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Which book are you reading now? Volume XI

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by NedimNapoleon, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Maybe I can like.. fly in and parachute into your car or something, and then we can go on a road trip around Eastern Canada together.

    To keep this on topic, I just got my Lonely Planet: Nepal guide in the mail, so I am reading about Nepalese history and customs and stuff about the Everest Basecamp Trek & area. I like these guides becausey the summarize some things very well. You fall into a trap when you start using them as a bible, but if you use them the way wikipedia is meant to be used, then they can be very helpful.
     
  2. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Other books recently read are several books of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross. https://www.goodreads.com/series/50764-laundry-files These are urban fantasy/sci fi. Which is to say it's both sci fi and fantasy, and it takes place in the modern day. These are written in the UK, and for the UK market. Which makes them a little odd for an American, as they have all sorts of British references that I'm sure are as well known there as most things in American pop culture are here. Except that being here, I don't know know those. :p The basic premise is that math is magic. And the more math you do, the more magic results. And that tends to get Chtulu's attention.
     
  3. Gen.Mannerheim

    Gen.Mannerheim Grand Moff

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    So quick question: why on earth is Tom Clancy so popular?

    In a kinda informal book club, a group of buddies and I decided to read some of Clancy's books from his Ryanverse. I picked Sum of All Fears. Previously I had read Hunt for Red October and thought it was pretty good, and assumed the books would get better as Clancy matured as a writer. Now I see it was probably his best work.

    I get that a lot of his popularity comes from his place as Airport reading & military/spy porn. But his stories are generally too ridiculous. In his main book series, the U.S. has its the majority of its Executive and Legislative branches killed off in two terrorist events within a decade, yet there seems to have been no major effects on the U.S. The Soviets/Russians are either a menacing threat, Snidely Whiplash who want to kill the Pope because reasons, and just plain silly by having Russia join NATO then attacking China. The list goes on and on. Funniest one from Sum of All Fears is that the Israelis lose a nuclear warhead in 1974 in a plane crash, and everybody just kinda forgets about it.

    One place I had before heard people complain about Clancy is his Jack Ryan character. He could be the poster-boy for a Gary Sue. He is absolutely perfect in everything he does. He comes from the most perfect of military backgrounds (his father was in the 101 in WWI and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and he himself used to be a Marine). He's married to the world's best eye surgeon (literally). He's a self-made millionaire who just decided to take a grunt-job at the Agency. And even though he's constantly stated as just being a CIA analyst, he is constantly talking directly to the U.S. or Russian presidents, and personally stops about 7 possible WWIII's during the whole series.

    TL;DR. Tom Clancy's books are just too unbelievable to be taken seriously. Often times they get so unbelievable that it erases the suspension of disbelief.
     
  4. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    I read some Clancy books a decade or so ago when I worked in a bookshop (a mass market discount one so we rarely got anything particularly interesting to read). From what I remember, they varied between stupid but entertaining and downright bad. I don't remember them ever being actually believable but the less bad ones would help pass a tedious day sat on the till.

    Anyway, the last book I finished was Agent Lavender by Jack Tindale and Tom Black, a relatively light-hearted alternate history story that takes as its premise "What if the conspiracy theories about Harold Wilson (ex British PM) being a Communist spy were true?". It's probably not a literary classic, but it was definitely a fun read.
     
  5. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    You might find "Aztec Century" by Christopher Evans worth a read.

    I see your collection includes works by individual authors such as Gregory Benford and Larry Niven.

    I have just finished reading the "Bowel of Heaven" by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    I have about eight different books on the go and Iswitch between them according to my mood.
     
  6. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Clancy started off strong (with help). But in a sense wrote himself into a corner. With action/adventure every follow on piece has to be bigger and more spectacular than the last. And when the Cold War ended, he had no place plausible to go. And so got ever further from plausible.
     
  7. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Mithrokin Files part I now, then onto Snow Crash methinks.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Awesome! Aztec Century sounds like something I would enjoy reading quite a bit, thanks for recommending it! I've added both books to my wishlist
     
  9. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume One, written by Karl Marx, English translation by Ben Fowkes. I don't think I'm finishing this any time soon. Mr. Marx is rather fond of insulting his perceived intellectual inferiors, isn't he?
     
  10. Takhisis

    Takhisis april's fool

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    Is he, now? Sounds like a standard XIX-century writer.
     
  11. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    Confront and Conceal, a history/analysis of Obama's foreign policy approach 2008 - 2012.
     
  12. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    I've started reading the third book in the Aftermath trilogy of Star Wars.

    The present tense writing is driving me up the wall. I don't remember if the first two books had this. Switching tenses always throws me for a loop though. I'm spoiled with the third person past tense.
     
  13. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    You can't run through a campground, you can only ran since it is past tents.
     
  14. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That should be in the Lame Jokes thread. :)
     
  15. danjuno

    danjuno Emperor

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    American Colossus: Triumph of Capitalism 1865 - 1900 by H.W. Brands. Enjoyed his FDR biography, so I naturally snatched this one up. Thankfully not as long a read.
     
  16. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    So if the Gilded Age was an "American Colossus", and the early Republic was an "American Leviathan", what Clash of the Titans monster was the Manifest Destiny era?
     
  17. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    American Kraken?
     
  18. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    That's more for the Vietnam and Nixon era, showing the kraken the system. :p
     
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  19. Paul in Saudi

    Paul in Saudi Emperor

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    Madness Ruled the Hour (I forget the author), a history of Charleston, South Carolina in the month leading up to the Civil War. (TLDR: Rich people start a war to preserve their way of life. The war destroyed their way of life.)
     
  20. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton King, Warrior, Prophet, Magician, Lover

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    I think it was Vox who did a video on lost nuclear weapons and you may be surprised to learn that quit a lot of atomic warheads got lost over the years. Maybe this case was particularly implausible, but such a warhead getting lost and people just forgetting about it over time is in principle realistic.
     
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