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Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 355920 times)

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #550 on: 09 Feb 2012, 22:32 »

Also the name of a missile, a fact which would have overjoyed Freud.

Currently reading "The Cleanest Race", an attempt to reverse-engineer the North Korean psyche from their internal propaganda (which is interestingly different from what they send to the outside world).
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #551 on: 10 Feb 2012, 07:11 »

Budget Wedding Planning for Dummies. I may have dreamed about this day my whole life but I'll be damned if I'm going to go deeper into debt for it. People that work in the wedding business are effing vultures.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #552 on: 10 Feb 2012, 08:16 »

Off topic, but hey, lepetitfromage, congratulations!
You'd be surprised at what a nice wedding you can have if you rope all your friends into helping.
Use your local library (I work in one) for all the resources you can find. They're really helpful.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #553 on: 10 Feb 2012, 10:11 »

Thanks! I'm really excited  :-D Although, some of the "average price" stats are terrifying! Did you know that the "average" wedding costs 20k?  :-o We're aiming for less than half of that, but we're keeping it pretty small and i am a big DIYer, so I think we'll be in good shape.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #554 on: 10 Feb 2012, 13:48 »

Waking the Dead by John Eldredge.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #555 on: 10 Feb 2012, 23:34 »

"The Italian Secretary", Caleb Carr. It's a new Sherlock Holmes story, in the original style. Reading it provides the same comfort as putting on an old shoe.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #556 on: 11 Feb 2012, 15:55 »

I've just finished The Death and Life of Syliva Plath, so I'm about to move onto The Bell Jar. It's part of my entry for the Rose Book Collecting prize, the theme of which is apparently going to be "depressing works by women who came to my college and then killed themselves".
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #557 on: 26 Feb 2012, 21:40 »

"One Hundred Names for Love", Diane Ackerman.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #558 on: 28 Feb 2012, 16:38 »

The Dreamer, Her Angel, And The Stars

By Linda S. North

Better known as Cygirl among the Voyager Fan Fiction Community, this is her first published novel and something I've been looking forward to for several months.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #559 on: 28 Feb 2012, 17:56 »

Now Reading: Charles Lewinsky - Melnitz

So far (100-700) it's about the family Meijer (or mybe melnitz in german, i dunno). A jewish family in Austria around 1890. So far pretty good.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #560 on: 28 Feb 2012, 21:18 »

Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker

Disappointing: lots of small factual errors and little if anything that hasn't been covered elsewhere. Get Bradley Martin's book instead.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #561 on: 29 Feb 2012, 04:02 »

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #562 on: 29 Feb 2012, 06:55 »

Jack McDevitt - A talent for war
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #563 on: 29 Feb 2012, 17:50 »

"Comeback: A Conservatism That Can Win", David Frum.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #564 on: 01 Mar 2012, 14:40 »

"Comeback: A Conservatism That Can Win", David Frum.

Was that in the Fiction Section?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #565 on: 01 Mar 2012, 16:02 »

Heh.

Rogue regime : / Becker, Jasper. Sloppy editing hurts the credibility of this North Korea book.

EDIT: The Paranoid Peninsula, Paul French. Detailed. Best line so far is a quote from Walter Mondale,  'Anyone who claims to be an expert on North Korea is either a liar or a fool'.
« Last Edit: 05 Mar 2012, 23:36 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #566 on: 06 Mar 2012, 12:55 »

The Lost Cyclist!

An amazing travelogue that makes me want to adventure.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #567 on: 10 Mar 2012, 11:17 »

"Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights into North Korea", Haggard and Noland. Extensive structured interviews and statistical analysis.

EDIT: "American Nerd: The Story of My People", Benjamin Nugent.

EDIT: "North Korea: A Strange Socialist Fortress", Hy-Sang Lee. Heavy on economics, and also includes some finds from 1996 propaganda including "Kim Jong Il Is the God of the Contemporary World", and a statement that both Kims were gods superior to Christ in love, to Buddha in benevolence, to Confucius in virtue, and to Mohammed in justice. (From Rodong Sinmun and Minju Choson). The latter also appears in Marcus Noland's "Korea After Kim Jong-Il".

EDIT: "Kosher Jesus". by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Intriguing, but so far doesn't seem to have the rigor necessary to support its conclusion.
« Last Edit: 22 Mar 2012, 23:39 by Is it cold in here? »
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #568 on: 29 Mar 2012, 12:32 »

Are you reading those back-to-back or all at the same time?

I bought Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals as an experiment from Amazon's ebook download service. Turns out they only object when you try to download PC games from their US site, while ebooks are fine. Anyway, I've discovered that my Sony reader is the functional equivalent of a Kindle touch wifi when I crack it and install the kindle android application. Sweet!
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #569 on: 09 Apr 2012, 11:38 »

Partial overlap.

Currently _The Inquisitor's Apprentice_, by Chris Moriarty. He does atmosphere well. It is unmistakably a Young Adult book.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #570 on: 09 Apr 2012, 13:41 »

Captain Grant's Children, by Jules Verne, Dutch translation. Was surprised to find that on gutenberg.org. Feels weird to read archaic Dutch when I don't do much of my reading in Dutch in the first place. So far, it is significantly less fantastical than Journey to the Center of the Earth, of which I read the English translation.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #571 on: 09 Apr 2012, 14:51 »

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity by David Lynch

It's nice to know he comes from a happy place.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #572 on: 12 Apr 2012, 12:39 »

I'm slowly making my way through the Wheel of Time series (currently on #8), and slowly also reading other things interspersed here and there. The last book comes out in January, so I don't want to finish everything else too early and leave a giant gap between #13 and #14. I finished Battle Royale not too long ago, and started on Thus Spake Zarathustra last night. I haven't made too much progress, but I'm looking forward to enjoying it properly.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #573 on: 27 Apr 2012, 16:01 »

Blood of Elves, by Andrzej Sapkowski, otherwise known as the man who spawned the Witcher universe. Really digging it by now - the universe as well as the writing - and the book provides a number of interesting perspectives, as well as reinforcing the image of a world where there are no good guys, not a single one.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #574 on: 27 Apr 2012, 21:44 »

About to start Ender's Game. I've been told to read it since I was 13, but I never did. Now I will.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #575 on: 01 May 2012, 18:18 »

I read Ender's Game for the first time two years ago, and frankly, being an officer in the Air Force, I wish I had read it ten years ago.  There's a reason why it's the only science fiction book on the military's (well, Marines anyway) recommended reading list.  No, really.


Right now I'm reading 'Dwarves', by Markus Heitz, and after that, I will be starting 'The Galileo Affair' by Eric Flint.

And then when I'm done with that, I will randomly select a book from the stack of ~30 I have yet to read.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #576 on: 02 May 2012, 01:38 »

Was gonna borrow The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from Mammy but she's lent it to her sister. Reading The Zombie Survival Guide now. Enjoying it a lot. Makes me glad I've moved out of a bungalow to a two storey house.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #577 on: 02 May 2012, 23:40 »

The Aquariums of Pyongyang.

By a refugee and a survivor of a re-education camp. After living in both Koreas and in China, he says that given the ubiquity of bribery that North Korea is the most money-ruled society he's lived in.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #578 on: 08 May 2012, 09:05 »

About to start Ender's Game. I've been told to read it since I was 13, but I never did. Now I will.
Reading it as well. A friend recommended it and I bought it right away, not because she was so convincing, but to demonstrate how easy Amazon makes it to buy ebooks.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #579 on: 08 May 2012, 10:36 »

I can't wait until e books are pirated as freely as mp3's.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #580 on: 08 May 2012, 10:37 »

They're pretty close already.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #581 on: 08 May 2012, 11:59 »

More popular books are easy to find, but biographies about Charles Bronson and stuff aren't as available
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #582 on: 08 May 2012, 23:35 »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince WHY DID SIRIUS HAVE TO DIE GODDAMMIT
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #583 on: 10 May 2012, 14:46 »

Montaigne's essays.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #584 on: 10 May 2012, 16:14 »

Finally found time to finish Ender's Game. Blew me the fuck away. I really wish I read it in the 5th grade when my friend suggested it.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #585 on: 11 May 2012, 16:41 »

Having just finished it as well, I can concur on the blowing-the-fuck-away-ness. But I don't think I would have wanted to read it earlier, because my younger self wouldn't have appreciated it as much. On the other hand, maybe if my younger self did read it, this book may have sparked this appreciation for a good book.

Basically, I would recommend this book to myself above any other book, although I'm not sure if that says more about me, or about the book. Maybe it's a strange thing to ask, but have any of you considered whether you would recommend a book to yourself after reading it? I think it has to do with a feeling that when you're done reading (or viewing, playing, or insert medium-appropriate-gerund-here) you have gained something, learned something, or are more complete than before.
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I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #586 on: 11 May 2012, 20:39 »

You both ought to go out and read Ender's Shadow now.  I loved that book to pieces.  It runs parallel to Game, telling the story of Bean.  I prefer it to Game by a good order of magnitude or two.  I read both of them when I was in 6th grade.  To sort of portray how amazing both books are: I picked up Ender's Game and was so enthralled I finished it in 3 days--skipping my favorite TV shows, losing sleep, finishing meals very quickly, etc.  Then, I got Ender's Shadow and I finished it in 2 days--I was so much more into the whole everything of that story (partially cause I had already read Game, partially because it's just freaking amazing) that I finished it more quickly despite it being longer.

(Also, IMO, Ender's Shadow and the whole Shadow series feels like a much more appropriate sequel and follow up to Ender's Game than Speaker for the Dead and the rest of the Ender series were)
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #587 on: 12 May 2012, 04:47 »

I read the back of Speaker of the Dead and that was enough for me. It sounded terrible.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #588 on: 14 May 2012, 07:22 »

Over the weekend I started and finished Let's Pretend This Never Happened. I actually had to put it down on three different occasions because it made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #589 on: 21 May 2012, 06:02 »

Just finished reading The Baby Laundry for Unmarried Mothers, which was interesting but unfortunately just didn't quite work, either as a novel or as a memoir. It was co-written, with the woman whose story it narrates dictating to an author. I enjoyed the story and it was thought-provoking but not well written.

I'm also reading the collected works of Amy Levy, and a book called The Madness of Adam and Eve. Only just started that last one but it appears to be about how genius and schizophrenia have close genetic links - a lot of geniuses have family members with schizophrenia, or demonstrate schizotypial traits themselves. It tracks back to the origins of man (the evolutionary origins, despite the title).
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #590 on: 21 May 2012, 07:22 »

I started reading This Is How by Augusten Burroughs last week. It's ok. Not really like anything else he's ever written. I usually eat his books up in an instant but this one is taking a while. I'm waiting for it to get funny but I don't know if that will happen. Now I know to read the description of the book before I buy it rather than just assuming I will love it because I love everything else the author has written.


The Madness of Adam and Eve sounds really interesting. I'd like to hear your thoughts on it when you finish it.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #591 on: 22 May 2012, 18:24 »

"Chances Are",  a book on probability and popular misconceptions of that topic. 
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #592 on: 22 May 2012, 20:15 »

You both ought to go out and read Ender's Shadow now.  I loved that book to pieces.  It runs parallel to Game, telling the story of Bean.  I prefer it to Game by a good order of magnitude or two.  I read both of them when I was in 6th grade.  To sort of portray how amazing both books are: I picked up Ender's Game and was so enthralled I finished it in 3 days--skipping my favorite TV shows, losing sleep, finishing meals very quickly, etc.  Then, I got Ender's Shadow and I finished it in 2 days--I was so much more into the whole everything of that story (partially cause I had already read Game, partially because it's just freaking amazing) that I finished it more quickly despite it being longer.

(Also, IMO, Ender's Shadow and the whole Shadow series feels like a much more appropriate sequel and follow up to Ender's Game than Speaker for the Dead and the rest of the Ender series were)
I second all of this. As much as I loved Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow was just spectacular. I read both about every year or so heh. Just one of those mindless books I can blow through and enjoy, and pick up different things each time.

Right now I'm reading Rant by Palahniuk. A bit hard to follow because of the writing style, and I have no idea what it's about, as usual, but again, as usual, enjoying it immensely.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #593 on: 22 May 2012, 21:09 »

I would actually suggest reading Speaker for the Dead. It's a very very very different book from Ender's Game, but it's probably the best sci-fi Card has written. Just... don't bother reading Xenocide or Children of the Mind. Pretend they don't exist.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #594 on: 22 May 2012, 22:14 »

I actually just started reading The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.  Its turning out to be kind of interesting! :-)
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #595 on: 24 May 2012, 11:04 »

Rimjin-gang, from Asiapress. North Koreans who make brass monkeys look like eunuchs smuggle interviews, photos, and video across the border for publication.

Interesting so far: an official at a state-run company describes corruption and outright looting reminiscent of the end stages of the USSR. If the reporters are reporting things straight, then the people they're interviewing are talking with shocking frankness about their country. Like, for example, the one who was willing to tell a stranger that he hoped Kim Jong-Il would die.

Someone was interviewed who (2008) was on the security team that protected public appearances by Kim Jong-Il. He described how he prepared for a visit to a military base. It involved kidnapping soldiers and their families, moving them to a guarded location at some distance, and replacing them with ringers of better-known loyalty.

Multiple interviews in the book confirm what we've heard about malnutrition in the military.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #596 on: 27 May 2012, 22:44 »

I was very excited to start reading this series I knew nothing about called The Steampunk Chronicles. I just finished up my current nonfiction book (I try to alternate between fiction and nonfiction) and got started. I was immediately upset to see that the publisher is Harlequin Teen. I didn't even know there was a whole section of Harlequin just for teens and there probably shouldn't be. By the end of the fourth page, I was done and for the first time ever in my life, I was so dis-satisfied with a book that I felt compelled to give it a bad review on Amazon. I will also point out that on the dedication page, the author thanks somebody for seeing Twilight with her.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #597 on: 02 Jun 2012, 10:34 »

I would actually suggest reading Speaker for the Dead. It's a very very very different book from Ender's Game, but it's probably the best sci-fi Card has written. Just... don't bother reading Xenocide or Children of the Mind. Pretend they don't exist.
Picked this up on your recommendation, and because a friend found the hierarchy of alienness to be an interesting one. I finished the book now, and I got the impression that it was as much, or even more, about people as it is about science fiction. I don't remember many books I've read that are like that. While it's interesting to read about the implications of instantaneous communication combined with the relativistic effects of near-lightspeed travel, they're obviously subservient to the stories of the characters' themselves.

One thing I really didn't expect in Speaker for the Dead was an AI. Card never really uses that term, but it is. I recall that in Ender's Game, the term 'intelligent program' was deliberately downplayed by one of the characters, who preferred to say "it's complex". That was an attitude I could relate with, because I recently realized that artificial intelligence as described in the majority of science fiction is based on some extremely anthropocentric assumptions about what it means to be intelligent. The notion that a spontaneously arising AI would have any sort of higher agency it didn't possess before is frankly absurd. So I was somewhat disappointed to see exactly this sort of AI in Speaker for the Dead, given that Card hinted before that he didn't 'believe' in it. I did, however, like the bit where Ender realized he has no idea how to use a computer.

Finally, after reading this book I realize that I still have no idea why faster-than-light communication breaks causality. For all its hard sci-fi, the book never addresses that - though I hardly think it should. Just, y'know, wondering.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #598 on: 03 Jun 2012, 18:37 »

I'm under the impression that the ansible (spelling?) sends the information via quantum wormhole.

I'm about to start 1493, which is a sequel to 1491.  Which is probably the best book on pre-Columbian history of the Americas I've read.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #599 on: 08 Jun 2012, 03:13 »

I'm about 300ish pages into The Passage by Justin Cronin. I can see what the hype is about and I'm enjoying a lot more than I thought I would.

Reading this aswell. Great opening, weak middle, signs of a great sprint into awesome at the end.

Necro-replyin' like it ain't no thang.

Currently reading this, and by GOD does this middle section fuckin' suck. It just drags, and draaags, and draaaags along, with a leaden stride to nowhere. It's a real chore getting through, I feel. The only reason I haven't put it down is because my girlfriend (who recomended it to me) promised that the end section more than makes up for it. Also, it gets a lot of rope because the first section was mindblowingly good.
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