What is WWN reading right now?

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monkymeet
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by monkymeet » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:40 pm

American Gods is pretty sweet so far.
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Dragonite
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Dragonite » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:42 am

So, I tried Pottermore(bog recently screencapped his house on facebook). So I took the wand and sorting tests as well.

*drumroll*

I'm in
Spoiler: show
slytherin. The flavour text was quite nice after the shock though.potter-merlin was a slytherin seemingly!

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Linkman
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Linkman » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:13 pm

I always wanted to try that but it was invite only or something.
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Dragonite
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Dragonite » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:42 pm

Might've been a beta stage? It's a vanilla register now at least.

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Linkman » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:57 am

I was very interested in reading some of Raymond Chandler's fiction after becoming enamoured with Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. Surveying the competition, if you will. After reading it, I feel pleased--but not amazed.

The Big Sleep is the tale of Philip Marlowe, the lighter half of the 'tough' detective stereotype that became immortalized in the 30s (the other half being the bruter Sam Spade). He is definitely tough, and quite intelligent, but most of all he is extremely cynical of the world he lives in. A complex and interesting character, Marlowe is fun to read and fun to cheer for.

The bigger issue with the novel comes in the plot, which is a tad too contrived, a tad too meandering, lacking cohesion. Even if by the finish line the loose ends have been tied, it's not as satisfying as one would expect, and it leaves you feeling somewhat cheated.

Nevertheless, Chandler's a great writer, and the plot does keep you entertained for most of the ride. If you're a fan of crime fiction, this one's a must.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Treedweller

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Treedweller » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:28 am

I really liked The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon.

If you're a fan of the whole hard-boiled detective thing, check out Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, too. It's a lurid, very American novel that recalls Camus' L'étranger before Camus actually published it.

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Linkman » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:50 am

Yeah, Cain's next on the list--though it'll be a while, I've got about 8 books to read.

I'm actually gonna read To Kill a Mockingbird now. I'm diving into the American classics.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Pkdragon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:00 am

My attempt at reading lots of sci fi has been going pretty well.

trying to work in some female authors too. starting with c.j. cherryh because i've read her books before and she covers the "read more sci fi" point pretty well too. got lots of recommendations for female fantasy/sci fi authors from gamefaqs so i'm pretty excited. lots of books to read.

also reading leguin's gifts/powers/ etc series because terr spoke highly of it back in the day, and i have to agree, it's pretty great so far. nothing like reading young adult fiction that's more mature than most adult fiction.
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That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Hexagon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Hexagon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:09 pm

Just finished Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, which is a seriously excellent piece of nonfiction (particularly if you have any interest in medicine or cultural relativism). It's about a Hmong family that fled from Laos during the Laotian Civil War and ended up in the US with an epileptic daughter and how culture clash ultimately compromised her treatment. Fadiman is ridiculously good at not placing blame and treating both sides fairly - she walks a very fine line and does so really well. It's a tragic, tragic book.
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Treedweller

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Treedweller » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:51 am

That sounds like a fantastic book. I'll have to look into it.

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Hexagon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Hexagon » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:17 pm

I think you'd like it. It seems like the kind of thing that'd be right up your alley.
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:11 am

read the second book in the LeGuin's Western Shore series. Wow. Just... wow. While I enjoyed the first book, this second volume was something else entirely. Much more political and action filled than the last book, but just as strong of a personal story as well, and Memer was a fantastic main character. I also love how LeGuin balanced some nasty villains while making them very much human (even the son of the Gand, the nastiest character in the story, was motivated mostly by religious fanaticism). And the use of Orrec and Gry as returning characters was very well done (Orrec had a bit of a jesus christ superstar thing going on that i loved, I always enjoy parallel stories where a side character is going through as much of an ordeal as the main character, but we only see parts of it).

I'm glad terr talked about this otherwise i probably never would have read these books
HPD wrote:You know the only thing on the agenda of the Squirtle Squad is pure, unadulterated chaos.

That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by onewaystreet » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:36 am

I started reading Redshirts by John Scalzi yesterday. It's a hilarious Star Trek parody told from the point of view of, well, the red shirts, and it's great.
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by hawkesnightmare » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:32 am

onewaystreet wrote:I started reading Redshirts by John Scalzi yesterday. It's a hilarious Star Trek parody told from the point of view of, well, the red shirts, and it's great.
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Terragent » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:57 pm

Man, PK, I'm really happy that you've enjoyed Gifts and Voices! You really hit the nail on the head with your earlier post - they're very much "young adult" books, but they handle themselves with more grace and maturity than most anything I've read in the genre or out of it.

Voices was actually my least favourite of the three books when I first read it, partly because I was far less willing and able to put myself in Memer's shoes than I was with Orrec or Gavir. Apart from the fact that she was simply a much starker and fiercer character, I also found that her judgements of the people around her differed from my own more often than not. Her fierce and insistent rejection of the Alds - to the point of feeling betrayed and disappointed when cool heads prevail in the city - always felt irrational to me, and it took a good while before I realised that she wasn't necessarily supposed to feel rational to the reader all of the time.

I really feel that Voices does the best job of the three books of portraying imaginary cultures and places right down to the details of people's daily lives and the places they go to (though Powers has some excellent moments in this regard as well). Ansul in particular is beautifully drawn, with its streets and markets and its unnumbered gods.

Powers is the longest of the three books and I think still my favourite, and beyond that I'll say no more. I hope you enjoy it as much as the first two! ;)

---

I'm currently eyeing off a few (still unread) acquisitions: Murakami's intimidatingly huge 1Q84, Adam Johnson's The Orphan Master's Son, and Frederik Pohl's Gateway. I'm also still mulling over a few of my most recent (though now that's many months ago) reads - they've each had some good and some bad, and I'm honestly not sure what to make of them quite yet. Might end up sharing my thoughts here if I can ever get them in a sufficiently presentable form.

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Pkdragon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Thu May 01, 2014 12:20 am

See, I loved how she despised the Alds. It made perfect sense, given what she lived through, and I love how that world view is shaken up (but never completely 100% destroyed!) by the events that surround her. The fact that she herself was part Ald just made it an even more complex situation for her. That was another reason it was clever to have Orrec be around, because he presented a rational voice to make it clear to the reader that Memer was extreme in her views. I also think that her hatred of the Alds also represents how much the average citizen hates the Alds, which is why it's pretty amazing that the situation DOESN'T end in violence. In any case, she seemed very intelligent, strong, and most of all, human.

The world building was fantastic. It was a very detailed look at a single city and it's culture and it worked. There were so many little tidbits and quirks that made Ansul a fascinating place to be in. I was kind of surprised, because I wasn't too taken in by the world building in Gifts, I was much more interested in Orrec's character development. Considering that Voices was as focused on the city as a whole as it was Memer's story, while Gifts was pretty much entirely focused on Orrec's psychology, I guess that makes a lot of sense.

And yeah, after reading Voices, I wasn't sure that the label "young adult" even applied anymore. It really seems these books could easily appeal to anyone regardless of age. Looking forward to Powers.
HPD wrote:You know the only thing on the agenda of the Squirtle Squad is pure, unadulterated chaos.

That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Terragent
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Terragent » Thu May 01, 2014 1:57 am

I think you went into Voices with a much more open mind than I had on my first read. I definitely came around to it in the end, but it was only after a few years and at least one re-read.

A lot of the sense of place that Voices has comes from the political dimension to its plot, I agree. Gifts only has one section that really deals with the world beyond the uplands, and it's second-hand at that. In Voices, the geography and politics take centre stage - they drive the plot and motivate many of the characters, and unlike Gifts, the story wouldn't really work if they didn't.

(I feel I also ought to thank you for introducing me to ferretbrain via trash-talking Patrick Rothfuss in this topic - there's some great reading there, even if it does get a little self-indulgent sometimes)

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Treedweller

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Treedweller » Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:59 pm

I finished reading Tina Fey's Bossypants today, which was a hilarious and sometimes insightful commentary on Fey's life until now. I liked her feminist analysis of beauty, comedy, motherhood and their intersections, though Fey was too eager to claim that institutionalized sexism didn't exist in a few places (like latter day SNL) when it, like, clearly did. Maybe she was scared of seeming like a misandrist? Still, Fey is a loveable and excellent writer. I recommend it if you have a few hours to kill on a Sunday afternoon.

I've also been reading Joe Sacco's 2009 graphic novel Footnotes in Gaza. It's heavy and specific - capturing the tiny details of never-told stories of injustice in Palestine. In capturing those narrative and visual details (and the drawings are excellent), Sacco gives a good overview of the injustice in Israel and Palestine. I'll let you kids know what I think when I'm done.
Last edited by Treedweller on Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joey

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Joey » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:00 pm

You read Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Pekar?
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Treedweller

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Treedweller » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:01 pm

Nope! But now I will.

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Pkdragon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:03 pm

Oh yeah, I should probably note that I finally read Powers, it was fantastic, and I actually teared up a little on the last page. This could be because it was 2:00 in the morning and I was tired as hell, but it was a fantastic end to a surprisingly fantastic series.
HPD wrote:You know the only thing on the agenda of the Squirtle Squad is pure, unadulterated chaos.

That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Bonesy
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Bonesy » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:04 pm

i read Live From New York recently, it's a thick 2002 book with interviews with people involved in Saturday Night Live

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by McTool » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:42 pm

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite yesterday

Tell me what to read
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by onewaystreet » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:25 am

I've been reading a book called The 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear by a German author/illustrator by the name of Walter Moers. It's wonderfully imaginative
thefalman wrote:Honestly, just when I thought we could all have a nice topic about mocking ridiculously, overly hardcore fundamentalists, it has to turn into a religious debate.

You bastards.
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RadioShadow wrote:Including having SEX? :o
I know it's an alien concept to you RS, but there's no need to act so surprised.


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McTool
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by McTool » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:25 pm

HELLO BOOKS

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WELCOME TO MY SCREEN DEVICE
Make good choices

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Bonesy
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Bonesy » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:11 pm

i need more books on my kindle lol, maybe some scifi or fantasy because that's what i'm in the mood for

i need a break from discworld though :(

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Pkdragon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:04 pm

You want fantasy? I got fantasy.

Have you read:

- The Black Company books by Glen Cook (my favorite book series right now)
- The First Law books by Joe Abercrombie (what watchmen was to comics, this is to fantasy)
- Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (the single most complicated fantasy series out there, you have been warned)
- Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
- The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch


I suppose I'll also mention Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Both are extremely popular in the fantasy genre right now. That said, I really, really don't like The Name of the Wind and the second book in the series is even worse. But people really like the books for some reason so I'll throw the name out there so you can decide for yourself.

As far as Sci Fi goes:
The Culture books by Iain M. Banks (terr's favorite)
Revelation Space by Alistair Reynolds
The Gap Series by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Uplift Saga by David Brin
Ringworld by Larry Niven (can't recommend all of his works, but the original Ringworld was pretty fun)
Foundation books and the Robot books by Asimov
The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man by Bradbury, and probably some more but those are the ones I've read.

ANYWAY that should be good for now.
HPD wrote:You know the only thing on the agenda of the Squirtle Squad is pure, unadulterated chaos.

That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Terragent » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:56 pm

PK's got you covered. ;)

That said, I might throw in a few more recommendations of my own (and/or offer my own spin on PK's):

Alastair Reynolds
I'd probably recommend House of Suns or Century Rain over Revelation Space as a starting point for Reynolds. They're more self-contained and a bit more digestible than the trilogy-plus-two-and-a-bit that is Revelation Space and its ancillary works. He manages a really interesting fusion of space opera, hard SF, and cyberpunk in many of his works, which is pretty cool really. His short fiction is also very cool: I'd recommend Fury, Zima Blue, and Diamond Dogs if you want to see a reasonable slice of his output.

Ursula Le Guin
I certainly wouldn't recommend all of her works to all readers, but A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the most iconic and influential books in Western fantasy literature and is pretty much required reading if you want to seriously get into fantasy. The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed are also hugely influential (and quite beautiful to boot), but not as easy to get into, particularly The Dispossessed with its odd structure and very cold opening. Gifts, Voices, and Powers are very moving, human books, and probably my favourite examples of low-key fantasy that's more interested in exploring people than the supernatural.

David Brin
The Uplift series is absurdly entertaining - it's classic pulpy space opera turned up to eleven, with a dazzling array of worlds, ships, and bug-eyed monsters that makes most other works look bland and uniform by comparison. Startide Rising is probably the best starting point, though the second-act Uplift Storm trilogy stands reasonably well on its own without having read the first three books. His other works are also pretty neat, if occasionally bizarre - Kil'n People is a thriller that's perhaps a bit too cheeky for its own good and Glory Season is thought-provoking and occasionally very moving, as well as working quite interestingly as a comparison to Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness.

Iain (M) Banks
How many of Banks's works you're likely to enjoy is likely going to depend on how your tolerance for misanthropy, somewhat gratuitous violence, entirely gratuitous sex, and long-winded anecdotes. Consider Phlebas is pretty harrowing but also very moving - Look to Windward is a far gentler but no less effective follow-up. Inversions is probably my favourite of the Culture novels, partly for its much lower-tech setting. The Business, while not SF, is fun, cheeky, and eminently readable.

Peter F. Hamilton
I'm mostly including him for the sake of completeness - his stuff often feels like it's trying too hard to be cool and edgy and the man really doesn't know how to write a novel that doesn't go on for a thousand fudge pages, but there is some neat stuff to be had, especially in his lower-key works. Mindstar Rising and A Quantum Murder, his first two novels, are fairly down to earth and generally manage to throw up enough interesting ideas to warrant their at times ridiculous indulgences in the author's personal fantasies. Fallen Dragon is also pretty neat. A bonus: if you go on to read some of Hamilton's more ridiculous works (Pandora's Star is probably the best of the type - stay the living fudge away from the Void trilogy) then you must read Iain M. Banks's Surface Detail, which goes to great lengths to show how profoundly fudge up those books are on the subjects of wealth, power, and personal ethics.

E. E. "Doc" Smith
Included for unashamed nostalgia. Smith wrote the pulpiest of pulpy space opera, complete with psychic eugenic supermen, ridiculous super-scientific arms races, villains who don't so much as chew on the scenery as subsist entirely on a diet of gnawed props and staging, and horribly dated sexist attitudes that are in equal parts horrifying and hilarious (they're not misogynistic so much as they're patronising and condescending). The years have not been kind to his novels, but there's still a lot to enjoy. Smith's style is hilariously over-the-top, and packed to the brim with redundant adjectives and badly outdated idiom. He's pretty much the Matthew Reilly of the 1930s. His Lensman novels are probably the best examples, most especially Galactic Patrol and Grey Lensman.

Some other random names I'm going to throw out, mostly based on short fiction rather than novels:
Greg Egan, Daryl Gregory, Gene Wolfe, Ken MacLeod, Michael Swanwick, Vandana Singh

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Bonesy
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Bonesy » Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:58 pm

i started black company because boy howdy i do like me a good mercenary yarn

good stuff so far

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Pkdragon
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Pkdragon » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:17 am

Thank you Terr, I've been in the mood for some good old school pulp space opera for awhile now, and E. E. Smith sounds right up my alley =D
HPD wrote:You know the only thing on the agenda of the Squirtle Squad is pure, unadulterated chaos.

That, and watching Euros squirm.

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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by MysteriousLad » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:23 am

I remember enjoying the Riftwar Trilogy, It's a great series but you have to remember alot of the details otherwise you miss out on certain plot developments.
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Sven

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Sven » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:24 am

just finished reading The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin.

books basically him presenting how he believes you learn how to compete (or perform) at a top level.

he presents some stuff that i fundamentally disagree with which is kinda cool to me. he emphasizes accepting emotions/personal personality quirks and letting them dictate your style, while i basically believe there's a "best" option and a bunch of worse options in any particular situation. he presents a pretty good case that you'll eventually hit a wall and get bored of the activity if you can't express yourself through it, i'll have to think about it.

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Narts
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Narts » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:34 pm

I'll say one thing about personal development literature.

The only people you should take advice from are the ones who are the absolute best at whatever they're talking about.

So if you can find a book from these life coach crumpets that teaches you how to make a crap load of money from telling other people how to live their god damn lives, that's the one book from them you'll want to read.

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Treedweller

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Treedweller » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:58 pm

That's true of most self-help books, but if you take, like, 20 seconds to look up Waitzkin, you'll find that he was among the absolute best at chess and Tai Chi Chuan. So maybe the book Sven read has nothing to do with most self-help drivel. Unless you're just making an unrelated, general point. In that case: oh.

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Sven

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by Sven » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:32 pm

dude was very light on the "hey this is what you should do to perform at your peak all the time" and a lot more about telling you how he personally did well in competitions via his life story, the personal plateaus he dealt with, how he dealt with burnout, etc.

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McTool
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by McTool » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:54 am

Finished Wool, working through the Veronica Mars book because I'm a chump sucker for that franchise and also pulpy noir
Make good choices

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onewaystreet
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by onewaystreet » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:57 pm

Read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow on my flight yesterday. It seemed strangely...plausible, which freaked me out.
thefalman wrote:Honestly, just when I thought we could all have a nice topic about mocking ridiculously, overly hardcore fundamentalists, it has to turn into a religious debate.

You bastards.
thefalman wrote:
RadioShadow wrote:Including having SEX? :o
I know it's an alien concept to you RS, but there's no need to act so surprised.

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hawkesnightmare
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Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by hawkesnightmare » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:52 pm

I've gotten back into Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, after taking a break from it. So gud.
daisy: If the UK is worse than the present #5 in the world in terms of GDP come July 1st 2018 I will dye my hair pink.

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DieselPheonix

Re: What is WWN reading right now?

Post by DieselPheonix » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:25 pm

Received a late holiday present in Delilah Dirk.

You can read the first half of the book online, too.

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