Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

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Time to catch up this thread.

Right now I'm reading Aasif Mandvi's "No Land's Man." It's a pretty good mix of humor and tales from his past.

Before that I read Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull. The main focus is on things that make a creative business or enterprise work, but there are a lot of good Pixar and Disney stories in there along the way. I highly recommend it.

And before that I read the Divergent trilogy. The first two weren't too bad, the third one went off the rails. But I give them props for ending it the way they did. We'll see if Hollywood keeps that ending when the last film comes out (the first film was pretty awful as it was). I won't spoil it though since I know you'll all be standing in line on opening day. :)

Previous to that was Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill. Those scientologists are a fucked up lot. And big on child abuse. Whatever you think about scientology, it's worse.
Just cut them up like regular chickens

Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

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TC wrote:i'm curious about that last one, looking forward to the documentary/exposé.
They take kids of sea-org members away from their families and send them to what are essentially forced labor camps, complete with physical abuse. It's pretty fucked up. Another part that stands out is when she slept with her fiancé without permission of the church and they took him away and hid him somewhere. She finally freaked out so much she went out on the ledge of the building and was about to jump if they didn't produce him. Later they got married and when she wanted to leave the church and he didn't, they told him if he didn't leave her he'd never get to see his parents again. Lots of messed up stories like that. Oh, and they did everything they could to break up Tom Cruise's marriage to Nicole Kidman because she wouldn't join the church.
Just cut them up like regular chickens

Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

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Yeah, Beyond Belief is worth a read. It's amazing how much they mess with people. The church split up her parents on opposite coasts for about 2 years, and her mom ended up having an affair, and then she was disappeared to a prison labor camp for a long time to get rehabilitated. And that's how they treat people at the highest ranks!

Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

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TC wrote:nice! i've been plowing through the game of thrones books. i think i'm something like halfway through all five, i have a "bundle" that doesn't clearly designate books.
this was digitally, on an ipad mini. i found it difficult to get into. my son got me the complete GoT book set, and a couple more, for xmas last year and i'm currently about 25% through book 2. much more enjoyable reading a physical book. some small but important things different from the show so far, and the level of detail is much better. getting to "hear" inner monologues is great too. really adding another layer to the show so far.

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finished book 5 (dance with dragons) yesterday. a few more minor things changed through book 3 (for TV, they consolidated some characters and events, etc.). book 4 was pretty different - about half the things were covered in the show in some way, the other half was not, or was completely different (the entire brienne saga, for example). by book 5, everything is completely unrecognizable from what they did in the show. my gripes about the latter seasons of the show - that they just pushed the accelerator to the floor, racing from spectacle to spectacle, instead of letting it breathe and developing characters like they did in the earlier seasons - is underscored, bolded, and highlighted in the books. book 5 came out a couple months after the first episode of GoT aired. the argument that "they got ahead of the books" doesn't really apply across the board until the end of season 5. they allowed some arcs to get past the books, but... why? that's on them. if they had kept the pace of the earlier seasons, let the characters develop, and followed the books more closely, they could still be airing seasons while we await the next books. so again i say fuck them for kind of ruining the last few seasons of GoT. they wrote themselves into a corner and paid for it in quality.

anyway, the books are great. now have a history of westeros illustrated book and then a 300 years prior targaryen prequel book. it's infuriating that GRRM allowed the show to air and get through all those seasons without fucking finishing the next book. by the time it comes out, it will have been 10 years. and there's at least one more after that one. the dude is old. fucking write already.

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Snowblind - a new novel by author todd cameron. i only found out about it via the Outpost 31 facebook group. it's a "prequel" to The Thing, following RJ MacReady (or "MacCarter" for purposes of this book) along the events that led him to antarctica. i know it sounds like glorified fan fic, and i guess it technically is, but it's actually really good. i wasn't sure where it was going initially but it quickly picked up. i really quite enjoyed it. very well researched, with a lot of small details, and a significant number of easter eggs for fans of the film. it is pretty harrowing and takes some sometimes brutal turns. if you are a fan of the film you should quite enjoy this. i would love to see it adapted for the screen, actually. could be really great. it's 500 pages but font is a little larger than most books and it was a quick read. wonder what carpenter thinks about it...

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Fire & Blood - just finished this book this morning. given it's essentially a 3rd-person perspective on the Targaryen history and their centuries of conquering and ruling, i didn't expect to like it very much. i expected it to be very dry. i was quite pleasantly wrong. while it is that, it's done in such a way as to remain very compelling. so much happens during this time that i now cannot wait for the prequel series. has potential to be even better than GoT was in the first few seasons. highly recommended for anyone that's a fan of the GRRM-created world as this fleshes out what has only been told in anecdotes in passing, well beyond expectations.

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A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms - finishing up the existing GRRM GoT world books, this is a collection of three previously published novellas that takes place a century before the events of GoT. It follows the adventures of a squire to a hedge knight, who eventually becomes a hedge knight himself, Sir Duncan The Tall (hereafter called Dunk) and his eventual squire, called Egg (seemingly named after his bald head). The adventures of Dunk & Egg take place somewhat overlapping the events of Fire & Blood, and set up some of the events of GoT. It’s really great, quite humorous and fascinating to get a “normal person’s” perspective rather than being told from the perspective of royalty, a member of a great house, or a maester. Frankly, I loved this book and wish this would have been the next thing they adapted into a series. It would have been a nice breath of fresh air between extremely drama-heavy GoT and F&B. But, we will be getting F&B later this year, which again I saw will be awesome, it’s just that this would really be an excellent complement to the other shows. As it says on the back cover, “Long before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk & Egg.” It definitely holds that dynamic, but also some more Brienne and Pod dynamic as well. And, the way it sets up certain things, which I won’t spoil here, if awesome. Excellent background you didn’t know you needed in your life. If you’re looking for something in that world without all the nobility and dragons, this is right up your alley. Also, it’s very short by GRRM standards - the oversized paperback version clocks in at 355 pages, with a lot of illustrations by Gary Gianni. Maybe if enough people buy this, we’ll get an adaptation. But, I’m betting that more likely depends on how well F&B does. It’s just apples and oranges, such a completely different tone. While it started off kind of slow and I wasn’t sure where it was going, once I figured it out and adapted, it was a very welcome change of pace. Again, if you can’t tell, recommended.
cron