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So, OCR now has a successful anime thread which pleases me. Perhaps we could get a good thread for books going.

I'm currently reading The Amber Spyglass, third book of the His Dark Materials series. It looks like it will be the best book in a series that has been entertaining, but not quite as epic as I had hoped it would be. I heard that it was critical of religion when the Golden Compass movie was in theaters so I thought the series would be worth checking out. The religious angle has been interesting so far, and I'm hoping it'll all come together in some awesome fashion. Part of the problem is that I'm not part of the "Young Adult" book market (although at 22 shouldn't I be technically), its target audience.

I just finished reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, the guy who will be completing The Wheel of Time in lieu of Robert Jordan. I was pleased, as it was a good fantasy book that has no sequel, prequel, or tangent series to go along with it, contrary to the usual stuff. Sanderson seems like he'll be capable of finishing the Wheel of Time from both the book and the interviews with him I've read.

The best book I've read in the past year was The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It's ostensibly about a patricide, but gets into a whole religion versus atheism debate (among a bunch of other stuff). No other book made me think quite as much since Atlas Shrugged, which is funny since they are both by Russian authors, and the authors have the exact opposite views on religion.

So....say whatever is on your mind about books.

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I just finished "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Fascinating book that investigates the lifestyles, history, and mindsets of millionaires living in America today. The results are surprising, to say the least, and offer some great insight into what ANYONE living in the U.S. can do to generate (and maintain) wealth.

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This past month I finished The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, a story about an ex-nun who looses her lover to a gangster's bullet as he tries to save her from him, takes up the robes of a priest who dies in a flood, and poses as Father Damien Modeste at a reservation in North Dakota.

I read The Hobbitt (finally), no explanation needed here, I'm sure, and have been making my way through a book of the essays and poem of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Though that one is slow going.

Next I want to read Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy. It's about how our western society has lost it's sense of communal celebration and the spontaneous expression of joy.

I also want to read more works from Paulo Coelho. After having read The Alchemist I want to know more of his works. All the while I've been reading and re-reading The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

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I recently started on R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt books, and they're awesome. The way he describes a combat scene is particularly good. The only problem is that there's 14 of them to read (assuming you don't read Sellswords or Hunter's Blades), which causes much the same problem as Dragonlance...

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I am America(and so can You) by Stephen Cobert. A firm reminder that being patriotic in this day and age is still okay.

A Soldier's 1000 Word RBI on Why You Should Never Leave Your Pancho Behind. A tale of one man's struggle with his Drill Sergant's way of punishing his trainees.

The manual for WWE Smackdown vs Raw feat. ECW. A firm reminder that this manual will tell you nothing that you want to know when faced in a "Last Man Standing" match against Matt Hardy.

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Going through The Colour Of Magic for the first time at a snail's pace, tho I'm very close to the end. It's not a bad book, but there's not much in terms of story; it's simply Rincewind and Twoflower being dragged into all sorts of bizarre situations for 200+ pages.

Once I'm done with it, I'm getting started on Snow Crash.

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The last thing I read was a bunch of Romantic era poetry. We're talking the staples: Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley. Overall, not my thing. There are a couple of good insights, but I think from now on I'm sticking with slightly more modern works.

Other than that, sadly, haven't read much in the way of new stuff. I think the last new book I read was Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis. Was pretty good, even though it had the mandatory Dark Tower tie-in. Sort of become his MO I guess.

And before that it was Scott Adams' book The Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century which is a surprisingly thought provoking book when you read between the humor. The man is pretty damn genius.

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Been reading The Naked God by Peter Hamilton for the past 6 months. I have a habit of taking ages to read books even when they are really good. I remember taking over a year to read the Da Vinci Code.

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Not counting textbooks (since I don't count anything I don't enjoy) I haven't read an actual book since Sandworms of Dune in the summer. I thought it was good, and certainly nice to see the Dune series come to a proper ending, though I prefer Frank Herberts writing style over Brian's, and wish he had had the chance to finish the series himself before he had died.

Aside from that I've been absolutely devouring The Sandman trade paperbacks. Easily the greatest comic book series I've ever read. Neil Gaiman is a genious, and has an imagination and talent for fantasy writing like no author I've ever read before. I'm currently part way through Fables & Reflections with five more trades to go once I finish, not counting the handfull of spinoffs.

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I been reading

Jean Shepherd's In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash, a nostalgic comedy about a kid growing up in the 30's in Indiana. The movie A Christmas Story was based on this book. Quickly becoming one of my favorite books.

Larry Niven's A World Out of Time, which so far is a sci-fi about a criminal who's memory is erased and replaced with the memories of a dead guy and is forced to work as a garbage hauler, or something.

and Thich Nhat Hanh's the Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, a fantastic and straightforward account of the basics of Buddhism.

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Lian Hearn's 'The Harsh Cry of the Heron', the Last Tale of the Otori. Loved to first three books, and this is an awesome ending to the trilogy. Am already looking forward to reading Heaven's Net is Wide, the 'first tale of the Otori'.

I realize the writer's milking the series a bit, but as long as the books are a pleasure to read, I don't care :P

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Just started reading "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century" by Alex Ross. It's all about music from 1900 and beyond, and really understanding what it's all about. I JUST started, but I've heard some amazing things--and I love reading about the interaction between strauss and mahler...

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I recently started on R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt books, and they're awesome. The way he describes a combat scene is particularly good. The only problem is that there's 14 of them to read (assuming you don't read Sellswords or Hunter's Blades), which causes much the same problem as Dragonlance...

I used to read the Drizzt books when I was in middle school and high school. I kind of stopped around Sea of Swords when I got out of D&D-style fantasy (fantasy where many of the main characters aren't human). Maybe I should check out the Sellswords books sometime. I always thought Entreri was one of the more interesting characters in the series after The Silent Blade (my favorite of the Drizzt books).

I sort of became afraid of continuing to read Drizzt when I heard that Salvatore had retconned Wulfgar and Cattie-brie's ages. At that points it seems like it has became a comic book without pictures.

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I'm reading a decade-old book by author Jonathan Kozol entitled "Amazing Grace" about people living in poverty in New York. It's for a class, but when I saw this topic, I thought I'd relate to you guys one of the stories contained in the book.

Apparently this particular part of New York has a rat problem, and despite efforts of exterminators,the rats live on. In fact, some of them have mutated beyond being anything more than swelled up by the poison. A woman interviewed in the book notes that "A month ago, [she] was trying to sleep ... [when she] heard these screeching sounds and thought it was a rat fighting with a cat. [Her] granddaughter ... came into [her] room and said 'Nanny, look outside, there's a big rat fightin' with a squirrel.' [she] looked out the window and saw the rat. Squirrel was dead. Rat sittin' on him, eatin' from his back. When he was done ... nothin' was left except for the hair that must have been the squirrel's tail."

The book is supposed to elicit sympathy from the reader, and while I disagree with Kozol's politics, I can't slight the man for his efforts.

On a side note, if you're reading this DJ Pretzel, this is the proper way to get rid of squirrels. Feed them to mutant rats. For those who don't know what I'm referencing, http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR01678/

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I just finished The Orc King...the epilogue sucked, it's like "oh now it's a century later".

If book II starts a century later I'll probably just stop reading them. It's gone downhill since a little after the Cleric Quintet...

Terry Pratchett's newer books are better, as I recall, up until Moving Pictures they're rubbish. The newer ones have plots.

I've suffered 3 of Dan Brown's books...I couldn't swallow Digital Fortress, it was too painful. He's too dramatic, just read a sentence every 30 pages and you'll get it.

Also, Philip Pullman's books are fascinating.

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In my English class, they're having us read Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. It's a non-fiction book based off of this kid, Chris McCandless' journals. He came from a wealthy family, finished college with stellar grades, and gave away the remaining $24,000 in his bank account to charity, and went to live as a gypsie and live in Alaska. He ends up starving (not a spoiler, the reader knows this). Stupid kid. I don't like the book. But if you're an outdoorsman, you would enjoy it for the descriptiveness. Or if you're one of those people with the same insane ideal of living alone and getting to your primal instincts.

On another note, I finished Harry Potter 7 recently. I don't recall the prose in the first few books, but I can tell you that books 6 and 7 are certainly not childrens books in any fashion. I would highly recommend the series to those who are avoiding them because they don't want to be caught reading a children's novel. For example, Voldemort's character has clearly been influenced by Adolf Hitler, but no 10 year old is going to pick up on that.

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