Books you have read lately?

For pretty much anything else.
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The Last Battle is over. Book 14 is done.

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According to my post history, I started this journey sometime around March 7th 2013. 3 years, 3 months and 11 days later, at approximately 1:23AM... the journey ended!

I had a ton of fun overall going through the whole series. I spent a good chunk of time this morning reading up on the WoT wiki and there were a lot of details that Robert Jordan thought of so many books ahead - it's pretty interesting! I'm jonseying for some continuation of the series but I know things are done... and that's kinda sad! I definitely got attached to the world in WoT. There are rumors of a TV series coming up and that sounds really exciting! There are so many moments that would be very cool brought to life, as it were.

There is a prequel book called "A New Spring" which I may get next. I think I'd like to take a break and let everything sink in first. I've also got the Wheel of Time Companion to read through as well, although I imagine that one will be in bits and pieces here and there.

If anyone is looking to get totally engrossed in a high-fantasy series I think this is it.

Next up, I'm reading this!

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Chronicle Vol 1 finished! Pretty cool book, it starts from the very beginning of the universe (or The Great Dark as it's known) all the way up to when Medivh became the next Guardian (and if you don't know about the Guardians or Medivh, it's all explained don't worry!). I found that about 70% of the way in it started skipping quite a few years quickly and it started to thin out a bit. I guess it's because the closer you get to the modern Azeroth, the more popular/well-known it is? Feels like they could have expanded a bit more on some sections like The War of the Shifting Sands.

Remember that time I said I was going to take a break from Wheel of Time-- yeah well I lied I bought the prequel book:

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I'm just about done it though

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Well, I guess I'll just keep the train going.

I finished New Spring last month, shortly after my last post if I remember right. I'm glad I was able to go in for one last dive into the WoT universe. This one is a prequel and it's starring Moiraine and Lan - their origins and eventual meeting. I practically forgot how "normal" the universe was before the major plot lines started to hit in the main series of books. Despite the fact it's a prequel it makes more sense to me to read it after everything else. Just fits right, in my opinion.

The next book I tackled doesn't have a lot of written material but was still cool nonetheless:
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It's mostly artwork, but there are some brief passages that capture the process of how the movie came to be. The thing I found the most fascinating was how much time was spent creating all sorts of content for the movie - especially considering the time spent on characters or locations that only appear for a brief moment, or are mentioned in passing. Almost nothing was left without some kind of development. They had some very cool designs for the characters, I especially liked the "duster coat" Han Solo look they were toying with originally. Great coffee table book.

Next up I'm back in fantasy-land, this time...
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This book finally made me realize what I think I love so much about fantasy books - the world building. The Way of Kings is no slouch in that department. The plot plods along in the beginning(although not too slowly, a good clip) - meanwhile you learn the history of Roshar (Earth) and its denizens. There's the various kingdoms and cultures (which are detailed), the magic systems (yes, there's more than one!), the mythical Shardblades (and Shardplate)... so much of the world is laid out and it really draws you in. The book seems to be compared to Wheel of Time and I can see it - but it's definitely separated itself enough from its influences to really stand on its own. I'm happy to hear there's only going to be five books in the series (or so Sanderson says), and the third one should be coming out next year. Speaking of multiple books... here's my next one!

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I want to take a break from fantasy but I keep getting good recommendations for what to check out next... so I don't know!

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Haven't come here in a while, though no one has but I haven't come here in a loooooooonng time.

things I read in 2016

Shakey Neil Young's Biography by Jimmy McDonough - I've read a lot of good rock autobiographies - Anthony Keidis, Mick Fleetwood's and Shaun Ryder's stick out the most atm but this was one of my favourite books I've ever read and it wasn't even an autobiography. The fact that someone like Neil would allow someone to catalog so much of his life on the road and within the music making and the turmoil of his working relationships (particularly strained with Crosby Stills and Nash); there's some ugliness to the whole thing, sure, but it's brutally honest and I like that and I think that's why ol' Shakey himself took to Mr. McDonough. The reason why I didn't read much of anything last year was because I actually read this twice, which I've never done in a consecutive fashion but the second time I did flip back and forth more. Amazing reading at any rate.

The High Mountains of Portugal
by Yann Martel. 'ho hum' I can hear you say if you read Life of Pi in high school like we had to. Despite not being religious at all I read this one in grade 10 or 11 and actually thoroughly enjoyed it. The protagonist was right; I was won over. I became a Yann Martel fan though with his next book which was controversial in a sense and sold a fraction of the copies. I still consider Beatrice and Virgil to be one of my favourite reads and a good darker edge tale. This one is three short stories and while the first one had me engaged, it ended on a bit of a simple note, a bit too preachy perhaps or at least a cliche message. The second is the one that got the most attention and while well written I think the gruesome peeling of the body was done better by my man Murakami. The third was perhaps the least memorable, I wouldn't really recommend this reading unless you enjoyed Martell's early works.

Seconds by Bryan Lee O Malley - This was lent to me by our very own Keiroshin and it's a slightly dizzying tale but a charming dece little graphic novel. I've only read Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth when it comes to graphic novels so it was nice to give this a shot because Scott Pilgrim always interested me since watching the movie (I enjoyed it, okay?!!) and I think I read just a little bit of one of the books most likely at Keiro's pad. Anyway, the narrative sort of reminds me of Inception except instead of layers upon layers of dreams the protagonist can control her destiny by writing in her notebook ("Dear Log.."), eat a mushroom and fall asleep. Also reminds me of a cutesier version of say Memento, not that this is backwards mind. I love O Malley's art, I was taken with his work on the Fez box art and always liked the style of Pilgrim so this was a really cool little read and I like the girl Katie a lot and a lot of the supporting players esp Hazel.

Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums by Travis Barker - This one was lent to me by link470 and it really opened my eyes to where Travis actually came from. I must say when I was a kid and that I actually always just pictured Trav being from the same block as Mark and Tom. Not literally, but they seemed to have pretty average suburban upbringing; nothing to write home about, I mean sure divorces and such but a lot of us see those and you don't see a Mark or Tom book coming out or rather not a non-alien related one in ol' Delonge's case. Anyway I know Trav wasn't Blink's original drummer, I've always known since I heard What's My Age Again but I never pictured the tough shit Travis describes, like the barbed wire fence to the face or people stealing his car GTA style when he went out for a joyride in his parent's ride. I really thought all his young life was super interesting and it's admirable that such a miscreant ADD-bound child disciplined himself with music and really perfected the craft to now be known as one of the best drummers, even admired by peeps outside of the rock and roll set (rappers, IDM artists, etc). I must say the whole Meet the Barkers section bored to tears ;) but fear not read on and the tragedy of Barker and AM and reformation of Blink sets in.

Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino - Italo Calvino has always fascinated me but never mesmerized me. I tried Cosmocomics but despite the majesty of the first story in that collection, the rest of the short stories became increasingly convoluted like a neverending math equation that never ever does end and goes on for infinity and what a mess some of those stories were. Anyway I decided to persevere with the author and try another endeavor and I'm glad I did; I took this one with me on a fishing/camping trip and I tell ya - I can sum up this story in one sentence:
"boy climbs up to the treetops and lives out the rest of his life independently, never coming down*"
*not a spoiler, even look on the back of the jacket, anyway despite this seemingly simple story, the fluidity of the writing and the brother's musings on the matter is quite riveting actually. Calvino has a penchant for this kind of fluidity is really the best way I can say, redundant I know but that's my best word for describing this kind of writing. So glad I gave Italo another shot, I will read another of his this year.

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design of every day things is a fun read. lots of examples, mostly timeless complaints about doorknobs that everyday people typically accept as the way of the world. but these things can be improved! finished this a long time ago, not sure when, but i liked it a lot.



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finally finished emotional intelligence... been chugging through this book for a LOOONG time. it starts off fascinatingly technical about the neural layout of the brain as it relates to emotions and then hits you with examples supporting the authors claims like a machine gun. it's not a hard read but it gets really repetitive. overall an interesting book. i think it makes a pretty strong point about how people can get a lot farther in life with social skills than pure intelligence, though said like that makes it sound obvious.

excited to start a new book, i've bought like half a dozen since starting this one...

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Those both look really good. You always seem to have great book picks. I've always been more into that kind of book or autobiography type books than fiction or fantasy books. Even in middle and high school, if I was watching TV, I always wanted to be learning something.

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thanks. i like to go with recommendations over research... often choosing a book based on it being referenced by the author of the previous book i read.

i just finished another, this one only took 2 days

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the four agreements - don miguel ruiz

basically another book about ourselves. when i was 13-14 my mom gave me this book and i read the first few pages then gave it back saying "i don't need someone to tell me how to live my life"

what's even more funny about reading and enjoying it 13-14 years later is that the main takeaway from the book is to understand and accept that we don't need anyone telling us how to live our lives. it's a short read so i'll summarize it for you:

1. life sucks when we judge ourselves all the time
2. we do it because society makes us
3. we can stop doing it if we start doing 4 new things
- be impeccable with your word
- don't take anything personally
- don't make assumptions
- always do your best

by the way, if you decide to read it, the first chapter reads like a cult manifesto, so just be open minded and weigh everything appropriately and you can still get value from it

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Ray wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 1:01 pm
basically another book about ourselves. when i was 13-14 my mom gave me this book and i read the first few pages then gave it back saying "i don't need someone to tell me how to live my life"

what's even more funny about reading and enjoying it 13-14 years later is that the main takeaway from the book is to understand and accept that we don't need anyone telling us how to live our lives.
lol that's amazing.
Ray wrote:
June 1st, 2018, 1:01 pm
it's a short read so i'll summarize it for you:

1. life sucks when we judge ourselves all the time
2. we do it because society makes us
3. we can stop doing it if we start doing 4 new things
- be impeccable with your word
- don't take anything personally
- don't make assumptions
- always do your best
Thankfully, these all seem like things I'm doing already, so that's a plus.

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finished two more books:

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innovators dilemma is a really great breakdown of why big companies get disrupted by new technology. for example, if blockbuster is the leader in rental movies, why was netflix able to destroy them with online? shouldn't blockbuster of all companies be able to recognize the potential of digital movie distribution? christensen breaks down the assumption that the the company is poorly run and refutes it with a systematic evaluation of well-run companies that were disrupted and what differences separate companies that pivot successfully vs unsuccessfully. pretty good read!

the hard thing about hard things is more of a CEO advice book. pretty interesting stuff and includes some fun stories, but a lot of it was more relevant for companies that are further along than i've ever been.

next up, i'm back to the abstract, w/ hero with a thousand faces.

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AC Dasher wrote:
February 26th, 2017, 10:51 pm
Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino - Italo Calvino has always fascinated me but never mesmerized me. I tried Cosmocomics but despite the majesty of the first story in that collection, the rest of the short stories became increasingly convoluted like a neverending math equation that never ever does end and goes on for infinity and what a mess some of those stories were. Anyway I decided to persevere with the author and try another endeavor and I'm glad I did; I took this one with me on a fishing/camping trip and I tell ya - I can sum up this story in one sentence:
"boy climbs up to the treetops and lives out the rest of his life independently, never coming down*"
*not a spoiler, even look on the back of the jacket, anyway despite this seemingly simple story, the fluidity of the writing and the brother's musings on the matter is quite riveting actually. Calvino has a penchant for this kind of fluidity is really the best way I can say, redundant I know but that's my best word for describing this kind of writing. So glad I gave Italo another shot, I will read another of his this year.
I read Invisible Cities by this guy in college and enjoyed it. Very quick read. Looks like Baron in the trees is only 200 pages, maybe I'll check it out sometime!

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Ray wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 4:29 pm
innovators dilemma is a really great breakdown of why big companies get disrupted by new technology. for example, if blockbuster is the leader in rental movies, why was netflix able to destroy them with online? shouldn't blockbuster of all companies be able to recognize the potential of digital movie distribution? christensen breaks down the assumption that the the company is poorly run and refutes it with a systematic evaluation of well-run companies that were disrupted and what differences separate companies that pivot successfully vs unsuccessfully. pretty good read!
That sounds really good.


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