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

Bob_McMillan

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I read the first three Percy Jackson books around the time the first movie came out (never watched it). I remember enjoying the first two but getting kind of tired of the series by the third for reasons I don't really remember anymore. It might have been that the plot started to revolve around annoying misunderstanding based conflict between characters, but I can't say for sure anymore.
The series does meander around the middle. Misunderstanding based conflict is Riordan's middle name. But I think the finale was great, it was suitably epic and became more mature in a sensible way. Not sure if I would recommend you finish them though, its been a long time since I've read them.
The Mistborn books are definitely not as good as the original trilogy.
I never did enjoy the steampunk aesthetic. I don't think Sanderson's style really suits having two middle-aged men as the main characters.
 

Drathnoxis

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I never did enjoy the steampunk aesthetic. I don't think Sanderson's style really suits having two middle-aged men as the main characters.
No, it's always a little strange when somebody takes a fantasy setting and suddenly makes it steampunk. At least it worked out better here than The Legend of Korra.
 

Hawki

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Superman: Made in China (4/5)

Even by the standards of superhero comics, this has got to be one of the strangest incarnations of a superhero I've seen. If you're asking whether that's a good or a bad thing, I can't answer, because I'm not too sure myself.

Anyway, the graphic novel covers what can effectively be described as "Chinese Super-Man," but that by itself does it a disservice. The guy who gets Supes' powers, Kong Kenan, definitely isn't Superman in terms of personality or backstory. He starts off as an asshole, and upon getting powers, he reveals his identity almost immediately (how he could even hide it to begin with, no idea - he doesn't even have the excuse of glasses), and so on and so forth. In a case of worldbuilding that simultaniously makes sense and no sense, because of China's economic rise, China is now experiencing vigilantism and metahumans (wouldn't vigilantism go DOWN if your economy is booming?) So, the Chinese government, demonstrating that in the DC Universe, copyright still isn't a thing for them, makes the Justice League of China, with Kong Kenan being their own version of Supes, along with their own version of Wonder Woman and Batman. Why, if they can turn Kong into Supes, they don't just have three Supermen, or why they make their own Batman as opposed to anyone with powers, no idea, especially when their own Batman is overweight (this isn't me, it's drawn attention to in the comic itself), but fine, okay. Only there's another vigilante group who's jealous of the JLC, and anti-CCP vigilantes, and...yeah. I don't know if this comic can really be said to be pro-CCP or anti-CCP, but it's kind of eerie how simultaniously 'with it' it is in regards to China and its relationship with the West (government officials commenting on the flaws of democracy, and China not wanting to be overtaken again in the way that led to the "Century of Humiliation,") yet simultaniously doesn't really endorse the idea of a totalitarian government having its own brand of superheroes that explicitly AREN'T interested in truth and justice (or at least, aren't meant to be).

That said, it's a fun read. Bonkers, but fun. Kong's definitely his own character, not only in terms of personality (again, he isn't Clark Kent, even if he gets his own version of Louis Lane), and his superpowers aren't 1:1. As in, yes, he can fly and use heat vision, but his powers can give out if he gets too afraid, and he has to control his "Qi" to maintain his powers. Like I touched on earlier, I don't know if the comic copy-pasting American heroes into a Chinese setting is genius (sattarizing China's reputation for stealing tech), or lazy storytelling (again, there's little reason in-universe to want your own version of Batman), but somehow, it pulls it off.

Overall, fun read.
 

Hawki

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To me it seems like Ray Bradbury read A Brave New World and 1984 and wanted to smoosh them together, but didn't put in half the thought required to do so effectively. 1984 has themes of restricting thought, and describes why and how the government is doing such a thing: they are removing words from language so people can't express themselves in any way that may be subversive. Fahrenheit 451 just has people burning books because they make them feel dumb. 1984 has constant war because it gives people a focus to direct their dissatisfaction and negative emotions. Fahrenheit 451 has war... because. 1984 has O'Brian be an almost omniscient figure because he's a part of the ruling governors that focus their life on knowing and controlling the populace. Fahrenheit 451 has Captain Beatty be the most well read person on the planet because, I have no idea why. I guess he's been breaking the law and reading books, and just admits it casually for reasons. And from Brave New World it obviously lifts the complacent and pleasure obsessed populace that fits very poorly with the aspects lifted from 1984. It's all wrapped up flowery dialogue and long unnecessary descriptions that don't really do a whole lot to further any of the books themes and are really just fluff.
That's a very good way of putting it. I've often considered Farenheit 451, Brave New World, and 1984 as kind of a pseudo dystopian trilogy (in part because I read them pretty close together), but I've always considered F451 to be the weak link. BNW is my favourite book of all time. 1984 would almost certainly end up in a top ten. F451? Eh...

It also doesn't help that Bradbury wrote the book with the theme of "television is bad." Yes, there's anti-censorship themes, but they're not expressed nearly as eloquently as the other two, who come at it from different angles (top down in 1984, bottom up in BNW).
 
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Trunkage

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That's a very good way of putting it. I've often considered Farenheit 451, Brave New World, and 1984 as kind of a pseudo dystopian trilogy (in part because I read them pretty close together), but I've always considered F451 to be the weak link. BNW is my favourite book of all time. 1984 would almost certainly end up in a top ten. F451? Eh...

It also doesn't help that Bradbury wrote the book with the theme of "television is bad." Yes, there's anti-censorship themes, but they're not expressed nearly as eloquently as the other two, who come at it from different angles (top down in 1984, bottom up in BNW).
BNW was bottom up? I thought a lot of it was encouraged by the leaders and... genetic manipulation. The people were just not... unhappy (?) as other books. Or rather, it was from the prospective of an insider who wanted to stay inside, rather than the outsider.
 

Hawki

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BNW was bottom up? I thought a lot of it was encouraged by the leaders and... genetic manipulation. The people were just not... unhappy (?) as other books. Or rather, it was from the prospective of an insider who wanted to stay inside, rather than the outsider.
Technically, yes, BNW is top-down, but I make the distinction in the sense that the average citizen of the World State is content with their lot in life - there's no chance of the World State being overthrown, because the people have no desire to do so. In contrast, 1984 is top down, because it takes a constant, active hand in keeping the people under control, what with constantly rewriting history and clamping down on any dissidence. Like, for instance, the Party uses TVs as spy devices to keep the population in line. The World State would never bother with that, because the people are quite happy to watch TV and live out their lives as outlined for them.
 

twistedmic

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Currently re-reading The Hobbit and then planning on starting my next re-read of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.
 

Dreiko

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I've been in a Tsugumomo binge for the last 3 days, read about 18 volumes of the stuff. Amazing what they get away with, this surpasses To Love Ru levels even.

My main issue with the typical "wacky ghost/alien/vampire/spirit girl moves in with loser hero and fawns over him and he starts to be less of a loser" thing is that it's too comedic, not enough serious stuff happens. Also the hero is typically unrelatable in his doofusness.

Well, this one is damn serious for about a good third of the time, and has amazing fights and artwork. The protagonist has a ton of character growth and while he still is more of a punching bag than I'd like for him to be (at least so far, he's rapidly evolving in the part i've got to so far lol) you can see him having potential. But yeah for the other two thirds of the time it's just interspersed with fanservice that really skirts the line between a normal manga and something that's 18+. also would prolly be illegal in Australia and Sweden lol. This is less "lets find an excuse to draw these chars in a situation that would show fanservice" and more "lets have these fanservice scenes be drawn in a way that also conveys plot and character growth". They take the contrived mana transfer tropes from the Fate universe and up them a notch or twenty, without any care in the world. The guy is very self-aware about what he's doing and he's earnestly going for it which you can't not enjoy.


Also the manga is drawn by just one dude, no assistants or nothing, which is both impressive with the quality of the artwork he puts out, as well as explains why it gets to the levels it does, because there's nobody to tell him to stop lol.
 

Gergar12

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The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway. Yes, that Scott Galloway from NYU Stern.

Experiences > Things

Good College major = money making major you can do

Rich = Salary - Spending

Invest your money into stocks that are either tied to the S&P 500, or Diversfiled like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple

Get to a City if you're young for jobs

Invest well into relationships with family, friend, and most importantly a lover with kids = Good health

The most important takeaway is to be a capitalist, an ethical capitalist who saves money, but a capitalist non-the-less.

He shares advice, life stories, and got me to exercise.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I just bought the first book of Dune. Never read it but I've been curious about it. It's been a while since I read a novel and I'm in the mood for something long.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Star Wars: Stand Aside – Bounty Hunters (3/5)

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (3/5)

Pokemon Adventures: Vol. 1 (3/5)

The most important takeaway is to be a capitalist, an ethical capitalist who saves money, but a capitalist non-the-less.
AOC making such a statement around these parts?

Gutsy move.
 

Drathnoxis

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Read some stuff:
Pokemon Adventures: Vol. 1 (3/5)
I intend to read this some day. How's it compare to the anime so far, or Electric Tale of Pikachu, if you've read it?
 

Gergar12

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Read some stuff:

Star Wars: Stand Aside – Bounty Hunters (3/5)

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (3/5)

Pokemon Adventures: Vol. 1 (3/5)



AOC making such a statement around these parts?

Gutsy move.
It's a book.
 

Hawki

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I intend to read this some day. How's it compare to the anime so far, or Electric Tale of Pikachu, if you've read it?
I can't compare it to Electric Tale of Pikachu, but I can compare it to the anime.

I'll put it this way. When Pokemon Origins came out, a lot of people praised Red for being competent where Ash wasn't. I could see the point, even if I didn't necessarily agree with it (and after watching Sun/Moon, I'm even less sure about it). Here, we have the same paradox - is it better to have a competent trainer who lacks personality, or is it better to have a character with personality that isn't a good trainer?

Red is already a competent trainer before getting his bulbasaur here. He doesn't develop as a character. He easily catches pokemon and wins battles. Though, bizzarely, he catches a lot of pokemon, but doesn't seem to use them. By the end of vol. 1, his team consists of polywrath, pikachu, and bulbasaur (and maybe something else? I forget). Blue, similarly, is nowhere near as much of an asshole as Gary. He's Red's rival, sure, but not an asshole.

And okay, sure, I don't really go to pokemon for in-depth character development - the only reason I read this was because I had free time at the library on lunch break - same reason I read many of these comics because I can easily read them in less than an hour. And yes, it's aimed at kids. But even so...

Also, the volume makes some weird changes to the gym leaders. Brock and Misty are mostly the same, and Misty travels with Red before arriving at her gym, but from a story standpoint, it feels redundant. You introduce a character, keep the character, abandon the character, move on. Also, Surge runs a pokemon trafficking ring out of the S.S. Anne, and Koga is a Team Rocket agent who fights against Red and Blue at Lavender Tower (which is where the volume ends).

So, yeah. If I'm comparing it to the anime, I'd simply say that the anime's better, because it has more time to flesh out its characters, and I'd take Ash over Red, because seeing Ash struggle and succeed is better than Red simply winning everything.
 

Drathnoxis

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I can't compare it to Electric Tale of Pikachu, but I can compare it to the anime.

I'll put it this way. When Pokemon Origins came out, a lot of people praised Red for being competent where Ash wasn't. I could see the point, even if I didn't necessarily agree with it (and after watching Sun/Moon, I'm even less sure about it). Here, we have the same paradox - is it better to have a competent trainer who lacks personality, or is it better to have a character with personality that isn't a good trainer?

Red is already a competent trainer before getting his bulbasaur here. He doesn't develop as a character. He easily catches pokemon and wins battles. Though, bizzarely, he catches a lot of pokemon, but doesn't seem to use them. By the end of vol. 1, his team consists of polywrath, pikachu, and bulbasaur (and maybe something else? I forget). Blue, similarly, is nowhere near as much of an asshole as Gary. He's Red's rival, sure, but not an asshole.

And okay, sure, I don't really go to pokemon for in-depth character development - the only reason I read this was because I had free time at the library on lunch break - same reason I read many of these comics because I can easily read them in less than an hour. And yes, it's aimed at kids. But even so...

Also, the volume makes some weird changes to the gym leaders. Brock and Misty are mostly the same, and Misty travels with Red before arriving at her gym, but from a story standpoint, it feels redundant. You introduce a character, keep the character, abandon the character, move on. Also, Surge runs a pokemon trafficking ring out of the S.S. Anne, and Koga is a Team Rocket agent who fights against Red and Blue at Lavender Tower (which is where the volume ends).

So, yeah. If I'm comparing it to the anime, I'd simply say that the anime's better, because it has more time to flesh out its characters, and I'd take Ash over Red, because seeing Ash struggle and succeed is better than Red simply winning everything.
Interesting. You should try reading Electric Tales of Pikachu if you have it at your library. It's pretty interesting and quite a bit different than the anime. Ash actually is pretty competent and also a fun character.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

-Rivers of London: Action at a Distance (2/5)

-Star Wars: Myths and Fables (3/5)

-African Empires (3/5)

-All of Us: A History of Southeast Asia (3/5)
 

Hawki

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2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke (4/5)
Glad someone else appreciates the novel, even if the movie's overshadowed it. It's a 5/5 for me.

Speaking of other stuff I've read:

Marx: A Complete Introduction (4/5)*

Halo: Silent Storm (3/5)

Overwatch: London Calling (4/5)

*In case anyone's wondering, that's the quality of the book itself, not the quality of Marx's ideas. In other words, if you're looking for a Marxist, look elsewhere.