jayseven

General Book Thread

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@drahkon that's not an easy question. How are you with notation? Are you familiar with any particular chess players over the years?

 

Beginner chess is about a) the rules of the game and b) the general 'maxims' that one should follow (control the centre, try not to move the same piece twice in teh first 8 moves, don't trade equal pieces if you lose territory/position, controlling files, pawn structure, etc).

 

If you feel like you know what each piece does and which pieces you want to keep on the board then, really, the best book to read is My System by Aron Nimzovich (apologies for the .co.uk link); this book is basically read by all serious chess players. It's a well-worded and often funny book written by the man behind the Nimzo-indian defense.

 

I haven't finished 'reading' it yet. I found a youtube channel that was 'reading' the book but it has an annoying background hum that is difficult to deal with for several 13-minute videos, however I watched each section then went and played some games with the chapters in mind and... well I've won 20 of my last 23 games and my rating's gone up from 1398 to 1477 so it's done quite well.

 

Bobby Fischer was one of the greatest players of all time (if not the best) and his book my 60 memorable games is a great way to see into how he saw the game. This book is best read with a chess set playing through the games. I find this to be a bit difficult (due to my eyes) and my understanding of chess notation is ridiculously backwards considering how often I play. I'm much better with the old-fashioned notation (king's pawn, rather than e4 or whatever).

 

If you fancied playing chess I'd gladly play a bunch of unrated games on chess.com, then review them with you. The best way to improve your game is to go back through your own game and try and figure out how the opponent lost or won - what moves did they do wrong? Which moves did you do wrong?

 

A fun book is The Even More Complete Chess Addict which has lots of great stuff in it; games with famous people (humphrey bogart, einstein, churchill); game variants; chess history; chess trivia, stuff like that. Good fun.

 

I have to say that, personally, it's very difficult to read about play styles and strategies without wanting to play. One angle with chess that many players take is to learn two or three openings and defences so that they know 'what to do' for 20+ moves no matter what the opponent does. This can build good structures and result in at least a draw against decent players, but all you're doing is being a robot. Playing fischer chess (a variant) removes the automatic chess play and forces players to utilise the maxims, and really just play chess.

 

In times I've felt too burnt out to actually play chess but still been eager to learn I've found The chess network's videos great fun. He does these 30-min or 1-hour videos where he's playing blitz (1-minute) chess tournaments. He manages to not only win most of the time, but also explain his thoughts and strategies, whilst having a great laugh. In fact, I think I'll watch some of this stuff now. Been a while!

 

So yeah - lemme know if you have more of an idea of what you want. It's difficult because chess is complicated, and it's hard to find books that fit the pacing of your learning. If you don't want to play but want to learn about the ideas behind strategies I would say you should check out the youtube videos above. He also does videos where he goes over classic games, or recent tournament games, and he has a great way of explaining what the thinking behind the moves are. I would be glad to play some games with you (I'm jayseven on chess.com) and if you want to get better at chess I would suggest trying doing a zillion tactics. These are hard to spot during the game sometimes but once you've done a bunch you start getting ideas while you play!

 

No idea how helpful this has been to you, sorry!

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No idea how helpful this has been to you, sorry!

 

Yeah, you should apologize, your post sucked.

:p

 

Nah, thanks :)

 

I actually know nothing about chess except for what each pieces' moves are. Never even played against a human opponent.

 

lemme know if you have more of an idea of what you want.

 

Currently, all I can say is that I'd love to know about chess, but don't want to play it (yet).

 

My System seems like a good choice.

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lol :P

of the series of videos where a rather decent chess youtuber reads the book whilst playing out the various parts. The book is out of copyright, which is nice. I would still recomment you play a few games with me where I'll narrate my intentions and general thoughts. I;m not a massively strong player so it'll give you some ideas! I can pass on a lot of beginner theory. I've played a lot with other forumers who have enjoyed it (and flaunted their victories) but yeah, let me know if you get on with that book. If you want better suggestions then reply back and I'll see what I can do. I work with someone who, after playing a few games with me, revealed he once played for England as a youngster. My record against him is 6 losses and 2 wins! I'm proud of those :P Anyway he may have some other book recommendations.

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I recommend ChessNetwork on Youtube, the uploader Jerry has lots of different series about tactics, puzzles and famous games as well as bullet tournaments he takes part in, which are usually pretty entertaining. You'll learn the general principles, names of moves etc etc but the only way to get good at chess is to practice. LOADS.

Edited by dwarf

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I heartily recommend Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicle series. Only 2 of the 3 books have been released so far but they are amazingly good reads. They're fantasy type books but not swamped in heavy magic and wizard type tradition that generally turns me off.

 

Second to that, the First Law trilogy (and standalone books) are awesome too. Another fantasy series that basically plays out in an unpredictable, dark and awesomely gripping way. Joe Abercrombie is champ.

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I recommend ChessNetwork on Youtube, the uploader Jerry has lots of different series about tactics, puzzles and famous games as well as bullet tournaments he takes place in, which are usually pretty entertaining. You'll learn the general principles, names of moves etc etc but the only way to get good at chess is to practice. LOADS.

(I mentioned that in my post but thanks for the back-up :P)

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Dat new Stephen King cover...

 

pdxk.jpg

 

 

So the sequel to The Shining is about... a CGI cat that's on fire??

 

Worst.cover.ever! Jeez mun.

 

Oh well i don't read SK anymore anyway cos i've given up on that dude... but just wondered how such a crap cover made it to publication stage! (they have meetings, right?).

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Dat new Stephen King cover...

 

pdxk.jpg

 

 

So the sequel to The Shining is about... a CGI cat that's on fire??

 

Worst.cover.ever! Jeez mun.

 

Oh well i don't read SK anymore anyway cos i've given up on that dude... but just wondered how such a crap cover made it to publication stage! (they have meetings, right?).

 

Are....are you judging a book by its cover?

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Has anyone read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman?

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ocean-at-End-Lane/dp/1472200314/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381508448&sr=1-1&keywords=the+ocean+at+the+end+of+the+lane

 

... any thoughts, I here it might be a bit dark, not really what I'm looking for, but at 250 or so pages, I'm thinking I might give it a go.

 

Also thinking about getting the classic Sherlock Holmes stories and wondering if anyone knows the best way of doing so.

 

There's this on Amazon,...

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sherlock-Holmes-Complete-Wordsworth-Editions/dp/1853268968/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381508484&sr=1-1&keywords=sherlock+holmes+books

 

However, I'm struggling to imagine holding a 1500 page book!!

Also heard that it may have been Americanised a little, not that I'd necessarily mind, as I haven't read any before.

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Well, I bought this one, which seems to be slightly different than the one you posted. I'm not aware that either has been Americanised - surely they'd simply be reprints of the original stories? Anyway, it is a large book, but I found it surprisingly light for a book that size, and there's something about having the entire collection in one volume.

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I wonder if ebooks will start to get longer, now that they're not bound (literally!) by the constraints that paper books have.

 

 

I read Consider Phlebas by the way, from recommendations on here. Very good. Proper science fiction too, with emphasis on the science, all the physics in it seemed very well thought out.

 

Just read through Memory of Light again too, since i'd only read it once since it came out, and i've read all the others multiple times. Awesome series.

 

Not sure what to read next though, might have to pop into Waterstones at some point if i get the time.

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Currently reading Bright Young Things by Scarlett Thomas.

 

It's brilliant so far.

Edit: Well, finished it...and hmmmm... :hmm: The ending isn't what I had expected, and I'm not sure I like it.

The rest of the book is amazing, though.

Six characters end up on an island and they have to 'survive'. But it's not about survival. It's about how they interact. And I could relate to everyone of them.

 

Scarlett Thomas become my favourite author since I've finished The End of Mr Y and PopCo several years ago.

 

 

Is there anyone who's read either of those and could recommend me something similar?

I'll buy every other book she's written, but I'd like to know if there are any other authors covering similar themes :)

Edited by drahkon

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Just read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (my new favourite author). Loved it. A superhero story with a bit of a twist. I worked out two out of the three or four plot twists before the end, but it was still good.

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Just read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (my new favourite author). Loved it. A superhero story with a bit of a twist. I worked out two out of the three or four plot twists before the end, but it was still good.

 

Ah, yeah, he's my friend's favourite author as well. I've considered getting into his works.

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Sorry for bumping this thread, couldn't find a more current one.

 

I need some help in finding some good books for when I go on holiday! I haven't read any books in years so don't really know what is out there and worth reading. Anyone have suggestions?

 

To give you on idea of what I like, some of the books I remember reading years ago (seriously, it has been ages) and liking are:

 

- 1984, Animal Farm

- Short stories by Edgar Allan Poe

- Narnia Chronicles

- The Hobbit

- Some Terry Pratchett books

- Life of Pi

- Northern Lights

...

 

Of course there is more I read, but this is all I can remember from the top of my head. I am looking for books in the same style I guess (fantasy type stories seem to catch my interest quite well), though if there are any classics I should read, feel free to let me know! =)

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Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

For Lucy had her work cut out for her. The doors would be taken off their hinges; Rumpelmayer's men were coming. And then, thought Clarissa Dalloway, what a morning - fresh as if issued to children on a beach.

What a lark! What a plunge!

 

Read it for my degree this year, it's divine. Nab a copy, it's not too long either.

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Buy The Night Circus @Eenuh, I think you'll absolutely love it! :)

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Circus-Erin-Morgenstern/dp/0099554798/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401190567&sr=1-1&keywords=the+night+circus

 

Seems a great fit for you from the books you've read, and your creative side. One of my favourites.

 

 

My last book was Inferno by Dan Brown.

Thought it was fantastic. Gripping story from start to finish, I learnt things reading it, and the locations happened to be all one's I'm interested in visiting.

Would recommend it big time!

 

I'm currently reading To Kill A Mockingbird.

I had to read it during school, but I don't think that made it enjoyable and I couldn't remember anything from it (a few pieces are coming back to me as I'm reading it now). I thought it deserved a second read, and I'm really glad I did, as it's a great read!

 

I've got The Boy in the Striped Pyjama's to read next.

Edited by Retro_Link

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I've got The Boy in the Stripped Pyjama's to read next.

 

Wtf is that, some sort or Jewish Holocaust Paedophilia Porn novel?

 

Not for me thanks.

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Thanks guys, I will look into the books mentioned! I will be visiting the local library (first time since I moved here) so hopefully they have them there. =)

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I recently read The Gunslinger by Stephen King, and it were rubbish.

 

Then I read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and it were really good.

 

Reading the second one now.

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Recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, thought it was a beautifully written book, an absolute joy to read. Also read Magician, Silverthorn and I am almost through A Darkness in Sethanon, all of the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist... enjoying these immensely too.

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Recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, thought it was a beautifully written book, an absolute joy to read. Also read Magician, Silverthorn and I am almost through A Darkness in Sethanon, all of the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist... enjoying these immensely too.

 

I picked those up because the protagonist is called Pug. They're pretty good! There's a new one out soon right?

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Has anyone read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman?

 

I have. Read that it was meant to be the best thing ever and it wasn't. :shakehead

 

Dat new Stephen King cover...

 

pdxk.jpg

 

 

So the sequel to The Shining is about... a CGI cat that's on fire??

 

Worst.cover.ever! Jeez mun.

 

Oh well i don't read SK anymore anyway cos i've given up on that dude... but just wondered how such a crap cover made it to publication stage! (they have meetings, right?).

 

Did you read Dr. Sleep? It may be a sequel to The Shining but its got a different feel entirely. Well worth a read. :awesome:

 

I recently read The Gunslinger by Stephen King, and it were rubbish.

 

Promise me one thing: that you'll read Dark Tower Vol II before quitting on the series? : peace:

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