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Everything posted by Thyroid

  1. Books, books, books...

    Also, if anyone wants a pretty, long poem that ends with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer but still somehow remains pretty, try The Conference of the Birds. I recommend a strong tea and a rainy window. Maybe a hint of melancholy. But choose your own poison and enjoy. I'm also reading some Ghassan Kanafani in Arabic. Not sure how well it translates, but Returning to Haifa is beautiful and quite a bit sad. I'm a bit biased, but there you go. The only English translation I can find is here. (Though the title is better translated as "A Return to Haifa".)
  2. Books, books, books...

    Right, but then the question becomes whether these elements are problematic because they're misapplied tropes, or because they're fantastical and inherently broken in Argobot's eyes. Mind, I've yet to read The Bone Clocks (and suspect it's still a few years down the line), but I'm curious. Background to this whole thing: if you measure your intelligence by your books (and I'm not sure if Argobot does), you're more likely (I've found) to be dismissive of things traditionally, well, dismissed. I'm just trying to figure-out how Argobot comprehends her literature, as she seems rather well-read.
  3. Books, books, books...

    The old eating the new so the old continues living seems like an apt analogy for a lot of things in the modern world. It doesn't take a huge stretch of the imagination to land at possible candidates, but I haven't read the book and therefore do not know. I feel like you're dismissive of them because they're fantastical and therefore juvenile, though. I know you and I interpret things pretty differently, which is why I'm pursuing this argument.
  4. Books, books, books...

    Do you find that fantasy reflects sides of humanity which don't interest you (for example, on African-American identity as espoused by Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon), or is it because the trope itself bores you? I'm sitting here suspecting it's because you can't intellectually justify fantastical tropes (even ones based on myth).
  5. Idle Santa 2014

    Wish I could join these, but I trust this country's postal system as much as I trust a poor alcoholic at happy hour.
  6. Life

    Life's a mess. I've kind of been dealing with some of it by blogging about it. Most days I work all day and hope to get back to the UK. Exactly the life I hoped for myself, really. Edit: I didn't mean to make this a plug for my blog. I was withering in my chair and realising that my pile of problems were not anything I could talk about without insane amounts of exposition, and people tend to Google me anyway. I use my blog to relieve some amount of tension, and linked to it without thinking. Sorry!
  7. Movie/TV recommendations

    If anyone's remotely interested in Arabic films, I recommend The Time That Remains. I've been dying to see When I Saw You, but the right opportunity hasn't come along.
  8. Books, books, books...

    Think the best book I've read this year is Mrs. Dalloway. Dull as it is brilliant, maddening, wonderful, mundane, stupendous, obsessed with minute turns of thought and feeling, the prose slipping away unless read aloud. It takes longer to read than a book that size usually would. Curious whether you find the subplots being fantastical troubling. Do you just find the supernatural distracting, unnecessary, juvenile, etc? Or is it the way Mitchell applies them you dislike?
  9. Backlog Busters

    I beat one game this year. Well, most of it. I still have The Shivering Isles. On the other hand, I haven't bought anything. That probably evens-out that I have > 200 games untouched yet. Edit: Scratch that. I beat Oblivion last year, according to the Backloggery. This year I managed Max Payne and Trine. Which I vaguely remember doing. That sound you hear is someone realising they were twice as productive as they thought, ohhh yeah. Edit: Scratch that. I also beat The Last of Us this year. Three times as productive. Counterproductive, no? I'm not playing TES IV twice because I own it on two consoles. Take it from the guy who was twice (edit: three times) as productive as he thought he was.
  10. Books, books, books...

    Crazy. I don't think I could manage so much as TV while reading a book. I'm immersed in one narrative or the other.
  11. Books, books, books...

    Fuck. How do you even start? (I'd start with The Bees. Just because it was released in 2014 and looks like the quickest read of the bunch.)
  12. Torchlight II

    Torchlight II is supposedly coming out this year. In a time period where Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Assassin's Creed Revelations, and I don't even know what else because the games industry is too stupid to not ship everything in Q4 and hi, welcome to the end of this sentence. Torchlight II is out soon. Are you excited? I'm excited. They seem to have addressed my main problems with the first (which I loved, mind you) and even added in multiplayer. (Which I can't use because the lag would mean I was more hindrance than help, but hey.)
  13. Books, books, books...

    Aww, yeah. Spam. It works.
  14. Recommend a book for someone. (top 10s)

    2666 - Robert Bolano springs to mind. If you've read that, William Kennedy's Albany books. 10. I'm going to take a leaf from Erik Wolpaw's book and say Godot. At this point I have over a hundred books on my shelves that I haven't read, and too many of them, Infinite Jest to Milan Kundera, are promising. So this place is reserved for any number of books which could displace the rest of the list. The rest I put in random order. Another leaf from Wolpaw's book is the positions are interchangeable, except for first place. 09. Skippy Dies - Paul Murray 08. On Beauty - Zadie Smith 07. Stoner - John Williams 06. A Song of Ice and Fire - George RR Martin 05. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon 04. Cujo - Stephen King 03. Hoke Moseley books - Charles Willeford 02. The Grifters - Jim Thompson 01. Apparently, I've got to read more books by women.
  15. Your Favourite Book This Year (2013)

    Not your favourite read published in 2013, but your favourite read of 2013. Mine is Paul Murray's Skippy Dies, a great novel about Ireland in the wake of financial rise and collapse. It chooses to focus on a group of teenagers who are at the edge of this societal change, using their school as a microcosm to explore bigger issues that are, I imagine, universal. It's simultaneously funny and heartbreaking. The dialogue is crackers, the prose is beautiful, and it is full of things to reflect on and think over. You will recognize these people and their struggles. The book touches on the poetry of Robert Frost, ancient Irish mythology, drug dealing, string theory, self-harm and suicidal feelings, first love, the First World War, and a lot more - all of which are used for artistic reason. On the recommendation scale: so high Willie Nelson tells it to take it easy. Random read from this year that warrants a recommendation: my six year old cousin delighted in the children's books of Philip Pullman. The Firework Maker's Daughter, Clockwork, and I Was a Rat! were all books she happily listened to again and again.
  16. Your Favourite Book This Year (2013)

    Towards the end of the year, Zadie Smith's On Beauty shot to the top of my list, about equal to Skippy Dies. I read it in a few days and loved it. I'm too tired right now to sell it, but I do recommend it. Considering that it's a story about stories, it's quite obvious, at least halfway into The Wise Man's Fear, that Kvothe is exaggerating and excusing himself. Still, some of the side characters could use some fleshing-out. I don't think Fela's especially interested in doing anything but looking pretty, being a good student, and blushing. I like the books a lot, though they're not flawless. The Wise Man's Fear just about cracks my top five reads of this year, I think. Spoiler for books 1 + 2: I enjoy that sort of detail in storytelling. It's quite inspiring, actually, though I don't know if because it cements that the author knows what they're doing or for some other reason.
  17. Two books

    My sister is abroad and, as always, that means I get to buy books. This time, however, she tells me I get to pick only two. And what I want is something reflective. Something that counts. I thought I'd ask you. Novel, short stories, fiction or non-fiction: if you could recommend only two books, what would they be, and why? (Apologies if this causes gregbrown, Chris Remo or TheArgobot any collective or individual aneurysm.)
  18. Your Favourite Book This Year (2013)

    The Millions has begun posting authors' favourites of 2013. The list gets bigger as December crawls on.
  19. Two books

    Sorry for the late replies, everyone. Interesting suggestions all around. eBooks are not available to people outside of certain countries. I use a trick to buy stuff on occasion, like Infinite Jest, but it's frustrating, generally, and the difficulty does not justify the price of a decent eReader.
  20. Life

    Hang in there, champ.
  21. General Video Game Deals Thread

    I wonder if people rig those bundles on purpose. You know, keep paying in 10c increments, dropping the average price, until it reaches something like $3, getting games for dirt cheap.
  22. Half-Life 3

    The numbers at the top say "2013" on the cover.
  23. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

    Hideo Kojima is going on.
  24. Upcoming books you want to read

    What's an upcoming book you're excited for, and why? - Bleeding Edge, by Thomas Pynchon. I like Pynchon plenty, though he can come off as pretentious (or maybe I don't get his genius, whatever). Anyway, this looks like a potentially brilliant mess. A detective/person running a fraud investigation business looks into the finances of a billionaire CEO, and things go from good to bad. "She soon finds herself mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler’s aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course." I'm unsure about the bit with the hackers and code monkeys, but otherwise it looks okay. - Night Film, by Marisha Pessl. Because it's apparently a genre-"melding", morphing, sprawling tome of a story. - His Wife Leaves Him, by Stephen Dixon. Supposedly a about "a bunch of nouns" (love, guilt, sickness, loss, etc). I'm mostly interested in it because it's about a "jilted man" and it's 600 pages long. Makes you wonder how he got that much out of a simple idea. More seriously, though, it's supposedly rather ambitious. - The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton. Because she wrote The Rehearsal and that was excellent.
  25. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    What turned-out to be doable was losing. Did you mean after beating the quest in Tribunal?