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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 1:26 pm 
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I'm almost finished with Zero Day by Mark Russinovich.,It's a computer thriller written by a former Microsoft guy. It reads like a first novel and is one of those thrillers that is composed of stitched together short chapters describing an incident at a specific time and location--you probably know the type.

His female characters are cardboard sterotypes, and of course the hackers are Russian. Actually, the whole thing is kind of formulaic. There is a bit info dump about computers, viruses,,and operating systems, and it's overly,simplistic in parts, but it's still a page turner.

I'm not sure if it's a bad book or not, since I've read most of it in the past hour or so, and I'm not sure if I'll read his second book.

There aren't that many thrillers about cybercrime though, and I like that subgenre. I mean, when Digital Fortress by Dan Brown is the mainstream standard for the subgenre, how picky can one be. At least Russinovich has previously operated a computer; not sure the same can be said for Dan Brown.

Any gems that I've overlooked?

(Amazon reviewers are much kinder than I am--4.2 stars with 257 reviews. Usually I find the reviews reasonably accurate if the sample siZe is big enough.)

One point I looked at Molly and said "this book is stupid." The former CIA world class famous expert cyber security guy didn't know what l33t speak was when he found some in a virus code snippet. I kept reading anyway. But, seriosuly? A cyber security expert who routinely trolled cracker chat rooms and websites didn't know what a "phr3ak" is? I'm assuming this is because Russinovich needed a spot for info dump.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 2:10 pm 
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I finished The Water Clock. It was ... meh. It just didn't really grab me. I dunno, it was maybe just a bit formulaic while also being a bit difficult to follow.

I'm now on the last Sookie Stackhouse book. It's started off a bit slow, but I haven't gotten very far into it, so I'll see how it goes.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:05 pm 
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rachell37 wrote:
I'm now on the last Sookie Stackhouse book. It's started off a bit slow, but I haven't gotten very far into it, so I'll see how it goes.

I read it about a week ago. I'm glad the series is over, it seemed to drag on for a long time. I think I had more of a sense of relief than actual pleasure when I finished it.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 5:56 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
Got through "Midnight's Children,"


Did you like it? It was my first Rushdie and it was totally not what I expected at all: I found it really funny and very entertaining.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:26 pm 
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I liked Midnight's Children. It's also the only Rushdie I've read.

Harbor is SO GOOD. The author also wrote the book the movie let the right one in was based on. I wish they'd make this one into a movie, too.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:58 pm 
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Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver - Really good YA stuff here! I got a stack of YA at the library after I saw this one recommended!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 11:20 pm 
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pastabake wrote:
I liked Midnight's Children. It's also the only Rushdie I've read.

Harbor is SO GOOD. The author also wrote the book the movie let the right one in was based on. I wish they'd make this one into a movie, too.


It sounds good, but is it creepy good or Dean Koontz creepy where I won't sleep for a week? I like spooky, and I like thrillers, but not a fan of horror.

Waffling between Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark (yes, that Marcia Clark; had no idea she wrote legal thrillers) and Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver. GBA is one I've had a while--it was a .99 Kindle daily deal a couple months ago and sounded good.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:43 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
Any gems that I've overlooked?

Well, I already mentioned Turing's Delirium but I really want to say The Difference Engine by Gibson and Sterling. For virtual reality rather than hacking, Dick's A Maze of Death reads like a thriller. I mostly read SF and I'm not sure how science fiction you want to get?


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:02 am 
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Thanks, I'll check those out. I don't mind some science fiction, but it isn't my favorite. I mostly just have a few authors that I like: Jack McDevitt and Kim Stanley Robinson. Branching out and trying some new things probably wouldn't kill me though!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:15 am 
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I just finished Looking for Alaska by John Green and didn't like it. It was every tired cliché of teenage years/boarding schools thrown together with a pointless twist.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:22 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
Thanks, I'll check those out. I don't mind some science fiction, but it isn't my favorite. I mostly just have a few authors that I like: Jack McDevitt and Kim Stanley Robinson. Branching out and trying some new things probably wouldn't kill me though!

Any particular favourites by Jack McDevitt? He's on my list of authors I want to read but haven't gotten around to yet. I mentioned The Difference Engine because I like alternate history and I already had Babbage on the brain today since I just started The Philosophical Breakfast Club by Laura J Snyder. This one is a book about Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, Richard Jones, and the birth of modern science.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:54 am 
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Anything by McDevitt is great! Engines of the Gods is one of my favorites--it's the start to his Priscilla Hutchins series. Talent for War is the start of his Alex Benedict series. Either is a great place to start. He really excels at world building, and I love how he instills a sense of grandeur in everything.

I find his stand alone novels are generally weaker, but you still can't go wrong with any of them.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:12 am 
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Jonny Guitar wrote:
mandycoot wrote:
Got through "Midnight's Children,"


Did you like it? It was my first Rushdie and it was totally not what I expected at all: I found it really funny and very entertaining.
I love Midnight's Children; Rushdie is wonderful. You should do The Satanic Verses next!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:41 pm 
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Harbor might be more horrory than you like, lavawitch. Definitely more psychological horror, though; it's not super gory. I can't do gore.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:44 pm 
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I'm tempted. But it will be all your fault if I am traumatized! (I'm obviously not responsible for my own reading selections)

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Desdemona wrote:
I love Midnight's Children; Rushdie is wonderful. You should do The Satanic Verses next!


I have read a few others by him since Midnight's, and I have a copy of the Satanic Verses that has been in my to read stack for years. It is one of those books, like Gravity's Rainbow that I am little intimidated by and it affects my choices when picking up the next book. I really need to just pick it up and start it and I am sure I will get hooked.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:54 pm 
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I love Gravity's Rainbow. The coolest thing about Pyncheon for me is that you can enjoy him without actually understanding anything. He creates the oddest scenarios and vignettes.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:22 pm 
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Jonny Guitar wrote:
mandycoot wrote:
Got through "Midnight's Children,"


Did you like it? It was my first Rushdie and it was totally not what I expected at all: I found it really funny and very entertaining.


Loved it, though more than with any of his other books I really wished I knew more about India's history to be able to fully appreciate all the references and allusions. It was also a really frustratingly slow read for me. I consider it a good lesson in humility. If you made it through Midnight's Children you can definitely read The Satanic Verses!


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Just started The Knife of Never Letting Go, it's great so far! I couldn't put it down last night

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:31 pm 
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i'm a bit behind with keeping up with this thread but i just finished 'the hours before dawn' by celia fremlin. this isn't the type of book i usually read but i really liked it a lot. only a few of her books are in print, surprisingly they are nice quality $7.95 slim paperbacks. i ordered another one of hers to read so i'll have to bide my time until it arrives as i only read one book at a time so i can't start another one, i mean i could, but then that would only delay me starting my new fremlin book.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:01 pm 
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The Blue Nowhere was really good.* The computer history bits were fun. Basically he combined Kevin Mitcnick and MOD/LOD. The actual computer parts were pretty dippy, but I was enjoying the books enough to not care (9 character dos file names and laughably fast modem downloads, for example? I remember downloading gigabytes via modem! When I was beta testing for Corel Draw and Adobe, you would set the modem up for the day, pray, and come back in 12 hours. Deaver's hacker-killer does that in a couple minutes and that really yanked me out of the book). I also couldn't figure out which decade the book was set. But it was pretty well written, enough of a page turner and fun. It would probably benefit from losing ~100 pages and a few last minute plot twists.

I think I'll read some more Deaver. I have most of the Lincoln Rhymes series but haven't read any. I bought the whole lot super cheap on eBay then was never in the right mood. And I wonder why I have no shelf space...

*this is qualified, and keep in mind that I'm not at all discriminating, enjoy large suspension of disbelief abilities, and just want to be amused for a couple hours.

Starting Blood on the Rimrock, some awful looking Western that was .99 on Amazon. I think I've read a L'Amour and Zane Grey or two. Why not?

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Oh, Harbour is creepy, but not gory, more like Stephen King when he's on the ball. Also bit of a spoiler, but
Spoiler: show
it has a happy ending!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 2:14 am 
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lavawitch wrote:


I think I'll read some more Deaver. I have most of the Lincoln Rhymes series but haven't read any. I bought the whole lot super cheap on eBay then was never in the right mood. And I wonder why I have no shelf space...


I think you'd like them! Similarly to The Blue Nowhere, you do have to suspend disbelief a lot, but they are huge page-turners.

I've just finished A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale, which I enjoyed, and now I'm re-reading an old Elizabeth George for comfort reading.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 2:18 am 
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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:07 am 
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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin ...

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