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  1. #21
    Junior Member mithogo's Avatar
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    "Guitar Zero." This book is very entertaining and informative. The author Gary Marcus is a cognitive psychologist. He started learning guitar when he was 39. He is an expert in the psychology of learning.
    It describes his journey. He uses some well explained clinical terminology and a great sense of humor to describe the process. This book is actually motivating me to continue to learn. I highly recommend it. It's a Must Read if you are a parent.

    HIGHLIGHTS, QUOTES FROM THE BOOK AND FROM REVIEWS:
    Learning exercises the brain and practice spurs brain growth. Learning makes us happy.

    Two prerequisites to achieve skill and expertise: "Tons of practice" and "Quality, focused, deliberate practice."

    "Learning the rudiments of piano came relatively easy, the guitar was brutal."

    "Memory, perception,coordination, strength: guitar is just plain hard."

  2. #22
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Touching on a few points raised since my last post...

    Vonnegut is one of those guys who, when I read one of his books, my immediate reaction is why don't I read more of his stuff?

    Christopher Moore's "Lamb" is an absolute gem. There was a later edition released in a faux-black leather cover (think bible cover) with an afterword that talks about the reaction he got to the book. Very interesting,

    Lloyd - the Ace book was rather disappointing. I was looking for more insight into how Kiss worked, both in the studio and as a group, but it wasn't there. And what was there was really disjointed. There were some stories that just felt like they needed to go somewhere to make them worthwhile.

    As for King, there was a stretch late in the Dark Tower series where he inserted a character named Stephen King that almost totally paralleled his real life (it includes the van accident as part of the story and such). It struck me as rather overindulgent and I thought it might have been less distracting to make it another character.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  3. #23
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    NSFW...

    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    As for King, there was a stretch late in the Dark Tower series where he inserted a character named Stephen King that almost totally paralleled his real life (it includes the van accident as part of the story and such). It struck me as rather overindulgent and I thought it might have been less distracting to make it another character.
    King was able to turn his accident into a great story with "Misery"...but, for some reason....much of his later work appears to be a rehash of earlier themes done again again and again.

    I could NEVER even touch the dark tower series...even when it first appeared as a serial in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction...my bible from the late'60's until the mid to late '80's when it deteriorated after Ed Ferman left as editor.

    And then....there was Harlan Ellison who politely accused King of "unintentional plagiarism" with regard to several of his works...claiming that "Steve wouldn't do that on purpose...it must have been unconscious and not on purpose"....giving a friend a pass during a politically incorrect period of his work. IMO...it wasn't plagiarism...at least, not to the extent that James Cameron ripped off Ellison's two "Outer Limits" scripts to create "The Terminator" ("Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand"...pure rip offs for Ahhhnald's movie and paid dearly later on)...it was purely because Steve had run out of ideas and was just churning out old plot lines and ideas in "new" formats. Oh well...don't get me going on Steve King...I hate it when a formerly great writer ("The Stand" is one of my favorite stories ever) becomes mediocre. That said....I'll still recommend one of the more recent (but still, kinda remote based on his prodigious productivity) "Insomnia" which did have me captivated for about 400+ pages.

    BTW...anyone else think that King is great for the first 400 pages or so...and then, just runs out of steam and the books simmers to a conclusion as opposed to reaching a real climax??

    For those unfamiliar with Ellison...read the short story "I have no Mouth and I must Scream"....it will take less than an hour and convert you immediately.

    For those unfamiliar with Philip Jose Farmer (RIP and my internet friend) start with "To your Scattered Bodies Go" and then revel in the story of how all of humanity that ever lived is resurrected along the banks of the great river....and the quest to find the reason for why this has happened. Once you get that under your belt...you're ready for "Maker of Universes" which begins the "World of Tiers" series.

    finally....for those unfamiliar with Philip K Dick...whose work, since his death has become the movies "Bladerunner", "Paycheck", "Imposter", "Total Recall", "A Scanner Darkly", "Screamers", "Minority Report" and "Next" to name several....begin with "The Man in the High Castle" and you'll get your first taste of his concept of alternative realities and the prevailing theme of "What is real, and what is not reality". After all..for two months in 1974 he had an ongoing relationship with his "counterpart" from AD 100 or so....leading to his multi-thousand page work "Exigenesis" which attempted to explain why we are not really here at all....but rather under the reality created by a malevolent deity circa 2000 years ago. Pretty intriguing stuff.


    Edit...now that I think if it..."Misery" may have actually preceded his Van accident, and may have actually been a portent of things to come.
    Last edited by docbennett; 02-03-2013 at 08:37 AM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post

    Christopher Moore's "Lamb" is an absolute gem. There was a later edition released in a faux-black leather cover (think bible cover) with an afterword that talks about the reaction he got to the book. Very interesting,

    Yes! I have that edition, and it's signed! I have seriously bought and loaned out at least four copies of that book, and I get excited whenever it is mentioned. I read some random interview with Duff from G-n-R where he mentioned that he was in the middle of reading it, he was positively gushing about it too.

  6. #26
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    King was able to turn his accident into a great story with "Misery"...but, for some reason....much of his later work appears to be a rehash of earlier themes done again again and again.

    I could NEVER even touch the dark tower series...even when it first appeared as a serial in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction...my bible from the late'60's until the mid to late '80's when it deteriorated after Ed Ferman left as editor.

    And then....there was Harlan Ellison who politely accused King of "unintentional plagiarism" with regard to several of his works...claiming that "Steve wouldn't do that on purpose...it must have been unconscious and not on purpose"....giving a friend a pass during a politically incorrect period of his work. IMO...it wasn't plagiarism...at least, not to the extent that James Cameron ripped off Ellison's two "Outer Limits" scripts to create "The Terminator" ("Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand"...pure rip offs for Ahhhnald's movie and paid dearly later on)...it was purely because Steve had run out of ideas and was just churning out old plot lines and ideas in "new" formats. Oh well...don't get me going on Steve King...I hate it when a formerly great writer ("The Stand" is one of my favorite stories ever) becomes mediocre. That said....I'll still recommend one of the more recent (but still, kinda remote based on his prodigious productivity) "Insomnia" which did have me captivated for about 400+ pages.

    BTW...anyone else think that King is great for the first 400 pages or so...and then, just runs out of steam and the books simmers to a conclusion as opposed to reaching a real climax??

    For those unfamiliar with Ellison...read the short story "I have no Mouth and I must Scream"....it will take less than an hour and convert you immediately.

    For those unfamiliar with Philip Jose Farmer (RIP and my internet friend) start with "To your Scattered Bodies Go" and then revel in the story of how all of humanity that ever lived is resurrected along the banks of the great river....and the quest to find the reason for why this has happened. Once you get that under your belt...you're ready for "Maker of Universes" which begins the "World of Tiers" series.

    finally....for those unfamiliar with Philip K Dick...whose work, since his death has become the movies "Bladerunner", "Paycheck", "Imposter", "Total Recall", "A Scanner Darkly", "Screamers", "Minority Report" and "Next" to name several....begin with "The Man in the High Castle" and you'll get your first taste of his concept of alternative realities and the prevailing theme of "What is real, and what is not reality". After all..for two months in 1974 he had an ongoing relationship with his "counterpart" from AD 100 or so....leading to his multi-thousand page work "Exigenesis" which attempted to explain why we are not really here at all....but rather under the reality created by a malevolent deity circa 2000 years ago. Pretty intriguing stuff.


    Edit...now that I think if it..."Misery" may have actually preceded his Van accident, and may have actually been a portent of things to come.
    Totally agree that King's books peak early. I don't feel that way about the Dark Tower books, though. They're easily his best books of what I've read so far.

    I liked how he wrote himself into the Dark Tower. I get a kick out of blending fantasy with reality. Mind bending stuff is always fun.
    --Garrett--

  7. #27
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    Yes! I have that edition, and it's signed! I have seriously bought and loaned out at least four copies of that book, and I get excited whenever it is mentioned. I read some random interview with Duff from G-n-R where he mentioned that he was in the middle of reading it, he was positively gushing about it too.
    I had mine signed "Happy Easter!"
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  8. #28
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    I had mine signed "Happy Easter!"
    Brilliant!

    I will trade anybody here who buys "Lamb" a different book if you don't absolutely love it.

  9. #29
    Junior Member Texas_minor_blues's Avatar
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    Lamb! I haven't read that book in ages...
    Anyone else a Dresden Files fan? Great Sci-fi series
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  10. #30
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm putting Christopher Moore on my shortlist. My wife may have already read the vampire themed ones. She's a nut for anything vampire-related.
    --Garrett--

  11. #31
    Still a Junior Member Albrecht Smuten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    King was able to turn his accident into a great story with "Misery"...but, for some reason....much of his later work appears to be a rehash of earlier themes done again again and again.

    I could NEVER even touch the dark tower series...even when it first appeared as a serial in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction...my bible from the late'60's until the mid to late '80's when it deteriorated after Ed Ferman left as editor.

    And then....there was Harlan Ellison who politely accused King of "unintentional plagiarism" with regard to several of his works...claiming that "Steve wouldn't do that on purpose...it must have been unconscious and not on purpose"....giving a friend a pass during a politically incorrect period of his work. IMO...it wasn't plagiarism...at least, not to the extent that James Cameron ripped off Ellison's two "Outer Limits" scripts to create "The Terminator" ("Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand"...pure rip offs for Ahhhnald's movie and paid dearly later on)...it was purely because Steve had run out of ideas and was just churning out old plot lines and ideas in "new" formats. Oh well...don't get me going on Steve King...I hate it when a formerly great writer ("The Stand" is one of my favorite stories ever) becomes mediocre. That said....I'll still recommend one of the more recent (but still, kinda remote based on his prodigious productivity) "Insomnia" which did have me captivated for about 400+ pages.

    BTW...anyone else think that King is great for the first 400 pages or so...and then, just runs out of steam and the books simmers to a conclusion as opposed to reaching a real climax??

    For those unfamiliar with Ellison...read the short story "I have no Mouth and I must Scream"....it will take less than an hour and convert you immediately.

    For those unfamiliar with Philip Jose Farmer (RIP and my internet friend) start with "To your Scattered Bodies Go" and then revel in the story of how all of humanity that ever lived is resurrected along the banks of the great river....and the quest to find the reason for why this has happened. Once you get that under your belt...you're ready for "Maker of Universes" which begins the "World of Tiers" series.

    finally....for those unfamiliar with Philip K Dick...whose work, since his death has become the movies "Bladerunner", "Paycheck", "Imposter", "Total Recall", "A Scanner Darkly", "Screamers", "Minority Report" and "Next" to name several....begin with "The Man in the High Castle" and you'll get your first taste of his concept of alternative realities and the prevailing theme of "What is real, and what is not reality". After all..for two months in 1974 he had an ongoing relationship with his "counterpart" from AD 100 or so....leading to his multi-thousand page work "Exigenesis" which attempted to explain why we are not really here at all....but rather under the reality created by a malevolent deity circa 2000 years ago. Pretty intriguing stuff.


    Edit...now that I think if it..."Misery" may have actually preceded his Van accident, and may have actually been a portent of things to come.
    "I have no Mouth and I must Scream" is a killer short story. I've read it in english and it totally blew me away.

    I've read translations of several P. K. Dick's books and had a really hard time keeping attention. "Martian Time-Slip" and "A Scanner darkly" worked best for me. "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" were too psychedelic and I never understood the ending...
    Love for all human beings is like listening to any kind of music. You just don't care.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albrecht Smuten View Post
    "I have no Mouth and I must Scream" is a killer short story. I've read it in english and it totally blew me away.

    I've read translations of several P. K. Dick's books and had a really hard time keeping attention. "Martian Time-Slip" and "A Scanner darkly" worked best for me. "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" were too psychedelic and I never understood the ending...
    You can't read "3 stigmata" without having read the two prequels....he attempts to explain VALIS and assumes you already know what he's talking about. VALIS is the basis for his existential beliefs that plagued his last 9 years or so.

    Try "The Man in the High Castle"....very interesting since you come from a former Soviet Block Country, and the main theme of the book (or the book within the book, as you'll see) is the alternative reality of the Germans, Japanese and Italians winning WW2, and the social aftermath that followed. Most of the aforementioned movies were based on short stories, with the exception of "Bladerunner" whichwas based on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" once again exploring what is real (human) vs. what isn't (Androids who think and feel and are superior to humans in most ways). Finally, if you liked "Total Recall" try the short story "We can remember it for you wholesale". If you enjoyed "Minority Report" (despite Tom Cruise) try the novella by the same name...you will see the perfect juxtaposition of his "reality" and "alternate reality theme".

    for a bit more of PKD's last 9 years, try this R. Crumb pictorial.....it tries to explain how Philip met his "AD 100" counterpart, and tried to figure out what had happened.....pretty intruiging....

    http://www.philipkdickfans.com/resou...rom-weirdo-17/


    As you might imagine, PKD plays a very important role in my life, and in my attempts to explain the world we live in. I don't discuss it with too many people...however, in my line of work..the interface between "The Psychotic" and "the Religious" is too much of a "coincidence" to ignore the ramifications and possible connections.

    that's all for now, before the men in the white jackets come to medicate me and take me away.
    Last edited by docbennett; 02-04-2013 at 10:50 AM.

  13. #33
    I recently read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. A great set of books if you are looking for something that's not too heavy but entertaining.

    Any avid reader will fly through these books, they are real page turners. I read the whole trilogy in a week. Well worth a look.

  14. #34
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    Okay, I'm putting Christopher Moore on my shortlist. My wife may have already read the vampire themed ones. She's a nut for anything vampire-related.
    I have read two of those, the last one being "You Suck", pretty funny read and I'm not all that into vampires. Another great one is "The Fool" which is basically a a reworked version of "King Lear" I even got some Christopher Moore "Throx" (a pair of socks that come with a third sock in case you lose one!) the have the word "F%$# Sox" printed on them. The guys books have enriched my life so much in the same way as South Parks Matt and Trey.

  15. #35
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    "Fluke" is very good as well. His vampire books are quite entertaining - they don't dwell on the vampireness of things. And I like vampire stories.
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  16. #36
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Just finished Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Quick, easy, entertaining read, but with a bit of deeper meaning thrown in. I dug it.
    --Garrett--

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    Just finished Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. Quick, easy, entertaining read, but with a bit of deeper meaning thrown in. I dug it.
    If you liked that, you will absolutely LOVE another early work..."The Sirens of Titan". I consider "Slaughterhouse 5" to be possibly the best novel ever written. I consider most of his work post that era...starting with "Breakfast of Champions" to be of inferior quality, and not nearly as representative of his themes and concepts he those he developed through the first set of novels. Turning 50 circa 1972 for Kurt was a turning point, as his style changed dramatically. Anyone who has a copy of the Harlan Ellison Anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions" wojuld enjoy the Vonnegut contribution, "The Big Space F&@K".

  18. #38
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    You know what's a GREAT book? "Influence" by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, yeah those creepy lookin' freaky billionaire twins from Full House. It is basically a Q&A about how some of the most respected names in art and fashion got their start, and a wonderful source of inspiration. Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, DVF, Terry Richardson, Christian Louboutin, and so many others spill their guts as to how they got started in a business that is just as tough, or tougher than being a musician. I rolled my eyes when someone brought it to the house, but some indian food and a lack of suitable bathroom material proved to me that you can't judge a book by its author(s).

  19. #39
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbennett View Post
    If you liked that, you will absolutely LOVE another early work..."The Sirens of Titan". I consider "Slaughterhouse 5" to be possibly the best novel ever written. I consider most of his work post that era...starting with "Breakfast of Champions" to be of inferior quality, and not nearly as representative of his themes and concepts he those he developed through the first set of novels. Turning 50 circa 1972 for Kurt was a turning point, as his style changed dramatically. Anyone who has a copy of the Harlan Ellison Anthology "Again, Dangerous Visions" wojuld enjoy the Vonnegut contribution, "The Big Space F&@K".
    I'm about two dozen pages into Slaughterhouse-Five. Definitely a heavier read than Cradle already.
    --Garrett--

  20. #40
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    I rather enjoyed King's latest installment of the dark tower "wind through the keyhole". It was a quick read for me.

    Currently I'm breezing through David Baldacci's "Zero Day". First time reading this author and I like it's style so far. This book is a murder mystery.
    Sometimes in life you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

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