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    Originally posted by phsiao08 View Post
    Currently Reading "The Circle" by Dave Eggers. It chronicles the journey of a 24-year old woman named Mae who starts at "The Circle" a tech company focused on documenting every part of human existence in a Dante's Inferno-esque journey. It's not bad but not as strong as Eggers' other work.
    Ohh, good book. I particularly liked how the book is more-or-less an allegory for Facebook. I won't ruin it for you but I know after I finished book I started seeing parallels to everyday life. Very much 1984-esque.

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      The Abbot by Sir Walter Scott. It is the sequel to [I]The Monastery[/I.] The Monastery focused on a family of the monastery's vassals, early in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots and during the reformation. The Abbot takes place after the Monastery is suppressed and focuses on the captivity of Queen Mary in Scotland. The Abbot plays a very minor role (so far).

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        Yeah I'm starting to feel Circle-style notifications in everyday life lol. It's just pretty heavy handed.I always thought the book is just Eggers' way of ranting against the social media age.
        Best,
        Paul

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          Finally got around to reading Harry Potter (lol). About to finish the third book. Watching the corresponding movie after I finish each book.

          Also just started reading Millionaire Teacher.

          Previous to those, I read The Science of Interstellar, which was fascinating.

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            I tried to read To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris but just couldn't get through it. My recommendation is to give it a pass.

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              Just finished Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. Awesome book on the history of the Sistine Chapel, the lives of Michelangelo, and the other artists of the time. Highly recommend this book for any history buffs.

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                Anything involving book recommendations will always get a nod to Pat Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles (Name of the Wind, and Wise Man's Fear so far). Possibly the best fantasy novels I've ever read, and I've gone through quite a few.
                As for what I'm reading now, just started Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.

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                  Originally posted by Matchbook View Post
                  My favorite fantasy series of all time. So good. I don't want to spoil, ruin or set any expectations for you since I've already made it all the way through. I started reading this series back in like, 1991.
                  I left off on this around book 9. How did the other author do at finishing the series?

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                    Originally posted by Preppy View Post
                    I left off on this around book 9. How did the other author do at finishing the series?
                    Not bad. I mean, you can tell that Sanderson is writing and not Jordan, but overall he does a good job in keeping continuity.

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                      Just finished up the 5th ASOIAF (A Dance with Dragons), so impatiently waiting for GRRM to get back to writing the 6th. In the meanwhile, I'm reading (slowly) American Sniper in hardcopy and just started Ancillary Justice (1st book in the Imperial Radch trilogy by Ann Leckie). AS is a it painful to get through, I feel like the editor needed to do a bit more with Chris Kyle's stories to get them in shape. AJ seems interesting so far, but have barely scratched the surface on that one.

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                        Have any of you read Infinite Jest? I've tried to pick this book up but man, it's a slog.

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                          Originally posted by DocDave View Post
                          Have any of you read Infinite Jest? I've tried to pick this book up but man, it's a slog.
                          Twice (believe it or not), but I'm a writer and an English teacher. It's required reading for anyone with an MFA in Creative Writing, so I read it both right before and immediately after grad school. Unless you're either really into contemporary, post-modern fiction or love David Foster Wallace, it's not really the kind of book to read if you're even remotely busy with life. It left me exhausted both times.

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                            Currently flipping between two - one for fun, the other for motivation/growth when I struggle at work, etc.

                            The Silmarillion (because the damn movies sucked real bad and I need my Tolkien kick)
                            How to make friends and influence people (which gets such a bad rap by being compared to self help books - I've read it at least 20 times and I will continue to my whole life)

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                              How to make friends and influence people - great book! In fact reading this has reminded me that I need to give this book a read another time. At one point in time I even made a little matrix about the lessons in the book and kept in on the wall above my desk. Good stuff.

                              Impressive reading on The Silmarillion. I tried and tried to read that book and could never get in to it.

                              [MENTION=12652]ForeverGuest[/MENTION] I am impressed that you managed to read the book not once but TWICE. Wow. I've done my share of reading but could never get past the first 30 ~ 40 pages. I keep wanting to pick it up again, but as you pointed out the book left you exhausted both times. I'm not sure I'm up for commitment.
                              Last edited by DocDave; April 29, 2015, 03:59 PM.

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                                Originally posted by DocDave View Post

                                [MENTION=12652]ForeverGuest[/MENTION] I've done my share of reading but could never get past the first 30 ~ 40 pages. I keep wanting to pick it up again, but as you pointed out the book left you exhausted both times. I'm not sure I'm up for commitment.
                                The second time I read it, I sort of led some friends through the reading of it. We'd chat over emails about the book once a week or so, sort of like a masters class or a bookclub. My friends and I, and a lot of people I know, always felt that fatigue around the 40-50 page mark, like you mentioned. The first reason for this is, I think, an obvious one: The writing is incredibly dense and stylistically complicated. Also, the book isn't about any particular plot, so there's not a lot to grasp onto when getting into the text. The other reason, though, has more to do with structure and is harder to notice unless you have a pretty nuanced understanding of narrative architecture. Usually, with any narrative, a writer is going to try to get the reader involved in the narrative's underlying focus—whether it be plot action, character development, structural motifs, etc.—within the first 10 percent of the narrative, give or take. For books of normal length, this is usually around 25-35 pages into the story. At this point, the reader is able to figure things out and begin to make some decisions about the narrative and its characters. This is how writers create investment.

                                However, IJ is around 1200 pages if you include the footnotes (and the teacher in me really implores you to include the footnotes), so Wallace is able to take somewhere around 120 pages, almost a full novel, just to get the reader situated in the story. All the work being done up to the point is intended to lay out all the lines the reader will eventually need to follow to understand and complete the narrative. Essentially, it's all intended to build the world and scope of the remaining narrative. The reason why everyone seems to hit that wall around 30ish pages is because we've been conditioned as readers to expect certain things from our narratives after reading that number or pages. But the feeling one gets while reading IJ's first 30 or so dense, complex, seemingly unrelated pages is that nothing is happening when SOMETHING should really be happening. My hypothesis has always been that part of what Wallace was doing in the book was playing with those expectations as a way of drawing out tension. This is why the footnotes are such an important part of the experience of the book while not always being important to the action of the book.

                                That said, my feelings about the book change about 150 pages into it. At that point, I could feel the investment take root. I could start to detect patterns for the first time and understand certain things about the various threads I had been introduced to. The book becomes a much less exhausting, if still laborious and dense, experience. Part of what makes the book so goddamned impressive is how well it manipulates the reader experience and how satisfying that moment of investment feels. It's hard-earned. Ultimately, for those of us who are Wallace devotees (of which I am one, big time, if you couldn't tell) his ability to convey the emotion and action of his scenes in the structure of his sentences (hence the density and free-flowing style) and the way he uses form and structure to mimic in the reader the emotional experience of the characters and scenes within the narrative is what makes the book genius.

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