate for a medical thread in OTB. It is completely inappropriate for "What are you reading?" If you want a discussion of your medical problems, it might be best to take it elsewhere. From rule 1:
    uh, come on; clearly I was not intending to give amateur medical advice: i was just noticing AT ANECDOTAL LEVEL that my father lost interest in doing sex and in reading novels at the same age... and this sort of noticing how people have different reactions at different ages is fully IN TOPIC in this thread...
    Last edited by Barabino; 2019-Nov-02 at 06:53 AM.

  4. #4144
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    Picked up Doctor Sleep yesterday on a whim and am quite enjoying it.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  5. #4145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    uh, come on; clearly I was not intending to give amateur medical advice: i was just noticing AT ANECDOTAL LEVEL that my father lost interest in doing sex and in reading novels at the same age... and this sort of noticing how people have different reactions at different ages is fully IN TOPIC in this thread...
    Please review the rules, particularly this portion of Rule #17: "Do not respond to moderation in-thread...". If you have an issue with a moderator action, you can either PM the moderator or report the moderator's post along with your own comments (the latter is preferable as it makes it visible to the entire moderation team for discussion).
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  6. #4146
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    I’m reading Educated by Tara Westover and it’s as good as most people have said.

    Westover was raised in a very small rural community in Idaho by survivalist parents. Her story is how she educated herself (alone and then in formal settings) and adapted to mainstream society. Her writing style seems to be influenced by Pat Conroy and Harper Lee, among others.

  7. #4147
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    Annalee Newitz's The Future Of Another Timeline. I bought it because I enjoyed her first novel, Autonomous, and find her essays insightful and interesting.

    There's an intriguing time-machine concept, which has allowed a limited amount of time travel throughout most of human history (in Newitz's alternate world). The story involves groups of feminist and misogynist time travellers fighting an "edit war" on their own timeline, battling over the future of women's rights. The jonbar hinge is a real historical character, Anthony Comstock, and his Society for the Suppression of Vice.
    So it had all the makings of an interesting read. However, it's a real cry of anguish from Newitz, and that seems to have interfered with her ability to draw well-rounded characters. All the males (bar two) are simply one-dimensional embodiments of various undesirable male traits. (Both exceptions are representatives of oppressed minority groups.) All the females and other genders are brave, true and much abused, with the exception of one character who has evidently had her will broken by one of the more unpleasant male characters. Cries of anguish are fine, and this one is timely (for reasons I won't go into here), but I did get the grinding feeling I was helping Newitz work through her murderous revenge fantasies, rather than reading for enjoyment. So I'm glad to have read it, but can't imagine a circumstance in which I'd read it again.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Nov-11 at 05:36 PM.

  8. #4148
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I've been rereading Robert Sheckley's AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination Service short stories, which I'm sure will be recalled fondly by some folk here.
    You may be interested to know that all the relevant magazine issues are available on the Internet Archive. So you can read seven out of eight stories freely on-line.
    Here are links to those first seven stories:
    "Ghost V"
    "Milk Run"
    "The Laxian Key"
    "Squirrel Cage"
    "The Lifeboat Mutiny"
    "The Necessary Thing"
    "The Skag Castle"

    My personal favourite is "Squirrel Cage".

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks for the links. Those stories were fun to read. I think I have read a little by Sheckley, but I never read anything from that series.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  9. #4149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Thanks for the links. Those stories were fun to read. I think I have read a little by Sheckley, but I never read anything from that series.
    Glad you enjoyed them.
    If you like those, I'd recommend Colin Kapp's Unconventional Engineers stories, which are from the same era and have much the same sense of the ridiculous. They're not free on-line, but the e-book from Gollancz's Gateway Essentials is fairly cheap. I reviewed them here.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #4150
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Glad you enjoyed them.
    If you like those, I'd recommend Colin Kapp's Unconventional Engineers stories, which are from the same era and have much the same sense of the ridiculous. They're not free on-line, but the e-book from Gollancz's Gateway Essentials is fairly cheap. I reviewed them here.

    Grant Hutchison
    Go for it. I bought this e-book based on Grant's review and thoroughly enjoyed it. The only trouble will be that you will be wishing, unfortunately hopelessly, for more stories. It only cost me A$4.99 for the Kindle version.

  11. #4151
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    I realized recently that one of the reasons I've been feeling so fretful about books lately is that I've read all the books in my apartment over and over and over in the four years that most of my books have been in storage; I managed to find a Nero Wolfe I think I've only read once, and that a long time ago. Graham's got paid time off coming up, and he's agreed to spend part of it rearranging what books we have in the apartment. (And before you ask about the library, there are reasons I'm not currently using it, not least that it's hard for me to really get a good browse in at the library. And when you've finished your current book at nine at night, the library's not helpful!)
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  12. #4152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I realized recently that one of the reasons I've been feeling so fretful about books lately is that I've read all the books in my apartment over and over and over in the four years that most of my books have been in storage; I managed to find a Nero Wolfe I think I've only read once, and that a long time ago. Graham's got paid time off coming up, and he's agreed to spend part of it rearranging what books we have in the apartment. (And before you ask about the library, there are reasons I'm not currently using it, not least that it's hard for me to really get a good browse in at the library. And when you've finished your current book at nine at night, the library's not helpful!)
    I understand your concerns, I become restless if I don't have access to books. Does your Public Library offer free book lending via "Overdrive"? My wife can download up to 10 books at a time and they are available for 21 days. There are only a certain number of "copies" allowed and you may go onto a wait list until one is available.

    While I read books on my Kindle when I am away from home I prefer physical books but my wife is happy to read them on her phone.

  13. #4153
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    I have a hard time reading for any length of time on my tablet. I have a book on it that I'm really enjoying, but I can't bring myself to read it most days. And even when I can, it's not exactly helpful for reading in the bath.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  14. #4154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I have a hard time reading for any length of time on my tablet. I have a book on it that I'm really enjoying, but I can't bring myself to read it most days. And even when I can, it's not exactly helpful for reading in the bath.

    I was wondering if something like that might be the case. My daughter is the same, she loves books but hates to read them on a tablet - hence why I finished up with hers.

    I used to love reading in the bath but gave up years ago. I once stupidly managed to drop an expensive library book into the bath and was all ready to pay up for a new copy. However, when I took it back I realised that it had been incorrectly bound, with about 100 pages missing from the middle chapters. So the library got a refund from the publisher not me

  15. #4155
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I was wondering if something like that might be the case. My daughter is the same, she loves books but hates to read them on a tablet - hence why I finished up with hers.

    I used to love reading in the bath but gave up years ago. I once stupidly managed to drop an expensive library book into the bath and was all ready to pay up for a new copy. However, when I took it back I realised that it had been incorrectly bound, with about 100 pages missing from the middle chapters. So the library got a refund from the publisher not me
    I once dropped a very large and expensive anatomy textbook in the bath. I was studying for an exam on the anatomy of the lower limb (or "leg", as I understand it's called by civilians), and the bath seemed like a useful place to do that. With three days until the exam, having the pages of my textbook soaked, soft and adhering to each other wasn't a great outcome, and I ended up sitting on the floor with a kitchen spatula and my girlfriend's hair dryer, madly drying the thing out a page at a time. At the end of the process it looked like a chunk of exploded lasagne, but it was still useable despite its negligible resale value.

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #4156
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I once dropped a very large and expensive anatomy textbook in the bath. I was studying for an exam on the anatomy of the lower limb (or "leg", as I understand it's called by civilians), and the bath seemed like a useful place to do that. With three days until the exam, having the pages of my textbook soaked, soft and adhering to each other wasn't a great outcome, and I ended up sitting on the floor with a kitchen spatula and my girlfriend's hair dryer, madly drying the thing out a page at a time. At the end of the process it looked like a chunk of exploded lasagne, but it was still useable despite its negligible resale value.

    Grant Hutchison
    A very expensive bath but a least it meant that you had look at every page.

    Is Gary's Anatomy still one of the major resources for medical students? (The latest editions obviously.) Or has it become outmoded?

  17. #4157
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    I've never dropped a book in the bath; the last books I had completely ruined by water damage were on the floor when a hose came off our washing machine.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  18. #4158
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    And having your water bottle come open in your bag is pretty bad, too.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  19. #4159
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    A very expensive bath but a least it meant that you had look at every page.

    Is Gary's Anatomy still one of the major resources for medical students? (The latest editions obviously.) Or has it become outmoded?
    When I was a student, there was a cultural divide between users of Gray's and users of Snell's. At the time, I thought the diagrams were clearer in Snell's, so that's what I used. I have no idea what students are using nowadays, sorry. I do have a copy of Gray's (worst ever school prize) but it's now not much more than a curiosity because so much of the nomenclature has changed.

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #4160
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    And having your water bottle come open in your bag is pretty bad, too.
    I once had to pause a lecture because a young woman started screaming at the back of the lecture theatre, to an extent that suggested some sort of assault was taking place. But it turned out to be just an incident of "water bottle versus smartphone" - the archetypal Young Person Problem.

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #4161
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I once had to pause a lecture because a young woman started screaming at the back of the lecture theatre, to an extent that suggested some sort of assault was taking place. But it turned out to be just an incident of "water bottle versus smartphone" - the archetypal Young Person Problem.

    Grant Hutchison
    I lost a phone like that about four years ago, ever since I’ve gotten heavy-duty cases and not had a repeat, but I have (as per the topic) had books get water-damaged that way.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  22. #4162
    I,robot.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  23. #4163
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    I,robot.
    Then you must have to be careful about spilling your water on yourself!
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  24. #4164
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    I've started re-reading the Brother Cadfael mystery series. I'm now up to book three and need decide whether to buy the Kindle edition or just go get the paperback out of the headboard compartment. The series are among the very few books I kept after the big purge a few years ago mostly because they were tucked away in the headboard instead of being in one of the several boxes.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #4165
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    I have Cadfael stacked in the attic, in the hope that I'll find time to read them again. Peters/Pargeter managed to evoke the changing seasons, and the behaviour of good-hearted people under trying circumstances, very well.

    Grant Hutchison

  26. #4166
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Then you must have to be careful about spilling your water on yourself!
    I figured some people here have already figured it out since I don't like to work in the rain that much.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  27. #4167
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    Both my wife and I really enjoyed the Cadfael series as well. We also liked the TV show starring Derek Jacobi. Unfortunately we only got the first series here so only saw about 4 episodes.

  28. #4168
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Both my wife and I really enjoyed the Cadfael series as well. We also liked the TV show starring Derek Jacobi. Unfortunately we only got the first series here so only saw about 4 episodes.
    The first TV series was the best, although they showed it in the wrong order. One Corpse Too Many FIRST, then the others.

    Meanwhile, instead of moving on with Cadfael, I'm reading Shanghai Dreams, the second volume of The Earl's Other Son series by Andrew Wareham. Based on the number of series, let alone just books, he's produced Wareham strikes me as a bit of a hack. So why am I reading this series for the third time in a year?

    The series is about an RN officer on the China Station at the end of the 19th century. The historical aspect is kind of interesting.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  29. #4169
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    I have just finished "The One-Eyed man" by L.E. Modessit Jr. (Full title:The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment) As usual. I thoroughly enjoyed another of his, "hard" Science fiction books.

    Being selfish, I wish that he would write more Science Fiction and much less Fantasy. Fans of his Fantasy output probably wish the exact opposite. Even his 'welcome' comments on his "Official Website" acknowledge the problems of catering to two different readership bases.

  30. #4170
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    "First Man, The life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen. An interesting insight into Neil Armstrong along with details of many behind the scenes aspects of the US Space Program in the 1960's.

    While he was a jet test pilot and aeronautical engineer he also had much involvement in the development of the training simulators used by all of the astronauts during the program. While some of the others thought of simulators like they were a game to be won Neil Armstrong tested the boundaries of the simulators so that they would display what the pilot actually saw.

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