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Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/6/14 11:58 p.m.

First book of 2014 down - Rogue Forces by Dale Brown. It was horrible! There was zero character development or depth, the plot was flat, and the future tech wasn't believable. Sigh, let's try a new author...

fritzsch
fritzsch Dork
1/7/14 12:15 a.m.

First book of 2014 I finished was The Great Santini. Set in 1962 about a Marine fighter pilot and his family. Very interesting, good read.

Currently reading "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean, which is a nonfiction book about the Mann Gulch Fire in which 13 of 15 elite forest fire fighters died.

Another book I want to read is Jaron Lanier’s “Who Owns the Future?” on digital networks.

And on a similar topic as that is a novel “The Circle,” by Dave Egger.

david mikics said:“The Circle,” Dave Eggers’s runaway best seller, is a futuristic nightmare that seems to have touched a nerve. The Circle is a social networking firm with an Edenic campus and a totalitarian grip on its employees’ lives; it forces them to socialize online at a dizzying pace, constantly messaging, friending, liking and answering surveys. In this novel, 21st-century capitalism has gone far beyond “Metropolis” and “Modern Times.” The digital masters turn even personal lives into hard labor, and so all hours are suddenly working hours. Private space disappears as people make themselves “transparent,” recording and posting their lives for thousands, even millions, of “friends.”
ultraclyde
ultraclyde SuperDork
1/7/14 6:56 a.m.

First book I finished in 2014 was Chuck Wendig's 'Blackbird' - first book in the Miriam Black storyline, about a woman who can see how someone dies just by touching them. Very good, but on the short side. Looking forward to picking up the next two. Profane, gritty, and funny while still running a good urban fantasy baseline.

I received a hard cover copy of John Scalzi's 'Human Division' ( latest in to 'Old Man's War' universe) for Christmas, but I'm trying to finish Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale' first. (odd book, beautiful imagery) Also reading Sheri S Tepper's 'Grass' in small bits. It's my car book - the one I keep in the car to kill time if I'm early for an appointment or at the doctor's office or such. Not sure how I feel about it yet.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde SuperDork
1/7/14 6:58 a.m.
fritzsch wrote: First book of 2014 I finished was The Great Santini. Set in 1962 about a Marine fighter pilot and his family. Very interesting, good read.

Conroy's one of my favorites, although I liked Lords of Discipline and Beach Music much more than Santini, although it is kind of his signature piece.

wbjones
wbjones PowerDork
1/7/14 9:44 a.m.
Javelin wrote: First book of 2014 down - Rogue Forces by Dale Brown. It was horrible! There was zero character development or depth, the plot was flat, and the future tech wasn't believable. Sigh, let's try a new author...

some of Dale Brown's books have been "ok" … but for the most part … blah

dculberson
dculberson UltraDork
1/7/14 9:48 a.m.

First book of 2014 was something I'd read before but it had been a couple decades. Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov. It's interesting but definitely a product of its time. Ie, the one main woman character is presented as being "treated like an equal" but she always prepares the meals, of course. And the men are always making pointless side comments about the useless things she does. However she ends up being one of the key characters in the book so that is interesting. 1952, you are complex, who would have thought.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
1/7/14 9:57 a.m.
fritzsch wrote: Currently reading "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean, which is a nonfiction book about the Mann Gulch Fire in which 13 of 15 elite forest fire fighters died.

I thought that author's name looked familiar. A River Runs Through It. Read that some years ago. Movie was okay, too.

So, you guys can read?

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
1/8/14 5:30 p.m.

I finished "Brave New World" last week. I'm in Justin Cronin's "The Passage" right now and can't put it down.

My goal is to finish 20 books this year.

aircooled
aircooled UltimaDork
1/8/14 5:35 p.m.
fritzsch wrote: First book of 2014 I finished was The Great Santini. Set in 1962 about a Marine fighter pilot and his family. Very interesting, good read....

Pretty good movie also (Duval was great of course)

Johnboyjjb
Johnboyjjb Reader
1/8/14 7:45 p.m.

Sad but true, I'm often mocked by my coworkers for reading. It seems like those of us who read are a dying breed.

First two books were When the Mob Ran Vegas: Stories of Murder, Mayhem and Money by Steve Fischer and The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler. Vegas was mediocre and I liked the silly princess book.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
1/8/14 8:10 p.m.

I finished 'The Unfair Advantage' last week, man I think I could have gotten along great with Mark Donohue. I'm currently reading '11/22/63', damn I'm glad to see Stephen King back in fine fettle again.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
1/30/14 9:23 a.m.

Last night I finished book #2 on the year so far, "The Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence" by Peter F. Hamilton. It's mid-futuristic, science-possible sci-fi with a little old school horror thrown in (think virus/plague/AI overthrow). The horror was not my cup of tea, and a little predictable (never-ending stream of minor, just-introduced characters meeting their demise), but the sci-fi was fantastic! Great universe, lots of major arcs and sub-plots, and superb character progression. One of the most original sci-fi's I've read in a long while.

I also have to admit that for the first time in many years, I actually had to stop a book part way through. It was Kevin J. Anderson's "The Edge of the World", the first of his Terra Incognita fantasy series. It wasn't that it was "bad" per say, it's just I've read that exact same story before. Last year I read all seven books of "The Saga of the Seven Suns" series, which was a sci-fi adventure (very weak sci-fi, good stories). Terra Incognita is apparently the exact same story, only rehashed over a single ancient world instead of a large part of a galaxy. Identical down to the race of people's who trade but are ignored by the two major races but actually hold the keys to everything, the princess who gets captured and is pregnant without the prince/king knowing about it and the child is raised by the enemy, etc, etc.

slowride
slowride Reader
1/30/14 10:10 a.m.

I just finished "The Circle" by Dave Eggers. Started out pretty good but was kind of ridiculous by the end. Pretty good for anyone who's suspicious of facebook/google/etc (that includes me).

Now I'm reading "Live By Night" by Dennis Lehane. Takes place during prohibition... not as good as his best but still good.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UberDork
1/30/14 10:32 a.m.

Finished An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Enjoyed. Now reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which is an exploration of the reasons behind peoples success in life. Very interesting. Did you know that 40% of NHL players were born in January to March, and less than 10% in October to December? There is a reason...

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
1/30/14 10:46 a.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: Finished An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Enjoyed. Now reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which is an exploration of the reasons behind peoples success in life. Very interesting. Did you know that 40% of NHL players were born in January to March, and less than 10% in October to December? There is a reason...

Daddy's were hockey players too, and too busy playing hockey from January to March?

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
1/30/14 11:23 a.m.
ultraclyde wrote: First book I finished in 2014 was Chuck Wendig's 'Blackbird' - first book in the Miriam Black storyline, about a woman who can see how someone dies just by touching them. Very good, but on the short side. Looking forward to picking up the next two. Profane, gritty, and funny while still running a good urban fantasy baseline.

That sounds a lot like Stephen King's "The Dead Zone".

I've just started "Idea Man", Paul Allen's (co-founder of Microsoft) autobiography. Last week I visited King Used Books in Detroit after the auto show and picked up "Fast Guys, Rich Guys, and Idiots" by Sam Moses and "Life at the Limit" by Sid Watkins.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
1/30/14 11:52 a.m.

I also recently got another copy of 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman. I'd forgotten how good a book it is.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UberDork
1/30/14 12:46 p.m.
mtn wrote:
Streetwiseguy wrote: Finished An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield. Enjoyed. Now reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, which is an exploration of the reasons behind peoples success in life. Very interesting. Did you know that 40% of NHL players were born in January to March, and less than 10% in October to December? There is a reason...

Daddy's were hockey players too, and too busy playing hockey from January to March?

Size. Big difference between a 5 year old kid born in January vs one born in December. The bigger, more coordinated kid (because he is 20% older) shows more talent, gets noticed, gets on the higher level teams that play more, etc. The birthdate deal starts to taper off in activities that kids don't start until they are 12 or so.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/2/14 11:13 p.m.

Book #3 on the year was Peter F. Hamilton's "The Reality Dysfunction Part 2: Expansion". This is the follow up to the last book I read, and it was wildly different! The base horror part was fully explained, and very interesting. (Spoiler alert!) Souls are coming back from purgatory to possess people. The sci-fi action was stupendous, the characters continued to develop well, and the plot lines were fantastic. Better than his first book by a lot, and I gave that one good praise.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
3/3/14 1:20 a.m.

Still slugging though 4k+ pages of les mis. At 1800 give or take. It gets long winded when it breaks from the story for a 50 page history lesson about Waterloo, the church, Paris, ect.

toad9977
toad9977 Reader
3/3/14 7:46 a.m.

Finished "American Sniper" and "Lone Survivor" earlier this year. Both good reads of first hand accounts of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. A friend who is an Army Ranger gave them to me. I haven't served, but I have to give props to the guys over there, especially the Special Forces.

Moved on to a lighter topic and am reading "Paddle Your Own Cannoe: One Man's Fundamentals" by Nick Offerman. I love him as a comedian, and his book is just as funny.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
3/3/14 7:59 a.m.

I am almost done with "The Essential Calvin and Hobbes". It's a challenge, lots of words, but I'm sure I will get through it.

PowerKraut
PowerKraut None
3/3/14 7:59 p.m.

Since this brutal winter keeps me from wrenching on my cars I had the time to read two Motorsport related books lately: 1) "Zapped" by Alan Wilson is a thriller based in a fictional Formula 1 racing world. The story revolves around a young American computer geek that discovers that someone is manipulating the outcome of Formula 1 races by hacking into the cars' electronic brains. Lots of technical details, resemblances to actual race teams and Formula 1 celebrities made this thriller fun to read in the off-season. 2) "Tales from the Toolbox" by Michael Oliver is a collection of insider stories and anecdotes from Grand Prix mechanics of the sixties and seventies. Glory days!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/16/14 10:37 p.m.

Finished the next book for the year (#4?), "Rogue Warrior: Dictator's Ransom" by Richard Marcinko. It's kind of an odd one as the author is a real retired SEAL with a non-fiction memoir out called "Rogue Warrior". He then got into writing fiction based upon himself running a private security/mercenary company. You get the feeling that some of his made-up stories are based on real events, but his characters are also pretty weak and one-dimensional. The story was a good page-turner, if implausible. An okay read, especially if you like military thrillers.

codrus
codrus HalfDork
3/16/14 11:10 p.m.
Javelin wrote: Last night I finished book #2 on the year so far, "The Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence" by Peter F. Hamilton. It's mid-futuristic, science-possible sci-fi with a little old school horror thrown in (think virus/plague/AI overthrow). The horror was not my cup of tea, and a little predictable (never-ending stream of minor, just-introduced characters meeting their demise), but the sci-fi was fantastic! Great universe, lots of major arcs and sub-plots, and superb character progression. One of the most original sci-fi's I've read in a long while.

Peter F Hamilton's work is great, I've got everything he's written, mostly in hardcover. The Night's Dawn series has a few flaws, but is otherwise excellent -- my favorite of his so far is the Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained duology.

Amazon says I've bought 14 books on my Kindle so far this year, and I've finished all but two of them. :) Mostly guilty pleasure mil-sf stuff, but I'll recommend Hugh Howey's work here, in particular the Silo series (Wool, Shift, and Dust), and his most recent, Sand. If they don't nominate the complete Silo series for a Hugo this year, then there's something seriously wrong with the process.

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