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Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:41 pm
by Clay
Because I have a particularly esoteric method of self-harm, I listened to audiobook of the unabridged version of Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau.

I mean... I liked the parts where he talked about the pond. Everything else came off as insufferable whining. If he were alive nowadays, he'd be called a hipster.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm
by Unicron
Warcry wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:08 pm
Thanks! I'll give it a go, but I'll probably wait until I spy the paperback somewhere.
Probably the best way to go about it, given your review of the first one.

Speaking of the first new Thrawn book, I liked it, cause Thrawn. But I can see how you'd have the opinion you do. It does suffer from 3 things: the time skips, the lack of any characters we really know from before, and giving Thrawn that unnecessary political blind spot. I did kind of like the addition of Eli Vanto, he wasn't a bad character.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:14 pm
by Warcry
Unicron wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm
Probably the best way to go about it, given your review of the first one.

Speaking of the first new Thrawn book, I liked it, cause Thrawn. But I can see how you'd have the opinion you do. It does suffer from 3 things: the time skips, the lack of any characters we really know from before, and giving Thrawn that unnecessary political blind spot. I did kind of like the addition of Eli Vanto, he wasn't a bad character.
It's out in paperback now and I've read it! It's infinitely better than the first one, IMO. But how could it not be? "Vader/Thrawn buddy cop show, in two different timeframes" is a way better plot summary than "Thrawn does stuff for a decade-plus and keeps getting promoted". Thrawn is such a larger-than-life character, with such a forceful personality, and he needs to have other, equally-monumental characters to bounce off of or it just gets boring.

It was nice to see Rukh actually get some personality, too, instead of just being Thrawn's silent bodyguard like he was in the original books.

Vanto was alright, but he was a bit too much of a straightforward "Watson" for my likes. I guess he grew out of it a bit towards the end, but he just didn't seem like a strong enough character to be an effective foil for a guy like Thrawn. Not when it was just the two of them, anyway. Pellaeon worked in the originals because they also had C'baoth running around being a mad bastard, but it's not quite the same when the everyman has to carry the whole weight of being Thrawn's sounding board.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:26 pm
by inflatable dalek
John Leven's autobiography is pleasingly mental. I think my favourite part is his claiming with a straight face he was offered the part of Picard's brother in Family, but couldn't sort a green card.

Just imagine Patrick Stewart, doing that emotional crying trauma scene, sat opposite Sgt. Benton from Doctor Who.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 2:01 am
by Tantrum
I'm currently reading two books.

The LEGO Book (New Edition) - A photo history of the LEGO company. There's text, too, but largely captions or descriptions of the accompanying photos. The first few dozen pages are about the pre-brick days, when the company focused on wooden toys, like those ducks with wheels that open and close their bills when you pull them around. They made a lot of yo-yos and, when the craze died out, repurposed the surplus yo-yo halves as wheels for these types of toys.

Then there's some stuff about how the plastic bricks were developed and made; the first were the same size and had the same studs, but lacked the tubes that hold them together well. The last couple dozen pages are about the theme parks, and other aspects of the brand.

The majority of the book is 2 to 6 page photo spreads of the various themes LEGO's had over the decades. You know that bit in the LEGO Movie where Wyldstyle lists some themes then says, "and a bunch of others we don't have time to get into"? Would you like that fleshed out into 150 pages?

It's OK, but organized by common theme instead of by time. So, the first Castle theme gets some focus, then later Castle themes, then Nexo Knights. After that, you get original Space, then Space Police, Blacktron, etc. I'd've prefered a strictly chronological progression, so the evolution of LEGOs in general was the focus. Start with simple 2x4 brick designs, add more complex elements until you get to the modern stuff. Instead, there's 2 pages of simple, 2 pages of moderate, 2 pages of modern, then it all starts over.

The book isn't as substantial as it appears. The first third is hollow to allow storage of a custom brick that is displayed thorugh a clear window in the cover. It's a standard 2x4 brick with part of a graphic from the patent application printed on the side. I can't think of anything I want to build with part of a picture of a brick on the side, so I'll leave it in there.

I can't say the book is a success, since it didn't inspire me to go play with my LEGOs. The picture of Ecto-1 did remind me to get some curved 1x1 tiles to fill out the sides of mine, but that's it. There are a few interesting design facets highlighted, like a Ninjago dragon with cupcakes for eyes. I'd've liked more of that.

Jonas Salk - A Life - A biography of the polio vaccine guy. I'm only 1/5th of the way through. So far, it's a little dry; the writing doesn't do much to add excitement to the story. At one point, Salk's lab was using monkeys from India as test subjects. There was worry that monkey exports would dry up. So, they ordered as many monkeys as they could all at once, over 400. You'd think there'd be some follow up anecdotes about Salk's 10-ish person lab team dealing with the monkeys, or the facility where Salk worked reacting. You'd be wrong.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 7:16 pm
by HeavyArms
Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary with a Bacta Tank Finn included.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:36 am
by HeavyArms
Batman: Arkham Knight Volume 1.

Star Wars: Master and Appentice.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:44 pm
by HeavyArms
Metro 2033.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:00 pm
by HeavyArms
Metro 2034.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:12 am
by HeavyArms
Justice League/Power Rangers graphic novel.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:20 am
by HeavyArms
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:30 am
by HeavyArms
Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:20 am
by HeavyArms
Lego Ultimate Halloween Collection.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:07 pm
by HeavyArms
Gears Of War: Ascendance - Written by Jason M. Hough. The book acts as a prequel or lead-in to Gears 5.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:41 pm
by Warcry
On a whim and against my better judgment, I grabbed some recent-ish Star Trek books.

Section 31: Disavowed: Bashir is my favourite Trek character by far, and I enjoyed his jousts with Sloane on the TV show, so you'd think I would enjoy this...but it's actually a sequel to the same author's Mirror Universe novels more than it's a Bashir book. I'd also forgotten how utterly banal Treklit's version of Serena Douglas was, and how they'd managed to totally ruin the mystique of the Breen. Meh/10.


Section 31: Control: Wouldn't have bothered with this one if I'd read the previous one before I bought it. Apparently an AI from pre-Enterprise times secretly controls the entire Federation, and founded Section 31 because zzzzzzzzz...

Also, I'd forgotten that they'd brought Data back to life just like every other major character that died in canon Trek or the books eventually. I didn't realize that they'd revived Lal too. FFS, why read any of this shit if none of it means anything and it'll all be undone ten books later?

I've also got TNG: Headlong Flight in the to-read pile. Hopefully it actually resembles Star Trek to some degree. Sigh.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:59 pm
by Denyer
My cunning plan is to skip to Available Light and Collateral Damage and if they're any good work backwards...

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:01 am
by Sades
I haven't read a Trek book since the 90's. Like, proper novel, yeah? I wasn't even aware they were still milking doing TNG.

I bought one of those "relaxing" Christmas colouring books. "Colour your way to calm", it says. I somehow doubt it but the pictures are pretty.

It counts. It's a book.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:54 pm
by HeavyArms
Star Wars: Thrawn: Treason - Written by Timothy Zahn. This is the third in the new canon Thrawn trilogy.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:41 am
by Warcry
I hadn't actually finished Control when I shat on it. Now that I have, I think it might actually be the most offensively bad Trek fiction I've ever read. And I mean, I've read a lot of Trek books. I probably checked out 2/3s of the numbered novels from my school library when I was a kid, and some of those were really rough, but none managed to reach this kind of low. I even read stuff written by Diane Carey. It's REALLY tough to out-bad someone who tries to write Trek meets Ayn Rand, but I think David Mack might have managed it here. Which surprises the heck out of me because I really enjoyed Vanguard and he was a big part of that.

Headlong Flight is actually good, though. Or at least it's off to a really good start -- exploration, mystery, and a window into an Enterprise that might have been if Best of Both Worlds had gone bad...
Denyer wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:59 pm
My cunning plan is to skip to Available Light and Collateral Damage and if they're any good work backwards...
Where did you drop off from reading them? Assuming you followed the ongoing narrative at all, that is. I enjoyed the DS9 relaunch and the early days of New Frontier, but none of the post-Destiny stuff has consistently been able to grab me. I think I've dipped in and out three times in the last decade. For every gem like Articles of the Federation it seems like we get five books of bizarre fanboy wish-fulfillment, ultraviolence and wildly off-base characterizations (I don't think I'll ever stop being peeved by what they did to Ben Sisko).
Sades wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:01 am
I haven't read a Trek book since the 90's. Like, proper novel, yeah? I wasn't even aware they were still milking doing TNG.
I don't think they'll ever stop milking TNG. It was a whole lot more commercially successful than TOS in its heyday and it seems to have just as much staying power (unlike the other spinoffs, which mostly seem to have faded to obscurity). And the upcoming Picard show is probably going to kick the TNG-pandering into high gear.
HeavyArms wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:54 pm
Star Wars: Thrawn: Treason - Written by Timothy Zahn. This is the third in the new canon Thrawn trilogy.
Oooh, this is something I'm excited for.

Re: Book Me, Dano.

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:39 pm
by Unicron
Warcry wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:41 am
HeavyArms wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:54 pm
Star Wars: Thrawn: Treason - Written by Timothy Zahn. This is the third in the new canon Thrawn trilogy.
Oooh, this is something I'm excited for.
I read it when it first came out, forgot to say something here. I'd rate it as better than the first of the new Thrawn books and at least as good as Alliances. More Vanto, more Chiss, more of Thrawn being the strategic badass that he is. And the answer to why Thrawn shipped Vanto off to the Ascendancy.

The only problem I have with the book is Rebels and the Sequel Trilogy. Thanks to the show writing Thrawn out of things and Thrawn not having reappeared in the movies, I doubt we're going to get satisfactory follow-ups (if any at all) to the Chiss and Grysk. I know there's the time gap between ROTJ and TFA they could slot stuff into but meh.