What are you reading?

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If you haven't read it, Pressure by Jeff Strand.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher which is the first book of The Dresden Files

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Dubliners by James Joyce

Choke by Chuck Palahnuk

Thanks for the suggestions. Pressure sounds real good.

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I barely have time to read these days, but when I do, I'm working my way through The Song of Ice and Fire series. Have Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings under my belt currently, and I've just started Storm of Swords.

...It's just going to get worse, isn't it?

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  • 1 month later...

I read the other two books in the Hunger Games trilogy. I've got to say, I'm extremely disappointed. She took a good first book, and followed it up with an ok sequel, just to finish it off with a pile of crap. Here are the things I don't like about them:

I loved the movie. Katniss is portrayed as a strong, smart young woman. The exact opposite of her in the books. in the books she's moody, bitchy, dumb, and naive depending on the scene.

Katniss is portrayed as stupid. There is no other way to say it except that she's an idiot. She can't see what the mockingjay meant, even though it was practically spelled out for her multiple times. There are many instances where she can't figure out what's going on when a 5th grader could.

Katniss is really quick to give up and say "well, I'm going to die", or "we aren't going to finish our mission so I'm going to go get myself killed". She's a terrible soldier.

Katniss uses her sex appeal to manipulate people but is too dumb to know it. She can get people to do what she wants because she's young, dumb, and pretty. One character even told her "you don't understand the effect you have on people" as a hint. She never did figure it out.

The second half of Catching Fire is basically the same as the second half of Hunger Games. The only thing I liked was all the backstory on the games and past winners. The actual games in Catching Fire were pretty lame.

Now to the real problem, Mockingjay.

Katniss apparently believes everything she hears. Someone says they heard from someone else that they heard Cinna died during the torture. She's like,ok, and never tries to find out the truth. She knows how the capital manipulates everything and still accepts a rumor as fact. Even after they rescue two people from being tortured, you would think she would ask about Cinna, but nope. She's over that already.

Remember those two girls that Katniss ran into that were heading towards District 13 in Catching Fire? Well, apparently the author forgot about them while writing Mockingjay. They brought in the biggest plot twist in the series and were never heard from again. Did they make it to 13? Who knows? Every other minor character had a resolution, although in Cinna's case, it was a terrible one.

It was established that the capital left District 13 alone because they had nukes, yet that didn't stop them from bombing the crap out of them with bunker busters in the third book.

Katniss spent most of the book mentally unstable, and yet they make her a soldier and give her weapons. Sounds reasonable to me. How many times did she attempt to kill herself?

The deaths of the kids at the climax was a great plot device, but there was absolutely no reason to kill Prim. It did nothing for the story. She wasn't even a well developed character, and why the hell was a little kid on a battlefield to begin with?

Getting back to Katniss is an idiot again, she is always quick to believe the worst in everyone without any evidence. She believes Snow's story about who killed the the kids without asking anyone, then believed Gayle was involved without talking to him. She believed the story that the most evil person told her so much that she killed the leader of her side without hesitating or even trying to find out the truth. Surprise surprise, we never find out the truth either because everyone either died or were never heard from again, or the writer was too lazy to write it down.

The Harry Potter ending was stupid. The people of Panem never found out the truth about what happened, and as far as we know the whole world believes Katniss is a crazy madwoman killer who's mom even stopped talking to her. She was exiled to live in her bombed out district still plagued by nightmares from all the things she's seen. That's a pretty depressing ending if you ask me.

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Okay, I disagree on your interpretation of Katniss, but I kinda take issue with you saying

she uses sex appeal but is too dumb to know it. Uhm, what?

Also, half of your questions are answered in the books.

Exactly what I said. It's implied in the book. Also, what questions were answered? They either weren't answered, or were just thrown out as assumption by Katniss. It is from her point of view after all.

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Yes, the psychologically scarred sixteen year old is GREAT at using sex appeal unintentionally. And given that half of the books' criticism is against reality tv culture, and the way that sex sells (especially in the Capitol), that interpretation is more than a little fucked up.

Also, re: the stupid interpretation, the way I've put it more is "earning an F in emotions", cause hey, you try stepping up as your family's primary caregiver at twelve, see how your emotional development/ability to read social cues gets affected.

For the questions that were answered:

Why make her a soldier? One, the whole Mockingjay symbol going into battle, propaganda to boost their side, as they've established several times throughout the book. Two, Coin wants her in a situation where she could be killed, which, if I remember correctly, Boggs brings up, cause she doesn't want to share power.

Why kill the kids, especially Prim? Make it look like Snow did it, make him look like even more of an evil dickbag, get more sympathy for District 13/etc. Also, Prim was in training to be a medic. Fly in medics to help the kids that Snow is keeping as a human shield.

Re: Coin's plan, Gale's involvement, and Snow. The justification I've seen for Katniss believing Snow is that they promised never to lie to each other, which, as far as we can tell, was a promise that was upheld. Now, I haven't read Mockingjay in a while, but I swear I remember there's at least mention of Katniss asking Gale directly about his involvement, and him not denying, but not confirming it.

And honestly, that's half of what I like about these books: we have a hell of an unreliable narrator in Katniss.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm about halfway through 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

It is, thus far, the best time travel book I have ever read. It is also the best thing King has written in YEARS. I'm having a blast. To the point where, even if he fucks up the ending, I'm still going to look on this favorably.

Highly recommended.

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  • 5 months later...

Visiting the family in less than two weeks so getting the reading list ready. Debating on if I want to get anymore since usually I get through between 7 and 10 during the trip.

In fiction, I got:

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (Didn't get that far in the first time I tried to read the book, hoping the second try goes much smoother.)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Non-Fiction Wise, I got:

Whedonistas edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish (Loved Chicks Love Time Lords so looking forward to seeing another book edited bythe same people.)

Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies by Michael Adams (I love bad movies. Looking forward to an examination of them.)

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Reread a trilogy I haven't since middle school - Meredith Ann Pierce's Darkangel trilogy. There was this weird sci-fi vibe I managed to miss - apparently the entire story takes place on a terraformed moon.

Also, interested to see what you think of Catching Fire and GoT.

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One trip to Half Price Books later:

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Carrie by Stephen King (Rereading it now so when April rolls around and Me and Hannah do our Carrie episode of HG, I don't have to read it then.)

Also, since I didn't get to reading it two years ago: The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

I'm taking advantage of the downtime before grad school to read Meanwhile..., the 950 page biography of comic strip artist Milton Caniff (of Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon fame). Fascinating stuff. It's not just the story of one of comics' most influential creators, but of the comic strip itself. It also makes me want to buy the Noel Sickles book IDW put out.

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  • 1 month later...

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Very short and fast paced finished in a couple of days. This was clearly ripe for a screen adaptation. Everything that made the film great is in the novel, fascinating read. I will say however that if you've seen the film, there's very little additional material that the novel contains. Uhls adapted the book thoroughly.

Next: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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  • 1 year later...

Holy crap. I'm halfway through Lance Henriksen's autobiography NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN and it is the most insane autobio I've ever read. If half of it is true, then he's even more of a fucking legend than I ever thought.

Buy it in Hardcover signed by the man himself here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

50 Shades: *projectile vomiting ad infinitum* Seriously, she couldn't even do basic fucking research on SAFE BDSM practices? Ugh ugh ugh. Done for a MST with friends, but please to be getting it the fuck away from me.

Gone Girl: Read mainly because I saw the movie first, and was told that it adds context to the movie, and makes the position of whether or not this is a MRA's worst nightmare more clear (hint: everyone in this book is a fucking awful human being). Utterly fucking unsettling, especially the Amy POV chapters for the last half of the book. Definitely worth a read if you get the chance.

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A Gentleman's Game, Greg Rucka: Part of the Queen and Country universe. The first half is a pretty typical spy thriller, and I wasn't that impressed, but the turn that this takes at about the two-thirds mark elevates it into something else. Takes place between vols 2 and 3 of the definitive edition.

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