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Total Votes : 13

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Post by Toaster on Tue May 19, 2009 9:04 pm

I've been trying to get back into reading recently. To be honest, I think that My problem has been that I started off, in Sixth Grade, reading Michael Crichton books, and have since struggled to find ANY other with equal talent. Anyways, in search of motivation, I came up with this idea.

Quite simply, the goal is for us to vote on one book every 3 weeks or so. Seeing as we have a few people around here living in more rural areas, with less immediate access to books, we may have to leave a little bit of extra time for acquisition.

I really have NO idea whether or not this will work out. I have an idea of a few people that might sign in, but outside of that, I'm really not sure. If barely any people say they'll be a part of it, I'll give up and forget it all... Sad

My hopes are that we can set a limit for discussion, to avoid spoilers and such. I think 3 days per 50-100 pages (haven't decided yet) would be sufficient.

The books on this list are selections I've made based on some of the books mentioned in the 'Favorites' thread, as well as a few of my own personal favorites. For our next book (if there is a next book) I'll be happy to consider suggested books (VIA PM) for the poll.

Anyways, Post if you're interested and PLEASE DO NOT VOTE if you do not intend to be a part of the discussion, regardless of which book wins.

BOOK DESCRIPTIONS:


PREY

In Prey, bestselling author Michael Crichton introduces bad guys that are too small to be seen with the naked eye but no less deadly or intriguing than the runaway dinosaurs that made 1990's Jurassic Park such a blockbuster success.
High-tech whistle-blower Jack Forman used to specialize in programming computers to solve problems by mimicking the behavior of efficient wild animals--swarming bees or hunting hyena packs, for example. Now he's unemployed and is finally starting to enjoy his new role as stay-at-home dad. All would be domestic bliss if it were not for Jack's suspicions that his wife, who's been behaving strangely and working long hours at the top-secret research labs of Xymos Technology, is having an affair. When he's called in to help with her hush-hush project, it seems like the perfect opportunity to see what his wife's been doing, but Jack quickly finds there's a lot more going on in the lab than an illicit affair. Within hours of his arrival at the remote testing center, Jack discovers his wife's firm has created self-replicating nanotechnology--a literal swarm of microscopic machines. Originally meant to serve as a military eye in the sky, the swarm has now escaped into the environment and is seemingly intent on killing the scientists trapped in the facility. The reader realizes early, however, that Jack, his wife, and fellow scientists have more to fear from the hidden dangers within the lab than from the predators without.

The monsters may be smaller in this book, but Crichton's skill for suspense has grown, making Prey a scary read that's hard to set aside, though not without its minor flaws. The science in this novel requires more explanation than did the cloning of dinosaurs, leading to lengthy and sometimes dry academic lessons. And while the coincidence of Xymos's new technology running on the same program Jack created at his previous job keeps the plot moving, it may be more than some readers can swallow. But, thanks in part to a sobering foreword in which Crichton warns of the real dangers of technology that continues to evolve more quickly than common sense, Prey succeeds in gripping readers with a tense and frightening tale of scientific suspense. --Benjamin Reese --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.



Time Traveler's Wife

This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor. The expressive, evocative performances of both actors convey the protagonists' intense relationship, their personal quirks and their reminiscences,


2001: A Space Odyssey

When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained--the best--and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL's programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one of Discovery's components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.
Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate, and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though history has disproved its "predictions," it's still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction.


DUNE

This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.
The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.

Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting. Five sequels follow



Sphere

the focus of this science adventure tale is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters some personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power, understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved. The story is exciting and loaded with scientific and psychological speculations that add interest at no cost to the action, including an intriguing sequence in which human and computer attempt to decode the alien communication. As the story races to an end, suspicions of evil-doing fall as many ways as in a detective novel. Young adults should find this book both accessible and satisfying.



Da Vinci Code

A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought.



Starship Troopers

Juan Rico signed up with the Federal Service on a lark, but despite the hardships and rigorous training, he finds himself determined to make it as a cap trooper. In boot camp he will learn how to become a soldier, but when he graduates and war comes (as it always does for soldiers), he will learn why he is a soldier. Many consider this Hugo Award winner to be Robert Heinlein's finest work, and with good reason. Forget the battle scenes and high-tech weapons (though this novel has them)--this is Heinlein at the top of his game talking people and politics.


Last edited by ReconToaster on Tue May 19, 2009 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by TNine on Tue May 19, 2009 9:07 pm

Hmm, interesting, interesting.

Keep in mind, i'm still at a fairly young reading level. While it is extremely advanced for my age, i still haven't been truly exposed to high level reading.
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Post by BBJynne on Tue May 19, 2009 9:09 pm

I've never read Dune, but I've heard nice things about it...

I'm not headed to a Library until Friday though, and it's a small one
doesn't always have what I want

also, Sphere was really fucking scary

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Post by capn qwerty on Tue May 19, 2009 9:15 pm

I've never read any of those U^_^

I am currently finishing up the Ringworld quadrilogy. They're all awesome, with the exception of the 3rd one, as the first half of the book is boring as hell. The second half is awesome though.
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Post by BBJynne on Tue May 19, 2009 9:23 pm

Ringworld wins because the main char's name is Louis Wu

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Post by Angatar on Tue May 19, 2009 9:31 pm

I haven't read any of those, but I'll see if I can get some of them.
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Post by Gold Spartan on Tue May 19, 2009 9:35 pm

I'm currently finishing the Wheel of time series, so I havent really read anything else....or any of those books for that matter. Except the Da Vince Code.
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Post by KristallNacht on Tue May 19, 2009 9:38 pm

how about add:

The Natural Art of Seduction - Richard La Ruina
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Post by TNine on Tue May 19, 2009 9:40 pm

Have you heard about "The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters"? It's an interesting read, very much literature and symbolism.
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Post by Ukurse on Wed May 20, 2009 12:22 am

You should just get a new book to read every month.
And I can't be bothered reading, I finished reading "The boy in the stripped Pyjamas"
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Post by Cheese on Wed May 20, 2009 2:38 am

Sounds like a great idea.

My vote goes to Dune or Starship Troopers.

Time Traveller's Wife would make an excellent one to talk about, but seeing as I've read it I'd stay out of that one. Which is fine by me.

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Post by CivBase on Wed May 20, 2009 6:56 am

I haven't read ANY of them.

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Post by KrAzY on Wed May 20, 2009 8:31 am

starship troopers is one of my favorite books ever
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Post by czar on Wed May 20, 2009 1:52 pm

Just started Prey. Great so far, so i'm a vote for it
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Post by Toaster on Wed May 20, 2009 2:05 pm

Please make sure that IF YOU ARE VOTING you are WILLING TO FOLLOW THROUGH with whichever novel is chosen.

If you will, just post one more time, acknowledging that you wish to be a part of this, just so I can get a proper idea of who we have.

Voting will end at 12:00 AM Saturday morning (Friday night)

I'll start a new thread after that, for whichever book is being read. At that point you'll have about a week or two to get a hold of the book. After that, we might try to do immediate voting for the next book, so that people can purchase it in advance, while we read/discuss the first.

It looks like the Da Vinci code might win. It's the only non-Sci Fi book on the list, so it's sort of surprising. I've not read it, but I have read Angels and Demons. I would have put that up there, but it's 800 pages long, and I just read it about a Year ago.

I really only put prey on there because I WANT to re-read it. I think I'll just read it in the time before we OFFICIALLY start reading whichever book we choose.

Anyways, yeah, post again proclaiming that you wish to be a part of this IF you wish to be a part of this. Thanks.
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Post by Cheese on Wed May 20, 2009 2:18 pm

I'm in. I voted Time Traveller's Wife because it's a very good discussion book but now it looks like that doesn't have a hope in hell so I wanna change to Starship Troopers Sad

But I guess that just ain't how voting goes.

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Post by Gauz on Wed May 20, 2009 2:26 pm

DA VINCI CODE?!

NO

MOVIE AND BOOK ARE BAD
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Post by capn qwerty on Wed May 20, 2009 3:22 pm

I'll join.
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Post by Toaster on Wed May 20, 2009 3:23 pm

lol. Qwerty just turned the tide of this poll. I may actually start an new one if I can get Krazy or LP to delete this one, so those of you who wish to change your votes can change your votes. (cheese)
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Post by Cheese on Wed May 20, 2009 3:31 pm

That's ok. I actually own Da Vinchi Code so I suppose that would be easier.

If it goes to tie break though, then I'll cast a new one.

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Post by Untamed Reign on Wed May 20, 2009 3:55 pm

I haven't read any of these books but I was planning on getting The Da Vinci Code next time I was in town, so i'll definetely be in.

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Post by czar on Wed May 20, 2009 3:56 pm

im in
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Post by Untamed Reign on Wed May 20, 2009 4:01 pm

I'm in if Da Vinci Code is picked.

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Post by Toaster on Wed May 20, 2009 4:07 pm

Untamed Reign wrote:I'm in if Da Vinci Code is picked.

Don't declare that you're in if you don't intend to read WHATEVER gets chosen. That basically means that you'll be in for one round and leave after we read (if we read) Da Vinci Code. I WANT DEDICATION!
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Post by RX on Wed May 20, 2009 4:15 pm

I'm sure some of those books won't be easy to get here in Norway...
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