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So What Have you Read Lately? And other favorite books!


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Just finished Lost in Math, by Sabine Hossenfelder.

 

Foundational research in Physics (especially Particle Physics) has become expensive, slow, and very difficult (with very limited new results over the last several decades). Nearly all the results have been proofs that various hypotheses cannot be correct. At the same time, Physics has been obsessed by a search for beauty and elegance in theories and at least in some cases at the cost of even the possibility of experimental verification. (It's unclear both whether there is a causal relation between these and which direction the arrow of causation might run.)

 

The thesis of the book, which is very well developed, is that there's no especially strong reason that the universe cares about elegance and beauty or that our intuitions about what those words might mean are correct.

 

Very thought-provoking and very much worth the time, though I suspect that there is a minimum level of understanding of physics necessary to keep the book from sounding like gibberish at times. But I don't think that minimum level is especially high; the writing is very clear and well explained.

 

Highly recommended.

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I'm reading Monstress in volume form (is in comic issues, but I like the compilations). It is very beautiful and very dark. It is an interesting human witch society versus anthro+semianthro society set up, with cat poets/necromancers, and C'thulhu-esque gods. The lead is a semianthro with a erm... bit of a "hunger" problem.

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9 hours ago, Cyradis said:

I'm reading Monstress in volume form (is in comic issues, but I like the compilations). It is very beautiful and very dark. It is an interesting human witch society versus anthro+semianthro society set up, with cat poets/necromancers, and C'thulhu-esque gods. The lead is a semianthro with a erm... bit of a "hunger" problem.

I read the first three issues as they released in monthly format, and then stopped for two reasons: I wanted to keep reading, because it was gorgeous and engaging, and I could better justify the cost by waiting for collections to drop. I'm glad to know that's finally happened! Something to look for the next time I'm at the FLCS.

 

I recently finished:

IMG_20190810_104629952.thumb.jpg.528951f1ae1040ef4f561ee44f79673e.jpg

CARI MORA, the most recent effort from Thomas "all the Hannibal Lecter novels" Harris.

 

Harris has always had prose born of reporting: simple structure, to the point, occasional bursts of striking imagery and engaging metaphor. The plot is complicated enough to seem like there's always something going on, but straightforward enough to easily digest. In short, it's bestseller thriller fare.

Harris' monsters in this are not nearly as complex as Hannibal, and we learn only as much of the--very sympathetic--titular main character as we must. During the story, we get drips and drabs of backstory which feel important and whole; having read the book all the way through, I feel it it's an incomplete portrait.

There are several Chekhov's Guns, and ALL OF THEM fire off, which is a little satisfying but also feels very pat.

All in all, it was a fun read, enjoyable summer fluff, and it feels like it's already halfway to being a screenplay, so if you enjoy a bit of Miami Crime this is a good way to go. If you want high literature, maybe less so.

 

Big Spring Spirits' aged rum is quite good. It's from Pennsylvania, and a Caribbean rum would have been far more thematically appropriate for this book, but they only Caribbean I have on hand is dark rum, and that's not what this summer read wanted.

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On 7/29/2019 at 2:00 PM, Cyradis said:

Just finished NPCs by Drew Hayes. It is thoroughly ridiculous and adorable. Very good one for nerds to read for simple relaxation and giggles.

 

Premise: The players are broccoli-faces, and the GM makes the game "more realistic". The players die stupidly. The NPCs of the game however, pick their bodies for loot, and find their mission scroll which puts them on the quest instead - sortof. So the NPCs try to become replacement adventurers, while realizing that most adventurers are broccoli-faces.

 

 

I have started listening to that one a few times.  So far, something just doesn't work for me yet.  Maybe I should push through the first 1/4.

Just started re-listening to Dune.  I read it in high school, and I thought it was great.   It still is.  Reading the paperback of Dune Messiah at the same time.  I have never been able to get into Messiah until this time.  So far, not bad, but not Dune.

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48 minutes ago, skippen said:
On 7/29/2019 at 2:00 PM, Cyradis said:

Just finished NPCs by Drew Hayes. It is thoroughly ridiculous and adorable. Very good one for nerds to read for simple relaxation and giggles.

 

Premise: The players are broccoli-faces, and the GM makes the game "more realistic". The players die stupidly. The NPCs of the game however, pick their bodies for loot, and find their mission scroll which puts them on the quest instead - sortof. So the NPCs try to become replacement adventurers, while realizing that most adventurers are broccoli-faces.

 

 

I have started listening to that one a few times.  So far, something just doesn't work for me yet.  Maybe I should push through the first 1/4.

 

The book does get better. The sequels are much better, IMO, than the first book, if a bit different in tone.

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On 7/29/2019 at 4:00 PM, Cyradis said:

Just finished NPCs by Drew Hayes. It is thoroughly ridiculous and adorable. Very good one for nerds to read for simple relaxation and giggles.

 

Premise: The players are broccoli-faces, and the GM makes the game "more realistic". The players die stupidly. The NPCs of the game however, pick their bodies for loot, and find their mission scroll which puts them on the quest instead - sortof. So the NPCs try to become replacement adventurers, while realizing that most adventurers are broccoli-faces.

 

I very much enjoy the Sword, Spells & Stealth series (the series title - in my head I call it the NPCs series). ::P:

 

I am also passing fond of his Fred, the Vampire Accountant series.

 

***

 

I am getting heartily sick of the Harem Fantasy that is so damned prevalent on Kindle Unlimited. I picked up a book, based entirely on the title - An Orc at College.

 

I even suspect that I could have enjoyed it, but then it turned into Happy, Happy Harem and I lost all interest.

 

I suspect that the sub-genre has a small but loyal core following so that Harem Fantasy will always sell enough to make a profit, but will never grow beyond that loyal core. <_<

 

I blame Orc Roadtrip for my picking up Orc at College - I was hoping for something similar, I guess. (I enjoyed Orc Roadtrip - and am waiting for the sequel. Orc at College... was not it.)

 

The Auld Grump

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I like the Sword, Spells, & Stealth stuff for the simple fun of it. I really liked the set-up of the first, flipping character roles. Gabrielle makes me rather gleeful. I'm on the 3rd book now. Glad to hear the vampire accountant series is entertaining too. My reading lately has consisted of that sort of basic brain candy book, and reviewing D&D 3.5 books to dig up.... stuff.

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1 hour ago, PaganMegan said:

Trying to read Focault's Pendulum.

 

Grump loved the book, but I am finding it excruciatingly dull and convoluted.

 

OK, perhaps try "The Name of the Rose" instead?

 

Probably "Gödel, Escher and Bach" can stay off your reading pile.

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4 minutes ago, paintybeard said:

 

OK, perhaps try "The Name of the Rose" instead?

 

Probably "Gödel, Escher and Bach" can stay off your reading pile.

 

Gödel, Escher, Bach was provocative, (and I thought well written) but throughout the book it seemed to me that Hofstadter was trying to use proofs about the map to prove things about the terrain.

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On 8/18/2019 at 7:33 AM, PaganMegan said:

Trying to read Focault's Pendulum.

 

Grump loved the book, but I am finding it excruciatingly dull and convoluted.

 

I loved that book as well when I read it in college, but I was also in a Rosicrucian literature class, so I had lots of context and such to make it a bit less congratulated perhaps.

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1 hour ago, skippen said:

 

I loved that book as well when I read it in college, but I was also in a Rosicrucian literature class, so I had lots of context and such to make it a bit less congratulated perhaps.

In the eighties I was living with a Rosicrucian. It likely built up my own wellspring of context. ::D:

 

The Auld Grump, I did try to warn her about the convolution, but she had enjoyed Holy Blood, Holy Grail. *EDIT* Which lead to Dan Brown...<_<

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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