ThunderPeel2001

Books, books, books...

Recommended Posts

See Kroms, that's my issue with poetry. "The forest was still and quiet." Welcome to that poem. Arghhhhhh.

Well the art is obviously in the telling, in the form. Either it works for you or it doesn't, but that's really more to do with you than it is to do with poetry, I think. Not that I'm generally especially moved by poetry – I'm not – but I'd be very hesitant to imply that that was anything to do with the "purpose" or content of poetry. It's probably more to do with my environment and upbringing. Or my being a massive stupid-head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Or my being a massive stupid-head.

I could probably cop to that myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did like that poem, actually, (and I like Shakespeare, too) but other than evoking a few images and feelings, does it have a deeper meaning? Am I over-thinking it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The war poets were the first that made me realize that poetry can have an effect on me. Not that I read a lot of poetry.

I knew a simple soldier boy

Who grinned at life in empty joy,

Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,

And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,

With crumps and lice and lack of rum,

He put a bullet through his brain.

No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye

Who cheer when soldier lads march by,

Sneak home and pray you'll never know

The hell where youth and laughter go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did like that poem, actually, (and I like Shakespeare, too) but other than evoking a few images and feelings, does it have a deeper meaning? Am I over-thinking it?

Feeling is the best thing about poetry!

For me, meaning comes from the contextualizing of the poem either in history (cultural & social trends, studying the poet etc) or to your own experiences, knowledge and life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll never understand why people like reading Shakespeare. Every time I try, I find myself more annoyed than anything else. Might have something to do with being forced into reading him all throughout my pre-college educational experience.

I will admit, though, that I DO enjoy Shakespeare when I'm actually watching it... like you're supposed to. But I'll be happy if I never have to see Hamlet or R&J ever ever again EVER.

Regarding poetry in general: I like it a whole hell of a lot more when I'm listening to it than when I'm reading it. Kind of like Shakespeare I-am-suddenly-realizing! This includes song, rap, slam poetry, or traditional - is that the right word? - readings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read mostly sci-fi, and since I don't read a lot (book per month, lately even less) I tend to rely on reviews for purchase decisions. There's a local sci-fi review site that is great for this (due to the content), but the site design is from 97 or so (still using frames and all). I tried to convince the owner to let me do a rewrite, but that conversiation kind of abated.

So I started thinking, there doesn't seem to be a proper Web 2.0-ish awesome book review site out there, does there?

Would it be worth creating one? Could something like that be mildly profitable? (via. Amazon links or ads or whatever?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On another note, what is the consensus on poetry around here?

I'm an occasional poet.

There are some here.

Another one in issue #3 of this.

I tend to like poetry (both the stuff I read and the stuff I write) that is "difficult to decipher."* Poetry is at its most engaging to me when it suggests a multitude of meanings and explanations but refuses to be pinned down. I see it as a kind of puzzle game. What can I invest into these sentence fragments, half-completed thoughts, & quotes excised of all context that will give them meaning?

* scare quotes because "difficult to decipher" implies that there's some kind of one-true-plaintext whereas what I'm getting at is more a personal interpretation thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I read mostly sci-fi, and since I don't read a lot (book per month, lately even less) I tend to rely on reviews for purchase decisions. There's a local sci-fi review site that is great for this (due to the content), but the site design is from 97 or so (still using frames and all). I tried to convince the owner to let me do a rewrite, but that conversiation kind of abated.

So I started thinking, there doesn't seem to be a proper Web 2.0-ish awesome book review site out there, does there?

Would it be worth creating one? Could something like that be mildly profitable? (via. Amazon links or ads or whatever?)

LibraryThing is a community based around books, and Amazon already has a butt load of reviews for things. If it's just book reviews, why not just use a blog?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a nice facebook app for books a while ago, but it disappeared in one of the major reshuffles and I forgot all about it. Perhaps I'll see if it got remade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LibraryThing is a community based around books, and Amazon already has a butt load of reviews for things. If it's just book reviews, why not just use a blog?

Amazon is Amazon. It's too tied to sales. And a blog wouldn't work (I'm not good enough of a critic myself that people would go there to read my reviews). What I have in mind is easily searchable and browsable database where anyone can make an account and start writing reviews (or even just giving a rating).

For example lets say you read a book by an author you didn't previously know and want to read more of him. You look up the author by name and sort his books by reviews scores.

I know what most of us think about game scores, but I've found using the local sci-fi/fantasy/horror site is that for books the average of peoples opinion works for me pretty well -- if I buy something that has 4+/5 average there, it's pretty good.

The site should be multi-language, but you could filter it by languages you are interested in. Also, if you're a genre fan, you could filter reviews to be only from those who've declared themselves fan of the same genre. etc.

You could log in using Twitter or Facebook, and optionally when you write a review, the site could tweet a link to your review.

There should also be a smartphone app for using in bookstores -- scan a barcode (or search by title), and it would open reviews from the site. Maybe there are apps like that already, don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Amazon is Amazon. It's too tied to sales. And a blog wouldn't work (I'm not good enough of a critic myself that people would go there to read my reviews). What I have in mind is easily searchable and browsable database where anyone can make an account and start writing reviews (or even just giving a rating).

For example lets say you read a book by an author you didn't previously know and want to read more of him. You look up the author by name and sort his books by reviews scores.

I know what most of us think about game scores, but I've found using the local sci-fi/fantasy/horror site is that for books the average of peoples opinion works for me pretty well -- if I buy something that has 4+/5 average there, it's pretty good.

The site should be multi-language, but you could filter it by languages you are interested in. Also, if you're a genre fan, you could filter reviews to be only from those who've declared themselves fan of the same genre. etc.

You could log in using Twitter or Facebook, and optionally when you write a review, the site could tweet a link to your review.

There should also be a smartphone app for using in bookstores -- scan a barcode (or search by title), and it would open reviews from the site. Maybe there are apps like that already, don't know.

Do any of these fit your bill?

http://www.goodreads.com

http://www.lovereading.co.uk

http://www.librarything.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, thanks. LibraryThing or GoodReads looks like more or less what I had in mind.

[edit]Yeah, Goodreads' iPhone app even has the barcode scanning I wished for. Unfortunately, their search sucks badly. Search for William Gibson, and you'll find Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies as the first results. [proof]

And if you go to William Gibson's books, the first result is Moby Dick, for which he has apparently written a foreword.

Still, that site seems pretty close to what I had in mind.

Edited by Erkki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unfortunately, their search sucks badly. Search for William Gibson, and you'll find Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies as the first results. [proof]

And if you go to William Gibson's books, the first result is Moby Dick, for which he has apparently written a foreword.

Not that you should have to, but putting your query in quotes seems to help, although Moby-Dick is still result number two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That Gooreads iPhone app is actually pretty good. LibraryThing doesn't seem to have a dedicated app (although a generic scanning app at least could be used I guess).

I will give Goodreads a try, and since I'm moving to a new apartment soon(ish), It'll be a good time to scan all my books (at least Enlgish ones, grr..) Hm.. LibraryThing actually has an Estonian UI, I wonder if it would be better from multi-language perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm on Goodreads too. Feel free to add me!

Added. Anyone feel free to add me too.

Reamde has been dispatched! :tup:

I'm currently reading his Cryptonomicon, and it's one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I mean, who else could go on about a weak link in someone's bicycle for 4 pages without getting boring. Is his other work as good?

But I've been reading it since August and am only on page 200. Due to all kinds of things, mostly work related, I'm tired enough lately that I read a page or two and fall asleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snowcrash is good fun, and his Baroque cycle is very interesting, but pretty heavy. Crypto is pretty damn awesome. So nice to read an author who *really does understand technology*. The reviews seem to say that this isn't as good as Crypto, but is a fab book in it's own right. Screw those guys, I'm looking forward to it! Just go to finish Dance With Dragons...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diamond Age is excellent, Anathema is very good. Or just search this thread for my opinion of his books :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone read any/all of the Oz books? Are they any good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone read any/all of the Oz books? Are they any good?

I have read the first one. They're very much children's books, but I seem to recall a semi-creepy atmosphere.

The fourteenth book in the series, Glinda of Oz: In Which Are Related the Exciting Experiences of Princess Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy, in Their Hazardous Journey to the Home of the Flatheads, and to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers, and How They Were Rescued from Dire Peril by the Sorcery of Glinda the Good, is supposed to be quite dark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has always amused me how dark many (in fact, the majority of) the original versions of various fairytales are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now