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What are You Reading Right now?

Discussion in 'Books & Comics' started by Suspiria, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. urrutiap

    urrutiap Rebelscum

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    I'm currently reading The Silmarillion along with Micheal Crichton's Jurassic Park novel
     
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  2. NunbNuts

    NunbNuts Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]

    The guy responsible for Atari's "Yars' Revenge" (one of my childhood favorites) "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" (a childhood frustration as I just had the cartridge and no directions so I didn't know I needed two controllers plugged in) and most infamously "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" which often gets unfairly blamed for being the sole cause of the video game crash of 1983 and killing Atari.
     
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  3. Addi Ras

    Addi Ras MASTER TEA MAKER
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    Right so I have almost finished Book 1 of the Wheel of Time & it’s really really good but I’m very glade that I saw the show first as I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the last half of the season as much as I did ( can definitely tell why book readers may not have enjoyed it as much as someone coming completely fresh to The Wheel of Time ) as they are quite a few changes from the book. I’m not going to spoil anything but if you enjoyed or even just liked the show & haven’t read the book then I absolutely recommend that you do read it as it adds so much to the show
    Also I’m thinking about starting a Wheel of Time book 1 thread where we can get into spoiler territory would that be something other members would be interested in.
     
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  4. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I'll be there if you do decide to start it! Would this be an all show spoiler thread for compare contrast stuff? Or just a Book 1 thread? Either way, I'm game!
     
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  5. Addi Ras

    Addi Ras MASTER TEA MAKER
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    Yes that would be the idea not only discussing Book 1 but also to compare it to Season 1 of the show.
    I will create it tonight after work.
     
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  6. NunbNuts

    NunbNuts Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]

    Growing up we'd drive to Florida almost every summer and would pass through Vicksburg every time. On several occasions we stayed there and toured around the battlefields/museums and saw the ironclad Cairo they have on display there. So it should be pretty interesting reading about it but I'm not there yet as it's not just about that specific battle but also a mini Grant biography in the early chapters and it covers the whole campaign that started in Southern Illinois and made its way down to Vicksburg.
     
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  7. NunbNuts

    NunbNuts Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Jedi Commander

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    Henry Kissinger's memoirs.
    Very evil
     
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  9. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Force Sensitive

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    You should check out The History Channel's Grant series. it's really good
     
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  10. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    Sweetness and Lightning!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A manga about a young(-ish) high school teacher who is a widower of a year as he learns to raise his daughter and learns to cook her homemade meals with the assistance of a student in his class. The three grow close as friends, mentors, and, in a way, family over the course of a few years.

    This story is just pure adorableness with a dash of bittersweet as themes of loss, grief, and growing up all combine. But notes for traditional Japanese recipes are at the end of every chapter, so it's informative too. The manga itself is pretty short, only 56 full chapters. I read it within two days, which felt oddly slow for me. (My old college record is roughly 200 chapters in one weekend.)
    There are some things that will make some fans a little uncomfortable, though. The tritagonist of this story, the high school student, has a crush on the teacher. It's complicated by her parents' own divorce, leaving it unclear if she likes her teacher for him, or if she likes the fact that there's at least one older man she can go to for advice and is actively present in her life, or if she misses the family unit since her father is absent and her mother is incredibly busy. The teacher's own feelings on this are less ambiguous, since he's solely focused on his daughter. Overall, the manga ensures that nothing untoward happens outside of two middle-aged men occasionally hanging out with high school girls (with their parents' consent and knowledge). This is a pure manga after all, but to deny that it will make some very uncomfortable, is unmistakable. (The anime sort of glosses over the crush from what I hear.)

    This is definitely in my contender for top Manga of the Year, but the year is young, and I have some other stories I need to really start so I can see how they are!

    This is recommended if you're a fan of:
    Cooking
    Japanese Cooking
    The manga and soon-to-be-anime Spy x Family (I legitimately thought they were by the same person at first.)
    Found Family stories

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. urrutiap

    urrutiap Rebelscum

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    books im reading at the moment

    Bentley Little's The Haunted
    Star Wars High Republic Light of the Jedi for the 2nd time before I get into Rising Storm
    Star Wars Darth Maul Lockdown
     
  12. NunbNuts

    NunbNuts Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pretty funny story about a time when hockey players looked like THAT, and the only helmet they wore were some sturdy sideburns. Maybe the most bizarre history any professional sports franchise ever had. They started out as a semi-pro team and while they were still trying to figure out how to run a hockey team in Oakland without fans and a revolving door of owners they find themselves as an actual NHL team after the first round of expansion from the Original Six. It's like the Will Ferrell movie Semi-Pro if the Flint Tropics had actually made it into the NBA. They only lasted about 9 seasons though then relocated and then merged with the Minnesota North Stars. So I guess they're technically kind of the Dallas Stars now? Anyway pretty funny and interesting, this team is so amateur I keep forgetting they were an actual NHL team.
     
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  13. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    Blade of the Immortal.jpg

    I have just reread the entire manga Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no Jūnin) by Hiroaki Samura as sort of preparation for Takashi Miike's live action adaptation. This is my favorite manga of all times so I have no high hopes for the film except for Miike being Miike - blood will flow as it should, of that I am certain.

    Only Kentaro Miura rivaled Samura's art, unfortunately he is gone and we will never see the ending of Guts' story. On the other hand Blade is completed and you can enjoy the story from beginning to the end. I forgot the ending of the manga as I've read it ages ago so I was still (pleasantly) surprised. Would recommend to everyone with trigger warning for extreme gore and blood.
     
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  14. NunbNuts

    NunbNuts Rebel Official

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    [​IMG]

    From what I understand the sequels aren't great and unrelated to the movie sequels but so far with the first one Hitchcock pretty much kept to the source material and it's an entertaining read. If I didn't know the twists it would probably blow my mind but it's still pretty tense even though I know what all will happen.
     
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  15. Chewy

    Chewy Rebel Official

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    BLOOD OF ELVES
    The Witcher world is fantastic
     
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  16. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Jedi Commander

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    History of Julius Caesar Vol 1.
     
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  17. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
    1030th Grand Admiral ***** (Mod)

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    Nice! The old Jacob Abbott one from the 19th century?
     
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  18. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Jedi Commander

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    yes
     
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  19. urrutiap

    urrutiap Rebelscum

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    reading Star Wars Catalyst Rogue One story for the 2nd time along with being in the middle of Wheel of Time Lord of Chaos
     
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  20. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    LET THE LORD OF CHAOS REIGN!


    upload_2022-4-26_19-24-22.jpeg

    [​IMG]


    I've been rereading some old classics for inspiration in the form of Bleach and Kuroko's Basket(ball)/Kuroko no Basuke.
    Both do some things brilliantly and utterly fail at others, but I find them to be more inspiring than not. Bleach has a phenomenal grasp of how to do Plot Twists and reveals. Yes, some feel forced, but others feel so natural that it feels like everything clicks into place even when you can tell it wasn't planned. One Piece is still the king of this beyond a shadow of a doubt, but Bleach should be praised for this as well. And the art! The art! The colored pages are so good! I would buy an artbook of just those.

    Kuroko no Basuke is a masterclass on the Tournament Arc. Nearly every game is a part of one, but our heroes don't win everything, and every single battle is hard fought and won.* It's also funny looking back at the Generation of Miracles at the time when the manga came out (roughly 2012-2016 or so) and some of the MVPs in basketball who have appeared since: Midorima's three-point game seems unreal until you think about when Steph Curry bloomed into his three-point supremacy. Kuroko's passes are crazy until you see some of the passes Manu Ginobili made. Yes, of course the superpowers and being able to have full conversations in a matter of microseconds is unbelievable, but that's par for the course for anime and manga. (There are more believable basketball-based anime/manga out there, like Slam Dunk.)

    Both series also do flashbacks incredibly well, being able to show or hint at things and then add far more context to them later on in a believable and satisfying way. The best one I can give for Kuroko happens early on: We hear that our titular character Kuroko more or less disappeared after his middle school won their championship game. Kuroko explains that at the time he hated basketball. Later on, we also see Kuroko and his former best friend Aomine's story of how they met and their ultimate falling out. Right before the final battle - and as is proper in anime and manga - we get The Big Flashback, the one that tells us the complete history of a character or world so we go into the ending knowing what's at stake. Here, we see recontextualized scenes of Aomine and Kuroko's meeting and falling out, as well as what happened to make Kuroko disappear. It felt conclusive, but it also added some emotional stakes for things going forward.

    Still, both of these are FAR from perfect - several of Bleach's arcs drag on for far too long and focus on cliffhangers than satisfying fights. They also focus on just having everyone explain their abilities to everyone.** And the final arc is super rushed. (There were some BTS reasons for that I believe, but it doesn't fix that fact.) Also, the mangaka Tite Kubo has a bad habit of adding new characters to write his way out of Writer's Block...something I share with him...but the problem is that this spreads the cast thin and artificially bloats the story.

    Meanwhile, Kuroko no Basuke carries with it the Patient Childhood Friend trope (with Satsuki and Aomine), one I REALLY dislike, as well as dumbing down certain characters like Satsuki, who went from being a prodigy manager and scout who could predict her opponent's growth and training, to the one Aomine has to explain everything to. And I'm not going to even get into the Team Jabberwock post-game story stuff.


    Overall, these stories are far from perfect, but they're good and worth reading to those who are fans of Shonen. Bleach makes up one of the Big 3*** of the 2000s. Kuroko no Basuke, while it didn't start the sports manga genre, it certainly popularized it. (Although I'd say Eyeshield 21 did the same thing earlier. If you haven't read that one either, I highly recommend it.)


    I also read the preview chapters for Brian McClellan's new book In the Shadow of Lightning, coming out this June. It's a good start, and one that I think will find a good bit of success! Parts of it are like Stormlight Archive, with external magic and armor that augments physical abilities and whatnot, that can be recharged. The political nature of the book is all McClellan though, and I think that's part of where he shines. I find that I like McClellan's works when they focus less on gods and more on our heroes in overwhelming circumstances. The politics is hit or miss, but I feel like it's going to hit here. It feels a little like Django Wexler's Shadow Campaigns series, which can only be a good thing. If you're a fan of Sanderson, Flintlock Fantasy, or just fantasy in general and looking for a new author, definitely check out McClellan's stuff before his new book comes out! (It's also set in a different universe as far as I can tell, so don't worry about cross overs.)

    upload_2022-4-26_19-23-5.jpeg



    *Contrast this to something like Shokugeki no Soma/Food Wars, where it was incredibly easy to predict the outcome of a battle. Whoever prepares their food first is going to lose. This made the later arcs incredibly boring, as they lost their believability (there was a character who tenderized food WITH A CHAINSAW) and their tension. Outside of one battle or maybe two, I can't remember a time where the winner didn't follow that pattern. With Kuroko, some of the winners may surprise newcomers.

    **This is something I'm personally growing tired of. I understand why they do this, but the best battles in Shonen are rarely the "I use my power and explain it" ones, but rather when our heroes must figure out what the enemy is doing and how to beat it. We like it when our heroes fight smarter AND harder, not just harder. That's why a lot of Naruto's battles after the Pain arc get flak, especially compared to the early stuff. The cast is using flashy weapons and techniques and giant kaiju beasts instead of the smaller, more intelligent fights from early on. Deku's fights in My Hero Academia usually involve a lot of analyzing early on because he can't rely on his powers consistently. Later on, he uses that analyzing because it's his best strength. But the movies sort of forget that and go with the "punch until you win approach," which is usually a last resort for the character. I think this is also why L and Light from Death Note are so popular - the mind games are unreal. Kuroko does a solid mix of having our heroes figure out how to stop our opponents, but if things still get explained often enough for me to get annoyed at this trope.

    ***Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. I sometimes say Big Three + 1 if I want to include Fairy Tail, but that one depends on my mood. I'm also more partial to Rave Master. I'd say for the 90s, it was Dragonball/Dragonball Z, Rurouni Kenshin, and Yu Yu Hakusho. 80s had Fist of the North Star and probably some other stuff, but I can't be too sure.
     
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