Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
dinnerordie17

Rate the last book you read.

Recommended Posts

I like "Rate the last game you played" so I thought its make this as a way to get some discussion and possibly even recommendations going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll start out,

Last night I finished:

The Trap by Andrew Fukuda.

This is the last book in a trilogy. I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the first one and the second was even better. I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to the series but some flaws began to stand out. I have to commend this book on not f*cking around with the vampires (they're not really even vampires but that is what it's being marketed as,) which have a bit of a stigma attached to them but fortunately this book takes a good approach. They have their own society, and the books approach is that they have their own personalities and cares about each other, but their desire to eat and drink human is literally a nonnegotiable part of their biology. Whenever confronted with the smell or sight or even the idea of humans, these vampires go f*cking savage dropping everything (even to the point of frequently forgetting about sunlight and dyingin their hysteria) it's a cool approach which allows us to believe that these creatures formed their own society and social heirarchy but also keeps them feeling dangerous.

I also like that Fukuda introduces challenges in the first book (how dangerous it is to a human to hide amongst these creatures, and how much work it takes,) and then keeps consistent with it through every book. There's a number of cases where it would have been easy for him to slip up, to make the vampires able to smell sweat amost a building away in one scene, and to not notice in another when it's more convenient to the plot. Or to have an inexperienced character hide with ease, despite establishing how much work and practice it takes for anyone to get good at this. Fortunately Fukuda doesn't play around and keeps all this consistent, and it works fantastically, consequences are established and followed through on and it's used to create scenes of fantastic suspense.

Unfortunately, some of the dialogue became noticably a bit flimsy in this final chapter, and the boos typos make me suspect that the editing may have been rushed. Also aside from the main characters (and a particularly interesting one scene character.) and the books great villains, many of the side characters and developed well, and many were killed off without much of an emotional reaction on my part.

The book has a twist that occurs towards the end which I won't spoil here, suffice to say I think it was handled well and was an interesting take on this sort of story. However there is also a second "twist" (though more of an implication,) in the last few pages which I felt was heavy handed, clumsily done, and borderline out of character.

However, with those gripes souring me by the end, I can't deny that this was a satisfying conclusion that had some smart plot turns and concluding a trilogy in a satisfying way is no small feat.

3.5/5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished José Rizal's Noli Me Tángere, and El Filibusterismo last month and in October. They're a set of books both translated from Spanish to English (by Harold Augenbraum), and are mandatory reading for high school students in the Philippines. The books take place during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines and mostly revolves around conflict between everyday Filipinos, Filipino nationalists (extremists who might be considered terrorists), and the ruling class (often corrupt friars and Spanish generals).

Originally being written in Spanish the prose doesn't really translate well, and it can sometimes be hard to read because of that. But the story and themes make up for the lack of literary finesse. What also stands out is how different emotion, how it is conveyed by characters and the writer, is dealt with. You can really see the cultural differences through the way emotion is dealt with in both books.

The story itself is amazing, albeit sad. The themes involve the consequences of the powerfully corrupt on innocent as well as what is just to become independent of these powers. As in most stories there's love, hate, sadness etc. all dealt with/written in a culturally different perspective. I don't really want to give details on the story other than that, because I think they're worth a read. I might post more if people are interested enough.

All in all I loved the books. The themes are ones you can relate to today, and the characters and their interactions are complicated and real (for the time period). I give it a Maximum Score/Score Amount

Right now I'm looking for a book (in English) about the Spanish Colonization of Mexico, preferably written by a Mexican literary figure. I can't seem to find one, if anyone has a recommendation it would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.

Two of my favorite books. I've read Ender's Game 3 times now. I haven't watched the movie yet, though.

I have no idea what to rate either of these. They're very good.

Maybe Peanut Butter / Sandwich.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right now I'm looking for a book (in English) about the Spanish Colonization of Mexico, preferably written by a Mexican literary figure. I can't seem to find one, if anyone has a recommendation it would be appreciated.
Here in the Southwest we have tons of these types of books in libraries. If you want more historical than literary books then I'll take a look in that the local history section on Monday and see if I can find something to suggest to you.

The last book I finished was The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. The first half is extremely difficult to read as it is almost entirely written stream of consciousness style. I don't think I would necessarily recommend this book at all, especially for casual reading. I don't understand how I feel about this book at all still. ????/10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@seniormeld, thanks in advanced for browsing for me!

I think The Sound and Fury is a must read if you're interested literature (or want to sound smart when people bring up books). I agree entirely with you in that it's not for leisure reading, but it's still a book that is rightly held in high regard in terms of the advancement of western literature/Modernist Lit.

For people thinking about reading it:

As most people state: if you do want to read the Sound and Fury, read it once through and don't reread the beginning portion even if you're frustrated/felt you were missing something. Once you get past that part, most of the book (esp. Quentin's portion) is a pleasant read imo. The prose is fantastic and the pacing successfully places the reader in the books setting (at least it did for me). In terms of the books themes, I didn't understand it till I discovered (through Civilization 5 surprisingly) that the tittle is a Shakespeare quote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so it's a bit late but I have a few titles that you could look around for.

Author Hernández, José Angel, 1969-

Title Mexican American colonization during the nineteenth century : a history of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Pub: 2012

Author Gómez, Laura E., 1964-

Title Manifest destinies : the making of the Mexican American race. Pub: 2007

Title Choice, persuasion, and coercion : social control on Spain's North American frontiers / edited by Jesús F. de la Teja and Ross Frank. Pub: 2005

Title Herencia : the anthology of Hispanic literature of the United States / editor, Nicolás Kanellos. Pub: 2002

Author González, Deena J., 1952-

Title Refusing the favor : the Spanish-Mexican women of Santa Fe, 1820-1880. Pub: 1999

Most of these are more historical than literary. but that anthology could possibly have good examples of literature from the era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@seniormeld, wow thanks!

After a quick google search, most of these seem like class textbooks/historical/sociology reads. I think I'm going to try to get a hold of "Refusing the Favor" though (quite a pricy textbook it seems). Looking for a book about how Manifest Destiny affected Mexicans didn't even cross my mind till you suggested these. One more subject to put down on my "stuff I should know about" list.

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No problem man, I have been interested in this stuff for quite awhile too, considering my family came over with the Spanish colonists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gone by Michael Grant

I picked this book up because I wanted to read some more YA and the guy at the bookshop recommended it among other things. The premise is basically that one day everyone over the age of fifteen just disappears, not in the night, no that they run off somewhere, just straight up in front of everyone they vanish in thin air. That may sound a bit... gratuitous (from what I can see the marketing of this book focuses pretty heavily on the teenage escapism side) but I like that kind of setup of taking a whole bunch of people, making some crazy concept happen (even if it's never explained) and just writing about all the sh*t that unfolds as a result. So the premise alone made me give this a try.

I'm not going to write this an essay like I did for The Trap, I'll just say that it dawned on me quick that I might not like this, I thought I could tolerate it and 100 pages in I was honestly still pretty excited about where it could go (the fact that it was so long meant they could basically take the story anywhere, right?) but by halfway I was getting kind of tired of it and I basically marathoned it these last two nights so I could hurry up and read something else. Not only did this book end up rather predictable, but at the same time it also went a bit too... weird for me. Some of that was handled well, I actually expected the early introduction of super powers to turn me off, but it turned out to be eased in surprisingly well, even if the actual use of the powers seemed to have no logic or skill consistency behind it - it was seemingly up to the authors discretion (read: whether it was convenient for a plot point to have a character use them well, or fail to use them) on how they worked. But some of the stuff it introduced just got weird, the closest comparison I can think of is how weird Steven King occasionally can get in his books, but not in a good way.

Characters didn't do anything for me as well, they all felt like stereotypes and I the main characters best friend is a pain in the ass. I'm only slightly exaggerating here, when I say that the most interesting character is a severely autistic young boy who basically does not even talk or do anything. I'm being serious, speech or no speech, Little Pete has ATTITUDE, lil dude just wants to play Pokemon.

There were things I liked, this sounds like something I'd complain about but I liked how they had a character whose first reaction to all this madness was, "Welp, guess I better go run the McDonalds,", it sounds stupid but like, this guy was so funny, he didn't even originally work there or anything, but he was reading up on all the company procedures and serving all the kids properly, this subplot was AWESOME. I also liked the sort of, reveal of how this whole madness went down, I will say that I guessed the reason but this was only really because I'd seen shows that did a similar thing so it kind of came to my mind quick, but I could still appreciate it, it was cleverly done.

Overall, this wasn't too bad I suppose, I read the whole thing, but there's like five more books and I aint reading those.

2.5/5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided to take a few days to just lounge around my house and read a lot.

I started with The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, I had read the first one a while ago so I read Volume 2, The Black Dossier, Century 1909, 1969 and 2009. It's a good series if you like Alan Moore and they're all worth reading but really the first 2 were my favorites, probably because I enjoy everything more when it takes place in the Victorian Age. On the other hand I think I've read enough Alan Moore for a while.

I finished Lords of Chaos, which has been touted for years as the definitive book about Black Metal and it was informative but the content wasn't quite what I was hoping for. It spends a lot of time talking about the extremist beliefs of significant musicians and even more time going on about every minor crime committed by someone involved in a black metal scene. The book spent very little time talking about the musical development as a genre. Still the most in-depth about the subject that I'm aware of, but not quite what I was hoping for. There was also a lot about the shift of focus from satanism to heathenism/racist/nationalism which I thought was interesting.

Today I read Automated Alice which was really cool. It was sort of a cyberpunk/steampunk sequel to Through the Looking Glass. I honestly could've believed it was Lewis Carroll's writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.

Two of my favorite books. I've read Ender's Game 3 times now. I haven't watched the movie yet, though.

I have no idea what to rate either of these. They're very good.

Maybe Peanut Butter / Sandwich.

I just finished listening to the audiobook for Speaker for the Dead (having read it through once years ago).

It's a fascinating story. However, I find that listening to the audiobook is a superior experience for me compared to /reading/ the book because there are times in the story where characters speak Portugese, and when reading it I get hung up on the pronunciation of things sometimes, whereas the audiobook doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King 8.5/10

It wasn't balls-to-the-wall horror as he said it would be. It was more of a paranormal/psychological thriller, and a damn good one at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melmoth the Wanderer was interesting. The last year or so I've been reading some of the very early gothic stories that helped set archetypes for the genre. This is the earliest really gothic story that I read that describes the main character getting forced into a mental asylum which I always thought was an interesting plot device. Anyway I enjoyed it.

The Princess and the Unicorn is another story that I got interested in because it's an obvious precursor to other genres of it's genre. There weren't a lot of twists or turns but it was a nice story.

Reading the original archetypes makes me appreciate the modern stories in the genres that deviate from them more, but at the same time it makes me more critical of the more generic ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished The Sandman Omnibus Volume I by Neil Gaiman which was pretty cool, it covered the first 37 books of the series. It was very much Neil Gaiman's style. Lots of different stuff going on in those stories, it personifies a lot of different deities from a lot of different cultures mythologies and blends them all together pretty well IMO.

Before that I read Beyond the Deepwoods (first book of the Edge Chronicles) which I hadn't read since it came out. It had some of the most creative creatures that I'm aware of in a fantasy series meant for teenagers. Also sky-pirates. I'd like to re-read the rest of the Edge Chronicles but I don't have the rest and they're kind of scarce these days.

I started reading the 3rd book of A Song of Ice and Fire today I think I might try to finish the 4th and watch the next season as it airs. I haven't watched it live since the first season. Speaking of that does anyone know where I can find a link to season 2?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.

Two of my favorite books. I've read Ender's Game 3 times now. I haven't watched the movie yet, though.

I have no idea what to rate either of these. They're very good.

Maybe Peanut Butter / Sandwich.

I just finished listening to the audiobook for Speaker for the Dead (having read it through once years ago).

It's a fascinating story. However, I find that listening to the audiobook is a superior experience for me compared to /reading/ the book because there are times in the story where characters speak Portugese, and when reading it I get hung up on the pronunciation of things sometimes, whereas the audiobook doesn't.

Xenocide and Children of the Mind.

Card, himself, says that they are two parts of a single narrative. I tried getting into Xenocide several years ago and got really bored with the early chapters involving Qing-jao. I just don't like her character /at all/. The parts involving Ender and co. are good though, and the chapters that take place on Path (Qing-jao's planet) get much better when Jane and her friends get directly involved with what's going on there.

These two books do get heavy on the metaphysical stuff, but in a way that I really seem to like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anthony Horowitz writes some neat short stories. Not sure if they're up to your standards in horror, but I enjoyed them. And if you don't like his horror, he writes some very engaging James Bond-style spy books with a teenage spy.

And then there's the scariest comic I ever read that's in a language I don't understand. The whole thing was in Korean, but I've never clicked out of a tab so quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone know any really scary horror novels that AREN'T King or Lovecraft?

Everyone hypes House of Leaves, but I haven't actually read it.

Edit: Oooo if we're talking about comics, try reading this, it won't take long.

http://openawesome.com/junji-ito-horror-manga/enigmaofamigarafault.html

Just be aware that it's in Japanese format, and you'll need to read it from right to left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every Man in the Village is a Liar.

It imposes some great moral questions and makes you rethink what you thought you knew about 9/11 and its ripple effect.

Depressing as hell though.

8/10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anthony Horowitz writes some neat short stories. Not sure if they're up to your standards in horror, but I enjoyed them. And if you don't like his horror, he writes some very engaging James Bond-style spy books with a teenage spy.

And then there's the scariest comic I ever read that's in a language I don't understand. The whole thing was in Korean, but I've never clicked out of a tab so quickly.

I like horror that makes you not want to sleep at night, that haunts your dreams for days after you read them. Horowitz, although he's good, doesn't do that for me.

Haunting of Hell House is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anthony Horowitz writes some neat short stories. Not sure if they're up to your standards in horror, but I enjoyed them. And if you don't like his horror, he writes some very engaging James Bond-style spy books with a teenage spy.

And then there's the scariest comic I ever read that's in a language I don't understand. The whole thing was in Korean, but I've never clicked out of a tab so quickly.

I like horror that makes you not want to sleep at night, that haunts your dreams for days after you read them. Horowitz, although he's good, doesn't do that for me.

Haunting of Hell House is good.

The only really horrifying things that I've read that made me want to not sleep (and also wasn't an online creepypasta) was the Battle for the Castle. Which was a fun little adventure story about kids going to adventure in this toy castle in their attic... until the goddamn rats showed up. Granted, I was only around ten or eleven when I read this, but the idea of thousands of rats just swarming into this castle, eating through stone walls, was pretty much the most horrifying thing I could imagine and I couldn't sleep properly for days afterwards.

The only thing that's come close since was this weird turn of the century fantasy book where these kids found living dolls that they charmingly named Ugly Wuglies that then came to life and tried to murder them. I can't remember the name of the book for the life of me, though. I think I erased it from my memory so I'd never have to read that part again.

I dunno. I think that horror works better on me when I'm reading a fairly standard adventure or fantasy story and it's just kinda slipped in there. If I go in knowing a thing is scary, I end up being disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to do a quick review of A Feast For Crows, the fourth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I'm not really going to spoil anything, but regardless if you're reading the series and not up to here, or you're watching Game of Thrones the TV show... well I'm basically probably going to mention some characters in a way that confirms they've lived this far (and I dunno, you might prefer to not know that whoever will be safe in Season 4) and may give some mild scope spoilers.

Begin Review

So AFFC is probably the least well recieved book in ASOIAF and that doesn't surprise me, it had to follow ASOS which was an amazing book and general thought of as the best (Trust me, Season 4 is Game of Thrones will be the best one yet.). I think the problem a lot of people have with AFFC (aside from the obvious one, which I'll get to later) is that it's a lot slower compared to ASOS, but really it's not actually that much slower than GoT or ACoK. By slower, I mean that less well - stuff happens. I'm going to give some vague spoilers to what the show already covered here so be prepared. GoT and ACoK are fantastic books, but a lot of them is waiting, and setting things up, in the arc of the series they are definitely setting up a lot of things. But there's also a lot of things that we are waiting to happen, we're waiting for Rob Stark to move his armies and clash with the Lannisters, we're waiting for Dany to get to the mainland, we're waiting for Jon to do something important at the wall, and in the normal fantasy story arcs that we're used to, we could be forgiven for getting the false impression that something like Rob Stark vs The Lannisters is being saved for an epic confrontation in the final book. ASOS is so good, because a lot of these important confrontations actually happen, a lot of what the previous two have been setting up actually comes to pass. To some the Red Wedding may set in stone that anyone can die, to me it effectively establishes that any one of the factions vying for the throne that we've seen established has a chance of winning.

Anyway I think AFFC is a lot slower because in a way, so much got resolved in ASOS, it needs to return to that GoT role of setting stuff back up again, I didn't really mind it - to some ASOIAF is too slow, with too much talking and not enough action. I prefer the talking about action in ASOIAF to the actual fights. That's the small reason AFFC isn't very well recieved though, and I don't think many people really care that's it's a bit slower. This is the BIG reason, a lot of big characters are not in this one. AFFC makes the decision (And I'll allow, that it may have been a poor decision) to run chronologically parallel with the next book, ADWD (the fact that this book came out six years later contributes to this rage). Basically, AFFC covers a lot of what's happening in the South, so that's Cersei, Jamie, Sansa, A load of new characters in Dorne and a load of new characters on The Iron Islands, and we get a bit of Ayra too, we get some Samwell as well just because George thinks we've been good. So this book has no Tyrion, no chapters where Jon is the POV character, no Dany, and Ayra is only in it a little, for those characters story-lines you had to wait until ADWD. It's obvious to see where the main criticism of AFFC comes from, some of the most popular characters were not in it.

Now granted, if I read these books when they came out, and I waited five years for AFFC, only to find that I'd have to wait a year (which turned out to be six years) for the next book to come out so I could read what was happening to some of my favorite characters, I'd be pretty mad too. Fortunately, as I'm just reading these now and all I have to do is... walk to my bookshelf and grab ADWD when I'm done, I can't say I really cared. In fact, I was surprised to find I din't really care at all about the absent POV chapters, I'm looking forward to reading them in ADWD but really as soon as AFFC got going the plotlines happening to the other characters seemed sufficient to me.

Anyway I really enjoyed this, I wasn't bored like some people seem to get of it, there was plenty of stuff going on and it also had a fantastically satisfying climax. I agree that the Brienne chapters could feel a little irrelevant though, but once I got into them they were usually fine. Something else I'll disagree with though is that the Cersei chapters were boring, I don't get that, sure Cersei is not really a sympathetic character but her chapters are our window into the world of Kings Landing politics and also it's fascinating to watch her bizarre behavior, her and Jaime's chapters were my favorite in the book.

3.75/5

Edit: Holy shit that's a lot of acronyms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@dinnerordie: I actually just recently finished A Storm of Swords which I thought was awesome! I'd give that one a 4.75/5- maybe even higher (I just feel weird about giving a book a perfect score until after some time). I'll be starting A Feast for Crows in maybe a month or two as I get caught up with other things.

I have heard from a lot of people about how AFFC is formatted and the pacing, but it's good to hear it's not terrible. I hear tell there's a rumor that the 6th book is coming out this year. Which is good because the TV series is catching up fast.

---

Re the Ender series- I actually read the 4 part Ender series as well as the 4 part Shadow series. Overall, I loved Ender's Game. Speaker for the Dead was my second favorite. I liked the Ender series as a whole. The Shadow series seemed to kind of veer away from the appeal of the first book and even that universe in general by the third and fourth book. They were still good though. I actually have a few of the Orson Scott Card books after those, but I never did get around to reading/finishing them.

Finally, someone mentioned Michael Crichton's Sphere which I started reading years ago and never finished. I might go back to that one after getting through my current growing stack which includes the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire.

..

one final note. I think the Hunger Game series is pretty lame. The movies actually seem better IMO weird enough.

that is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...