SFBRP Listeners discussion

What did you read last?

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message 1: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane Since the essence of a group like this is conversation, I thought I'd start one:

What was the last book you read? How did you like it? Would you recommend it? To whom? Who recommended it to you?

As for me, the last novel I read was Larry Niven's Ringworld. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I gave it 4 stars on the Goodreads scale. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good hard SF story with a bit of adventure. There is big technology to wrap your mind around. The characters are a bit 2 dimensional (except for the main character), but it didn't matter much. I enjoyed Niven's style, which I found quite funny at times. It was recommended to me by several people over the years but I recently received it from the English Assassin (a member over at StarShipSofa) in a book swap.

I just finished E.M. Forster's great story (from 1909) "The Machine Stops". It's not too long and available for free online. I'd recommend it to anyone. Amy H. Sturgis reviewed it on the StarShipSofa. That seems to be where I get most of my recommendations these days...

message 2: by Georg (last edited May 15, 2009 01:54PM) (new)

Georg (georgwille) | 6 comments I finished David Gaider's "Dragon Age: Origins - The Stolen Throne" three days ago and didn't like it much. If you want to know why, you can read the review that I've put up on this site.

At the moment I'm reading Iain M. Banks's "The Player of Games", my first Culture novel. My first Banks novel even! I hope I'll like it, because then there would be more good stuff where this one came from.

I had heard of Snow Crash a couple of times, and was tempted to try it. My first book be Stephenson eventually turned out to be "The Diamond Age", which I liked only in a few places, just enough to keep me going. Then there were the Snow Crash reviews on GeekNights and on the SFBRP - I'm no longer tempted to read it. There are just so many books out there which are more highly recommended, and too little time even for those.

message 3: by Galen (new)

Galen | 3 comments I'm almost done with "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman so I feel comfortable listing it as my most recently read book, I'll definitely be finishing it today.

I'd most definitely recommend the book. Its a great read and is one of those books you will finish in only a sitting or two. Seriously, give this book a shot, its really really good!

I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys science fiction or even anyone interested in war and society as viewed from a soldier's perspective. It was written around the time of the Vietnam war and was actually turned down by a bunch of publishers who thought it was too controversial to publish at the time. You can tell it drew a lot from its time, however it carries over seamlessly to my generation and the current events in the middle east. It sounds somewhat cliche, but this book strikes me as timeless and I can see it being ready many generations from now.

I actually picked this book up randomly at a book store not too long ago. The cover caught my attention. I later discovered the SFBRP podcast mentioned it, so I pushed it up on my to read list and I am very glad I did.

I think I need to branch out and try reading some new authors like Niven or Banks next, or perhaps venture into a new sub-genre of science fiction...however what I have heard of "Snow Crash" makes me not want to even attempt that...

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited May 18, 2009 08:51AM) (new)

The last science fiction books were rereads of Dune and Dune Messiah. The second Dune books seems to get a lot of criticism, but I thought the dark side of Paul, his doubts, and his murderous jihad killing 61 billion was an interesting twist away from the original novel.

I'm going to reread Children of Dune in a few weeks, but may stop there. I've read God Emperor before but never got around to the last two books written by Frank Herbert. I've no interest in his son's books.

message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Rowe (spinnerrowe) | 21 comments I just finished A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's part of the Miles Vorkosigan series. It's a great series, and I highly recommend it. It's strength is in its characters. It is very satisfying to see them grow and change over time. If you are interested in this series, I recommend starting with The Warrior's Apprentice. While it might be possible to read these books out of sequence, I believe that Bujold does a great job of building her characters throughout the series.

Earlier this week, I finished Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton. This book is the second half of a story started in Pandora's Star. Hamilton is a great world builder and has interesting characters. I only had two problems with the books. First, the story was sooo long (over 2,000 pages.) Second, Hamilton has so many characters that after a point I found myself getting bored each time he introduced a new character. I was also disappointed that the intensity at the end of the first book was not carried over into the second, and I felt like I was starting all over again.

I tried my hand at a Luke Burragesque podcast review of Pandora's Star. If you would like to give it a listen, it's located at spinner.podbean.com. It was my first attempt at a podcast, so it is a little rough. Feel free to give me feedback on it.

message 6: by Pragmatic (new)

Pragmatic (pragmatichark) | 1 comments i just finished book 1 in the Star Wars Rogue Squadron series. i wrote a pretty heartfelt review, so check out my profile for my opinion.

message 7: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane While in Italy I finished Diamond Star by Catherine Asaro, which I really enjoyed. It appealed to me as a musician very much.

I also read the first in Lois McMaster Bujold's huge series featuring Miles Vorkosigan, Shards of Honour. Great little gem of a novel.

message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom Rowe (spinnerrowe) | 21 comments I just finished The Yiddish Policemen's Union. It was an interesting book, slow to get started. It's a detective noir novel about an alternate universe in which the Jews do not get a homeland in Israel, but instead are placed in Sitka, Alaska. The book is full of Yiddish which is fun, but it really needs a glossary in the back.

message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Rowe (spinnerrowe) | 21 comments I just finished The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Wow. Three reasons to read it:

1. I found myself routing for almost all of the characterrs, even when they were working at cross purposes.

2. I had no idea where the story was going, and that makes for a great ride.

3. The world of future Bangkok, Thailand was filled with such cultural depth both good and bad, it made me want to learn more about southeast Asia.

message 10: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Tom wrote: "I just finished The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Wow. Three reasons to read it:

1. I found myself routing for almost all of the characterrs, even when they were working at cross purposes.

2. ..."

I got Wind-Up Girl for c-mas, now i'm even more excited to read it!

message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Minutillo (wolfbyte) After 2 or 3 previous attempts I have finally completed Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. This book has a weird effect where the narrower I focus on it the better I like it. What I mean is that the I found the overall book (the plot, the pacing, etc.) to quite lacklustre but individual characters and sections seemed to jump out and grab me for 20-30 pages at a time.

Anyway, I wrote up a quick Goodreads review (check my profile) if you're interested in what I perceived to be the main flaws. In the end I gave it 2 stars because although I enjoyed myself at times, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend this book to anyone. Unless you happen to be a hard-core Stephenson fan that is.

message 12: by Emanuel (new)

Emanuel Landeholm (elandeholm) | 14 comments My last read was "To kill a mockingbird" by Harper Lee. I would recommend it to anyone. It is composed entirely of the most beautiful language. I am no poet so I can't begin to describe the beauty of it, but you really couldn't add or remove one word from it without making it less of a book. And the themes/plot are still relevant today. Perhaps even more so today than 75 years ago...

message 13: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (sf_fangirl) Tom wrote: "...The book is full of Yiddish which is fun, but it really needs a glossary in the back."

I agree, but I'm partway through reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union now or actually listening (although I have the eBook too) so a glossary wouldn't be too handy for a listener. Also, I think, that the Yiddish words used in the novel (which is translated for the readers because the characters speak Yiddish) are actually Yiddish slang.

I also agree it was slow to get started because it was a bit slow on the world building. I started reading the eBook and only got two chapters and switched to another one because The Yiddish Policemen's Union was dragging. Listening while doing something else kept me going until the characters drew me in. (At this point I think I am more interested at the history and fates of the main characters than the solution to the murder case, but I suspect everything will tie back together by the end.) Overall if I could have mad it further in the book I think I'd comprehend more by reading instead of listening.

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