Whatcha reading?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:21 pm

Odd, I tend to hear the opposite. . .

When I play vinyl it feels like the band is in the room with me. When I play an MP3. . . it doesn't feel much like anything. The notes are all there but something is missing. . .

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:01 pm

Steve Evil wrote:Odd, I tend to hear the opposite. . .

When I play vinyl it feels like the band is in the room with me. When I play an MP3. . . it doesn't feel much like anything. The notes are all there but something is missing. . .


If that's not what I said, it's what I meant.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:33 pm

I meant the "tinny" part. It wouldn't be the adjective I'd use, but I saw your point. "Compression" just don't seem right when it comes to music. . .

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:27 pm

Steve Evil wrote:I meant the "tinny" part. It wouldn't be the adjective I'd use, but I saw your point. "Compression" just don't seem right when it comes to music. . .


Got it. Yeah, well, to a computer music is a data stream. Compression is simply a data application which removes redundent packets, so in this case what it does is removes a bit of the "live" sensations of music. By tinny I meant that the high end was a bit too pronounced for others' ears -- and I attribute that to their exposure to compressed music.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:57 pm

Back to "reading" as the topic.

I am typing this on my handy, dandy brand new iPad2, purchased for me by my loving wife for my 50th birthday present.

I put this in "Whatcha Reading?" to note that one my first official acts was to download roughly fifteen books, including two by R Pal.

Of the more ironic were Asimov's CURRENTS OF SPACE and several works by Mark Twain. Ironic because of the nature of the device I hold in my hands - a purely science-fictional creation for either of the two.

Add in a good dose of Hemingway, Poe, and some Agatha Christie and you've got the basis for some serious reading time.

I am starting with none of those, however. In the mix is Daniel Boulud's LETTERS TO A YOUNG CHEF, which has caught my attention and dragged me in.

This is gonna be fun....
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:53 pm

A nice score over the weekend. I found a hardcover edition of James Blish's DOCTOR MIRABILIS at a used bookstore in Frederick, MD. This book is long out of print but is one Blish's best.

The annual Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart used booksale in Rockville is this weekend. It's always a monster, too big to miss but jeez like I need more books!
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:11 pm

Just getting started on A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge. It's the first time I've sampled any of his work. I do know it won a Hugo. The opening is good.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:43 pm

Anybody interested in my booty from the annual Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart used booksale in Rockville this past weekend? Of course you are.

Try to imagine three basketball courts side by side filled with folding tables covered with books. Yes indeedy the mind reels.

No scrotum tightening scores but some good finds nonetheless.

One volume hardcover collected Oscar Wilde ($3)

One volume hardcover Gormenghast Trilogy ($4)

Palm sized hardcover Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges ($2!)

Hardcover volume of fairy tales selected and illustrated by Arthur Rackham (with all the original color plates) ($12)

Hardcover volume of Lord Dunsany play "If" published in 1910 ($3)

various & sundry paperbacks

several of the old Classics Illustrated comics republished in b&w paperbacks in the 80s for $1 a piece (Time Machine, Dracula, Mysterious Island, House of the Seven Gables, Hound of the Baskervilles)

Audiobook (still in wrapper) of local DC fave Edward P Jones' great 2003 Pulitzer Prize wininng novel, The Known World. ($6)


Now leave me alone dangit I'm reading.
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Chuck Messer
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Chuck Messer » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:26 pm

The Classic Illustrated comics are being reprinted in their original format. I've got Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Time Machine. They are what alerted me to the original works and got me reading the actual books, such as Moby Dick and Frankestein, in junior high.

I'll always be fond of them.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:37 am

I had Connecticut Yankee. Years later when I read the original, I was amazed how faithful it was.

Slogging through The Comming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock. I was looking forward to this one, as Moorcock is by far the most distinguished writer to ever pen a Doctor Who book, but I am utterly unimpressed. I'm half way through and its taken a month and a half to get this far. The trouble is, he's going for comedy - PG Wodehouse meets Douglas Adams - but he's not funny. It's damn tiresome. Nothing of import has happened yet, the characters are all ninnies, and I wish he'd just shove them out an airlock.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:12 pm

That's also an utterly dumb title.

Harlan needs to start selling titles.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:53 am

No, I think it's a very appropos title. If a trifle misleading - the Terraphiles have already come, and seem to have been around for quite a while by the time the novel starts.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby markabaddon » Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:39 am

Just finished an excellent non-fiction book called Dracula Was a Woman (great title, I know). The book was an examination of Elizabeth Bathory, her influence on the Bram Stoker novel, and an analysis of some of the truth around the crimes she committed. fascinating work, and the author traveled to eastern europ to obtain some source documents, including transcripts of Bathory's trial in 1610. While she probably did not bathe in the blood of young girls, the other stuff she did do, and the 650 or so murders she committed were enough to even make me uncomfortable

Just started Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man, have not read it in about 6-7 years and it is as good as I remembered
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:04 pm

I just finished reading Isaac Asimov's Pebble in the Sky, the only of the original Foundation books I had missed.

Lord I'd forgotten what a good writer he was. The book pulled me along quickly, and did a wonderful job of conveying that wide-eyed awe of the Galaxy-spanning Empire I can remember from my youth. So nice to discover that it wasn't just my fond memories of the genre clouding it up -- he really was that good at simply descriibing the technology and wonder of his stories without losing, for a moment, the characterizations which set his works apart from so many of his contemporaries. Next up for me is Asimov's lesser known Youth.

By the way, just a bit of irony: I fought getting an iPad as a reader because I misbelieved that it would be a disservice to my book collection. I've found that the device has upped both the quality and the quantity of my reading in the two weeks since I got it. In those two weeks I've finished three books -- two novels and one non-fiction -- as well as a number of more obscure magazine articles.
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I was amused to note that the idea for the tablet technology -- like so many others of recent note (the cellphone, the laptop, etc) -- apears to have originated in the prop department of Star Trek. Last weekend I was flipping channels and ran across an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation from the 1980s. At one point, someone walked in to Picard's office, where he casually laid down his own "iPad" to have a discussion. When they left, he picked it back up again and continued reading.

I always wondered what was on those things...
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:46 pm

I'm reading a book about the mystery of pricing. I know, exciting.

We bitch about having to pay a few cents more for a coffee, but we have no problem throwing away a few hundred in Vegas. An odd species.


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