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Old March 11th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #101 (permalink)
Krilons Resa
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Virtues of War - Pressfield
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Old March 11th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

I'm currently on book 7. Its actually just a fantasy series, but its good nonetheless.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 03:07 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomcifer
Virtues of War - Pressfield
I read this four or five months ago and was quite unimpressed. Im generally not a fan or a reader of popular fiction (other than a bizarre love of Robert Ludlum and Bernard Cornwell), but I enjoyed his book on Alcibiades a few years ago. This one is rather poorly written, and entirely hollow. It only focused on major events of Alexander's life, and at that, it did so in a cursory manner. The prose is utilitarian pedestrian fare that couldnt have taken long to compose. One star! Haha.

If you want excellent historical fiction of the ancient era, try Gore Vidal's Julian. It has a decidedly anti-Christian bent, but it is well wrought story, wonderfully detailied, and written by America's favorite old aristocratic queer Gore Vidal
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 04:38 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed
I read this four or five months ago and was quite unimpressed. Im generally not a fan or a reader of popular fiction (other than a bizarre love of Robert Ludlum and Bernard Cornwell), but I enjoyed his book on Alcibiades a few years ago. This one is rather poorly written, and entirely hollow. It only focused on major events of Alexander's life, and at that, it did so in a cursory manner. The prose is utilitarian pedestrian fare that couldnt have taken long to compose. One star! Haha.

If you want excellent historical fiction of the ancient era, try Gore Vidal's Julian. It has a decidedly anti-Christian bent, but it is well wrought story, wonderfully detailied, and written by America's favorite old aristocratic queer Gore Vidal
Ah Gore Vidal. Still one of the greatest writers America has or will ever have.
Going through his America series is just wonderfully myth destroying.
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I knelt. This was habit, this kneeling. I sat down. Better to kneel, for the sharp bite at the knees was a distraction from the awful quiet. A prayer. Sure one prayer: for sentimental reasons. Almighty God, I am sorry I am now an atheist, but have You read Nietzsche? Ah, such a book!
-John Fante Ask the Dust
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:14 PM   #105 (permalink)
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I'm just about to start reading The Oxford History of Medieval Europe (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019...lance&n=283155)

... and just finished reading Generation Kill (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...Fencoding=UTF8)
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 05:37 PM   #106 (permalink)
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I will abuse this thread to ask what i should read:
What are the best works of these greek classical authors?
-Sophocles
-Aeschylus
-Euripides

To stay really on topic:
At the moment i am going to some of my favourite "intellectual books". I just finished Nietzsche's "Also sprach Zarathustra". Now i am reading the Gododdin. Then it will be Goethe's "Götz von Berlichingen". Then i might reread the elder Edda. Or my two books by Ernst Jünger (An der Zeitmauer(at the wall of time(?)) and gläserne Bienen (bees of glass(?))) + Plato's Republic will have arrived by then and i will read them.
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Old March 26th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #107 (permalink)
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I am currently reading the Da Vinci Code, since I like to ruin the surprise for myself before the movies come out. It does offer some serious juice for the mind, about Christianity, and it has a great deal of information about Da Vinci for those interested in the man/artist.
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Old March 26th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #108 (permalink)
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I'm currently reading Quine and Davidson on Language, Thought and Reality by Hans-Johann Glock. It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it, although the subject matter is very abstract and the author assumes that the reader has studied quite a bit of logic and philosophy of language.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 06:01 AM   #109 (permalink)
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Is anyone familiar with Giorgio Agamben? I'm trying to decide between "The Open: Man and Animal" and "State of Acception". Both seem to have very interesting and significant premises...

Right now I'm reading Derek Jesen's "A Language Older Then Words" which is an excellent and original work on what's missing in Western culture that leads to the senseless extermination of both human and non-humans and what needs to change this pattern. Both horrifying and inspiring...
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Old March 27th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freanan
I will abuse this thread to ask what i should read:
What are the best works of these greek classical authors?
-Sophocles
-Aeschylus
-Euripides

IMO, Oedipus Rex By Sopochles (Oedipus Tyrannus), Bacchae by Euripides and undoubtedly, the Oresteia by Aeschylus.
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Old March 27th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freanan
I will abuse this thread to ask what i should read:
What are the best works of these greek classical authors?
-Sophocles
-Aeschylus
-Euripides

To stay really on topic:
At the moment i am going to some of my favourite "intellectual books". I just finished Nietzsche's "Also sprach Zarathustra". Now i am reading the Gododdin. Then it will be Goethe's "Götz von Berlichingen". Then i might reread the elder Edda. Or my two books by Ernst Jünger (An der Zeitmauer(at the wall of time(?)) and gläserne Bienen (bees of glass(?))) + Plato's Republic will have arrived by then and i will read them.
Dont forget Aristophanes. He may have been a comedy writer, but his plays are still eternal and most hold up today in terms of humor and satire.

And my favorite classical author of all time is Lucian. Read, read, read, Lucian. Shakespeare, Rabelais, Moliere, Voltaire all derived a number of ideas and set ups from Lucian. His writing holds up so, so well--esepecially his satirical dialogues about religion, free will, con -artists, wealth etc.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #112 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Hubster
I'm just about to start reading The Oxford History of Medieval Europe (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019...lance&n=283155)
I've read The Oxford History of Warfare...I don't know how many times, actually. I always return to it. It's a great reference and a good read all the way through.

Just finished Ring, by Stephen Baxter. Hard sci-fi at its best. Though the characterization is extremely weak, the selling point for his Xeelee Sequence novels is the sheer scale of the stories - entire galaxies and galaxy destroying cosmic string being used as weapons of war. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Just starting Korea: The First War We Lost, by Bevin Alexander. I was complaining to my grandpa that I haven't read many good books about the Korean War and he gave me that one.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 01:45 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Just finished Erikson's Memories of Ice - third part of an unbelievably complex and moving fantasy series. I Am Legend is next up.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Her books are stupid and totally one dimensional. There's always a good and a bad guy... the totally heroic Randian intelligent guy surrondered by the bad bad communists who only want to suppress individuality and blabla
Well, I never said I agreed with much of her "philosophy". She had absolutely no background in any science or psychology and it shows. Yes, very radical, and very black and white, but I still agree with some of her political ideas.

And yes, I actually enjoyed reading Atlas Shrugged. I have absolutely no interest in "selfishness" or "objectivism", but I still thought the book was interesting.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Recently finished:
Steven Erikson - Memories of Ice
"If any work is truly deserving of the accolade epic, it is the writing of Steven Erikson. Vast in scope and imagination, spanning continents and cultures as diverse and multifaceted as any to be found in fantasy, Erikson readily towers over every other author writing military fantasy today, or for that matter, from the past. Possessing in a single volume the equivalent storylines and action found elsewhere within a trilogy or three, events happen here with such kinetic energy, so compellingly and dramatically rendered, that the senses threaten to become overloaded with a surfeit of vivid imagery and deed. Nor is this simply superbly written drama or gripping conflict told through a cast of likeable if often deadly combatants, but also an allegorical hunt through themes as large and sweeping as Erikson's panoramic and painterly vistas, complex as the winding labyrinths of The Warrens, or alternatively as secretive as the portal House of Azath. This is a world where gods walk at times among men and the past, no matter how remotely fragile or forgotten, stalks and haunts the memory of both the present and future's imagining, a realm of horror and wonder where a simple act of kindness can result in devastation thousands of years after or a redemption entirely unexpected. A reflection of the colossal scale in which the author works, Erikson fashions fantasy as nature would sculpt a mountain, in rifts and tectonic upheaval, crafting monumental edifices that in the hands of another, less gifted author would surely topple beneath the sheer weight of their own invention. And, in terms of mythos, not since Tolkien have we seen the conversion of legend into fabulous history become as powerfully or richly rendered.

Homeric in scope and vision, Erikson interweaves stories and characters upon a grand stage that not only captures but competes for the reader's attention. The description of the assault upon Capustan is reminiscent of the blind poet's siege of Troy, with figures equally bold and tragic, and struggles Herculean in task. Gods are Olympian in character, if playing quite dissimilar roles. And the final battle before Coral is cataclysmic, leaving both heroes and foes fallen (like Martin, Erikson is not one to pull his punches). But what really sets the author's writing apart, aside from his rich and vivid use of language and description, his unparalleled management of action and gripping combat, his compassion towards his characters, or the sheer scale of his imagination and mythic vision, is the secondary and thematic elements running well beneath all the action and apparent fantasy, metaphors and allegory that speak, if one is listening, to deeper intellectual and existential issues easily lost amidst the toil and turmoil of the author's animated and cyclopean plots. Themes of loss and redemption, religion and the sacrifice of love, identity, heroism and what it means to be human, are woven through mirroring imagery of beasts, men and gods blinded by a single eye, or a mother's love which can both nurture and destroy. The body can become crippled, though deformity need not disfigure the spirit or the heart. And through the entire story there exists a deep and abiding humanity that refuses easy simplification or categorization into dichotomies of good and evil, right and wrong, even when identified. Each and every character struggles with their personal burdens, losses and joys, some to be resolved, others to be carried, and in ways as unique and varied as the characters portrayed. Finally, despite the tragedy and heroism expected of a work that consciously embraces the epic form, and does so in a way that truly captures this genre's original intention, rather than merely mimicking its style and content, the author has also infused his narrative with a great amount of humour that, just as in real life, alleviates and offers counterpoint to the great tragedy, pathos and at times brutality of this ambitious and prodigious tale.

Easily one of the best books of the year. Steven Erikson has infused new life into one of the oldest traditions of fiction, and has done so in a manner that genuinely captures and reinterprets the spirit of the original Greek and Norse sagas. By comparison, almost every other work making similar claims appears almost diminutive in stature, if not having misconstrued the meaning of the noun and adjective. If, as a reader, you have been looking for a book whose content is more than a match for its page count, or for fantasy that goes beyond a simple if compellingly told story, your search is over. Along with Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice offers all the rewards the word epic so often conjures and fails to deliver. Read and expect to be overpowered, not only by a story that never fails to thrill and entertain, but by a saga that lives up to its name, both intellectually and in its dramatic, visually rich and lavish storytelling." - William Thompson

^ After reading that review any reader is set up for disappointment, but I don't plan on arguing with it. An exceptionally moving, beautiful, immersive read - the best of the series so far. This is the third part - Gardens of the Moon is first followed by Deadhouse Gates. Ten books planned, six already out, currently nearly 100 pages into the fourth one.

Matheson - I Am Legend
A classic of horror, this novel follows the last human on Earth in his attempts to survive against the odds in a world filled with those legendary bloodsuckers of the night, not by fighting them directly so much as by attempting to scientifically analyse their ways to find weaknesses. Where the book most succeeds is in depicting Robert Neville's isolation in a believable and suffocating manner; the prospect of such a situation becoming reality raising the hairs on the back of any reader's neck. Additionally, the end twist is intriguing, if slightly rushed, and draws attention to certain elements of symbolism lurking beneath the surface. A fine read, though for me this is one book knocked off the tiny list of potential rivals to Lovecraft in the field of horror.

William Hope Hodgson - The House on the Borderland
As stated in the book's description, this "blends haunting visions of far-future cataclysm, unearthly transdimensional odysseys and the terrifying story of one man's battle against monsters from the Pit to create a compellingly bizarre pre-psychadelic trip to an astounding alien cosmos."

Lovecraft said about this book "But for a few touches of commonplace sentimentality this book would be a classic of the first water," and of the author, "Few can equal him in adumbrating the nearness of nameless forces and monstrous besieging entities through casual hints and insignificant details, or in conveying feelings of the spectral and the abnormal in connection with regions or buildings." This one's all about the atmosphere.

Currently reading:
Aristotle - Nicomachean Ethics
Giving this one a proper, annotated read in preparation for university.

Steven Erikson - House of Chains
Only just started this one really. See above.

Thinking of starting Borges' Labyrinths tonight (I like to have three books on the go).
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Old April 16th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #116 (permalink)
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I am currently reading the 3rd part in the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (Life, the Universe, and Everything). and so far the beginning seems pretty random but at least makes sence, heh
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Old April 18th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #117 (permalink)
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Interestingly, I found The Fountainhead the best Rand, far less pretentious and unrealistic than Atlas Shrugged, with only 8-some pages of propaganda as opposed to 1,092. The philosophy's still shit, but she's one hell of a point-maker.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 01:40 AM   #118 (permalink)
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Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Its a really great work, even if a far too alienated vision of the human, such an insight does bring into light many of the actions and perspectives of man in the modern world.
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Nah I'm pretty sure Mort is an animephile. He just doesn't want to disrespect the fictional characters by saying he would have sex with them.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 03:50 PM   #119 (permalink)
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Finished Erikson's House of Chains, perhaps the best in the series so far, affirming his place as the greatest fantasy writer since Donaldson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Cook
I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of imagination may be the high water mark of epic fantasy---accomplished with none of the customary riffs on Tolkien. This marathon of ambition has a depth and breadth and sense of vast reaches of inimical time unlike anything else available today. The Black Company, Zelazny's Amber, Vance's Dying Earth, and other mighty drumbeats are but foreshadowing of this dark dragon's hoard.
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 05:03 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Thanks to the ones who helped with the greeks!
For Sophocles i think i'll get a package called 'the three theban plays' by penguin classics, which also includes the oedipus rex.. For Aeschylus i will get the Oresteia and for Aritophanes i will try 'Birds'.
I might look into Lucian..

Some of the books the Timerbird posted sound interresting too.
I always find more books interresting then i have time and money to buy and read..
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 07:28 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Currently reading:
Aristotle - Ethics
Jorge Luis Borges - Labyrinths
Steven Erikson - Midnight Tides
H.P. Lovecraft - Omnibus 3: The Haunter of the Dark
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 10:20 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freanan
Thanks to the ones who helped with the greeks!
For Sophocles i think i'll get a package called 'the three theban plays' by penguin classics, which also includes the oedipus rex.. For Aeschylus i will get the Oresteia and for Aritophanes i will try 'Birds'.
I might look into Lucian..

Some of the books the Timerbird posted sound interresting too.
I always find more books interresting then i have time and money to buy and read..
Please do--Lucian that is. You will not regret it. Lucian and Aristophanes are as good as it gets. Philosophically insightful hilarity and absurdism that still resonates today.

WIkipedias entry for Lucian (a bit weak, but a decent primer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LucianLucian of Samosata (Greek: Λουκιανὸς Σαμοσατεύς, Latin, Lucianus; c. AD 120 - after 180) was a rhetorician and satirist, writing in the Greek language, noted for his witty and scoffing nature.

He was born in Samosata (now inundated in a reservoir of eastern Turkey), in the former kingdom of Commagene, which had been absorbed by the Roman Empire and made part of the province of Syria, thus he referred to himself as a "Syrian" (Harmon). He died probably in Athens. His birthplace was recently lost when the Atatürk Dam project led to the destruction of the site. Lucian almost certainly did not write all the more than eighty works attributed to him— declamations, essays both laudatory and sarcastic, and comic dialogues and symposia with a satirical cast, studded with quotations in alarming contexts and allusions set in an unusual light, designed to be surprising and provocative. His name added luster to any entertaining and sarcastic essay: over 150 surviving manuscripts attest to his continued popularity. The first printed edition of a selection of his works was issued at Florence in 1499. His best known works are A True Story (a romance, patently not "true" at all, with its trip to the moon), and Dialogues of the Gods and Dialogues of the Dead.

Lucian was trained as a rhetorician, a vocation where one plead in court, to compose pleas for others and to teach the art of pleading, but Lucian's practice was to travel about, giving amusing discourses and witty lectures improvised on the spot, somewhat as a rhapsode had done in declaiming poetry at an earlier period. In this way Lucian travelled through Ionia and mainland Greece, to Italy and even to Gaul, and won much wealth and fame.

Lucian admired the works of Epicurus, for he breaks off a witty satire against Alexander the false prophet, who burned a book of Epicurus, to exclaim

what blessings that book creates for its readers and what peace, tranquillity, and freedom it engenders in them, liberating them as it does from terrors and apparitions and portents, from vain hopes and extravagant cravings, developing in them intelligence and truth, and truly purifying their understanding, not with torches and squills and that sort of foolery, but with straight thinking, truthfulness and frankness.
In his Symposium, far from Plato's discourse, the diners get drunk, tell smutty tales and behave badly.

In A True Story he parodied some weird tales told by Homer in the Odyssey and some feeble fantasies that were popular in his time. He anticipated "modern" fictional themes like voyages to the moon and Venus, extraterrestrial life and wars between planets centuries before Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. He could actually be called the Father of science fiction.

Lucian also wrote a satire called The Passing of Peregrinus, in which the lead character, Peregrinus, takes advantage of the generosity and gullibility of Christians. This is one of the earliest surviving pagan perceptions of Christianity. His Philopseudes (Greek for "Lover of lies") is a frame story which includes the original version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
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If a fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise (William Blake).

The road of excess, leads to the palace of wisdom (William Blake).

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing (Oscar Wilde).

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Old April 27th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #123 (permalink)
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I'd like to resurrect this, as literature, plays, art, nonfiction is all very interesting, and many times connected to philosophy.


Please people, post any books you've recently read and what you think about them.
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If a fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise (William Blake).

The road of excess, leads to the palace of wisdom (William Blake).

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing (Oscar Wilde).
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Old April 27th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #124 (permalink)
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Carl Jung - Man and His Symbols

I read this for the 3rd or 4th time and it is engaging because it goes into the rather darker and strange parts of the human condition.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #125 (permalink)
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What am I reading right now:

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
Capitalism and Freedom - Milton Friedman
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