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Posts posted by Thyroid

  1. 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!

  2. 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. 


    Mitchell is truly wonderful at writing characters and that's what I enjoyed most in this book. His downfall, I think, is the need to bolt on what feel like superfluous fantasy subplots to his novels. 

    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?

  3. 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.


    I consider any Steam game that I have not played and completed through the Steam client to be a part of my backlog.

    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. 

  4. Haha, yeah. The first sentence in my previous post was actually a reference to people constantly praising Stoner. Anyway, I picked it up after I finished reading Pnin. I'm not completely sucked in it yet, but it seems good.

    Aww, yeah. Spam. It works.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


    It's written in first person from the perspective of Kvothe, an exceptional young man who's admittedly a bit too perfect at times with his charisma and skill in magic and music, but it's written really well.

    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 totally worked-out that Lady Meluan is Kvothe's aunt by myself, though. In the first book, his dad comes-up with this little jingle:

    For all her faults I do confess
    It's worth my life
    To make my wife
    Not tally a lot less...
    The last line is a heteograph on "Natalia Lackless", the name of the noblewoman who escaped with Edema Ruh.

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Sorry for the late replies, everyone. Interesting suggestions all around.


    Can she get you only two books because of weight restrictions or something? Can she not just buy you an ereader and load it up with a handful of books you want? Is this suggestion dumb?

    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.

  9. 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.)

  10. David Simon (yes, that one) praises the late Elmore Leonard. The opening paragraph espouses about genre categorizations which I think many, including some on this board, should give a read.


    It isn’t that he merely took a blowtorch to all the affectations and pretenses of genre fiction.  No, he made the lines between genre and literary fiction ridiculous and arbitrary for all time.  Fuck your categorizations:  This guy did some of the best writing in the last half of the Twentieth Century.

  11. What those guys said about Stockholm. In the middle of Gamla Stan/Old town there's a great geek store called SciFi Bokhandelen. Fantasy/Sci Fi books, obscure movies, TV shows and cartoons/anime, and a full floor dedicated to board games. Worth a visit.

    I made friends with those guys when I visited and they showed me around town, at one point attempting to bring me into this medieval inn thing. Good store. I bought A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords from there.

  12. !يا للهول

    ...ايدل ثمز"...ألعاب ألعاب الفيديو ألعاب ألعاب الفيديو ألعاب ألعاب الفيديو ألعاب ألعاب الفيديو"

    !انظر على ا الساحر...الساحر