Teh Bias

Teh Bias

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Author Topic: Teh Bias Book Club  (Read 47567 times)

iPeter

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Teh Bias Book Club
« on: January 25, 2005, 08:15:59 PM »

When filing your official book reports, please try to include the following information:

Title
Author
Fiction/Non-Fiction
Genre
# of pages
Summary
Recommendation
Similar titles
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iPeter

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State of Fear
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2005, 08:28:33 PM »

State of Fear
Micheal Crichton
Fiction
Standard Crichton science goes awry thriller.
18 hour unabridged audio book

The latest Crichton novel has the usual cast of characters. A fish-out-of-water guy. A mysterios know-it-all to explain the plot to the fish-out-of-water guy. A rugged-yet-sexy woman. An over-the-top millionaire. And starring science-gone-wrong as the bad guy! Woo-hoo!

Sometimes this formula works for me: Sphere, Jurassic Park, Prey. And sometimes it doesn't: Timeline, Airframe. This will probably end up somewhere in the middle. While not as bad as Timeline, State of Fear just didn't grip me, and only near the very end did the main characters actually seem to be in real danger. The plot is certainly timely with the recent tsunami, and the science lessons are as interesting as ever. This time it just doesn't make for good fiction.

Ratings: 3 out of 5, 5 out of 10, marginal thumbs up, you get the picture...

Simliar titles: Prey

Pieter
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Bryan

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2005, 09:31:51 AM »

I'm very late to pick this one up, but I am now reading the DaVinci Code.  I wanted to experience it the right way before I see the Hollywood version.  I'll file my book report in the next week or so, depending on how much reading time I am granted.
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"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive."
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iPeter

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2005, 12:23:07 AM »

I just read that Audrey Tautou - American's favorite Frenchwoman since Laetitia Casta - will be the female lead in the film version of The DaVinci Code. Sounds promising to me!

Pieter
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iPeter

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2005, 12:46:27 PM »

Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki
Non-Fiction
Get Rich Quick
3 hour abridged audio book

Attempts to teach you to have your money work for you instead of you working for your money.

This book's been sitting in my iPod since July after my uncle recommended it to me. I haven't been interested because I don't believe in books that teach you how to become rich, how to lose weight, how to have a happy marriage, etc. Just like a late-night infomercial, I was right in my prediction that the book is mostly the same mantra repeated over and over with no real substance to back it up. But the truth is, I enjoyed listening to this book. It was only three hours, so no serious time investment is required. For the most part it is filled with common sense ideas, so not much new is learned. However, it has inspired me to learn more about the subject of finance and what my options are aside from earning, spending, and saving. So I recommend this book more for its motivational content than its "become fabulously wealthy" ideas.

Rating: $$$$ out of $$$$$

Simliar titles: How to Get Rich by The Donald.

Pieter
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Bryan

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2005, 08:26:24 AM »

The DaVinci Code
Dan Brown
Fiction(?)
Religious Mystery
454 pages

I was a little late to this party, but boy was it fun!  If your familiarity with the Holy Grail ends after the Indy & the Last Crusade credits roll, prepare to be surprised.  The theme of the novel is a search for the Sangreal, or Holy Grail and is told through the eyes of many interested participants.  The opening action sees a pivotal character murdered in the Louvre, a leader of the Priory of Scion.  His murder starts a scavenger hunt for religious truths that had been buried for centuries. 
Dan Brown did a good job of creating characters that readers care about - you will embrace some for their righteousness and despise others for their unthinkable cruelty.  The story has a few slow moments but they are countered by the fantastic denouement that sees truths about Jesus and Mary Magdalene flying left and right.  This story has more twists than a Chubby Checker song.  I was particularly pleased to see how Brown confronts modern religion - he isn't drinking their Kool Aid either.  I felt like I had just received a mail order PhD when I was done; learning the meaning of phi was icing on the cake.  Two thumbs up for the book, two thumbs up my ass for not having read it earlier.
I am open to suggestions for similar titles.
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"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive."
Albert Schweitzer

iPeter

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2005, 11:47:24 AM »

Quote
I am open to suggestions for similar titles.

Brown's own Angels & Demons is Robert Langdon's first adventure. It's not as much of a history lesson, but it is equally engaging and I thought better paced. A lot of my enjoyment came from my familiarity with The Illuminati myth from The Illuminatus Trilogy written by a couple of guys named Robert (coincidence that Brown's character shares their name?). :D

Pieter
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adamsappel

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2005, 01:16:41 PM »

If you liked Da Vinci Code (and how can you not like a book where people travel to numerous European countries seemingly in the space of a single night, never eat, never sleep, have conversations that last for pages while they descend a short flight of stairs, cops out on the bad guy's motivations, is often factually wrong and whenever a character needs a coincidence, why, here's one right here!), try The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason.
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Bryan

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2005, 01:21:27 PM »

Thank you, bitter soul.
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"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive."
Albert Schweitzer

Beer Monkey

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2005, 04:07:41 PM »

I think Allen is a little hard on 'The Da Vinci Code'.  It's an adventure yarn, plain and simple.  I enjoyed reading it.  I look at books like I look at movies; sometimes I want a serious art film or a gripping drama, sometimes I just want basic entertainment.

I do have some criticism of Dan Brown that even applies when addressing his books as pop novels, and that's that his last two works feature the same supporting characters and plot devices.  The ancient secrets; the conspiracy that isn't far-reaching as originally implied; the deluded henchman; the plot twist will involve betrayal, and so on.  I start to feel as if I'm reading the same book, and this is somewhat true of his earlier work.

If you find the historical theories behind 'Da Vinci' interesting, I think you may find the non-fiction book 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' interesting...it seems to be where Brown got his theories, wholesale.

Along the same lines, but with an incompatible theory, is The Jesus Mysteries, which makes one of the stronger cases I've seen against the historical Jesus, asserting that Christ was one of many identical non-literal pagan god-man clones that all were born around winter solstice, of virgin birth, were crucified/resurrected in the spring, and so on; and that the original Gnostic Christian faith was stomped out by later revisionists that created a new Literalist canon.  Of course, this is even more controversial than the Magdelene/Grail theories, and has a tendency to really polarize people.  But it makes for good reading, in my opinion.   I'll post more details from home on page count, etc.
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adamsappel

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2005, 05:13:37 PM »

If you find the historical theories behind 'Da Vinci' interesting, I think you may find the non-fiction book 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' interesting...it seems to be where Brown got his theories, wholesale.
My wife loved Da Vinci Code and is reading this right now.

I enjoyed DVC while I was reading it, but if you stop to think about it for even a second, it all falls apart. But remember, this is coming from a jealous hack. Remind me to tell you of my "cloning Jesus" novel and my horrible epiphany sometime.
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iPeter

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2005, 11:40:40 AM »

She Comes First
Ian Kerner
Non-Fiction, unless you think the g-spot is a myth
"The thinking man's guide to pleasuring a woman" :P
5 hour unabridged audiobook

The tongue is mightier than the sword. I purchased this audiobook for Valentine's Day last weekend. No, I've never had any complaints about my technique. I listened to this book because I strongly believe that no man should ever stop searching for new ways to please his woman. So does "She Comes First" deliver anything new? Sort of. It wouldn't be appropriate to go into details, so let me just say that I learned enough to warrant recommending this book. It's not too long, is often humorous, and doesn't beat around the bush!

Rating: Two tongues up!

Similar titles: Penthouse forum.

Pieter
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Bryan

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2005, 12:45:11 PM »

doesn't beat around the bush!

Literally?
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Albert Schweitzer

mrpig

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2005, 02:03:26 PM »

I read the The Da Vinci Code and loved it.  It would be great if it were a work of nonfiction because I enjoyed many of the ideas it expressed.  All religion is subjective and much of it is shrouded in mystery.  I just wish the illustrated version was out at the time, as many of the pictures in it would have greatly help my perception of the artistic and architectural details as I haven’t been to all of the locals described in the book.  I have been to the Louvre though.

I also read Angles and Demons and enjoyed it just about as much.  Having a bit a physics in my background made it quite entertaining.  An illustrated version of this would be nice as well.

I have a ton of books on my to read list, I just find video games and family getting in the way.  

Off the top of my head I have both The Elegant Universe and Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene to read, as well as Ringworld’s Children by Larry Niven and I’ve started the sixth book in the Wheel of time series by Robert Jordan.
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Bryan

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Re: Teh Bias Book Clubb
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2005, 02:07:05 PM »

I thought my Geometry teacher was a demon.
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"By respect for life we become religious in a way that is elementary, profound and alive."
Albert Schweitzer

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