Staying at home is the norm... What are you reading?

SckizoBoy

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Just finished reading: Evening in the Palace of Reason by James Gaines.

It was a good read, but the title event that the narrative builds up to is over pretty quickly with not much detail, unfortunately, and the author is pretty partisan (even if I agree with most of the content). Still, give it an 8/10.
 

Dalisclock

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China Mieville's Kraken. It's my first China Mieville book and I'm enjoying it. Like a combination between a dark Neil Gaiman and William Gibson.
I haven't read Kraken but I really liked Perdido Street Station followed by The Scar and The Iron Council. It's all in the same constructed fantasy world(and are set in that order) which....I guess is called "The new wierd" for lack of any other genre to put it in. I mean, it has magic and dieselpunk but also some hints of cyberpunk as well but since it'sa world unlike ours trying to tie to any actual earth cultures or timeframes doesn't really work.

Reading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. 3rd book in the Stormlight archive. Picks up straight from where the previous books Words of Radiance left off and so far much if it seems to be the main characters building their power and trying to form a coalition to deal with the ongoing devastation unleashed at the end of the previous book. The book also has started answering some of the questions that have been lingering from the last two books, particular some much needed context to series of Desolations that have repeatedly smashed civilization in the past(and which have now returned after an unusually long reprieve). It's also giving a deeper dive into the past of the coalition leader, who we knew was a pround warrior race leader already, but his past of uniting by the sword has made it difficult for anyone to trust him now.
 

Elfgore

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Well all my classes got moved online so I'm reading the Principles of Bar and Beverage Management, 2nd edition, as well as Cost Control in the Hospitality Industry
Hah, sucker! I got to read V for Vendetta in my online class!
 

Baffle

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I haven't read Kraken but I really liked Perdido Street Station followed by The Scar and The Iron Council. It's all in the same constructed fantasy world(and are set in that order) which....I guess is called "The new wierd" for lack of any other genre to put it in. I mean, it has magic and dieselpunk but also some hints of cyberpunk as well but since it'sa world unlike ours trying to tie to any actual earth cultures or timeframes doesn't really work.
I'll keep an eye out for those, cheers. Kraken is set in London, but with that London Below vibe. I can't remember if you're British, but if you're not it might not have the same sort of feel for you.
 

Dalisclock

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I'll keep an eye out for those, cheers. Kraken is set in London, but with that London Below vibe. I can't remember if you're British, but if you're not it might not have the same sort of feel for you.
I'm not British but I visited London for a week and have read up on it's history. It's kind of a fascinating city with some cool atmosphere(or at least, it did a while back, not so much with all the new buildings replacing the old ones, especially that one building totally not shaped like a Willy). I do have a soft spot for fiction set in old london though and was one of the few things I liked about AC Syndicate(considering it wasted the rest of it's potential).

New Crobuzon, the main setting of both Perdido Street Station and part of the Iron Concil(the Scar takes place out at sea) is apparenlty inspired by London, and I can totally see that.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Just finally cracked open my copy of witch Hat Atlier vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama and I'm mad I left it on the back burner.

It's a beautifully drawn manga about a kid wanting to learn magic so badly that she accidentally pulls a Full Metal Alchemist and has to undo her mistake
 

Zeraki

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I'm an essential worker so I don't have as much fee time as those who are currently able to stay/work at home.

Been trying to read the Twilight Princess manga for the last couple months, but I never really get a chance to since by the time I'm finally home and relaxed I'm too tired to read at that point.
 

Hawki

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The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (4/5)

It's not pleasant reading over 200 pages summizing all the ways we're screwed, but I did it anyway.

Actually, we might not be quite as screwed as the author suggested, as after the book, he actually scaled down his predictions, in that "business as usual" scenarios have been mixed with worst case scenarios within the IPCC. It's kind of symbolic over how the climate change debate has morphed over the century, from "the climate doesn't change," to "the climate changes, but there's no evidence humans are to blame," to "alright, how bad is it going to be?" Going by this? Very, very bad. Bad enough that it projects that by 2100, we're on course for 4 degrees of warming (worse than the 3 degrees that seems to be par for the course these days). Bad enough that even if we stopped emitting CO2 today, the author predicts that we'd still get a 0.5 degree increase, because in a Catch-22, the particulates of CO2 emission are actually reducing the amount of sunlight reaching Earth. Bad enough that at the current rate of uptake, the author predicts that we could reach a world powered 100% by renewables in 400 years.

Some of these projections are ones that I find surprising, but I'm not really going to debate them since I'm not the climate scientist here. I'd love for the book to have given me some hope, but non-fiction doesn't owe me hope, it owes me facts. Of course, some of those facts are up for debate, but like I said, the debate's shifted to reflect how bad things are, and how bad things are going to get.

Well, Happy Earth Day or something. :(
 

EvilRoy

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I've been going back through most of what Patrick McManus has written. His comedy books were a huge part of growing up for me, so its nice to wallow in humour and nostalgia while things are so tough out there in the world.

On the more serious side I'm also re-reading "Never Split the Difference", which is a book about negotiation tactics. Its not like earth shattering, but if you've ever wondered how the hell you got exactly what you wanted that one time even though you shouldn't have, this book sheds some interesting light on it.

10) Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat: I like eating tasty things, and the way to do that with my income is cooking them myself. However, I'm also very lazy about cooking, so the farthest I generally get is reading cooking theory. This book is about flavoring food, breaking that down to applications of salt, fats, acid, and heat. Salt excites the tastebuds and helps bring out other flavors. Fat is a carrier of flavor, coating the tongue and transmitting whatever flavors it's carrying (think bites of steak that include fatty bits, which taste the most "beefy", or melted cheese or fat-based sauces/salad dressings, or juicy meat vs dried out meat). Acid (or sourness) helps bring balance, balancing saltiness, cutting through fat, and bringing contrast to the predominant flavors. Heat is about the techniques of cooking, specifically how browning brings out flavors and how to maintain proper texture. Included are "lesson" recipes to make to see the author's points for yourself, but as mentioned, I'm too lazy to do much cooking. I have kept this information in mind when tasting other food, and it's been an eye-opener in some respects. I've definitely seen how the salt and fat in the bacon used in the charro beans at my favorite taqueria brings out the other flavors, and I've noted in my mom's cooking how a splash of acid would have livened up some twice baked potatoes she'd made.

11) The Food Lab, by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt: again with the cooking theory. Kenji is less about flavoring and more about cooking techniques, following scientific methods to improve or completely revamp the traditional ways of making American staples. I do intend to try some out. When I'm through with my current schoolwork, I'll go grocery shopping and see what's available; I want to practice making omelettes for breakfasts, and practice either searing pork chops and creating a pan sauce, or roasting a whole chicken by butterflying/spatchcocking the bird for dinners.

If I can suggest a way to get over the hump as a guy who used to be guilty of the exact same thing as you - now that you have a decent concept of the fundamentals of achieving flavour, give just reading recipes a shot. Pick something simple that falls within your budget and effort-threshold, search for recipes, and just read all of them. Like "texas beef chili" - not too broad (tacos will lead to an endless rabbithole), and not too specific (twenty minute potatoes in brown sauce with salt and pepper steak gives you like zero range). Don't learn them or prep to measure out all the spices and crap - just read a bunch of them. With an understanding of the fundamentals you should be able to pick out the patterns and just sort of improv your way to a reasonable approximation of food. Doing this helped make cooking more fun for me - measuring precise spices always bored me to hell and when the food inevitably didn't taste restaurant quality it was disappointing after all that effort. Faking my way to success worked in the short term budget wise and in the long term I've gained more patience for the more bullshit portions of cooking. Plus it helped me learn which cooking tools are important, and which make things easier but can be faked rather than buying them. I still don't measure spices though. Makes Indian cooking hard but I'll get it eventually.

If you want to start on the cheap check out straight up egg recipes. You can do them prepared in the french style, the american style, german, mexican, it goes on and on. Ten million recipes that use the same three base ingredients plus three more wild cards varying primarily in execution . Its fascinating how completely different a french omelette is from an american omelette, even though they both start from very similar places. You could consider throwing The Book of the Egg onto your reading options if that kind of thing interests you.
 

SupahEwok

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If you want to start on the cheap check out straight up egg recipes. You can do them prepared in the french style, the american style, german, mexican, it goes on and on. Ten million recipes that use the same three base ingredients plus three more wild cards varying primarily in execution . Its fascinating how completely different a french omelette is from an american omelette, even though they both start from very similar places. You could consider throwing The Book of the Egg onto your reading options if that kind of thing interests you.
Funnily enough, I was planning on starting to make french omelletes. The Food Lab has methodology for most common (in America) foods, so I was gonna go through breakfast recipes and start practicing them.

I'm moving in with my parents, and I need to diet, so I don't know how much cooking I'll get to be doing, but I'm unemployed probably until the pandemic is past, so with the free time I want to at least have some fun and try practicing a technical thing about cooking every week. We'll see if I keep up with it.

I appreciate the advice. I do have perfectionist tendencies, and have a base desire to do things the "right" way, which means I want to do them the hard way. And then I don't end up doing it cuz its hard and a lot of effort, and video games are an easy alternative. It's a mentality I ought to try to break, and your way of doing things is much more relaxed and likely to lead to much more productivity. I'll give it a shot.
 

Fat Hippo

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Funnily enough, I was planning on starting to make french omelletes. The Food Lab has methodology for most common (in America) foods, so I was gonna go through breakfast recipes and start practicing them.

I'm moving in with my parents, and I need to diet, so I don't know how much cooking I'll get to be doing, but I'm unemployed probably until the pandemic is past, so with the free time I want to at least have some fun and try practicing a technical thing about cooking every week. We'll see if I keep up with it.

I appreciate the advice. I do have perfectionist tendencies, and have a base desire to do things the "right" way, which means I want to do them the hard way. And then I don't end up doing it cuz its hard and a lot of effort, and video games are an easy alternative. It's a mentality I ought to try to break, and your way of doing things is much more relaxed and likely to lead to much more productivity. I'll give it a shot.
I get myself to cook by half-assing it, especially when I was on a budget and didn't feel like buying ingredients I couldn't afford for just one rather specific dish.

The downside is that I ate a lot of half-assed food.

It probably has made me a better cook in some ways through sheer repetition, but I do need to stop cutting as many corners and follow recipes more properly, just to better figure out why sometimes what I do works, and why sometimes it doesn't. Reading some stuff like Salt, Fat, Acid Heat you mentioned above, and just watching a lot of cooking Youtube videos, probably helped with that a bit too, but a problem there is that a lot of the stuff they cook is too expensive or too much of a hassle to replicate more than every once in a while.
 

Thaluikhain

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Reading Edgar Rice Burroughs at work again. His Tarzan stuff is pretty dull, but I'd been trying to get through it because all his stuff is set in the same universe and I'm reading stuff out of order if I don't read 12 Tarzan books before the second half of the Pellucidar series.

In the end, gave up on that and skipped lots of Tarzan, read Tanar of Pellucidar and started Tarzan at the Earth's Core.

Tanar of Pellucidar has an odd bit where it does the convoluted love interest bit. Obviously the hero and heroine are in love with each other but don't know it, and each has another admirer for love quadrilateral shenanigans. She dares her admirer to make the hero's admirer fall in love with her, and I'm thinking, ok, you'll pair off the secondary characters at the end of the book. But, no, it's like 2 pages later that the main couple realise they love each other and the second couple are off doing there own thing. And then he introduces another love triangle to be resolved at the end of the book.
 

BrawlMan

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Striking Thoughts - Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living. A good self guidance book. Lee was not only a great martial artist, but wise philoshper as well. I recommend this book to people looking for guidance or some type of self help. This books works even if you're not a martial artist. Also, you get more insight on Bruce Lee and his personality even if you're not in to self help or martial artist. I bought this book about 7 years ago, and forgot to finish the little bit that's left. With that said, I will always comeback to it when need be.

Reading Edgar Rice Burroughs at work again. His Tarzan stuff is pretty dull, but I'd been trying to get through it because all his stuff is set in the same universe and I'm reading stuff out of order if I don't read 12 Tarzan books before the second half of the Pellucidar series
Yeah, his Barsoom books I find more interesting than his Tarzan works. I have Tarzan at Earth's Core too. I need to finish that when I find the time.
 

Hawki

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (5/5)

Yep, I've done it. I'm giving a book the very, VERY rare 5/5 rating.

Sapiens has been called "one of the greatest (non-fiction) books of the 21st century." Having read this, I can see why. It's an absolutely fascinating look on human history, culture, religion, politics, and everything else. It's mostly presented in chronological order, from mankind's origins in Africa, to what the author calls the Cognitive Revolution (the emergence of art and culture within the human gestalt), and onwards to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, and beyond. It's one of those books that introduced me to ideas and questions that I honestly hadn't considered before, or at least, got me to reconsider some of those assumptions. Honestly, I can reccomend this book to probably everyone, because it's going to touch on at least one subject that you have an interest in, be it religion, politics, history, culture, or literally anything that can be said about the human race. Excellent read.

Also, it's on the reading lists of Barrack Obama and Bill Gates, so, um, yeah. They've got good taste.
 

Aegix Drakan

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I didn't take that many books with me in the move, and there's only a single english library in this city as far as I know sooo..... :(

I really regret not reading Terry Pratchett when I lived next door to a library.
 

Drathnoxis

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The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain.

It was good. A classic trope that has been used in fiction countless times since. It maybe relies on everybody jumping to the conclusion of 'madness' a bit too often, but maybe that was a common sentiment at the time, I don't know. The writing was very good, the adventures were interesting, and the story came to a satisfying conclusion... until it falls back in line with reality and King Edward VI promptly dies a few years after the events of the story.
 

lil devils x

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Mostly medical journals ...primarily about the effectiveness of T-cell immunotherapy, reprogramming T-cells and viruses atm. Does that count ?
 

Hawki

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Mostly medical journals ...primarily about the effectiveness of T-cell immunotherapy, reprogramming T-cells and viruses atm. Does that count ?
T-cells, virology...

...do you work for Umbrella by any chance?