Reddit mentions: The best literature & fiction books

We found 87,456 Reddit comments discussing the best literature & fiction books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 28,164 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

1. House of Leaves

  • Pantheon Books
House of Leaves
Height9.13 Inches
Length6.93 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMarch 2000
Weight2.46 Pounds
Width1.41 Inches
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2. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

  • William Morrow Company
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
Height8 Inches
Length5.31 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMay 2004
Weight0.85 Pounds
Width0.74 Inches
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3. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

  • Simon & Schuster
  • Condition : Good
  • Easy to read text
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
Height8.25 Inches
Length5.31 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateAugust 1972
Weight0.74516244556 Pounds
Width1.12 Inches
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4. The Name of the Wind

  • DAW Books
The Name of the Wind
Height6.76 Inches
Length4.2 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateApril 2008
Weight0.7781 Pounds
Width1.58 Inches
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5. In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (The Teachings of the Buddha)

  • Wisdom Publications MA
In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (The Teachings of the Buddha)
Height9 Inches
Length6 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateJuly 2005
Weight1.51 Pounds
Width1.4 Inches
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6. The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks)

  • Penguin Books
The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks)
Height7.76 Inches
Length5.09 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateDecember 1996
Weight0.79807338844 Pounds
Width0.92 Inches
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7. Meditations: A New Translation

  • Modern Library, A nice option for a Book Lover
  • Great one for reading
  • It's a great choice for a book person
Meditations: A New Translation
Height7.9 Inches
Length5.1 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMay 2003
Weight0.39903669422 Pounds
Width0.56 Inches
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8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

  • Great product!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Height7.95 Inches
Length5.21 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMay 2004
Weight0.57 Pounds
Width0.71 Inches
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9. BioShock: Rapture

  • Columbia University Press
BioShock: Rapture
Height6.6598292 Inches
Length4.26 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateJune 2012
Weight0.44974301448 Pounds
Width1.03 Inches
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10. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • Del Rey Books
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Height9.2 Inches
Length6.15 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateApril 2002
Weight1.7313 Pounds
Width1.37 Inches
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11. The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book)

  • Spectra Books
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer (Bantam Spectra Book)
Height8.3 Inches
Length5.2 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMay 2000
Weight0.84 Pounds
Width1.1 Inches
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12. Ship of Theseus

  • J..J. Abrams and Doug Dorst, Authors
  • 2013 Mulholland, purchased end of 2013 with 6 in stock.
  • Ship of Theseus
  • 22 Inserts
  • Still in Original Shrinkwrap
Ship of Theseus
Height9.75 Inches
Length6.5 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateOctober 2013
Weight2.36 Pounds
Width1.75 Inches
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13. Kushiel's Dart

  • Tor Fantasy
Kushiel's Dart
Height6.74 Inches
Length4.1799129 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateMarch 2002
Weight0.95239697184 Pounds
Width1.499997 Inches
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14. The Atlas of Middle-Earth (Revised Edition)

  • Mariner Books
The Atlas of Middle-Earth (Revised Edition)
Height10.88 inches
Length8 inches
Number of items1
Release dateApril 2001
Weight1.09569744214 pounds
Width0.56 inches
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16. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)

  • Daw Books
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)
Height8.98 Inches
Length5.97 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateApril 2009
Weight1.3 Pounds
Width1.35 Inches
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17. Dune

  • Ace, A great option for a Book Lover
  • Easy To Read
  • Comes with Proper Binding
Height7.5 Inches
Length4.25 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateSeptember 1990
Weight1.0251495183 Pounds
Width1.95 Inches
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18. The Martian: A Novel

The Martian: A Novel
Number of items1
Release dateFebruary 2014
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19. Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

  • Book - five nights at freddy's: the fourth closet
  • Language: english
  • Binding: paperback
Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)
Height6.9 Inches
Length4.2 Inches
Number of items1
Release dateOctober 1993
Weight0.6 Pounds
Width1.2 Inches
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20. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions)

  • Dover Publications
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions (Dover Thrift Editions)
Height5 Inches
Length7.8 Inches
Number of items6
Release dateSeptember 1992
Weight0.21164377152 Pounds
Width0.3 Inches
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🎓 Reddit experts on literature & fiction books

The comments and opinions expressed on this page are written exclusively by redditors. To provide you with the most relevant data, we sourced opinions from the most knowledgeable Reddit users based the total number of upvotes and downvotes received across comments on subreddits where literature & fiction books are discussed. For your reference and for the sake of transparency, here are the specialists whose opinions mattered the most in our ranking.
Total score: 1,456
Number of comments: 591
Relevant subreddits: 16
Total score: 1,033
Number of comments: 261
Relevant subreddits: 5
Total score: 573
Number of comments: 163
Relevant subreddits: 5
Total score: 431
Number of comments: 129
Relevant subreddits: 7
Total score: 332
Number of comments: 180
Relevant subreddits: 5
Total score: 312
Number of comments: 142
Relevant subreddits: 1
Total score: 294
Number of comments: 241
Relevant subreddits: 4
Total score: 232
Number of comments: 223
Relevant subreddits: 11
Total score: 192
Number of comments: 159
Relevant subreddits: 9
Total score: 145
Number of comments: 145
Relevant subreddits: 12

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Top Reddit comments about Literature & Fiction:

u/Virusnzz · 5 pointsr/languagelearning

Yes, but it takes a long time, so I'll copy paste all my past comments here for you to trawl through yourself.

>/r/russian and /r/LANL_Russian are both good subreddits. Someone recommended which is great for beginners. is good for lots of information, but is kind of incomplete. Definitely worth using regardless. Memrise is really good for vocab, but the courses are user-made and not perfect.

Note: LANL_Russian in particular has some great links in the sidebar.


>Interesting, there seems to be an influx of Russian learners lately. Take note, because I'm writing a lot, and I wouldn't do it if I didn't think that every bit was extremely important.

>Stop just trying to memorise by reading. Long story short, you're using a pretty ineffective technique. The good news is there are far better ways of doing it. Studies show that recollection, not repetition is a far effective teacher.

>As I've said to many, I can fully recommend Memrise ( and the top rated Russian course there. It's great at using recollection to get you memorising a lot of words fast using mnemonics. Other than that, Anki is a useful flashcard program that does a similar thing.

>some tips for Memrise: don't use it passively; really try and think about and focus on the word you're learning. Secondly, make sure you've got a mem (their term for mnemonic) that works for you. Getting a word without a mem is harder. Memrise will really solidify your Russian-English, but if you are worried about the English-Russian part, just go though each level with a strip of paper covering the Russian words on the screen and work your way down. You will find it's really easy anyway, because Memrise has solidified the connection in your mind.

>Make use you check the course page and water all your plants EVERY DAY.

>Take note of how Memrise get's you recollecting as soon as possible after giving you a word, and then gradually spreads out the intervals at which you are prompted to recall a word, and in groups of 5 words at a time. Take this technique and use it to make yourself some flash cards. Write the English on one side and Russian on the other (you might like to include the pronunciation too). Now you can take these around with you day by day (I have some on my desk by me right now), memorising other words you've read whenever you have a spare moment. You can even have your own personal mems for them. I'd recommend buying some cards to use, because just cutting up printing paper is pretty flimsy and easy to mess up.

>I personally find I memorise better when focusing at my desk, because I'm a lot less distracted. If Memrise is done then feel free to use your flash cards at your desk. It is still more effective.

>If you ever do go back to word lists, don't just look at them, cover one side up and do a few at a time, really relying on recollection.

An extract from what I'd consider my best writeup:

>What galaxyrocker said is just as true for me. My interest in the language led me to try learning it, as opposed to wanting to learn a language and then finding one. I always thought the Cyrillic alphabet looked awesome and the Russian language sounded awesome, so I decided to try it and I've been going ever since. I was always interested in the history of eastern Europe and socialism so I guess that in some way led to it. Along the way I've discovered a completely different and interesting culture and now I am learning a way to interact with it.

>One bit of advice would be to find a buddy who is a native of your target language and get in regular contact. If you're doing this online, there are plenty of resources, but I found mine on the Skype forum. The time spent teaching him the more precise aspects of English and in turn getting a more interactive source of knowledge has been invaluable to both of us, and at the same time I've been prompted to think a little about my own language, especially regarding grammar. It helps only a small bit if you share interests, because the two languages provide such a huge range of topics and conversation. Since you're going to be a beginner, look for someone experienced but looking for regular practice, to them, teaching you WILL be the practice, and any insight into English you can offer a bonus.

>Secondly, relate your studies to subjects that interest you. No doubt you'll be different, but DotA 2 has a large scene in eastern Europe, so I often tune in there just to immerse myself. Find resources to attempt to read that are about a topic of your interest. If you don't enjoy the benefits somewhere, you'll lose interest. If you surround yourself with media relating to your language, you'll always be motivated to go back to the books and continue learning.

>Also, always go back and go over words you learned, otherwise you forget them fast. Recollection is a far better teacher than repetition, so make flash cards or use Memrise (it's amazing).

Now especially for you; Resources:

Pimsleur has an audio only course that teaches you basic conversational Russian using spaced repetition and simulated conversations. It's good for getting you speaking and pronouncing Russian, but I got bored pretty fast and didn't really have the opportunities to use it. The course itself is huge, split up into many lessons. This one does cost a lot of money, you you should PM me for a "sample" first.

Penguin Russian is like a giant grammar book. It will teach you the basics as well as the advanced. While not interesting or engaging, it does have everything you could ever need to know, and so is a good resource if you have the patience. This is another one you'll have to buy, but I have the PDF form if you'd like to "sample" that too.

Lastly, trying to read Russian books is a good way to learn once you have some words down. A heads up though, unless you have more than 1000 you'll be running into a lot of words you will be unfamiliar with, at least to begin with. One staple of language learners is Harry Potter, since its been translated to pretty much every language there is. That's the last "sample" you'll be needing to PM me about.

If you want to speak, the best way is to find a Skype (or real life) buddy who speaks both. There are huge amounts of Russians online who speak passable English who could help in return for some English help.
If you're not doing it that way, you'll need to practice speech to yourself while studying.

u/pineapplesf · 2 pointsr/santashelpers

I take it from Harry Potter and Divergent he likes strong, morally-white protagonists on journeys to save the world. I don't know his exact reading level or interests, so I will make the following suggestions by category. I ranked books in each category by difficulty.


Teen Fantasy:


Dealing with Dragons: Funny, easy to read, dragons, magic, and sarcasm.

The Lioness Series, Immortal Series, or The Magic Circle Series: Strong female leads and interesting to read with great stories (Think Mulan). My brother loved them.

Artemis Fowl: Strong, morally ambiguous but ultimately altruistic, sarcastic, and smart protagonist against the world.

User Unfriendly: Dudes get sucked into a video/rpg and try to get out without dying. Like Tron, but less sci-fi and more fantasy.

Halo: One of my brothers who HATES reading -- or at least is incredibly picky actually stayed up all night to finish four of Halo books. He also really likes the games. I don't know which one is the first or the best but this one had the best reviews. I dunno if it is dark either -- I haven't read it :'(.

The Dark Elf Trilogy: Darker than anything else I have on here (or can be) hero vs world type fantasy. Drizzit = my brothers' hero growing up. Kinda WOW-esque? Having played both, I understand how much of WOW is inspired by DnD. I personally didn't like this.

Redwall: Harder to read, talking animals save the world from other talking animals. I personally hated this series, but my brothers read every single book in the series at the time.


Adult Fantasy:


Magician: Magic, totally badass protagonist, BORING first couple chapters, but ultimately the most OP hero I have ever read. Amazing, truly amazing. I think it is two-three books in the first series.

Harper Hall: Dragons, music, strong, but lost protagonist. Deals with sexism and gender biased. The other books in the cycle range from sci-fi to political fantasy.

Dragonbone Chair: Strong, badass hero vs a dragon. What happens? He becomes more badass. It is a lighter verison of LOTR/Sword of Shanara (which is probably too much politics/genetics/enviromental commentary -- generally boring-- for him right now) --

An even lighter alternative, more teen book is Eragon. That being said, I absolutely DETESTED these books. I don't care if he was 16, he didn't coming up with any of his own material. But -- a lot of people really like it, so your brother might!




Ender's game: Amazing ending, especially if he likes videogames. I haven't seen the movie, but my Dad said it was "loosely inspired" from the book. All I know is the book was world-changing. It has some legitimately dark points (like gouging out a giants eye or drowning puppies).

Johnny Maxwell Trilogy: This dude is cool. I didn't know until I linked it that it is hard to get a copy >.<.

Dune: This, like LOTR, is VERY political and can be very easily boring. It might also be too adult or hard for him. There is mental illness and just crazy people in the later books.


Mature Humor:


He should be ready for some British humor, which is a little more mature than American humor (sorry) and much more sarcastic. You also have to be in the mood for it, especially if you aren't expecting it.

Sourcery: Really, really funny.

Hitchhiker's Guide: Also funny.

Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold: American. Funny take on fantasy books.


I kept away from darker books where the protagonist is morally grey (Artemis fowl and Drizzit being exceptions -- though they are both still definitely heros), sex, questionable themes, or general mental derangement.

I also stayed away from more modern books, which I have read a lot of if you would like recommendations for those instead. I read a lot in general, so if you have a questions about a book in particular, I can try to help.

Edit: Links

u/autumnfalln · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

So, I guess he's not super famous, but I did meet the lead singer of my favorite band, Moving Mountains! I was waiting outside of the venue (second in line, mind you, after my boyfriend), when he came outside to take a walk around the block. He was SUPER cool. Ridiculously nice and down to earth. Was more than happy to take a photo with me.

I ended up being right up in front for their performance- the drummer's ride was a mere two inches from my face- it was amazing to say the least. They weren't headlining, so once the headliner's went on, my boyfriend and I went back to where all the merch was. We ran into the singer again, and he talked to us a bit and signed our set lists(!) and personally thanked us and hugged us. Super awesome.

Awesome people, awesome music. Definitely one of the highlights of my life. =D

EDIT: I forgot to say how I acted! I was super excited, but he was so darn nice and cool that I wasn't nervous or anything. Just really happy, haha. =) Oh, also, just in case, a link to an awesome book that I'd like if I won! Thanks for the fun contest! =D

u/stackednerd · 4 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Fellow fan of series here! Let me see...

Young Adult
Percy Jackson series is fun (and finished, too, I think).
Artemis Fowl series isn't quite as good as Percy Jackson IMHO, but it's got a following.

Harry Dresden series This is one of my favorites. Harry is Chicago's only professional wizard. There are a ton of these books and they are still going strong.
Game of Thrones These are great...but unfinished. If you watch the show, reading the books does help you get even more out of the story, I think.
Wheel of Time Another good series. There is a LOT of this series and it's finished. (Thank you, Brandon Sanderson!)
Mistborn Speaking of Brandon Sanderson... This one is very good. I highly recommend reading the Mistborn books before trying the Stormlight Archive, but only because as good as Mistborn is, Stormlight Archive is even better.
Stormlight Archive Amazing. Man, these are good. The series isn't finished, but the two books that are available are some of my favorites ever.
Kingkiller Chronicles I loved the first book. I could not freakin' believe I enjoyed the second one even more. The third one is still pending.
Temeraire Dragons in Napoleonic times. Super cool premise! This one is not finished (I don't think, anyway).
Gentlemen Bastards Con men in a fantasy realm. It's pretty light on the fantasy elements. Very light, I'd say. I'd also say that it has some of the very best swearing that I've ever come across. :D

Old Man's War I'm almost finished this one--it's amazing!

Passage Trilogy I've heard these described as vampire books...maybe zombie books... It's apocalyptic for sure. Great books!

Amelia Peabody Egyptology + murder mysteries. Super fun, but trust me...go with the audiobooks for these. They are best when they are performed.
Stephanie Plum Total popcorn reads. If that's your thing, shut off your brain and just enjoy.
Walt Longmire These get particularly good as it goes along. The main character is a sheriff in modern day Wyoming. (Side note: The TV show is also great--just don't expect them to stick to the books.)

Graphic Novels (Everything recommended can be gotten in a "book" format instead of only in comic form, in case that matters. I've gotten most of these from my local library.)
Locke & Key Eerie as crap. Love the art! This one is on-going.
Y: The Last Man All the men on the planet drop dead in a day...except for Yorrick. REALLY good. This is the series that got me reading graphic novels. Plus, it's finished!
Walking Dead I am not a zombie fan...but I like these. They're not done, but I've read up through volume 22 and am still enjoying them.

OutlanderI have no idea how to categorize these or even give a description that does them justice. I refused to pick it up for AGES because it sounded like a bodice-ripper romance and that's not my bag. But these are good!

I hope there's something in there that'll do for you. Have fun and read on!

Edit: Apparently, I need to practice formatting. :/
Edit 2: I forgot to add the Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentlemen Bastards #1).

u/KariQuiteContrary · 2 pointsr/literature

Most of these recommendations are sort of peripherally queer, so they may not be exactly what you're looking for, but I figured I'd throw them out there in case you're interested.

I admit I'm not a big fan of it, but Virginia Woolf's Orlando is definitely a queer text. The titular character changes from male to female, and the book itself is often read as a love letter to Vita Sackville-West, the woman with whom Woolf had a love affair. I had trouble getting engaged in it myself, but your mileage may vary.

Santa Olivia (and the sequel, Saints Astray) by Jacqueline Carey features a lesbian romance. Not super heavy, but they're fairly quick, fun reads. Carey's Kushiel series (beginning with Kushiel's Dart) might qualify as queer, in that it embraces and celebrates all types of relationships and sexualities (they are set in a society where the gods' most sacred precept is "Love as thou wilt," and bisexuality and open relationships are typical). The primary love stories are heterosexual, but the characters also often engage in same-sex relationships (both sexually and emotionally), and there are supporting characters of various sexual persuasions.

The Tamir Trilogy by Lynn Flewelling is about the rightful heir to the throne in a troubled kingdom. Born female, she was magically disguised as a boy in order to protect her (the usurper king has been making noblewomen disappear in order to protect the succession of his own son). It maybe doesn't explore the consequences of Tobin/Tamir being essentially transgendered as deeply as it could, but it's an interesting and enjoyable read.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin is a sci-fi classic that plays with gender and sexuality. The basic concept is that, on the planet of Winter, everyone is hermaphroditic. Le Guin's thoughtful exploration of this world was incredibly groundbreaking at the time it was written, and it remains a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

Octavia Butler's work also often embraces feminist and queer themes, playing with sexuality and gender. Fledgling and the Xenogenesis Trilogy are some you might find interesting.

The Female Man by Joanna Russ is an explicitly feminist book with some queer themes. It follows women from four alternate realities (one of which is a utopia populated entirely by women) as they cross over into each others' worlds. It's not always an easy read--it can be very fragmetary--but it's totally worth it.

I also just stumbled across this self-proclaimed Gay Fiction Booklist That Doesn't Suck. Some of the above books are listed, and there are a bunch more sci-fi/fantasy titles that might be of interest.

Happy reading!

u/PitaPityParty · 2 pointsr/LowLibidoCommunity

There is a lot of crap erotica out there, for sure. Finding good ones are hit or miss.

I tried a regency romance once. Super cheesy and cliche. Not for me.

I like Literotica because there are lots of stories to browse. There good stories and there are a lot of bad stories. Sometimes I will open a story, read a paragraph or two, and go right back to searching for a new one.

I've been trying to find good erotica books and series. Every other book is a Shades of grey clone. There are times in most of them where I end up rolling my eyes at some of the dialogue and descriptions. Sometimes, I will skip over parts if I'm just not into it.

A lot of erotica on Amazon for the kindle is free. It will often be the first book in a series to try to convince you to continue reading the rest. I read lots of these free ones and if I like the author/style then I will consider reading more. I haven't found any I like enough yet but I keep trying. Sometimes I can read enough of a bad erotica to do the trick. There are definitely some that I just quit reading.

Not erotica but I will also /r/gonewildstories. Nothing like stories that can actually happen.

The best erotica I have read is the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A. N. Roquelaure, which is a pseudonym for for Anne Rice. But be warned, this is very, very heavy BDSM. It might be too much for many and at times it was a little heavy for me and I consider myself to be relatively kinky.

The best romance novel I have read was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is a time-travel, historical romance to be exact. From what I remember it was actually a pretty good read. If you are going to read a romance, I think this is a good one to start with.

Though not erotica, Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey is a fantasy novel with some romance/erotic elements. I read it several years ago before my libido bottomed out but I'm pretty sure it turned me on. Interesting read as well. Definitely has a theme of sado-masochism, but compared to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy it is nothing. If you already enjoy fantasy novels you should give it a go.

Hope that helps. You really have to dig to find anything good. That being said, often the act of searching alone is enough to get my engines revving.

u/BBBalls · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I had kind of a hard time thinking about a response I felt good about. Below are resources roughly sequenced as "stages". All the resources are within or related to the Theravada tradition. I tried to keep everything free. When a preferred resource is not free, I include a free alternative. Buddhism is very much a practice, so when instructions are given put them into practice the best you can. There is also a need to understand why you are practicing, so there is a need to understand Buddhist theory. Some of these resources might not be seem immediately applicable to you, which is fine, just think of it as being similar to reviewing a map before going on the hike. This small collection of selected resources may seem overwhelming, but learning the dhamma is a long process, so there is no hurry to read or listen to everything. It is like walking through mist, you don't necessarily notice getting wet. I just want to reiterate that practicing is very important. Buddhism is about doing, and to lesser degree about acquiring book knowledge. One caution, I put several different meditation styles below; go a head and experiment with them, but figure out which one fits you best and stick with it for a while. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer skillfully. Remember that persistence will bring rewards. Good luck.


"Stage 1"

With Each & Every Breath: A Guide to Meditation by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana [not free] (Free older version)

Noble Strategy by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha’s Teachings: An Introduction by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Stage 2"

In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi [not free] (A free "clone" can be found at It has all of the introductions Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote, but uses free translations of the suttas)

The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations translated by Gil Fronsdal [not free] (A free and reliable translation of the Dhammapada by Anandajoti Bhikkhu)

"Stage 3"

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya translated by Bhikkhu Nanamoli & Bhikkhu Bodhi [not free] (Free translations of all of the Majjhima Nikaya suttas can be found at Thanissaro Bhikkhu has translated a free anthology of the Majjhima Nikaya called Handful of Leaves, Volume II: an Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya)

The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon by Thanissaro Bhikkhu


"Stage 1"

Introduction to Meditation is an audio course by Gil Fronsdal.

Basics is collection of talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

The Buddha's Teaching As It Is: An Introductory Course is a series of talks by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Eightfold Path Program is a series of talks by Gil Fronsdal.

Four Noble Truths is a series by Gil Fronsdal and Andrea Fella.

"Stage 2"

Don't eat your fingers. Seriously though, just listen to talks and get a better feel for the dharma.

"Stage 3"

Seven Factors of Awakening is a series of talks by Gil Fronsdal.

A Systematic Study of the Majjhima Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Resources:(There are a huge number of great resource. Below are the ones I frequent or have frequented)


Talks: (huge variety of teachers have talks here), (Thanissaro Bhikkhu has a huge catalog of talks. He has a straight forward style.), (Gil Fronsdal has very accessible teaching style. He presents the dharma in an almost secular way, but doesn't doesn't diminish it in the process.)

Video: Buddhist Society of Western Australia (Ajahn Brahm is a much loved and accessible teacher), Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu (Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu has a very calm demeanor, and does live Q&A regularly, StudentofthePath (Bhikkhu Jayasara is a recently ordained monk and is an active redditor, u/Bhikkhu_Jayasara), Dhammanet (Bhikkhu Sujato has "loose" and friendly teaching style, but is a serious scholar.)

u/littlebutmighty · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I highly recommend:

  1. The Orphans of Chaos trilogy by John C. Wright. He really pushes the boundaries of the imagination by writing about a universe in which there are 4 different paradigms of magic/power, each of which cancels one of the others out and is canceled out by one of the others. It's an epic Titans vs Olympic Gods fantasy, and I've read it several times--which is rare for me to do.

  2. Obviously read the Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin if you haven't already done so! I delayed reading it a long time but then read all of them in a week and a half when I finally succumbed.

  3. ALWAYS recommend The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

  4. ALSO always recommend Lies of Locke Lamora and its sequels by Scott Lynch.

  5. The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix. It's YA, but pretty mature YA, and IMO could easily transition to the regular fantasy section.

  6. Books by Diana Wynne Jones. She writes YA, but fantasy that I wouldn't call immature. The best word I could use to describe it would be "whimsical." If I could compare her style of fantasy to anyone's it would EASILY be the filmmaker Miyazaki. (His films include Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, etc.--he even adapted one of her books!) I think her best work is her Chrestomanci series which has 3 volumes (each volume is made up of several novellas), but she is best known for Howl's Moving Castle, which I also highly recommend (along with its sequels Castle in the Air and The House of Many Ways).

  7. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. It's fun, original, often dark, often humorous, fast-paced, and FILLED with action. As noted by someone else, there are vampires in the universe, but they're not the central motif. There are also other scary things, like fairies, goblins, witches/wizards, demons...the list goes on and on.

  8. Terry Pratchett's Discworld canon. There are many, MANY books, and they're not written in series so you can jump in almost anywhere. I recommend Small Gods to start.

  9. The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier, starting with Daughter of the Forest. There are also spin-off novels, though I haven't read them all. Her writing is beautiful and mystical. She almost makes me believe magic/fae could exist.

  10. The Passion and The Promise (a duet) and, separately, The Alchemist by Donna Boyd. These are really, really excellently written. "Lush" would be the word I'd use. They're not hugely well known, and I find that utterly boggling considering how good they are.
u/Bakmoon123 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Here's my standard set of recommendations for Theravada Buddhism. If you are interested in other traditions, then other people will recommend more suitable books.

I think the classic book What the Buddha Taught is one of the best starting points there is. It's a rather basic text, but at the same time it covers a lot of ground. Definately a must read. There are other more comprehensive introductory books, but they are a bit more technical.

Another amazing book is the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi's book In the Buddha's Words which is an anthology of just a few of the Suttas along with some excellent introductory essays. This book is probably the best introduction to Buddhist scripture out there. This book is the only one on this list that isn't available for free on the internet, but for a little over ten dollars, I'd say it is definitely worth it.

The Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi also gave an introductory summary of Buddhism in the early 80's called The Buddha's Teaching As It Is which is quite good.

His Systematic Study of the Majjhima Nikaya is one of the best lecture series there is in my opinion.

You can find some articles he wrote here. I especially recommend the article "The Buddha and his Dhamma" and "The Noble Eightfold Path".

Sutta Central is probably the go to place for translations from the Pali Canon.

Here's a pdf of Mindfulness of Plain English, a very popular and general text on meditation.

Also one of the best books on meditation (although it is a bit more technical) is the book Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization

If you want to practice meditation according to the Mahasi Sawadaw tradition, then read this pdf of Practical Vipassana Exercises is a very good book. Also, if you are interested in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition I highly recommend the youtube videos of the Ven. Yuttadhammo

Here's a good meditation manual from Ajahn Thanissaro about Mindfulness of Breathing.

If after you go through some of these texts and decide that you want to become Buddhist, it's very easy to do on your own. You just recite the formula for going for refuge and take on the five precepts. Here is a video that shows this, and if you click the closed captioning button, it gives you subtitles.

u/awesomefresh · 2 pointsr/Stoicism

This book by Marcus Aurelius has transformed my life from one crippled by generalized anxiety into one that is still troubled, but with a definite method to press on. It is easily the most important book I've ever read. (Make sure you check out the Hays translation, the others are quite stiff. This is normally $10 so it's on sale on Amazon.)

What you are talking about is more properly called mindfulness, which was the first tool I tried. I had some success, in particular with Full Catastrophe Living, and if you find mindfulness effective then I would recommend simple mindfulness meditation (just sitting and letting thoughts pass through you--noticing that you have them and not responding to them or labeling them as good or bad, just resting in the moment and accepting that you have certain thoughts or feelings but also watching them pass by).

However, stoicism takes these ideas further and embues an element of self-trust that was much more effective for me. While mindfulness emphasizes the importance of the present and minimizing your immedate negative emotional responses, stoicism includes these elements but also says: there is nothing that can harm you. All I can do is act best I can, and not worry about the rest. Control what you can, but accept what you can't control. External events are uncontrollable and with practice you can remain completly resilent to them--metnally and emotionally accepting that you are in a certain situation but retaining the ability to deal with it in the best way you can.

It is difficult at first, but your everyday difficulties with anxiety are a perfect opportunity to practice. When you face situations and get through them, you hold the realization in your mind that that situation did not harm you--while it may have been unpleasant, you survived and moved straight through it. The unpleasantness was bearable, and you are no worse a person for dealing with it, in fact you are much the better. You can trust in this realization as you look forward toward future events. These little successes can accumulate in a big way if you take the first big step to accept your current limitations and trust in your current ability.

A fantastic example of the will's ability to persevere in impossible situations is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl faces this daily horrors without anxiety because of his complete trust in his ability to face it squarely and overcome it.

So a stoic isn't someone who is passive or emotionless, but someone who is resilent and extremely proactive in response to difficulty. In terms of specific negative emotions like anxiety, anger, or fear, it's important to remember that you are not trying to ignore or not feel these things. That is a misconception about stoicism. These feeling are natural and in fact necessary for life. However, you want to domesticate these negative emotions and remain in control in spite of them, as much as you can. Everyone is overcome by anxiety at times, but the Stoic bounces back that much quicker.

tl;dr I have recommended a lot of books but everything I wrote is firmly based on the many times I have read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. It is truly worth your time.

u/omaca · 2 pointsr/books

I've just finished The Windup Girl, which I had been putting off for some time. It was, quite simply, the most astounding and breath-taking science fiction book I've ever read. I loved it.

However, my problem is that I buy books compulsively. Mostly hard copies, but recently I bought a Kindle and buy the odd e-book or two. I have literally hundreds of books on my "to read" list.

One near the top is A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel. I recently read her phenomenal Wolf Hall and was blown away by her skills as a story teller. I'm a bit of an armchair historian, and I'm particularly interested in the French Revolution (amongst other things), so I'm very excited by the prospects this book holds. If it's anything like Wolf Hall then I'm in for a very particular treat.

Also near the top lies Quantum - Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate about the Nature of Reality, Manjit Kumar's much lauded recent history of the emergence of quantum mechanics. I very much enjoyed other tangentially related books on this topic, including the wonderful The Making of the Atomic Bomb and The Fly in the Cathedral, so this should be good fun and educational to boot.

Having read and loved Everitt's biography of Cicero, I'm very much looking forward to his biographies of Augustus and Hadrian.

I'm listening to an audio-book version of The Count of Monte Cristo on my iPod, which I find rather enjoyable. I've only got through the first half dozen chapters and it's already taken a few hours, so this looks to be a nice, long-term and periodic treat for when I have time alone in the car.

Cronin's The Passage keeps piquing my interest, but I was foolish enough to buy it in that lamentable format, the much cursed "trade paperback", so the thing is a behemoth. The size puts me off. I wish I had waited for a regular paper-back edition. As it is, it sits there on my bookshelf, flanked by the collected works of Alan Furst (what a wonderfully evocative writer of WWII espionage!!) and a bunch of much recommended, but as yet unread, fantasy including The Darkness that Comes Before by Bakker, The Name of the Wind by Rothfuss and Physiognomy by Ford.

Books I have ordered and am eagerly awaiting, and which shall go straight to the top of the TBR list (no doubt to be replaced by next month's purchases) include Orlando Figes's highly regarded history of The Crimean War, Rosen's history of steam The Most Powerful Idea in the World and Stacy Schiff's contentious biography of Cleopatra.

A bit of a mixed bunch, all up, I'd say.

u/MyownLunasea · 1 pointr/Fantasy

The Green Rider series .I am on book 3 of this series and I have found them to be most entertaining. Her writing improves with each book and the story is solid all the way around. Not high fantasy but some wonderful use of magic without being over the top. I also think the woman who reads them is quite good without being overly distracting. .

The Witcher Series. Yes even if you are not a gamer this fantasy series is fantastic. The story flows well with the start of short stories and contiues into novels with elegant grace. The characters are memorable and evocative.

I have pretty varied taste and can gladly recommend a few others from children's series to some just fun trashy romance novels to some period work as well so feel free to shoot me a message. Oh and happy happy listening =)

u/Beefenstein · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

In terms of 'conversion':

  • Attempt to understand the four noble truths

  • Meditate or, if unsure as you do not want to attempt without a teacher, breathe and be mindful. Consider the truth of the arising and ceasing of phenomena. At this point you may or may not want to extend this to your own physical and mental processes: it is not easy for all people to consider their own physical death and certainly not to consider the unreliability of their own ego (I am a Psychologist and we actually discussed the lack of evidence of a consistent self on my degree course -- this has helped me not worry too much about the fact I have no stable, permanent mental self)

  • Perhaps read some suttas. I like the Theravada and Thai Forest traditions so I'm reading and but others have different viewpoints which I am confident are equally wonderful

  • When you are ready to accept that these noble truths are valuable and likely to be true and feel that you can commit to the noble eightfold path state plainly that you take refuge in the three jewels

    This is not a conversion, but it is a commitment to studying Buddhism -- which is a religious system of education (towards the very eventual outcome of enlightenment) more than it is a "I go to church now" religion. Although in traditional settings there are temples, monasteries, almsgiving, ceremonies etc!

    With great love and respect.
u/Eric-R · 2 pointsr/LetsChat

My blue canary,

You were writing your in depth description as I was writing my greeting from Vallejo. :) Oh, your descriptions make me feel like a drive. You may have heard Poe's Hey Pretty at some point but there is a version with her brother (who wrote House Of Leaves ) reading a segment of his book about a woman driving on Mullholland Drive. This will have to be a My Addiction deal. Look it up under "Drive By 2001" Mix If you would like.

>Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Delivered just like your "love, love, love", right?

So we parked in the garage at Anchorage shopping center right at Fisherman's Wharf. The professor decided he wanted to be sure of his lunch and chose to stop in at the Subway restaurant to get a picnic sandwich. Every instinct of mine revolted at the very thought of going to a Subway in The City! Couldn't we score countless hard to find treats by tripping over our own feet?! I tried to share this feeling, but it wasn't happening.

Since I was going to see, even a tiny bit, some of the most advanced race boats in the world today out racing and I would be doing so in




where I've not been for far too long,

I'd already decided to go wherever the people with opinions and desires wanted to go for the race view, so instead of trying to locate something else for my own, different, edibles I decided to embrace the adventure, or lack of it as it presented itself. Tuna on "9-grain honey oat" with all the salad went into my backpack and away we went.

Right along Jefferson street realising I'd not done the wharf in many years. We walked through Aquatic park where I saw swimmers (I wonder if Annie has swum there?) and a woman carrying a camera (Annie told me about a day of taking pictures along this route-- oh! don't stare at this woman). Up to Fort Mason with us. I could have walked so much more today....

Anyway, I'm there watching the big cats prepare for the race and check reddit:

>At the end of the AC pier, looking toward you

That I would somehow be able to see the look on my own face when reading that line. Annie, I started and looked that direction! Turned out you'd written an hour before. It seemed unlikely that you would still be standing there.

To share even brief thoughts with you during the race was almost as good as sharing race with you directly. Sometimes I don't know if I let you know how good to me you are. To get your description of your experience over there photographing a boat, sharing your sense of it was another gift of smile for me!

You write while I'm composing this?!

>Okay, heading off into the water!

I've my own happy-overload over you getting out there in the water.

You say you won't be home until really late. Enjoy a gorgeous night drive, just do it defensively. I'm all selfish and want more of your time.

One note, spelled l-i-t-E

Edit: Repeated a reapeat thought thought

u/marmaladeskiiies · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon


EDIT: Okay here it izzzz.

These are the items you are looking for... (everything listed is from my wishlists here! )

1.) Something that is grey. – The bike lock on my wishlist (that was already gifted (: ) This one’s grey!

2.) Something reminiscent of rain. These leggings are Doctor Who Cosmic Tardis Leggings are cosmic… as in galaxy… as in the universe… in which there is a water cycle…. Which is reminiscent of rain…. Yup. ;)

3.) Something food related that is unusual. – It’s not every day you get to have jagermeister infused gummy bears....... Freaking nom.

4.) Something on your list that is for someone other than yourself. Tell me who it's for and why. (Yes, pets count!)A dog bed for my puppy!! He really, really needs a new one.


6.) An item that is less than a dollar, including shipping... that is not jewelry, nail polish, and or hair related! This with the value of 95 cents ;) hehehe I’m sneaky.

7.) Something related to cats. I love cats! (Keep this SFW; you know who you are...) -- This cat bed, even though I don’t have a cat, was on my puppy’s list! My puppy (who’s really a 9 year old dog but I call him puppy cause he looks/acts/is one) is a 6lb pup who’s basically a cat ;)

8.) Something that is not useful, but so beautiful you must have it. – The Chuck Complete Series Collector Blu-ray is not necessarily useful to my life…But the show’s so gorgeous, the cast so beautiful, the plot so delicious…I love it and need it! :P

9.) A movie everyone should watch at least once in their life. Why?TANGLED!! (OK, one of the only movie related pieces on my list :P) But really, Tangled is PERFECT, SO adorable, a real winner.

10.) Something that would be useful when the zombies attack. Explain. – Okay this may seem crazy but stick with me here. these bones would be super helpful once whittled down. You could use it to double tap those stanky ass zombies

11.) Something that would have a profound impact on your life and help you to achieve your current goals. I have lots of stuff for fitness and school and all my goals likes that, but I thought I'd use something a little different for this one. This skin corrective cream would allow me to cover up my stupid little burn marks on my leg that make me really self conscious in skirts and shorts. This would be a good step in my goal of being happy with myself and gaining self confidence for the first time in my life.

12.) One of those pesky Add-On items.– One of those pesky add-ons… The MSC Joie Simply Slice Strawberry Slicer on my WL is one of them pesky add-ons.

13.) The most expensive thing on your list. Your dream item, why?A Bike. Why? Mine was stolen and its extremely hindered my mobility as I need it for transportation to school /:

14.) Something bigger than a bread box. – The puppy bed on my puppy’s wishlist within my own wishlist is most definitely bigger than a breadbox.

15.) Something smaller than a golf ball. -- These cable organizers HOLLAH at me, Tiger Woods.

16.) Something that smells wonderful. -- French Vanilla Green Mountain Coffee Portion Packs for Keurig Mmmmmmmmm, delicious.

17.) A (SFW) toy. -- Crock Pot COOKING IS LIFE AND HAVING A CROCK POT WOULD BE THE BEST OF TOYS. For something more traditional, I have hedgehog toys etc on my puppy's list.

18.) Something that would be helpful for going back to school. -- This beautiful backpack! Mine is shot to hell and I'm dreading buying a new one.

19.) Something related to your current obsession, whatever that may be. This Friends Milkshake Poster Print from my wishlist OMFG I AM OBSESSED WITH FRIENDS RIGHT NOW. IDK WHY BUT I AM. Also with the Chuck DVD on my dreams list xD

20.) Something that is just so amazing and awe-inspiring that I simply must see it. Explain why it is so grand.– The New York Window Print Poster on my wishlist is pretty awe-inspiring. Looking into the city "where dreams are made of" in whatever town your in.... In a place that's essentially the culmination of all your dreams and desires.... At least for me.



  1. [YOUR NAME IS……]() Amirite?! actually... I've messaged so many people trying to figure it out, and I could've sworn I knew it before, but I absolutely cannot remember it.

  2. And this handwarmer mug – OCEAN TIDE was made in Milton, Oregon! This ones not on my WL however.

    Finally, some people say that fear cuts deeper than swords but does it? Who knows.
u/thebigmeowski · 3 pointsr/needadvice

If she was just diagnosed, I'm thinking it's probably more likely that she's high-functioning since you probably would've noticed earlier on if she was low-functioning. And the fact that she doesn't resist affection is a really wonderful sign! My brother wasn't very affectionate when he was her age but he did have some of those same behaviours - not responding to commands, self-focused etc. The word Autism itself comes from 'auto', so naturally a huge component of Autism is a focus on oneself rather than others which makes for more difficulties in social situations. Like I said, our situations are very different because my brother is 3 years older than me but going back to my 5 year old mindset, how I managed to communicate with my brother was through his common interest which is music. He'd play piano and I'd sit with him, we'd talk about our favourite artists etc. Since your sister is still pretty young, it might be difficult to establish a common interest right now but my advice would be interest yourself in whatever she finds interesting, getting her to talk about what she's doing, what she likes. And I hope that as she gets older, she's put in 'typical' child environments so that she doesn't miss out. I'm really happy to say that my brother had a lot of support when he was younger and now he's 23 and extremely well-adjusted and living in his own apartment and has a job that he loves. I wish I could offer you some reference books or something but all of the ones that I read were for younger siblings of Autistic children. If you're interested though here are a few that helped me:

Freaks, Geeks & Asperger Syndrome <-- it's about Aspergers but a lot of the characteristics are similar and more importantly, it provides a lot of information for siblings

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime <-- fictional but takes place completely inside the mind of an Autistic person! And it's an amazing read!

The Reason I Jump

u/another_dude_01 · 3 pointsr/Reformed

The institutes are surprisingly very readable. I read that somewhere in a couple places, and my experience reading them bears out this truth. Try out this article, note this:

>1. The Institutes may be easier to read than you think.
J. I. Packer writes, “The readability of the Institutio, considering its size, is remarkable.”
Level of difficulty should not determine a book’s importance; some simple books are profound; some difficult books are simply muddled. What we want are books that make us think and worship, even if that requires some hard work. As Piper wrote in Future Grace, “When my sons complain that a good book is hard to read, I say, ‘Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves; digging is hard, but you might find diamonds.'”

There are few works in history that had the influence the Institutes had, and had the effect of changing the course of history as this work did. One more though, I also own this version of Calvin's Magnum Opus, am about 250 pages in, it's the easiest version to read, I find, because it is shorter than the 1559 version and the headers and other aides makes this translation quite a treat, for me, a Calvinist.

I would definitely start with Machen, you cant go wrong. World Magazine said it's one of the 100 best books of the millennium:

>It was named one of the top 100 books of the millennium by World magazine and one of the top 100 books of the twentieth century by Christianity Today. / “An admirable book. For its acumen, for its saliency, and for its wit, this cool and stringent defense of orthodox Protestantism is, I think, the best popular argument produced [in the controversy between Christianity and liberalism].”

One last to share, I listened (ironically) to Dr. Adler's classic How to read a book which is a great one for whatever level of reader we find ourselves to be. We read and are driven to this endeavor because we seek to grow our minds. I don't mean to pile on, but you asked hehe. A few books to add to your list, believe me, when you start asking and keeping a "to-read list" it always seems to grow. There's lots of good stuff when you know what to look for :-)

Grace and peace.

u/honilee · 3 pointsr/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu

I second reading the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card, but I'd finish that first before I started reading the Ender's Shadow series (even though they technically occur in the same universe and feature many of the same characters).

But that's science fiction (with some interesting ethical/religious elements in later books in the series). I really think you'd enjoy Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (please don't judge it by its cover; you also read paranormal romance, so I think you could be willing to look past that).

From Library Journal:
>Trained from childhood to a life of servitude and espionage, Ph?dre n? Delaunay serves her master, Anafiel, as a courtesan and spy, ferreting out the dangerous secrets of the noble houses of Terre d'Ange. When she uncovers a treasonous conspiracy, however, her life takes on a new and deadly purpose. Set in a world reminiscent of late medieval and early Renaissance Europe, Carey's first novel portrays a society based upon political and sexual intrigue. The author's sensual prose, suitable for adult readers, should appeal to fans of Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, and Terry Goodkind. Recommended for adult fantasy collections.

From Publishers Weekly:
>This brilliant and daring debut, set in a skewed Renaissance world (people worship Jesus-like "Blessed Elua" but also demigods), catapults Carey immediately into the top rank of fantasy novelists. In the character of Phedre ne Delaunay, "a whore's unwanted get" sold into indentured servitude in opulent Night Court, the author has created a particularly strong and memorable female lead, and has surrounded her with a large and varied cast, from nobles and priests to soldiers and peasants. An engrossing plot focuses first on court intrigue and treachery, then, in a surprising shift, on high adventure, travel in barbarian lands including Alba (England) and war. Two demigods rule Phedre: Naamah, for sensual love; and Kushiel, for sado-masochistic pain, his "dart" being a blood spot in Phedre's eye. Not everyone will go for Phedre's graphic if elegantly described sexual encounters, which usually involve the infliction of pain, whether from lashing, branding or even cutting. Phedre, however, is no cliched sexpot but a complex character motivated by religious zeal. At the end, the heroine reminds one of an equally strong-minded sister whose home was Tara. No mere feminist novel, this is an assured and magnificent book that will appeal to both male and female readers.

It is book one in a trilogy, so there's plenty to read if you enjoy this one.

I enjoy reading paranormal romance novels occasionally. Would you recommend any that you've read recently?

u/riff71 · 3 pointsr/languagelearning

In order to get anywhere with Russian, you need a invest in a good grammar book. For complete beginners, I always recommend Nicholas Brown's New Penguin Russian Course which is dirt cheap on amazon.

To help you get comfortable with the language in terms of reading, listening, and pronunciation, I'm a big fan of the Assimil series. If you're not familiar with Assimil, you can read up on their method. The Assimil Russian is a nice complement to the Penguin course and I'm actually half-way through it myself (for review purposes).

You can find lots of good learning materials on I've found that some of the best learning materials are made by Russians for foreigners, but those are generally more advanced.

Immerse yourself in the language as much as you can outside of your formal lessons (i.e. Penguin, Assimil, whatever). You can find tons of Russian music on youtube. If you prefer to stream music online, check out Many of the Russian stations play English music, so if you just want Russian-language music, try the Russian Radio station.

You can watch tons of old Russian movies with English subtitles on Mosfilm's website for free. If you know where to look online, you can find all the latest movies for free (pretty easy to find with google). One of my favorite things to do is find a Hollywood movie that I know really well, and then watch it dubbed in Russian. The quality of Russian dubbing is generally pretty high, and the advantage to watching a movie you're already familiar with is that you can focus on the language. Once you get to a higher level, it's interesting to compare the English dialogue to the Russian translation.

Do you have an ipod? One way to tune your ear to a language is to listen to the rapid-fire delivery on news broadcasts or opinion programs. I like to listen to podcasts from the Echo of Moscow radio station. Here's an example program you could subscribe to Culture Shock with rss link.

As difficult as the alphabet and grammar seem at first, I can assure you that it's nothing compared to acquiring a good vocabulary. Everyone has their own method for learning vocabulary, but my advice is to make some flash cards and carry a stack around with you wherever you go. In any odd, spare moment that you have, review them. You should aim to get to 1000 words as quickly as possible. As others have said, that's a key threshold. If you do the Penguin Course and/or Assimil, be diligent about learning the vocabulary for each lesson.

Anyway, good luck! Удачи!

u/MeishkaD · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Points Tally Complete for TheO-ne-ders

4 - So what you are saying, is your boyfriend needs a sippy cup? lol

5 - Have you read Lamb? If not, you should. It is amazing.

6 - Counting this as valid, but not too clever as many people came to the same conclusion. Although I suppose that doesn't negate the original cleverness.

7 - I kid you not, this exact Beany Babie is sitting no less than five feet away from me. :)

11 - I know that feel. For a long time my main goal in life was to be able to fill my cart at the grocery store without have to count every single penny. It took time and effort but we are finally there. Hoping you get there soon as well.

13 - Are you sure you aren't me from the past? I was so excited when we finally got a good HEPA vacuum cleaner.

14 - And it's Prime eligible!

17 - Video Games are absolutely toys! And this one is sooo good!

18 - Hard to argue with a classic.

20 - The only way I grill. :)

Oregon Bonus - Marionberry jam is very tasty. I can vouch for the tastiness of this brand. My parent's get their CSA box from this family.

So glad you had fun filling this out, as I had fun reading your answers. :) I will update the original post as soon as I have a winner.

u/EmeryXCI · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'm sure you've read it before, because (at least here) everybody has to read it in school multiple times, but To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite novel ever, and one of the only books I have read more than twice.

Also, Sarah Dessen is my favorite author. All of her books are YA and most include some sort of summer romance. They're total chick-flick-esque though. So if you're not into that, then steer clear.

I can't really think of much else because lately I have been reading much longer, denser, novels that take me a while to chew through and really digest because I have so much free time, otherwise I can just pick over those little things in a matter of hours. So, it's been a while since I've read a fun, light, book. && I have an awful memory anyways. lol

It looks like you have gotten a TON of suggestions on here. I'm going to bookmark this page for myself, because I am always looking for more reading material. So thanks for that :P "I love reading books!"

Thanks for the contest! If I win, I have a "books" wishlist. Surprise me :)

Edit: I was reading through some of the replies, and something somebody else mentioned reminded me of a book I have sitting on my bookshelf at home. It is dog-eared, stained from drops of coffee spilled on it, folded into a curve (you know, how a good paperback book gets so that it's kind of rounded and doesn't sit flat/closed). It's probably one of the most well-written novels I've ever read, and it's very short, although not necessarily light. But SO GOOD. It's called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and it's written in first person perspective of a 15 year old boy with Asperger Syndrome. I HIGHLY suggest checking it out!!

u/madicienne · 2 pointsr/writing

I think this kind of material is awesome! I'm more of a fantasy reader myself, but the type of immersion content I like to see is stuff like...

  • maps!
  • artwork - like photos of places; drawings of stuff from the novel (swords/whatever); diagrams. I'm not personally into character drawings/photos, but I think a lot of people probably do like that.
  • unpublished artwork and scenes - like original cover concepts, as well as scenes that had to be cut or side-stories about characters who don't get enough time in the main work
  • "making of" content, like early drafts, planning pages, crappy doodles, whatever
  • games/puzzles related to the story
  • recipes! This is kind of a weird one, but a lot of people love descriptions of food and a lot of books (esp scifi and fantasy) have weird food that I think might be fun to try to make yourself
  • other (non-written) media, like songs/music from the book
  • other genre/format material, like comics about the same characters,

    I'm largely unpublished at the moment, but I do a lot of side-projects and I also enjoy developing a story from multiple angles :D I think that's a great way not only to entertain existing fans, but to draw people to your book/product. Despite the fact that my novel is unpublished, I got quite a lot of attention to a "which character are you?" quiz that I made for my blog.

    This is a big unrelated, but you might also like checking out the Raw Shark Texts (allegedly there are real-world places you can travel to to "discover" more things about the book content) and/or The Ship of Theseus (/"Book of S"), which is sold with a bunch of "extraneous" material like newspaper clippings, and the whole book is filled with notes written back and forth from "previous readers"; it's a pretty interesting experience.
u/mitchbones · 10 pointsr/booksuggestions

Most of the time I am "in the mood" for a certain genre or type of book. I will recommend some of my favorites that are easy to read and enjoyable. With a super short summary to see if it sparks your interest.


  • Name of the Wind : Great fantasy novel which follows a single character, Kvothe, who is an old innkeeper with a mysterious and illustrious past telling the story of how he became a legend. It is very well written and highly entertaining, the book is all about Kvothe as a teenager just trying to survive and becoming an arcanist. Highly recommended.

  • Mistborn Trilogy : I've only read the first one. A dystopian world where ash falls from the sky every day with a centuries old tyrannical ruler. The story follows a young girl who is just trying to survive on the streets any way she can but gets caught up with revolutionists. Very enjoyable, and a unique magic system.


  • Ender's Game: This an Dune are always recommended for anyone looking to get into well as Foundation series (which I haven't read :/). Earth has been attacked by an alien species of bugs...twice. We barely survived last time, so in order for us to prepare if it happens again Earth has started training military geniuses. Ender is one of the children chosen for training, and he is the best of the best. The story focuses on him and his story about rising through the ranks to try and save earth.

  • Dune: If you want to experience a sand world with giant worms, extreme political tension, plot twists, feints within feints. I could say more, but simply saying that it is in my Top 3 favorite books says enough.

  • Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy: Probably one of the funniest books I've ever read. It is highly regarded among this community and geeks as a whole. Do not judge it by the movie, this is a must-read book if you want a laugh.

u/Gravlox15 · 6 pointsr/selfpublish

I'm not an expert, but I don't like 2 of your covers. Tales from a Dead Planet is cool, with a sweet title, but the other two don't make me interested at all.

I would say you need to focus on getting reviews firstly. You really need at least 10 - 20 on each title before they mean a whole lot and can drive sales. To start, harass everyone you know who has read the books. Make them leave reviews, even if they don't like them. Bad reviews are honestly better than no reviews.

Do you have a call to action in the back of your books? Something at the end like, "if you enjoyed this journey, you can leave a review on Amazon and find book 2 there as well," can go a long way toward garnering reviews. Also, you can try submitting to review blogs (like mine) to get some large, editorial reviews which you can put in the editorial section on Amazon.

The $2.99 price point sucks. Almost every indie book / small time author sets there. If you want to stand apart, go higher. It might sound weird, but it works. Looking quickly at the best sci-fi novel ever written, it has a price way higher than yours. Like /u/arkelias says, look at the successful books in your genre and mimic them. Even price point. That also encourages people to actually read the book after they buy it, and it encourages them to leave a review since it is more of an investment.

When I sell books at conventions, I always tell customers to email me when they finished the book whether they like it or not. Many of them do. If they like the book, I email back asking for a review on Amazon. They typically do. If they don't like the book, I thank them for reading it and offer them another book for free. That usually discourages them from leaving really bad reviews.

Try a giveaway on Goodreads. They are easy to run and the readers are obligated to leave a review. Just make sure you confirm the winning accounts aren't spam bots before you mail your book into the abyss.

To the writing: I opened the sample for the Tales book. My editor would have made me rewrite the first paragraph entirely. When you use 'here' so much instead of 'there', it makes me think you're trying to use first or second person instead of third. Am I there too? Are we both there having a chat? In the second paragraph, I closed the sample. "Scientists fought to figure out why this was happening..." That sentence is a huge red flag. Check out this article on using terms like 'here' and 'this' in fiction.

Do you have a professional editor and some proofreaders? Also, do you have a dedicated author website and a twitter?

I hope this helps.

u/alexatd · 1 pointr/writing

Others have covered this well, but I wanted to throw in some thoughts. You absolutely MUST read if you plan on writing a novel. Just... required.

But don't force yourself to read things you don't like. Have you tried graphic novels? They are chock full of story but are more dynamic than your typical novel. Harry Potter may not have clicked for you because you saw the movies, but have you tried other young adult novels that don't have movie tie-ins? A lot of YA is imminently readable because they're usually in first person, fast-paced and very hook driven. There are some fun sci-fi/timey-wimey YA books out there you could try.

On the adult side, have you tried to read Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde? It's surrealist fantasy with a very fun time travel element, though they are very heavily rooted in bibliophilia--it's all tongue-in-cheek love of books stuff (the main character can jump into fiction). But he's my favorite writer on the planet and a great example of having fun with language/writing.

So I haven't actually read it but one of my BFFs loved this book to pieces: S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. It's apparently a very bizarre "book" that is not quite a book and is supposed to be an experience unto itself. Sounds a bit like what you maybe have in mind.

u/georedd · 2 pointsr/spacex

Came here to say the most in depth and likely realistic protrayal of how a planet would be settled and likely how it's politics would evolve has been done by the "Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars" trilogy by kim stanley robinson.

It goes from early settlement military vs scientific type government to democratic evolutions to control issues between earth and mars (self determination) to building huge space infrastruture to suppor tthe planet like a space elevator etc to fights with terrorists about the degree of environmental distruction vs preserservation that should be allowed.

read those books.

One of the best book series I have ever read - sci fi or not. Great for political study as well as planetary engineeering and space settlement and more.

It's like having the experience of having actually done it once and then considering doing it better the second time around.
If you have any interest at all in this subject matter you simple have to read those books (and you'll love them).

It gets you your Ph.D. in "Mars settlement".

Then you'll be ready to talk without repeating what has already been extensively thought about ( not that there is anything wrong with that)

Red Mars ( book 1 of 3 link)

"In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision."

Green Mars (book 2 link)

"In the Nebula Award winning Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson began his critically acclaimed epic saga of the colonization of Mars, Now the Hugo Award winning Green Mars continues the thrilling and timeless tale of humanity's struggle to survive at its farthest frontier.

Nearly a generation has passed since the first pioneers landed, but the transformation of Mars to an Earthlike planet has just begun The plan is opposed by those determined to preserve the planets hostile, barren beauty. Led by rebels like Peter Clayborne, these young people are the first generation of children born on Mars. They will be joined by original settlers Maya Toitovna, Simon Frasier, and Sax Russell. Against this cosmic backdrop, passions, rivalries, and friendships explode in a story as spectacular as the planet itself."

Blue Mars (book 3 link)

"The red planet is red no longer, as Mars has become a perfectly inhabitable world. But while Mars flourishes, Earth is threatened by overpopulation and ecological disaster. Soon people look to Mars as a refuge, initiating a possible interplanetary conflict, as well as political strife between the Reds, who wish to preserve the planet in its desert state, and the Green "terraformers". The ultimate fate of Earth, as well as the possibility of new explorations into the solar system, stand in the balance."

u/rabbithasacat · 8 pointsr/tolkienfans

I strongly suggest you disregard advice to buy ANY book by David Day. They are not accurate, and are full of stuff he just makes up. Day is the laughingstock of the fandom; he's even been banned by the Tolkien Society from attending their future events.

But don't worry, there's lots of good-quality stuff out there for your husband to treasure!

If he has read only The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy, look for an attractive edition of The Silmarillion (there are many). This is the great backstory to Lord of the Rings, the legendary past that constantly gets referred to in LOTR. If he hasn't read it yet, that's the Next Big Step for a Tolkien fan.

If he's already read the Silmarillion, Check his shelf to see whether he already has a copy of Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth. If not, that's definitely a great gift for him or any Tolkien fan. "A book of maps" doesn't do it justice -- it's not just geography, but changes over time, populations, heroic journeys, and famous battles, all laid out in a way that keeps you turning the page in a way you wouldn't with a real-life atlas. The way the maps are presented also helps the reader visuallize the progression of the Ages of the World, even though there's not a dedicated timeline.

If he has both of these, go for a copy of Unfinished Tales, which contains extra material that didn't make it into the published LOTR and Silmarillion. He'll love the extras about the Palantiri and what Gandalf got up to while Bilbo and the Dwarves were making do without him.

If he has all that, you have choices to make. If he's graphic's oriented, he may like the John Howe decorative map set or the Alan Lee sketchbook or half a dozen options from artists who've tackled Tolkien. If he's a calendar guy, you can pick from at least that many popular options every year.

If he's a hardcore reader who has made it through the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales and still wants more, he may want to take the deep dive into the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, which is very affordable now that it's in good-quality paperback. But you probably want to check with him on that before buying them all; some volumes are, well, pretty hardcore in their density, and some are best read sequentially. One that would be fine as a standalone is Vol. 12, The Peoples of Middle-earth. Lots of good lore and interesting things in that one.

u/androidchrist · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

My go to recommendation is typically either "Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die" or "This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death". They are both collections of short stories with one simple premise in common. There is a machine that exists that will without fail tell you with 100% accuracy how you are going to die. However, the machine can be cryptic, vague or anything in between. It could say "Old Age" and you'd assume that you, a 22 year old person, are good to do whatever you want danger wise until you're super old. But that same 22 year old could be walking down the sidewalk after getting their diagnosis from the machine and be hit a by car... being driven by a very old person. THEIR old age is what killed you. Or maybe you survive the accident but are left brain dead and your family refuses to pull the plug, so you outlive all of them and end up dying naturally of old age, having spent the last seventy years of your life trapped inside your own body. They are an incredibly varied series, ranging from sci-fi to horror to comedy to mystery. They are some of my favorite books.


So that's two. Let's think of three more.


Next up is "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore. It's a new (clearly fictionalized) testament that chronicles the early life of the Son of God that are missing from the Bible. Who tells it? Why none other than Biff, Christ's childhood best friend who was purposely omitted from said good book for being a bit of a jerk. He has been resurrected by some angels and tasked with telling the world about the lost years of his best buddy's life. Biff and Josh get into all sorts of foibles, from reanimating dead bugs as children to scare the bullies in their village to learning martial arts from monks to teaching an elephant yoga to falling in love with the same woman. It's hilarious, and beautiful. Be you a believer or not, it's a great read. I'm an atheist and I was recommended the book by my best friend who is a minister more than a decade ago.


Now let's talk about "Lucky Bastard" by S.G. Browne. This book is about a private detective with a special ability: he can steal another person's luck, good or bad. He then can quite literally bottle and sell this to the highest bidder. He's been out of the Luck Poaching game for some time, but his past has finally caught up with him. He's offered a huge payday to steal back the mayor's stolen luck, and he's hurting for the cash. Our detective friend spends a lot of time and money at Starbucks, and $100,000 will buy a lot of lattes. Not to mention the job is offered to him by a beautiful, mysterious woman who he might just want to take the job in order to be closer to. The book is very funny, extremely tense and has tons of twists and turns. I discovered the author by accident when I picked up another book by him at the airport nearly ten years just to have something to read during a delay. I loved it so much that I wrote to him and he sent me an advanced copy of his (then) upcoming novel, and we've become casual friends online. He's a great guy and his stuff is a lot of fun.


The last book on my list is "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. There is almost no way to explain this book because it's so many different stories wrapped in a ton of layers, but I'll give it a go. At it's core, a man who was loosely acquainted with a blind older gentlemen checks out his apartment after the old man's death and finds endless notebooks, manuscripts and stories. These stories are all related to a video tape that is the stuff of legends. In that video tape is footage of a videographer who was filming his new home and family for months. He slowly starts to realize that his house is very slightly larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Then a tiny room appears between the master bedroom and his child's bedroom. Then a door appears on his living room wall, which when opened leads to an entirely black room with a spiral staircase leading down. He puts a team together and leads an expedition into this black room to figure out what's going on. Now, those are the BASICS of this book. It's a really trippy experience. There are some pages with only one word on them, some pages where the text is oriented in different directions, some pages just contain sheet music. The book is full of source notes and references, but none of them notate or reference anything that actually exists. In fact, Mark Z. Danielweski doesn't even exist. It's a pen name, a character in itself. The whole experience is insane. I've bought so many copies of this book for people. It's probably the gift I've given most often in my life, other than the gift of laughter.

u/cknap · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I had the most wonderful time at school! This is a super random memory that just came to me. I'm not sure what grade I was in, but during math one day we all had to solve a math problem individually. After everyone finished, the teacher gave us a few choices and asked us to raise our hands when she read off the answer that we got. When she said my answer I was literally the only person that raised my hand. Guess who got that question right - me! Seriously my greatest achievement during a math class. :)

Good luck with your next year of school and have fun!!

I would love a copy of House of Leaves if I win! You have to read textbooks at school, but you can read fun books at home!

u/cuthman99 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Huh... well, I'll take a few shots at this, although I doubt I have any better idea what he means than you do. Still, support the troops...

The ultimate would be S., J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst but only if you can get him the printed copy, not the ebook. The print version is just a phenomenal experience. It is definitely high-concept: in fact, it's best just to read the description in the link. It's a mystery/thriller/geopolitical/surrealist experience, but the object itself is just amazing. Check out the images of the book on Amazon-- normally I don't link to Amazon, but the images give you a sense of it. It's not just that one of the two major parallel stories unfolds in the margin-notes of the other novel; it's that the other novel is stuffed full of odds-and-ends of things the two correspondents shared with each other-- maps written on hotel napkins (and damn if they don't print the thing on an actual napkin), postcards from other countries, etc. It's just amazing.

How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe, Charles Yu, is the epitome of a high-concept novel. It's 'meta' to the core-- the execution doesn't quite live up to the concept, but it's still a decent read, and it might be what he's after. The premise is that the son of the man who invented the first time-travel machine, but was screwed out of the credit for it, works as a time-machine repairman and travels the... well, multiverse? multi-time?... looking for his father, who eventually disappeared. In the end it's as much a family drama as a sci-fi novel, but I found the premise irresistible.

Another idea would be You Shall Know Our Velocity!, Dave Eggers, It's certainly another "meta" or "high concept" novel; at first it seems like it'll be a standard travelogue, but then it takes a decidedly Eggers-ish turn. Not a lot to say about it without disclosing spoilers. As with How to Live Safely... I don't know that the execution lived up to the concept... or maybe the concept didn't live up to the execution, I'm never sure how I feel about Eggers.

u/Atersed · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm a bit late but I hope you see this.

I was in the same boat (although more into non-fiction) and can strongly recommend two books:

The first is How to Read a Book. When I first saw the title I though: "Pfft, I know how to read a book", but then you start reading it and realise that you don't know shit. This book deals with comprehension mainly, so it seems perfect for your situation.

The second book is less important but one I'd recommend to anyone who does a lot of reading. Breakthrough Rapid Reading talks about "speed reading" and is set out like a six week course. You can do 20 mins every evening to increase your reading speed whilst maintaining (or even improving) comprehension. There are a lot of speed reading resources out there, but I think this is one of the best. Certainly worth a look as you can make pretty rapid gains early on.

u/poetniknowit · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
  1. Blue Because this is all I could think about after reading #1

  1. Summer Accessories bc this would be Awesome at the beach, and I hear they work great!

  2. Weird food related items items. Not sure I'd be able to actually consume these without vomiting lol.

  3. Id gift this for my daughter, bc she is the ultimate FNAF fan and 6 years old, and it's one of the only 3 she doesn't own for her plush collection.

  4. House of Leavess my ultimate favorite book, and I push it on everyone I know that loves reading. Although intimidating, the format is awesome and original, and mimics the way we Google and use the internet for constant reference. Plus the codes are siiiick.

  5. This is less than a dollar and ADORABLE

  6. This looks like a rad dog toy, whilst simultaneously resembling a sexy toy too lol

  7. This is so expensive and impractical but I would live in this thing!

  8. Vanilla Skywas a movie that really spoke to me as a teenager. If you don't like your reality, change it- just, errrr, mayne not the way Tom Cruise does. Also the mostly Radiohead soundtrack kicks ass.

  9. A katana would obviously trump guns in the zombie apocalypse- you'd eventually run out of bullets, and this baby is the most expensive Amazon's got, so I'd hope youd get quality.

  10. Microsoft Office would help me out. I'm an aspiring writer, but using an offbrand, free version that doesn't work makes writing a nit more tedious and difficult-even spellcheck doesn't work!

  11. Annoying add-on bc a girl can never have too many of these, amirite?

  12. FNAF is as close to fandom as I get. My kid is obsessed, therefore I am obsessed, and I'm not into sports :(

  13. This watch popped up after seeking the most expensive item on Amazon, although it doesn't seem justified lol.

  14. I Chose BOTH a shark & unicorn !

  15. Thierry Mugler Angel smells great- I had to ask a customer what she used bc I wanted to eat her flesh when she walked past me.

  16. Teddy Ruxpin was so 90's- we put our fave cassettes in and hed seemingly sing along

  17. The Artist's Way
    by Julia Cameron is one of my favorite books on creative unblocking for both writers AND artists! I go back to it whenever Im in a slump!

  18. This tote file would be totes cool bc Im obsessed with organizing!

  19. This coloring book about farts? Ridiculous and fun. Id likely make ea fart a different color lol.
u/-Skadi · 1 pointr/Wishlist

Happy birthday! I hope you've been having a fantastic day!

I have so many books on my wish lists, it's hard for me to pick just one, but I can narrow it down to the top 3 I've really been wanting to read:

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I love Norse mythology, history, language, religion and learning more about it, and from what I've read of Gaiman's, I enjoy his writing style.

S. / Ship of Theseus by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams

From the reviews it seems like a great book. There's the book Ship of Theseus, but in the margins and inserts there's a whole different story between two people trying discover the identity of the author of Ship of Theseus. It just looks like a fun book.

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski

Another book I've heard great things about. I've heard it can be a difficult read with the unconventional format and footnotes etc.. But that just makes me want to read it even more.

All 3 are on my Most Wanted list.

Thanks for the contest!

u/heptameron · 8 pointsr/Buddhism

Rupert Gethin's Foundations of Buddhism is a thorough introduction to Buddhism. For starting reading the Pāli discourses, there's Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words - this is a selection of discourses serving as an entry point.

Then you can start with the discourses directly: start with the Majjima Nikāya and then you can also go through The Dīgha Nikāya and the Samyutta Nikāya. And then the last but not least: Aṇguttara Nikāya and the Khuddhaka Nikāya (search on Amazon). These texts would be important references for the rest of your life if you seriously pursue Buddhism.

Regarding insight meditation, Bhikkhu Anālayo's Satipaṭṭāna book is the best modern day commentary available. Highly recommend it. His "Excursions into the Pāli Discourses" Part 1 and Part 2 are also very useful since they summarize many of the topics discusses in the discourses.

Books by Shaila Catherine or Ajāhn Brahmavaṃso would be good texts regarding samatha meditation.

There are the various texts written by the Ledi Sayādaw and Mahāsi Sayadaw - two Burmese scholar-practitioners who popularized insight meditation in the last century. You can go through Ven. Ledi Sayādaw's Vipassanā Dīpani (Manual of Insight) and you can find Ven. Mahāsi Sayadaw's books here.

Bhikkhu K. Ñānānanda has many books discussing deep questions about dependent arising, the nature of nirvāna, and so forth. You can find them here.

I'll let others recommend Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna and Zen material. In general, Reginald Rays books on Tibetan Buddhism are great entry points to Tibetan Buddhism, and then there's Gampopa's Jewel Ornament Of Liberation. There's also Shantidēva's Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra, useful for any Mahāyāna practitioner. With Zen there's always Dōgen Zenji's Shōbōgenzō.

You should be able to find all of the above by googling if it's available for free or on Amazon (or a University library) otherwise.

u/kylco · 3 pointsr/printSF

Snow Crash and Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson talk about it some, but it's not the libertarianism that most libertarians are familiar with. It's more a "freedom to choose your own society and its rules" than a "government does not interfere with choices" liberty. The Common Economic Protocol of SC/DA is technically a government, but the only thing it regulates are the formation of new phyles (societies, etc) and the use of nanorobots for warfare (Nell's foster father, at one point, has to go off to combat against some rebels that violate the terms of the Protocol, IIRC).

Diamond Age has a lot of what you're looking for, though in a very high-technology environment that enables the lifestyle, and with different implementations of libertarianism. Sea-steading is not done by building a colony and floating off into the sunset, but by building new landmasses off the coast of Shanghai and connecting them to the mainland with a large bridge. The phyles with the expertise to do this (Neo-Victorians (stuffy Brits), Japanese engineers, and the Germans Hindus, IIRC) are fabulously wealthy for their ability to create new housing zones, commercial areas, and industrial zones more-or-less on demand for the overpopulated cities of China. On the other hand, in the American Southwest you have small (in population) phyles that dominate the landscape: homesteaders whose only duty to the phyle is to mind their own land, and provide for the common defense. There are plenty of other systems described however: a Zulu phyle that protects its own by hunting down and bringing to justice anyone who harms one of theirs, a communist phyle that requires you to give up your possessions and live as if you're in a reeducation camp 24/7, a Hidu phyle that is mostly a bank for anyone who wants to borrow, with collection policies in the form of indentured service, etc, etc.

It's an excellent character study for societies: you see the good and the bad of every one of them, where they work and they don't, and why. It's all enabled by technology that makes it possible (more or less) to provide everything to the masses at little or no cost, with money being exchanged only for premium design, service, or honest-to-god handmade goods (which are astonishingly expensive - entire phyles live a pastoral existence and create them for wealthier societies - the "Amish"/Luddites are billionaires). People do what they want to: become hackers, live in drum circles, homestead, work for Software Kahns, join theatrical troupes, work as scenario writers for a bordello, or in the semi-feudal administrative system of the Middle Kingdom. Most of this is implied, not explicit, which only makes it better reading, if you ask me: Stephenson may hit you over the head with the details of nanotechnology and ponderously describe encryption services (which personally I like anyway), but the wonder and cleverness of how the whole society works is rarely stated directly, meaning you can tease it out slowly and marvel at the way it all fits together.

TL;DR Yeah, Snow Crash. Also the Diamond Age. And I probably should write some sort of critical analysis of the Diamond Age to get something out of my system.
*edited for clarity and accuracy.

u/mementomary · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

This is my intro. I have gifted :)

I have two fave books! My first is House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. I can't really do it justice in a summary. It is about a guy named Johnny who finds a trunk full of paper scraps that belonged to an old man that died, and puts them together into a book. That book is about a family who moves into a new house, which is bigger on the inside (like the tardis, but scary). As the people explore the mysterious hallways in the house, Johnny reads/edits the book, and everyone goes a bit crazy. As you read the book, the actual text makes you feel like you're going crazy with them. It's a hard read, but it's great! The only book that has ever creeped me out. :)

My other fave is Pride and Prejudice. I imagine I don't have to summarize it, but I will. Elizabeth Bennet is the second of 5 sisters who aren't rich. Since respectable women could only make lives for themselves by marrying well, that is the obsession of their mother, Mrs. Bennet. A rich young man named Bingley moves into town, and with him comes his proud, disagreeable, and even more rich friend Darcy. Elizabeth, who thinks pretty highly of herself as well, decides she hates Darcy right away because he is such a jerk, and hijinx ensue. Jane Austen is the master of poking fun at the social interactions of the time, and the dialogue makes me laugh out loud each time I read it (especially Mr Collins).

I really hope your Gram's surgery is quick and painless, and she has a quick recovery. <3

u/UWillAlwaysBALoser · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. I just finished this book, and it is probably the funniest book I've ever read (and I'm saying this after having read Hitchhikers, a lot of Vonnegut and Confederacy of Dunces).

I don't know your religious background, but I have confidence that whether you are a Jew, Christian, or atheist/agnostic, you will really enjoy this book (if you're none of those, you may miss some references). It's like Hitchhiker's Guide for the ancient world, with a little of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha (also a good read) mixed in.

Also, John Dies at the End by David Wong is great if you like action/sci-fi/horror but want a lot of comedy mixed in. It was the first comedy book I've read that really felt like it was written by someone from my generation (I'm in my early 20s). Wong is one of the editors of cracked and definitely has the internet-age nerdy pop-culture sense of humor that pervades reddit.

u/wallish · 18 pointsr/scifi

While not my favorite ever I really enjoyed the Otherland series (only four volumes but each book is fairly large).

It's entertaining cyberpunk and features some interesting looks at the future. Very enjoyable read.

Another (shorter) series that is good for a quick read and a lighter introduction to scifi is The Risen Empire. Split into two parts (although together they would have made an only slightly-large novel) it's along the border of Hard Scifi and "pulp scifi". I'd consider it as an okay introduction to hard scifi.

Which leads me to the third and forth series, Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space. Reynold's is hard scifi, meaning that there are points where he spends twice as much time describing the technical details when character advancement would be very much welcome. However, this also means he takes into account things like relativistic travel and how boring space battles would be to spectators. Awesome books though.

Last but not least is the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's hard scifi that doesn't lose sight of character development. Also, out of all the books I've mentioned I'd have to call it the most "realistic" as the technological point at which it starts could conceivably be reached in the next decade or so.

All enjoyable reads, all enjoyable scifi. After (or during) these don't forget to check out classics like Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Banks, etc. Especially Asimov's Foundation books or the short(ish) story Nightfall, although the original short story can easily be considered better than the expanded version linked (so you might want to stop reading when you reach the end of the original).

u/MegasBasilius · 3 pointsr/AskLiteraryStudies

You seem to have the will and desire, which are more important than an education and natural intelligence. Diligence and discipline are everything in writing, not how 'smart' you are.

There are two roads you must take here, both simultaneously. First, you must become a great reader. Start off by reading authors who are 'accessible,' meaning they do not initially make great demands on their audience. In the west, these are authors like:

1.) Mark Twain (Huckleberry Fin)

2.) George Orwell (Any of his books)

3.) Ernest Hemmingway (Check out his short stories)

4.) Jack London (Call of the Wild)

5.) Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice)

Here are the rules of reading:

1.) Read slowly. Imagine each scene in your head. Evoke your memory to make the text come alive.

2.) Read everything twice.

3.) Have a dictionary on hand and look up EVERY word you don't understand.

Here is a book recommending some of the best books in history. Each book has an introduction; flip through it and see what interests you.

Here is a book that provides a guide on how to read anything well.

Second, you must become an addicted writer. You must write everyday, it doesn't matter about what. The only key thing is that you enjoy it. Once you get into the habit of reading+writing, and you enjoy it, start looking into books that help you improve your writing. There are a lot to choose from; here are two examples:

1.) How to Write a Sentence, by Stanly Fish

2.) Elements of Style, by Shrunk and White

If you continue to read and write everyday, pushing yourself into more difficult books and more elaborate writing, you'll start to develop a taste for good reading/writing yourself, and be able to distinguish it in the world around you. From there, it depends on what your goals are. Good luck.

u/ZFree2013 · 8 pointsr/Buddhism

Depends on what I want, study or practice. But my most recent have been...

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

For daily living the books by Thich Nhat Hanh are fantastic, especially the power of silence. The book is aimed at all audiences but really goes in to depth showcasing how life in the west especially has become out of control, we are constantly imbued with noise, constantly thinking and never truly coming home to ourselves, so our suffering is always 'ours' carried by us everywhere until it begins to spill out in our actions and thoughts.

In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha)

I really like both this book and the middle length discourses for when I desire to feel 'closer' to the teachings. This book in particular takes teachings from the the pali canon and presents those which bear the most relevance to life today. The teachings are very profound and each suttra is very powerful. Many of the questions here could be easily answered by reading these translations of the discourses by Bikkhu Bodhi.

Although I do feel these are books for the book shelf as the suttras are kept purposely intact but it means there is a lot of cumbersome repetition and one or two suttras a session are best I find.

Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: Majjhima-Nikaya: New Translation (Teachings of the Buddha)

This book focuses more on the Buddha's time at jetta grove and a lot of the pages describe his dealings with the monastics, but also detail his meetings with all walks of life from princes to simple villagers. There is the classic hell suttra too, which is gruesome and had me in contemplation for a while! The teachings are profound though and any discerning Buddhist would benefit from reading the texts.

'The translated teachings of Miao Yun'

This is not so much a book as a collection of teachings which have been translated for a western audience. The words however contain a lot of wisdom and really detail the framework of a path from human to buddha-hood and the importance of cultivating core values such as wisdom and compassion.

u/nolsen01 · 9 pointsr/IWantToLearn

I think we may be looking for the same things. I read a book a few weeks ago called Pragmatic Thinking and Learning that I found really helpful and interesting. Its not too expensive and if you have the money I'd recommend it. Don't be intimidated by the programmer talk, none of it is really relevant.

Last week, I discovered a wiki that gave great advice on learning and memory techniques that seemed like it would have been extremely useful. I've spent the last hour searching for it but I just can't find it. When I come across it, I will let you know.

Another book that I found useful a few months ago was How to Read a Book. Don't let the title undermine the books value; its an awesome book. Definitely worth looking into. I don't follow the advice given in the book very rigidly, but since I've read it, I've found that I approach books much more methodically and absorb the information much more easily.

Its great to see that there is someone else out there looking for the same sort of resources I'm looking for. The way I look at it, learning is a skill that can be developed and mastered. It is an interesting pursuit in and of itself.

I haven't found any single resource for this sort of thing but maybe we can put together a subreddit where we can pool our resources for things that may be particularly helpful.

u/Aaron215 · 1 pointr/TagProIRL

If you want something a bit emotionally draining at points, Blindness by Saramago is a good one. It's about a sudden epidemic of blindness, and how the world reacts. And they don't react well. Very much worth your time, but just a forewarning, there is a part that's a bit... rapey.

If you want something very character driven, I liked Ender's Game and the following two branches. The branch that follows Ender (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind) get a bit philosophical and more and more sci-fi, so I don't know how much I'd recommend it. I kept through it for the characters though. The other branch follows a character named "Bean" from the first book (Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant) and is a lot more military focused, talking about interactions between world powers and military groups. I liked that branch a bit more.

I only ask that if you read those, you get them from the library so that you don't purchase them. I don't like where he sends his money, but that's your choice. I usually don't recommend him to people solely because of that.

Last but not least, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the rest of the series (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life the Universe and Everything, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, Mostly Harmless, And Another Thing...) is FANTASTIC. I recommend this to EVERYONE. Funny, witty, clever, and well written and the guy who wrote it was a good guy too. I'd say buy the complete edition where all the books are in one. I'm not a huge book guy, but I was able to soar through this with no problem. I'm not even gonna say what it's about, but I will say the part about sandwiches is basically my life advice to anyone who asks for some.

Happy reading!

u/b3antse · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I love my Kindle 3. The keyboard is super handy. I'm extremely prone to migraines, so while I still love physical copies of books, I can't read them in bright light or in the sun. The reflection triggers migraines 75% of the time.

It's nice to have options.

Every month Amazon lists 100 ebooks for 3.99 or less. Pretty much every month you can find winners there. This month there's "I Am Legend," "The Sirens of Titan," and "John Dies at the End" among others (I heartily recommend them ALL).

A great non-Kindle book is House of Leaves. Creepy and satisfying, that one.

Good luck with your Kindle endeavor!

u/Muzjik · 6 pointsr/languagelearning

I'm just starting to learn Russian myself. I'm using this website and this book which supposedly gets you up to an A-Level grade. I think it's a great book but found it a little tough for an absolute beginner so I also got this book which is just basic phrases really, doesn't go into grammar in any real detail but it gives you a lot more confidence to be able to speak something rather than getting completely bogged down in grammar as soon as you've learnt the alphabet imo. As soon as a got a couple of chapters into the phrase book, I started using the Russian course book I linked above to understand the grammar and handwriting better. Can't recommend the penguin one highly enough and I'm sure it will be a great help that you will have a teacher to help you with the grammar.

You're correct in thinking that the alphabet is the most important beginning. DON'T try learning a language using English phonetics, that'll just confuse you (which i can confirm) and give you a weird accent (according to my Russian speaking ex-girlfriend). Next up is where the stress goes on words, how changing stress can change the meaning of a sentence, and how some letters can change sound depending on where they are (called [un-]voicing) but this will come after you have the alphabet and some phrases under your belt.

I also found it good to listen to a few songs to pick up how words flow together, and music helps me think anyway, personal favourites of mine are traditional songs such as Kalinka, Ochi Chernye and Katyusha. Just look on youtube and you will find plenty of them even some with the lyrics in English and Russian.

This is the alphabet, the kids version for when you're more confident and want to learn it in order, and this video has some starter words and phrases.

I hope some of that helps you out, but I'm just a beginner myself so hoping to pick up some more advice myself by watching this thread closely!

u/Pinky_Swear · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

[Kushiel's Dart] (

Excerpt from synopsis:

>"Phèdre is trained equally in the courtly arts and the talents of the bedchamber, but, above all, the ability to observe, remember, and analyze. Almost as talented a spy as she is courtesan, Phèdre stumbles upon a plot that threatens the very foundations of her homeland. Treachery sets her on her path; love and honor goad her further. And in the doing, it will take her to the edge of despair...and beyond. Hateful friend, loving enemy, beloved assassin; they can all wear the same glittering mask in this world, and Phèdre will get but one chance to save all that she holds dear. "

Through Wolf's Eyes.

Excerpt from synopsis:

>"Firekeeper only vaguely remembers a time when she didn't live with her "family," a pack of "royal wolves"-bigger, stronger, and smarter than normal wolves. Now her pack leaders are sending her back to live among the humans, as they promised her mother years ago.

>Some of the humans think she may be the lost heir to their throne. This could be good-and it could be very, very dangerous. In the months to come, learning to behave like a human will turn out to be more complicated than she'd ever imagined.

>But though human ways might be stranger than anything found in the forest, the infighting in the human's pack is nothing Firekeeper hasn't seen before. That, she understands just fine. She's not your standard-issue princess-and this is not your standard-issue fairy tale."

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/books

I am so glad I can comment! I am currently reading "How To Read A Book". It is very helpful and pretty straightforward. I think you would be comfortable (judging by your apparent literacy from your post). And the authors address a very important fact I feel I should reiterate: Speed reading is not better. Take your time. Read for comprehension. If you can only read one book at a time or it takes you forever (or what feels like forever) who cares? Take the time you need to understand. Reread things. Discuss the book with other people. Most importantly good on you for seeking to better yourself! You are obviously intelligent and you can do this! The book is also available on kindle if you have/get one.

EDIT: No apologies needed! You need help and you are reaching out for it! This subreddit is full if awesome helpful people! If you aren't too uncomfortable you may want to seek help from the gurus of books: your local librarians.

u/shafable · 1 pointr/ExCons

I have 0 experience with incarceration, but I have loads of experience with books. Not sure his interests, but here are a few books I adore:

The Lies of Locke Lamora - Basically an Ocean's 11 heist story set in a world similar to Game of Thrones.

The Name of the Wind - (from the Amazon description) The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen.

Cosmos - Carl Sagan saw the best in our species. This book is what the TV series was based on.

I would encourage your friend to read text books as well while he is inside as well. Pick a topic they have an interest in, and find an older textbook on the subject. For me that would be this book. Not a topic I was educated on, but something I have an interest in.

Thank you for supporting your friend!

u/nomoremermaids · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

China Miéville's Un Lun Dun. It's a kids' book, but it's fantastic. Miéville turns a lot of the standard fantasy tropes on their heads, with thoroughly enjoyable results.

Dathan Auerbach's Penpal. Horror/suspense, written by a redditor, and debuted on reddit. The Kindle version is less than $4. Seriously creepy but totally worth it.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens. I have never laughed so much while reading. It's phenomenal.

Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age. What happens to poor people once nanotechnology can be used to make anything? It's my favorite of the Stephensons I've read, but it still ends like a Neal Stephenson novel. :|

Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. It's about the first-born son of a mountain and a washing machine. It's also about setting up wireless networks. Also: it's FREE.

Hope you enjoy some of these! :)

u/Barl0we · 28 pointsr/PNWS

Incoming wall of text! Sorry in advance, look at the bolded words to kind of do a TLDR of my reply :P

Read "Annihilation", the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, by Jeff VanderMeer. It'll ruin Tanis for you, because you'll see where they got a lot of their content from (to put it nicely).

The two last books in that series are okay, but I wasn't completely on board for them. Loved the first one, though. You could also just watch the movie version that's on Netflix, but know this: while well-made in some aspects, the director chose not to re-read the book OR read its sequels, so it diverges from the original book / book series quite a lot in some unfortunate ways.

I'm currently (still) trying to get through [House of Leaves]( by Mark Z. Danielewski. It's a fantastically weird story about a house...And about other things. It's probably the weirdest book I've ever read, in that it plays a lot with the format. There's at least two stories being told simultaneously most of the time, which can get kind of overwhelming. Think of it like if a regular horror movie and a found footage horror movie had a bastard child together. And that bastard child was this book.

If you're looking for weird fiction in the form of podcasts, I'd direct your attention to Archive 81. For my money, it's the absolute BEST in weird fiction podcasts. It's currently 3 seasons, and each season the podcast changes. It's still the same overarching story / world, but the settings are way different.

Other notable podcasts include King Falls AM which has sort of a goofy x-files-if-they-were-a-radio-station vibe to it, featuring both a lot of good comedy, good songs (when they happen) and the occasional gutwrenching drama. The writing is good, the performance is amazing. You could also go for Darkest Night if you're into the idea of podcasts as a horror medium. They do excellent stuff, and their new season starts this October! They feature a few cameos from Michelle Visage and RuPaul if that's your thing (and these two amazing people feature more heavily in the other podcast by this company, Deadly Manners.

Going back to books, I suggest Laird Barron to anyone who likes horror and short stories. He has mixes of gritty noir and cosmic horror, and he's an absolute blast. The Imago Sequence is my favorite collection of his, but The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All is great as well. Laird Barron has also appeared in compilations outside his own, and was part of compiling the excellent modern Cthulhu short story collection, Autumn Cthulhu. This book is great if you like the idea of cosmic H.P. Lovecraft-esque horror, but don't so much like the gross racism that HPL had (and showed in his work).

If you like Slenderman and have time to burn, I'd suggest looking at Marble Hornets on YouTube. It has 87 "main" entries of varying (but mostly short) length, with a bunch of cryptic in-between shorts. It's one of the first Slenderman pieces of media, though they don't call him that. In Marble Hornets, he's called "The Operator". TBH it's sort of varying in quality (especially in the beginning), as I'm fairly sure the people who made it were film students at the time. As they go along, they have some amazing moments where they show off some really, really great editing skills. Of course, you could also buy the whole series on BluRay if that's your thing, but it's available for free on their YouTube channel.

u/A_Foundationer · 11 pointsr/SF_Book_Club

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.

In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.

u/DN_Caibre · 2 pointsr/gaming

I've got about 600 hours in all three games. 300 hours in witcher 3 alone.

Yes, you can play it without having played 1 and 2. The Witcher games from minute one are sequels to the books by Andrzej Sapkowski. So even in the first game you're introduced to characters for the first time, but they react to Geralt as if they've known him for years, so you're just kind of thrown into this already running legacy of a character.

Honestly, if you wanted the backstory before playing witcher 3. I'd read the books (or listen to them in audiobook form), it gives you A TON of context to the game and you'll constantly recognize characters and names from Geralt's early adventures in the books.

Books are:

The Last Wish

Blood of Elves

Sword of Destiny

There's this animation which covers the events of the books, The Witcher 1 and The Witcher 2, so you could watch this after reading the books to prepare yourself for witcher 3's world state.

Recap (NSFW! Boobs and decapitation)

Green man gaming is sold out of the expansion pass codes, but you can get the base game for $22 here.

Witcher 3 on GMG

If you like it, you can buy the expansion pass on steam for 25 bucks, which is two expansions, the first is about 8-12 hours of content, the second is almost an entirely new game, easily with 25-40 hours content.

I can't explain to people how much I love this world and The Witcher 3 especially. If you like fantasy settings, this is a must play, and I bet that if you get into the game, you'll want to explore the books, and potentially play through the first two games as well.

u/cr4a · 1 pointr/bookclub

The most recent suggestions thread produced a few good titles, but there were no votes for any of them.

So I just picked one.

This time let's read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

We've already done americana and dystopian philosophy, so fantasy seems like a logical next step.

It's Rothfuss's first novel and the first in the The Kingkiller Chronicle series. It also won a couple of awards: a Quill Award and a Publisher's Weekly Best Books of the Year award, both in the science fiction/fantasy/horror genre.

Here's a few places to get it:

  • - $8
  • Your local library

    It's pretty long (almost 900 pages), so let's give it a full month. That would put it at finishing up October 1.

u/Deckardz · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I've been exploring this recently. I'm not an expert, but I'll do my best to explain it.

The shape or object represented in the gif you posted is called a tesseract or a hypercube. You can search for these terms for more information.

To explain this, some basics about 2D and 3D must first be established to understand how to continue the explanation to 4D.

A super-brief explanation of the gif above as the four dimension object (spatially) is that it is a representation or projection of viewing a 4D object/shape in a 2D view. (That gif as displayed on our computer screens is 2D because our screens are 2D and it's not encoded as 3D to be viewed with 3D glasses) and a 4-D object or shape actually appears to us to be 3D objects inside of 3D objects, just as if we look at a 2D object - say a square drawn on a piece of paper - we are able to see inside of the 2D object and see additional objects drawn inside of it and just as we are only able to draw a 3D object on a piece of paper if it is drawn as a transparent outline, this gif shows the 4D object drawn as a transparent outline in which we only see the many sides folding in and outside of itself. A being that is capable of seeing four spatial dimensions would be able to look at you and see inside of you. The following demonstrates this concept pretty well:

Fourth Spatial Dimension 101 (video, 6:27)

To better understand the concept of the fourth dimension, read on. I also included more videos below, including an excellent one by Carl Sagan.


First, some facts / definitions:

  • 0D (zero spatial dimension) is simply a point. It either exists or does not exist. There is no concept of a point moving in 0 dimensions because there is no space for it to move.

  • 1D (one spatial dimension) is simply a line. It has length. A point can move along the line from side to side, left or right.

  • 2D (two spatial dimensions) is a plane. It has length and width. A point can exist and/or move from side to side lengthwise and side to side width-wise, left or right, and (if we imagine the plane as a flat surface that's level to the ground,) then we can call the width direction either forward and back, if we imagine looking at the plane on a wall, we might call it up or down. Either is fine. Two dimensions.

  • 3D (three spatial dimensions) is technically called "3-dimensional Euclidean space" but since it's what we commonly perceive, we often just refer to it as "space." It has length and width and height. Other words can be used for these directions, as long as it's three separate directions not in the same plane, such as left-right, up-down, and forward-back.

  • 4D (four spatial dimensions) is known simply as four-dimensional space, probably because we don't use it in conversation enough to have a nifty, shorter term for it. There is also a non-spatial version of four dimensions commonly referred to as "spacetime" which is a combination of 3D space and time.

  • A special note about the fourth dimension... Space vs time as a fourth dimension are differentiated as such: time as the fourth dimension is referred to as the Minkowski continuum, known as spacetime, and the spatial-only dimensions are referred to as Euclidean space or dimensions. Spacetime is not Euclidean space; it is not only spatial. (The gif you linked above is a representation of the spatial fourth dimension. ..yes, it includes time to show it rotating. If you were to consider it as a spacetime dimension then it would be 5 dimensions: 4 spatial plus time, but it is commonly referred to simply as spatial in my understanding.)


    Conceptualizing the limitations and advantages of dimensional perception:

  • Beings that can perceive in 2D can see inside of objects that are 1D.

  • Beings that can perceive in 3D can see inside of objects that are 2D.

  • Beings that can perceive in 4D can see inside of objects that are 3D.

  • Beings that can perceive in 1D can only see representations or projections of 2D objects.

  • Beings that can perceive in 2D can only see representations or projections of 3D objects.

  • Beings that can perceive in 3D can only see representations or projections of 4D objects.

    We are able to perceive objects spatially in 3 dimensions (3D). By spatially, we mean that we're interpreting the environment or world's space, and not considering the fourth dimension as something other than space, such as time. (The gif linked above is of a four-dimensional object of which the fourth dimension is also space.) When we look at a drawing of a square on a piece of paper, we are able to see not only its length and width, but also inside of it because we are viewing it from above - from height. If we look down at it and draw a triangle inside of it, we can see both at the same time. We are able to see inside of 2D objects. A 3D object is comprised of several layers of 2D objects stacked upon one another. So imagine the 2D drawing, and stacking many papers on top of each other until it's several inches or centimeters tall. That's a 3D object now. Then, shape it into a square at each sheet of paper (so cut through all sheets) and you will end up with a cube of paper. Shape it into a triangle and it will be a triangular, pie-like shape. Angle it more narrow on the way up and it will be a pyramid-like shape. With any of these shapes, we cannot see inside of it. But now imagine this: just as we in the 3rd dimension looking at a shape in the 2nd dimension can see inside of it, a being in the 4th dimension looking at a shape in the 3rd dimension can see inside of the 3D object. That is because just like there is only length and width in the 2nd dimension, but no height; in the third dimension we have length width and height, but no __. I'm unaware of whether there is a name for the additional direction that would exist in the fourth dimension.

    I also don't know whether a 4th spatial dimension actually exists or is just an abstract concept, nor do I know whether it is possible or known to be possible to detect. As far as I am aware, the fourth spacial dimension is only known of abstractly, meaning that there is no evidence for it actually existing.


    These videos explain how to understand what the 4th dimension would look like:

    Dr. Quantum explains the 4th dimension (video, 5:09)

    An oversimplified explanation from the movie "What the bleep do we know: down the rabbit hole" in which the character, Dr.Quantum, first explains what an (imagined) 2D world (flatland) would look like to us - who are able to see the 3D world, as a way of understanding (or extrapolating) how a being that could see in the 4D world would be able to see through and inside of 3D objects. (note: I've been warned that this is part of a video that goes on to some cult-like recruiting, so please be forewarned about the video's conclusion and entirety.)

    Cosmos - Carl Sagan - 4th Dimension (video, 7:24)

    Carl Sagan explains how to imagine what the 4th dimension looks if we were able to see it and how it would allow us to see inside 3D objects. An important part of this video is explaining and showing exactly how and why we can only see a distorted version of 4D objects since we only see in 3D

    4th Dimension Explained By A High-School Student (video, 9:05)

    An excellent description of the first through fourth dimension and how we can perceive them.

    Unwrapping a tesseract (4d cube aka hypercube) (video, 1:39)

    Hypercube (video, 3:18)

    Watch the above two videos to see how we can conceptualize a 4D object in 3D space.

    Videos mentioned elsewhere in this comment:

    Fourth Spatial Dimension 101 (video, 6:27)

    Flatland (video, 1:39:56)


    Videos, Books and Links mentioned by other redditors:

    Flatland: a romance of many dimensions (Illustrated) by Edwin Abbott Abbott (book, free, ~230kb)

    Amazon description & reviews

    hat-tip to /u/X3TIT

    "Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Lisa Randall (Amazon book page)"

    Looks interesting.

    hat-tip to /u/karoyamaro


    (Edited: 1- to add video lengths; 2- added book links, 3 - readability more videos, 4 - a warning about the Dr. Quantum video.)
u/SkatjeZero · 1 pointr/russian

The New Penguin Russian Course is quite good. The textbook I've used is Russian for Everybody (there's also an accompanying workbook that I highly recommend). Once you start getting a hang of things, Shaum's Outline of Russian Grammar is a good, clear reference for grammar.

As for free websites? I'm not very familiar with them... is a popular one. From my experience with free internet lessons, they tend to be lacking in explanations of grammar, and more about giving you "useful" phrases. Everybody learns differently, of course, but I personally find that the more grammar lessons you can integrate, the better off you'll be in the long run.

Other than all that, I definitely recommend finding an easy to read book/article/text/something to work towards understanding -- children's books are good for this. Provides more motivation that way, and it's a way to apply what you're learning. Always keep a goal in mind. :)

u/Dai_Kaisho · 1 pointr/PS4
  • leveling: do quests. get paid. You're a witcher; you can kill monsters in your sleep. hence, you don't get much experience for killing everything you see. you get much more experience for finishing quests and helping folks out. quests will tell you when you're the right level. I tend to check the notice boards anytime i visit a new town so I know what's available, but I don't always start the job right away.

  • combat: use the sidestep, not the roll, since roll eats stamina that you need for casting quen. cast that a lot. once you get used to sidestepping and take less hits, start using alternating between quen and the other signs - see which you like best. and don't forget to parry human enemies.

  • world: as others said, turn off the minimap markers so it feels less like a far cry/ac game. i even turned off the minimap altogether (so I have to open my bigmap often, but hey immersion :P) The world of the Witcher is full of great wonders - all the better if you find them yourself, or through a quest. Not by checking them off a shopping list.

  • take your time and enjoy it. if you're having fun with something, go ham. I personally enjoyed reading 'The Last Wish' and 'Sword of Destiny' - short story collections written in the 90's. No spoilers and they kind of explain Witcher 1 and 2. You'll recognize tons of characters and lore from these stories placed right into the game itself, which is a real treat.
u/getElephantById · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

If you want a straightforward page-turner, try The Descent by Jeff Long. Turns out, a species of hominid diverged from homo sapiens a long time ago, and continued to evolve deep below the earth, in underground caves and tunnels. All of a sudden they seem to be coming to the surface to attack people, and we've got to stop 'em. To paraphrase one of the characters, "we've declared war on hell".

If you want something more challenging, how about House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's hard to describe this book, but if you get a chance to pick it up in the bookstore, flip through the pages and look at how it's laid out. The fonts and layout change, some pages only have a couple of words on them, some pages are printed diagonally, others reversed. The book itself is a mystery about a mystery. It may be a horror story, or it may not be, but it will definitely give you an uneasy feeling when you're out there in the woods.

If you want a book that may inspire you while you're out there, pretty much anything by John Muir would do, but how about The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir's Greatest Adventures. I haven't read this book, but it's a compilation of his writing and I'm sure I've read many of the stories that go into it. Muir is a great lover of and writer about nature, and had a lot of adventures to draw from.

Have fun on your trip!

u/spasticanomaly · 5 pointsr/russian

The Cyrillic alphabet crash course videos by Mark Thomson (there's also iOS and Android apps if you prefer)

Russian Made Easy podcast / video series also by Mark Thomson

The New Penguin Russian Course by Nicholas Brown

These three materials will give you a super solid start and come out to a grand total of like $20. I suggest starting with the Cyrillic alphabet videos then going through Ch2 of the Penguin book, which teaches Cyrillic cursive. It will be best to do all writing in cursive as you practice. I'd then go through Russian Made Easy then the rest of the Penguin book. This method has been working out very well for me so far. I tried starting with the Penguin book and it's just a little dense to be a good beginner material imo. I also push the Mark Thomson materials pretty hard because he harps on contextual learning which is very important for efficiently learning a new language, yet many resources don't focus on it.

Many people like Duolingo. I wasn't super fond of it because the audio is compressed to hell and it doesn't give a good intro to the alphabet. This led to me having trouble knowing whether I pronounced something right because the example speech sounded like garbage and also taking guesses at what sounds letters made (a few of which turned out to be wrong when I changed my methods and actually learned the alphabet). I talked to a polyglot I know and he advised me that Rosetta Stone was most useful when you have a decent foundation in a language, not quite as great if you're totally new to it (and very expensive). All of this is just my two cents of course. There's many ways to go about it. Either way, welcome to the super fun hellscape that is the Russian language, and good luck getting started :)

u/G0ATLY · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

That canvas! If I had access to the rest of the needed supplies, that would definitely be something I'd want. Though I don't...

I have so many lists.. But here goes:

Super Sculpey is on my artsy list because I found you can alter vinyl figures with it and boil or lightly bake it! Further customizing, which I find neat.

Bravely Default is on my list because the demo got me hooked. I use to hate JRPG type games and turn-based games, but this one seems fun with a lot of extra's. (Like extra things to do.)

Purple bed set.. SO DARN ELEGANT.. I mean shhh. Basically purple and black go together so wonderfully and my bed is a mess of colors right now. xD Tiger stripes with green bedding and flowery and black pillow cases. Also a big purple pillow and a leopard print.

African Violet perfume oil is on my list because back when I would go to the flea market there was a man and lady who sold essential oils. African violet was such a mesmerizing scent. I had it all over my room, the house.. Basically anywhere it would smell divine at.

Hard choice between House Of Leaves and I Am Legend. Both are books I want to read because I love the reviews. I generally go for non-fiction, horror books. Both seem to be right for the reading. I want to be scared or intrigued! Hooked into a story.

Coloring book... because I am a kid at heart!

Magnetic cubes! I want these because the original circular buckyballs/neocubes are always WAY to high priced. It's an alternative, and I love magnetic things.

Nubian goat light switch cover because.. goats! I love nubian goats and that's, that! (Also love just about any type of goats..)

Daemon tarot cards because I am fascinated with anything to do with demons, or entities. Generally anything tarot card or fortune related also. More so things that are evil, because people tend to shy away.. While I go towards them.

Last but not least...

I'm such a sucker for Norman Reedus... I want it to hang on my wall. I even have a frame waiting for it. (Thank's WalMart.) Got 2 frames for the price of one!

u/carpecaffeum · 6 pointsr/scifi

The aspects of Clarke's style that you seem to enjoy really shine in the short story format. You said you've read everything, does that include his short fiction? There's a great anthology which collects them all.

Asimov was also great at writing short fiction, and I like this collection of his works.

Many of the stories curated in those anthologies were published 50 or so years ago in weekly/monthly science fiction magazines, you might see if any one has created 'best of science fiction weekly' collections.

Tor publishes short fiction for free on its website regularly. It's fairly hit or miss, but it's a good way to window shop authors.

A novel you might enjoy is Leviathan Wakes. It's a hard sci-fi novel in which humanity has colonized Mars and the Asteroid Belt. At this point all have their own unique cultures because it takes so long to travel between them. Not a lot of character development, which you don't seem to be into anyway, just fun ride in a cool setting. First in a series, but I haven't read the sequels yet so I can't comment on those.

You also might like The Martian, by Andy Weir. An astronaut is stranded by himself on Mars and has to survive. Weir wrote a short story called "The Egg" which gets posted to reddit on a regular basis.

u/joshszman09 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Yes, I would recommend this if you aren't looking for anything too serious. Adams' presentation method is definitely comedic, but that just makes it more enjoyable. Adams is a genius when it comes to irony and he also does a pretty good job of getting his science right(when he is being serious). But like I said, if you want super serious, don't go for this. If you do go for it, I recommend getting The Ultimate Guide, which is all five books plus a bonus story.

u/oremusnix · 2 pointsr/AskMenOver30

First I would say that your state of confusion is normal at your age. The brain matures around 25 and time should help you find a bit more peace but only then.

I would suggest to find a mentor : someone you respect, can look up to and are confident that they have your best interest at heart. Could be a family member or a counsellor perhaps. Expose your questions and take his or her input seriously.

Also, do not underestimate the power contained in good books. This is the most condensed wisdom one can find. Start with How to read a book and ask your mentor for reading advice as it is easy to drown in the quantity.

u/ThatBernie · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Fronsdal's translation of the Dhammapada is good. It certainly looks nice, and the translation is elegant yet accurate. I also recommend Thanissaro Bhikkhu's translation, which you can get for free online, or you can download the book in PDF format.

I would recommend reading Bhikkhu Bodhi's In the Buddha's Words before digging more deeply into the full Nikayas. This book wonderfully selects passages from the Pali Canon and organizes them in a logical fashion, with clear commentaries.

I also recommend Thanissaro Bhikkhu's many e-books which you can download for free online. For beginners I highly recommend Refuge and The Wings to Awakening (found at the bottom of the linked page).

Hope this helps!

u/Stoic_MOTD · 1 pointr/Stoicism

MOTD #1: “If it doesn’t harm your character, how can it harm your life?”

Being the first one, I find it suiting to have some sort of an introduction. MOTD, “Meditation of the Day,” as you can tell by the title, is a stoic quote from really any book, as long as it has some sort of "stoic wisdom", but mostly from the big three—which comes out, if all goes well, daily.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to message me. And, if you have a favorite part of Meditations or want to see any other stoic passage in a future posts, again please feel free to message me or comment anytime :D

If you don’t have it I would highly recommend you get one; the Gregory Hays translation of Meditations. Amazon Link

Want to read more books on Stoicism? checkout these lists: r/Stoicism’s the Stoic Reading List | Ryan Holliday’s Lists 1 & 2 | Goodreads

Anyways, have a nice day/night, where every you happen to be… All the best, Chris.

u/supra621 · 1 pointr/django

For HTML/CSS/JavaScript/jQuery, Jon Duckett's books are pretty good. I linked the set because individually they're about $23, and together it's $28. His is the only JavaScript book in my library. I found his books to be well-ordered, and he describes things in really simple ways, though the book layout feels like reading House of Leaves until you get used to it. Both books have made for great references, though free HTML/CSS tutorials are quite abundant, and I leaned on Google more than the book for learning those.

I can't recommend the Django book that I started with, "Mastering Django: Core" by Nigel George, as much of the advanced topics were no better explained than the official documentation. If you're using Django 2.0, forget it. This, and other Django books I've looked at, don't go into any front-end details, seemingly from a belief that "writing Python code and designing HTML are two different disciplines" (quoted straight from the book I linked). The official docs and web tutorials have served me better for bringing Django to the browser.

Aside from d3.js, I'm only using basic JS and jQuery. d3.js was a very specific use-case for the data I'm working with, as it excels at making graphs and charts using SVG. If that sounds like something you're doing, Interactive Data Visualization for the Web was pretty clear for d3.js. Note that d3.js only uses a minimal amount of traditional JavaScript, so do consider your project needs before dropping $40 on it.

The basics of JS and jQuery will go a long way, even without react/angular/vue.js. Just like my first statement about HTML/CSS, I'd say learn the other frameworks when you can no longer do what you want with JS/jQuery, or when a framework is going to save you time.

Sorry for the wall of text - hope that helps!

u/KrAzYkArL18769 · 2 pointsr/DMT

I detest religion and all its bullshit too, but it seems like you are pretty set in your beliefs just like all those religious people are. Almost like you are a gnostic atheist, not an agnostic atheist. It also seems like you are lumping together all conjecture and unknowable/unprovable hypotheses with religion, like you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

You don't have to believe in a thought in order to entertain it. Is it not possible to simply think about things without chiseling them in stone within your belief system?

Also, belief in life-after-death or spirits or whatever isn't really a prerequisite for believing that something is going on here that is greater than what the human mind can possibly comprehend. I think it has more to do with the mathematics and physics of spacetime and the universe itself.

To me, it's a dimensional thing. Almost as if one enters a higher dimension that our simple minds aren't equipped to process. It reminds me of the book Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott. I would definitely recommend reading that book (it's only 96 pages) if you are interested in hearing a nonreligious perspective on what it could be.

u/trekbette · 3 pointsr/books

Some of the best books I've read came from people recommending them to me. Please don't ever feel terrible for asking.

It might be a good idea to start with some fun books:

u/jboehmer17 · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

This is an oft-recommended book on Russian grammar, from what I've seen.

Order that, then get on this site and learn the alphabet. It's not too difficult to get it down on a basic level.

From there, get used to some basic vocabulary using a resource like Memrise (vocabulary practice site). Sign up on and start with the basic Russian course. You'll learn some beginning phrases, get used to reading, eventually the alphabet will become second nature.

After some time with these resources (maybe a couple hours, maybe a couple of days), start listening to Russian music. You need to practice listening early and often to get the ear for words and how they sound together. Go on a Russian radio streaming site that lists the track currently playing (you can do this using a phone app, TuneIn Radio, which may also have an online site), then look up songs you like the sound of and listen to them over and over again with the lyrics in front of you. Try to sing along, even if you're sort of just mumbling Russian-sounding noises along with the singer.

At this point, start watching movies with subtitles. Search Mosfilm on Youtube. All of this studio's movies are free online, and most of them have English subtitles available.

Keep practicing like this, study the grammar using your Penguin book, and then find a penpal or something via Livemocha. It'll be scary at first, trying to communicate with someone in a language you're still making a lot of mistakes in, but people who study languages understand each other and are generally patient.


  1. Order grammar book

  2. Before it arrives, learn alphabet, basic words / phrases

  3. Listen to songs

  4. Watch movies

  5. Learn grammar

  6. Find penpal

  7. Practice, practice, practice!!!

    Good luck! If you need any other help, PM me! I absolutely love Russian and would gladly help out anyone else who's interested.
u/quad64bit · 3 pointsr/videos

It's literally called 'Flatland': It had a sequel too, about higher dimensions. It illustrates the way in which one might comprehend things at are not directly observable from your current presepective- obviously using geometry- but it isn't really a math book, it's a story. Carl is paraphrasing the central plot in this video.

Edit: for the lazy: "This masterpiece of science (and mathematical) fiction is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that has charmed readers for more than 100 years. The work of English clergyman, educator and Shakespearean scholar Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926), it describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women-thin, straight lines-are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status.
Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions—a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. Charmingly illustrated by the author, Flatland is not only fascinating reading, it is still a first-rate fictional introduction to the concept of the multiple dimensions of space. "Instructive, entertaining, and stimulating to the imagination." — Mathematics Teacher."

u/malakhgabriel · 7 pointsr/Catacombs

What other reddits do you surf?
I moderate /r/RATS, /r/Louisiana and /r/OpenChristian. I also read a lot in /r/SquaredCircle, /r/SRSBusiness, /r/SRSDiscussion, /r/polyamory, /r/woahdude and I've been dipping back into /r/Christianity a bit lately as well.

What do you do in your free time?
I read. I reddit. I smoke my pipe and drink my cocktails. I watch pro wrestling. I cuddle. I toy around with making jewelry (trying hammered wire recently) or playing with polymer clay. I'm considering this thing they call "ex ur size" or some such. It involves riding on a bike that goes nowhere. I understand I can read or watch TV while I do it, so I figured what the heck.

What do you read?
Right now I'm going back and forth between The History of White People and A Canticle for Leibowitz. Before that I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. the most powerful book I've read in the last few months was Silence by Shusaku Endo. You should read it. And then you should read Lamb because you'll need something a bit more jovial. But not until after you've sat with it a while.

What do you watch?
Ring of Honor Wrestling, WWE, Leverage, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother.

Do you Blog?
Yup, though not regularly enough to develop any sort of readership.

Do you game?
I just got my first console since the original NES when I was in junior high. It's a Wii. Every once in a while I'll play Mario Kart of do something on the Wii Fit.

Do you play a musical instrument/sing?
I make noise periodically. I want to do more.

What are your favorite movies?
Absolute number one favorite? Hedwig And the Angry Inch. The only tattoo I have is from that movie. Other favorites include The Big Lebowski, Pump Up The Volume, The Wrestler, Shortbus, Dangerous Beauty, Walk The Line.

What is some favorite music?
My absolute favorite band is Over the Rhine. Behind them, tied for second place, you'll find Boris, the Cure, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash. Also up there are Kris Kristofferson, Mischief Brew, the CrimethInc band called Requiem (there are lots of bands called Requiem), The New Orleans Bingo Show. The list goes on for days.

u/reveurenchante · 1 pointr/SuicideWatch

I totally understand the fear of the unknown after death. I was raised atheist so I often battle with those fears. It led to anxiety, which I now take medication for, but I also found a few things to help me. I love cats and animals, so I read and every day, or when I feel like I need a pick me up, I also read a lot and do crafts, which can help my mood. It sounds all very cheesy, but honestly these things help me when I'm feeling anxious.

If you want a humorous book to read, I highly recommend "The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal".... it's pretty hilarious, and thought provoking. find it here

u/BearJew13 · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

What the Buddha Taught is the best "intro to Buddhism" book I've read yet, I highly recommend it. This is a book you will constantly be coming back to, if you decide to keep pursuing Buddhism that is, for it contains all of the essentials (IMO). The author also includes several key suttas given by the Buddha (several especially directed towards lay people like ourselves), and a collection of key verses from the Dhammapada (a classic Buddhist scripture). The other "Intro to Buddhism" book I will recommend is Becoming Enlightened by His Holliness the Dalai Lama, which gives an overview of the Buddhist path to Enlightenment that emphasizes the role of compassion, altruism, and wisdom.


For learning to meditate and practice mindfulness, I recommend Mindfulness in Plain English. What the Buddha Taught also has a great chapter on meditation and mindfulness.


Once you feel more comfortable with the basic principles of Buddhism, if you'd like to start reading and studying key Buddhist scriptures, I'd recommend starting with the following: In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon and The Dhammapada. The Pali Cannon in the oldest complete Buddhist cannon of scriptures that survives today. The Dhammapada is a short collection of sayings within the Pali Cannon that is thought to summarize the essence of the Buddha's teachings.

u/thewreckage · 4 pointsr/booksuggestions

I feel like if your daughter and I were the same age we would be best friends, she sounds exactly like how I was at her age.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is wonderful, I read it at about her age. No sex.

John Green's books are amazing, but Looking For Alaska has a blow job part, and The Fault In Our Stars has sex. They are in no way explicit however, and I really would recommend that she read them, at least eventually, maybe at 12, because they're beautifully written and, I think, teach really valuable lessons (in fact, the blow job scene is awkward and uncomfortable and juxtaposed with a conversation that is emotionally intimate to demonstrate that you don't need sex and physical contact for emotional connection.)

I also remember reading Artemis Fowl when I was her age.

Other recommendations:
A Face in Every Window by Han Nolan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Cul de Sac Moon by Kimberley Clarke (my high school English Lit, Creative Writing and English AP teacher)

And when I was your daughter's age I was really, REALLY into The Royal Diaries series, my favourite being The Lady of Ch'iao Kuo and Elizabeth I.

EDIT: OH! And if she liked The Hunger Games I think she will LOVE The Giver series by Lois Lowry. And Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events might keep her occupied for a week or two, as well as the Chronicles of Narnia.

u/apscis · 1 pointr/languagelearning

Of course you are not hopeless. Do you think everyone learning a language jumps into it with full understanding of all the terms involved? You learn as you go, just as in any discipline.

When I was an English major in college, I decided to enroll in Old English. I was unaware, somehow, that I had chosen "Old English II." The very first day of class, I show up and we are given photocopies of the first 50 lines or so of Beowulf and asked to translate to modern English with the help of the glossary in our textbook. I stared at this incomprehensible text, confounded as to how my other classmates could be busily working away. I looked up one of the words in the first line in the glossary and it had the modern English equivalent, and "Nom." next to it. I went up to the professor and told her that I had never even seen Old English before, and how was I supposed to do this? She pointed at the "Nom." and said, "This means it's nominative, see?" As if the light was supposed to dawn, and it would all be clear to me now. But for me, this just explained an incomprehensible OE word in terms of an equally incomprehensible piece of linguistic jargon, as I then saw it. Needless to say, I went straight to the registrar after that class and withdrew from it.

This was about 13 years ago. Subsequently I took some Latin and French in college, which gradually introduced me to grammatical terminology. Today, I can read Spanish and French virtually without a dictionary, have reached an upper intermediate level in Polish (grammatically similar to Russian) with the intention of becoming a translator, and am happily beginning with Japanese. But if I had judged myself linguistically hopeless after that ill-fated Old English class, I would have done none of this.

"Cases" simply describe different ways in which nouns change form based on their function in a sentence. You already know cases in English. Consider the first-person pronoun "I."

"I like dogs" - "I" is the nominative case, because it is the subject of the sentence, it is 'doing the liking.'

"He likes my dog." - "My" is the genitive case. We wouldn't say, "He likes I dog." This would be a case error. The genitive usually indicates possession. In Russian, it has more functions, but they can be learned in context.

"Dogs like me." - "Me" is the accusative, or direct object case. It indicates the receiver of the action (the 'liking'). In English, this is also the prepositional case. Prepositions are words indicating position or direction, e.g. to, for, by, of, behind, etc. All these words take "me": behind me, for me, to me, etc.
Think of cases like this: where meaning in English sentences is usually determined by word order, languages with more cases (Latin, Polish, Russian) can have a more free word order, because the way the noun changes, and not its position, determines the meaning.

Articles are easy - "a" (indefinite object) and "the" (definite object). Good news, Russian has no articles!

Conjugations are to verbs what cases are to nouns. They simply involve the verb changing form based on person, tense and/or aspect. In English, verbs in the present tense only conjugate in third person singular: "I walk, you walk" but 'he walkS". Likewise, verbs conjugate for past, "I walked." Russian verb behave quite differently from English, so learning how they work will give you greater insight into conjugations as a whole.

Lastly, gender is a feature many languages (including Russian) have. It is simplya means of classifying nouns based on how they because grammatically. Often people (usually native English speakers who are not used to it, though English used to have gender) complain about gender, but this is pointless. It simply exists. The good news is, there are rules defining which words have which gender, and you can simply learn as you go along.

I would recommend that you buy Nicholas J. Brown's New Penguin Russian Course. I found this book helpful during the ~3 months or so I dove into Russian, and plan to return to it when I resume studying Russian (it conflicted with my Polish!). It will introduce you to these concepts gently while also teaching you Russian.

u/decepticles · 3 pointsr/witcher

Hey /u/vipr9, /u/sabien, you should both read more books! They're great, and reading virtually anything makes you smarter, the same way that picking up heavy shit makes you stronger.

I've never been to /r/books, but it looks like a quality sub. I guarantee if you make a post saying "I stopped reading for fun in middle school, help me get back into it" and mention that you love the Witcher series, people would recommend stuff that will blow you away.

I haven't read the Witcher books, and I'm only about 20 hours into Witcher 3, but I think you both would love
The Name of The Wind. $6.27 on Amazon!

Everybody should read more books. Me, you, everybody.

u/relampago-04 · 6 pointsr/IWantToLearn

First you need to start off making sure you're in good health. Make sure you're eating a good diet, especially one that contains foods that improve cognition (e.g. foods with choline, lecithin, omega-3s, etc.). Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep and exercise (20 min. of aerobic exercise has been shown to improve memory). And stay adequately hydrated (I usually drink 2 1/2 liters of water a day).

Now for digesting and assimilating what you read, look into close reading techniques; taking notes while you read and jotting down questions you have while reading; marking-up text; and, echoing what /u/Firetaffer suggested, reading "How to Read A Book" by Mortimer Adler.
I've also heard good things about "Moonwalking with Einstein" by Joshua Foer.

Also, SuperMemo and Anki might be of interest of you.

Here are some links that might help:

u/GradyHendrix · 0 pointsr/books

I'm sticking to short books that may be slightly above her reading level, but to be honest I think most kids read "up" anyways, and if she's bored she might like the challenge. These are all fast-moving, narrated by a first-person narrator with a great voice that hooks you, and they all have that "what happens next?" quality I think is really valuable in keeping you turning pages.

True Grit - yes, it's a Western, but it's a fast, funny book that is narrated by a 14-year-old girl who is a total badass. I didn't expect much from it and it hooked me like heroin.

Kamikaze Girls - a translation of a Japanese book about a super-high-fashion girl stuck in the sticks and her biker gang best friend. Really mean, really funny, and totally different from what you'd expect. The world it takes place in is so real, so detailed, but so alien to the US (but also kind of familiar - we all sometimes hate our hometowns) that it sucks you in.

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - I agree with the other poster who says this is a good one. It's really sad, but the story sucks you in.

The Fault In Our Stars - great YA book that is funny and sad and all about cancer which feels Very Important to read about when you're 12. But super-gripping and the narrator has a great voice.

u/waffletoast · 9 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

White male desires in US media get precedence over anything else. For the most part they are the ones in executive positions presiding over popular media such as television shows and movies. I think you can probably find some more diversity in literature if you know where to look. I'm not sure if you're into fantasy, but Kushiel's Dart is a good look at a woman who uses her sexuality in a way that serves the plot, the character, and can be sexy. No male gaze BS.

Also do some research for erotica or adult literature written by women. You'll find much more interesting things regarding sexuality from a woman's POV. Also lesbian porn is probably the closest you can get to seeing women actually enjoy another partner sexually pleasing them, rather than some gnarly-looking dude smashing his dick in her vagina, then cumming all over her face. Of course a lot of lesbian porn is made for straight guys, so be careful of that.

I agree with you, though. There needs to be more media that shows how healthy and happy sexuality can be for women, and how it's not just about trying to get a guy off. I think as time goes on things are getting more progressive, though!

u/swtrilman · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

Sure! I know exactly what you mean. So, I will say that a lot of the most interesting stuff in Fantasy is (and has for a while) being done in YA fantasy, and I don't mean stuff like Twilight.

Garth Nix's Abhorsen series (starting with Sabriel) is excellent. Melina Marchetta's Finnikin of the Rock is kind of along the lines of what you're talking about, but is really well done.

Just about anything by Dianna Wynne Jones is great, I will call out specifically Howl's Moving Castle (the inspiration for the Miyazaki film of the same name) and also her 6 part [Chronicles of Chrestomanci] (

If you're in the mood for something more adult, I really enjoyed Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, starting with Kushiel's Dart, but that gets into some S&M stuff, which, YMMV.

And then Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Which is just fantastic.

u/Salanmander · 4 pointsr/OpenChristian

I recommended this over on /r/Chrsitianity the other day, but I think it's more universally appropriate for this crowd. If you're interested in something non-traditional, I would whole-heartedly recommend Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. It's a fiction that imagines Jesus left Israel during the years we don't have many stories about to go find the wise men that found him when he was young, and try to figure out what the heck it means to be the son of God. It shows him interacting with other religious traditions, and learning about God through them. It's a fun read, and enjoys imagining various Bible stories in ways that match the original text, but not what we assume about them.

It is fiction, and doesn't make any claims to truth, but it's thought-provoking. I highly recommend it to any Christian who can stand to not take the religion too seriously.

u/john12tucker · 1 pointr/changemyview

(Thanks, and sorry for the huge reply below; I might have gotten carried away.)

It's tough. The Pāli Canon is relatively inaccessible, and most of it probably isn't relevant for your purposes. Part of the problem is the literature on Buddhism is huge, much larger than the Bible, and there are many different angles you can approach it from: for example, vipassanā meditation has recently become very popular in the West, and there are many books devoted to that topic from a secular perspective that provide no information regarding Buddhist philosophy -- which consists of an ethics, metaphysics, cosmology, etc. Buddhist philosophy is much broader than, say, Christian theology, and is arguably more analogous to Western philosophy.

If you're a secular Westerner like myself, you'd probably be most interested in Theravāda Buddhism: this is the least "mystical" of the three major schools, and is the most conservative, dealing mostly with the Buddha's actual (purported) words. Mahāyāna is the most popular school of Buddhism, found (for example) in China and Japan, and is newer, less conservative, and has a much larger canon of commentaries and interpretations; Vajrayāna is found in places like Tibet, and is (relative to Theravāda) extremely esoteric. Theravāda is the closest to "Buddhism as a philosophy".

/r/Buddhism is a welcoming community, and they are better equipped to provide you with resources than I am. I would recommend asking them, and narrowing down what interests you the most via Wikipedia. Feel free to pose me any specific or follow-up questions as well. I'll also be able to keep my answer briefer if the question is more constrained.

A couple of warnings: vet any authors first, before buying their books. A lot of the resources at your local book store are by Deepak Chopra types, and are not highly regarded. Look for commentaries on or interpretations of actual Buddhist canon. Related to that, forget what you think you know about Buddhism: New Age concepts like "reincarnation" and "karma" actually have very little to do with traditional Buddhism. My favorite example is that, while Buddhism does have a concept of "rebirth", it also explicitly rejects the notion of a soul -- this precludes the possibility of New Age or Hindu "reincarnation", and I have seen this trip some people up.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. My own knowledge comes from reference material like Wikipedia (especially as a portal to find other material), as well as selections from the Pāli canon -- this is one book I found useful as an introduction. It might not be the most academic book, but I think it does a good job as a general overview. Other books from the same publisher are also supposed to be good (and rely on actual canon), but I can't personally recommend any others.

Good luck!

u/quantumcoffeemug · 6 pointsr/math

I'm not sure about an article per se, but maybe some excerpts from Flatland (or the whole thing, since it's less than 100 pages) might fit the bill.

It's a pity they don't know any calculus; my old professor Carolyn Gordon's article "You Can't Hear the Shape of a Drum" is a fantastic read, and a wonderfully intuitive introduction to the ideas of spectral geometry.

My suggestion, if you need a true article, is to paw around online for a while for something on basic graph theory. Little tidbits like the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg are fun; or maybe an article about the four-color theorem. Graph theory is great for people with no formal math training, since it's easily visualized.

u/at-night_mostly · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

Bit late, but seems we have similar taste, so here are some things I really love:

House of Leaves - not a straightforward read, but it's worth sticking with it; the labyrinthine structure of the narrative mirrors that of the house, and is an overwhelming presence, a character in its own right. The story itself is ambiguous, fragmented, ultimately unresolved, and stubbornly avoids any traditional narrative satisfaction, an exercise in open-ended uncertainty, so if you crave narrative closure, this probably isn't for you. But if you can tolerate the ambiguity, it's a book you can get thoroughly lost in.

Good Omens - since you're a Pratchett fan, you've probably read this collaboration with Neil Gaiman. If you haven't, you're in for a real treat - one of his best.

Anything by Phil Rickman. The Merrily Watkins books are essentially supernatural detective stories, based on the traditional folklore of the borderlands between England and Wales, with a little exorcism on the side. My favourites are his early books, especially The Man in the Moss and December.

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury classic evoking the fears and freedoms of childhood. Wonderfully and weirdly atmospheric. If you like it, you should also read Dandelion Wine - not genre, but in Dandelion Wine he perfects his evocation of childhood, and personally, I think it's his best book. The realities of life, death and mortality, along with its wonder and mystery, seen with the clarity of childhood. And none of the usual rose-tinted 'innocence'.

u/pneumatici · 2 pointsr/witcher

Sure, a couple notes while I'm downloading BaW :)

The book order is thus:

The Last Wish

Sword of Destiny

Blood of Elves

The Time of Contempt

Baptism of Fire

The Tower of the Swallows

The Lady of the Lake

There's no official english translation of the last book yet, but the one I've linked is the best fan translation I've found. It's the one I read, and I honestly would have had no idea it wasn't a "real" edition if I didn't know better. Fantastic work.

There's also A Season of Storms, which is sort of a midquel for the series. But it was written in the last two years, has no bearing on any of the game's canon, and contain some minor potential spoilers for later books since he expected his readers had finished the series at this point. I recommend you ignore it for now, and if you decide you want to read it down the road pick it up after the series.

The first two books are a short story collections. The series is in chronological order, but the actual novel arc doesn't begin until the third book. Definitely don't skip the first two though, they set up important characters and events in Geralt's life prior to the novel arc beginning.

Lastly, if you really can't be bothered to spend a bit on the amazon paperbacks here's a link to all of them in epub format. I can't vouch for the quality of the fan translations in this pack, nor do I recommend this format. Buying the books supports the author and reading a book is still easier than reading on a tablet in my opinion.

Good luck on your journey into the Witcher!

P.S. - Oh, here is the Witcher 1 recap video I mentioned. DO NOT WATCH THIS until after you finish the books. It will spoil the climax of the series and ruin your reading. You can buy the game dirt cheap if you can handle a playthrough on PC, but you really won't miss a ton of important info if you skip it. I don't want to spoil the end of the books either, but essentially the second and third game don't rely on the first one at all aside from knowing cursory details of the first game.

u/Thomas_Amundsen_ · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

> Many people are telling me to meditate and figure it out for myself. How can I do this?

Honestly, I would advise against that. I'd recommend learning meditation from a teacher, and I'd also recommend studying some Dharma first before making meditation the main focus of your practice. And before all of that, the most important thing is going to be conduct. The most important aspect of conduct is to not take life, even very tiny insects. If you don't have proper conduct, then nothing else is really going to work. So, I'd recommend that order:

  1. establish stable virtuous conduct
  2. study Dharma
  3. practice

    It won't hurt to start a small meditation practice right now, in fact I would recommend that. But it will be best to spend the most energy on conduct and study at this time.

    > What should I focus on? Karma and dependent origin? Cessation of attachment? Compassion? Which aspect is the most important?

    It's really hard to say. I don't think there's any right answer unless you're working within a specific tradition. My personal recommendation would be to read In the Buddha's Words by Bhikku Bodhi. This will give you a really strong introduction to Theravada teachings. Even though it's Theravada, it is the common foundation of all schools of Buddhism. If you don't understand everything in this book, it will be difficult to understand anything else in Buddhism beyond this.

    Then, if you want to get a little introduction to the Mahayana, I'd suggest reading some translation of Shantideva's Entering the Conduct of a Bodhisattva (maybe translated as The Way of the Bodhisattva). This book is great for both complete beginners and very advanced bodhisattvas. I have read this text several times over the last 10 years and I learn something new every time. The Dalai Lama said:

    > If I have any understanding of compassion and the bodhisattva path, it all comes from studying this text.

    If you find that you are attracted to the Mahayana, then I would suggest that your next quest is to find your teacher. In Theravada, a teacher may not be of the utmost importance. But for Mahayana, a teacher is indispensible. There are enlightened teachers living today, it just takes effort to find one. My sincere advice would be to find an enlightened teacher, and then follow their advice as best as you can.

    Finally, don't turn Dharma into an escape. Dharma is never going to solve your worldly problems. You will still need to learn how to deal with life just like any other adult does in our society. Make sure to spend the proper effort and do well in school :) Dharma doesn't solve worldly problems, but it will lead to peace where no worldly problems bother you at all.
u/WeDoNotRow · 1 pointr/Fantasy

Try the first Kushiel trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, plenty of romance, suspense, and political intrigue. The cover and description put me off from reading the series for years (silly, I know), but I absolutely loved the first three books.

Malazan doesn't have a lot of satisfactory romance, and while I still have a soft spot in my heart for WOT the romance is just not believable.

u/CodeNewfie · 2 pointsr/malementalhealth

I'll also suggest books on Stoicism and Philosophy. However, before you jump right into the ancient/classical wisdom I'd recommend a modern introduction to introduce and help digest the principles.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.

Then - Move onto Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and the rest. A great way to embrace stoic ideas daily is The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday

Also, strong recommendations for:

u/mkpeacebkindbgentle · 1 pointr/Buddhism
  1. You can buy this book and just read one little sutta each night before you go to sleep :-)

  2. The dhammapada is poetry, and poetry is meant to inspire. IMO it can be hard to be inspired if you don't know what you're supposed to do.

  3. 5 minutes of metta when you rise, 5 minutes of metta before you go to bet. ~20 minutes sometime during the day.

  4. By keeping yourself immersed in the Dhamma over time. Here is the Buddha explaining it:

    >“I say, bhikkhus, that (1) true knowledge and liberation have a nutriment; they are not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for true knowledge and liberation?

    >...[7 causally linked factors that I've removed for brevity]...

    >It should be said: (9) hearing the good Dhamma. Hearing the good Dhamma, too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for hearing the good Dhamma? It should be said: (10) associating with good persons. (source)

    In the text above, the Buddha explains how associating with good persons leads to enlightenment. These days we have other ways to hear the good Dhamma too; talks by monks online, books, especially reading the word of the Buddha.

    Obviously the best thing is to hang around a Buddha or other enlightened monks or nuns, but that can be hard to come by :-)

  5. Reading the book i linked to. Deepening that understanding. Basically, keeping the Dhamma in my life. Also, meditating. Especially metta.

    >Staying at Savatthi. "Monks, if someone were to give a gift of one hundred serving dishes [of food] in the morning, one hundred at mid-day, and one hundred in the evening; and another person were to develop a mind of good-will — even for the time it takes to pull on a cow's udder — in the morning, again at mid-day, and again in the evening, this [the second action] would be more fruitful than that [the first]. (source)

    Metta is one of those things that, even if you do it just a little, it does a lot of good.
u/amusedtangerine · 5 pointsr/books

Dhalgren is an insane look at a dystopian future. Very long, often hard to read, but quite good. If he liked House of Leaves and also likes Sci-fi, I think he would enjoy Dhalgren. It is hard to read in places but that adds to its appeal.

Treason by Orson Scott Card was quite good, and I'd never heard of it before my boyfriend recommended it.

These are both sci-fi and sociological in nature.

I would second Murakami novels in general.

The Name of the Wind is a fantasy novel that I liked a lot. It was recommended to me by my brother, who then gave it to me last year for xmas.

u/trexinanf14 · 1 pointr/Christianity

I would absolutely agree on the NIV as a good general purpose bible, however there are some alternatives out there depending on what you are looking for. I would highly recommend either The Book of God by Walter Wangerin or The Message by Eugene Peterson, both of which are a re-imagining (read: they should not be used as a reference!) of the biblical stories, the former as a novel and the latter as a bible where the stories are told using language you or I would.

I also greatly support using a study bible, the good ones will give helpful context or reference to the stories you read, or you can just go all the way academic and grab a copy of the Oxford Annotated Bible (but from the sounds of it you wouldn't want that).

Although workingmouse, I would disagree that the KJV is the go-to bible these days for protestants, largely for the reasons you gave. Speaking of definitely not kosher, has anyone read the book Lamb? It's a pretty humorous read, but you really need to be ready to hold nothing sacred for a few hundred pages. =)

Good luck in your search OP!

u/Catafrato · 1 pointr/LucidDreaming

This is a very good video introduction to Stoicism.

The main ancient Stoic books that have survived are Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, Epictetus's Discourses and Enchiridion, which is basically a summary of the Discourses, and Seneca's Letters to Lucilius and Essays. All these editions are relatively new translations and, in Seneca's case, abridged, but they will give you an idea of what Stoicism is about. I suggest you first read the Enchiridion (it is no longer than 40 pages) and then the Meditations (around 150-200 pages), and then dig deeper if you get interested.

There are other ancient sources, and quite a lot of modern work is being done currently, but those are the ones I suggest you begin with.

Then there are very active modern Stoic communities, like /r/Stoicism, the Facebook group, and NewStoa, with its College of Stoic Philosophers, that lets you take a very good four month long course by email.

The great thing about Stoicism as a way of life is that it has neither the blind dogmatism of organized religion nor the ardent skepticism of atheism. It puts the soul back in the universe, in a way, and, on the personal level, empowers you to take responsibility for your actions and to take it easy with what you cannot control.

u/athanathios · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Great suggestions and I would comment that Look_within's recommendation is great, I read that and In the Buddha's Words, which is an outstanding anthology of Buddha's teachings organized in a very logical format by one of the top Pali translators and Scholars of our time Bodhi Bikkhu. He also has an amazing site Access to Insight, which in and of itself is an outstanding resource.

Personally if you want to pop off some stuff, I would learn the 4 Noble Truths, the 8 Fold Path, The Life of the Buddha, Dependent origination, The 3 Marks of Existence and the 5 precepts. Also meditation is a big part of the path, so I would start with Mindfulness in Plain English, try to meditate daily starting at 20 minutes a day.

u/Naish23 · 2 pointsr/promos

I'm not getting any presents this year, but if you want to give something. Then i'd like something like this. But thats just selfish thinking of me expecting that 1. You'd wanna pay so much. and 2. That you're going to choose me over that Clean water well idea. But if you don't want to buy me a wacom, i'd also be happy with just a good book or something. I heard House of leaves is good.

Even if you dont pick me or something, I just want to say you are a great guy and props to you for this kind of christmas spirit. This song is for you.

u/papersheepdog · 1 pointr/sciencefiction

With a near term timeline, and scientific exploration, this is so far the sub-genre I am looking for.

> "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson

from a link
>For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic "alchemists, " Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life...and death. bold is mine

So let's take a look at this and see how it stacks up against hyperstition, the mythos of culture so subconscious that it is a set of assumptions taken for granted, patterns of society which do not normally require questioning. (hyperstition is kind of a new term for me so if anyone has comments on this its appreciated)

I bolded "opportunity to strip the planet" above to highlight the cultural attitude required to produce this behavior. To simply state the issue, exponential exploitation happens when you combine unlimited growth (no natural predator or checks on permacultural viability) with deception and exploitation formalized as the profit motive, the engine which drives our economy.

Let me shift a perspective with a hypothetical question. Imagine that Earth had an "alien encounter" with advanced "visitors" from another solar system. Would you rather that their civilization be founded upon fundamental inequality (division, pyramid, competition, authoritative), or one founded upon equality (civilization 2.0, unity, cooperation, collaborative)? I am trying to imagine the difference in their behavior, and well, Star Trek comes up. So anyhow its just a metaphor to point at possibility.

Personally, I think that competition (exploitation) would be too destructive to make it out to space in any kind of sustainable manner. When we talk about sustainability I suggest we clarify what is it we are really concerned about sustaining. Growth? Looking at the bigger picture it almost seems irresponsible to unleash a self-replicating mining operation firing minerals to some central points and consuming the local resources? Conceivably escaping our solar system to automatically strip anything within thousands of light years? For what purpose is this? Which one would we prefer again?

So I would say that this is a great example of missing out on a more constructive narrative. I also bolded "life...and death" above because this would only be the likely obsession of super-self-centered personality (ego) which has repressed access to god (mediated by church, or blocked by scientism). Scientism allows the mind's entire construction of reality to be fabricated by an assortment of learned patterns, as opposed to directly experiencing through inward application of scientific method (meditative exploration).

So anyhow, considering this kinda stuff has been happening for quite some time (check out my story ;), I suggest that stories oblivious to the whole hyperstition thing and of the implications of mythos, logos, and nomos:

>Mythos, Logos, and Nomos composed the first great Trinity (at least of Western civilization), but its begetting required Logos to first generate the sub-trinity of ontology, epistemology, and teleology, and then for ontology and teleology to "feed back" and powerfully enrich epistemology — logic and science — converting part of epistemology into a meta-science, cybernetics, the art of converting wisdom into choice, choice into action, and action into subsequent evaluation and resulting refinements of future choices and actions … especially those choices and actions which Socrates, according to Plato, associated with the art of governance.

>Such "cybernetic thinking" was crucial to defining and then enriching Nomos. Note that the ancient Greek verb "kuberne" is embedded in both "cybernetics" and "governance", and their association originated with Socrates' analogy to the art of the kubernetes, the helmsman, the pilot, who must integrate knowledge of the changeless ("stars") with the naturally changing ("winds and waves") in order to choose whether and how to act with reference to that which is humanly changeable — to alter the angle of the rudder, the trim of the sail.

btw. check out other documents on that site

u/Das_Mime · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

I quite liked it. It definitely starts to drag some in books 3-5, but I thought it was completely worth it. Book 1 (The Gunslinger) is absolutely fantastic, and he ends the series perfectly in Book 7.

As far as really good fantasy series go, you can't get better than the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. It's an utterly brilliant story.

u/BulkTill230 · 2 pointsr/bodybuilding

How to Be A Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci is my favorite, and the first book I read on it.

The Guide To The Good Life by William Irvine is also pretty good.

Ryan Holiday's books are good too; I just finished Ego is The Enemy, and while not strictly Stoic, it has Stoic values. He also has a daily devotion type book called The Daily Stoic.

You can also get this version of [Meditations] ( I haven't finished it, but I think it's safe to recommend Meditations without having read it entirely.

The main key to Stoicism is to learn the basic ideas, and just be deliberate and conscious in life with the ideas; it's hard to change how you view things and react to events. You have to be conscious of it. A good amount of introspection helps a lot too. You can catch yourself doing something and correct yourself instead of letting your emotions and impressions lead you. Try to reflect every day on what you did a good job of and what you did a poor job of; thinking about these things makes it more likely that you'll do better the next day

u/neje · 1 pointr/books

When the Lights go out Tanith Lee was a book that made a very strong impression on me.

The tombs of Atuan by LeGuin was another book I kept on rereading as a teen.

The Woman who Loved Reindeer by M.A. Pierce I only read once as it got knicked from my library. Over 15 years later I still carry it with me, or at least the feeling I got from from it.

I'm also slightly thinking The Darkangel trilogy by Pierce as well. Another series that got read, re-read and re-re-read.

Come to think of it, I think a lot of the books that really got to me as a teen were the fantasy starring alienated but strong teens and women.

Nowadays I think one of my favourite books are The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, which, aside from being absolutely awesome scifi, I guess also touches on the topic of strong but misfitted women.

u/proteinstains · 3 pointsr/TolkienArt

You might want to use Karen Wynn Fonstad's [Atlas of Middle Earth] (,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch) to do your research. Maps of the earlier Ages and of regions outside the Western portions of the continent are sketchier than that of the Third Age, but there is still some good information to be gathered and that book is a major reference in that field. Wish you good luck in your endeavour. Your map is truly gorgeous!

u/VA_Network_Nerd · 1 pointr/ApplyingToCollege

Read that.

Now read it again, and focus on the significance of the essays.

Being well-read gives you a common connection or foundation with others who are similarly well-read.
Being well-read helps you develop stronger language context skills, and a more broad vocabulary which will be useful to you when you have to describe deeply meaningful topics about yourself and your dreams in 400 words or less.

Search A2C for how many interviewers or application essays asked the applicant to discuss their favorite book, or something they recently read. It's a common theme.

Ask Google how many books Bill Gates and James Mattis read in an average month.

You say you're interested in STEM. Ok, here are two books IMMENSLY popular with the nerd-crowd:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Please, don't say or think "But, I've already seen those movies..."
No movie has ever been as detailed in conveying a story as the book.

And if robots & robotics are seriously among your interests, Asimov is pretty much required reading.

I, Robot

u/vminnear · 2 pointsr/russian

Hey there :)

For text-books, I recommend the Penguin Russian Course. It teaches you vocab and grammar with exercises and dialogues, plus it has handy charts and a small dictionary at the back for reference. It's not for everyone, though, it's a bit wordy and not very exciting. Still, I found it very useful for setting a good foundation in the language.

For access to native speakers, iTalki is good if you want to book lessons with a teacher over Skype, or you can set up language exchanges for free with native speakers, likewise on Skype. I also use the app "HelloTalk" which also allows you to text and chat with native speakers. You can also use sites like Lang8 where you can get your writing corrected by native speakers, or you could just post it here and someone will answer.

There's a helpful list of dictionaries and other resources in the side-bar of this reddit :)

Hope that helps!!

u/bitassassin · 1 pointr/books

Books that changed the way I look at things, and thus changed my life:

Light by M. John Harrison Helped me understand that my feelings of smallness and impotence were pointless. In the greater scheme of things there is always two things: Someone better-off than you, and Someone worse-off than you. Whining about it helps no one.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins Helped me understand my mother's drug abuse. Not condone it of course, but understand it. Within six months of me reading this book, my Mother actually started to get clean. Maybe she found it in my room or something.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski Through this I learned the true power of fiction. This book makes movies look bad. It is the biggest must-read on my list.

Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking by CHristopher Hadnagy taught me how better to interpret my actions and the actions of others, and in general made me a more observant person. Barring the manipulative side of things, (which it helps you notice as other people do it or you do subconsciously) it helps you understand social interaction on a deeper level than just words.

A Child's First Book of Virtues by Emily Hunter

I'd have to say that this was one of the single most important books of my childhood. It taught me all the important bits. This book was gifted to me right after I learned to read, and I am quite frankly a better person because of it. It helped form the model by which I judged my own character.

And of course a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica and Compton's interactive encyclopedia.

Buh I like reading.

u/littlebagel · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

While I'm certainly no expert by any means, I believe things that can help include reading and practice.
A friend once told me reading good books helps you learn good writing, and good writing I would imagine also leads to good speaking.

Practice would be helpful too. Even if we don't write well, we get better by just forcing ourselves to write, and similarly with reading and speaking.

A popular book on reading books that I've noticed is ["How to Read a Book" by Morimer Adler.] (

u/Vengeance164 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

If you want another Dresden-like book series, check out the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne. I'd say they are almost sue-ably similar. Main character is flippant and sarcastic, but also honorable and relies heavily on improvisation. I think these would be exactly what you're looking for.

I can also second the suggestion for Weeks' new Lightbringer series.

For your Night Angel fix, I recently read and loved Blood Song. The author is fairly new, but the book is absolutely solid and wonderful.

Another good book series is the Kingkiller Chronicles.

I'll stop the list there before I get carried away. But I think Iron Druid and Blood Song will be spot on as far as similarity. The other two are books I think you'll really enjoy, but aren't necessarily as similar.

u/WinterBlastard · 3 pointsr/gamingsuggestions

I personally consider the Bioshock series my favorite, and I absolutely loved Metro 2033 and Last Light, and I recommend you play both. The game isn't all that similar to Bioshock, but it shares a claustrophobic feel and the constant dangers that lurk around each corner. Metro 2033 does have a stealth element to it, while Bioshock doesn't really, so if you don't like stealth to some extent, I would stay away. Either way, both of the metro games are amazing and have good stories.

Also, you said you wanted to learn more about Bioshock. If you haven't already, I highly recommend the book Bioshock: Rapture. It gives some more insight to what went into building Rapture, and I found it very interesting because I also wanted to learn more about the games.

EDIT: I also would recommend Singularity to people who like the Bioshock games. It is heavily inspired by it and is in a very similar vein.

u/blissdancefly · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'm horrible at these things. This is technically my third intro, enjoy.

My name is Vanessa and I love books and nature. I'm currently reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and am hesitant to finish it because it's so good. I'm new to North Carolina, where I just moved from Ohio with my amazing partner. We're planning to adopt a pit bull from a local rescue just as soon as we're a bit more settled. I am avidly looking for a job and a car. Both were lost due to unfortunate circumstances. I love to hike, cook, entertain myself, and laugh. I can't wait until the weather is more suitable for camping. I try my hardest to love the life I live and live a life I love. My life has been very eventful thus far, and I like it that way. I have a lot of dreams, and one day I hope to accomplish of them but as Albus Dumbledore once said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." I live fully, every day, when depression doesn't tie me down.

Hope that was okay. Have a great evening, everyone.

u/citiesoftheplain75 · 5 pointsr/pics

Here is a list of monasteries where you will be able to practice meditation for an extended period of time and eventually ordain as a monk:

-Pa Auk Forest Monastery in Myanmar

-Panditarama Forest Meditation Center in Myanmar

-Wat Chom Tong in Thailand

-Wat Ram Poeng in Thailand

The monasteries below allow shorter stays for first-time visitors:

-Bhavana Society in West Virginia

-Metta Forest Monastery in California

-Sirimangalo International in Canada

-Bodhinyana in Australia

If you’re interested in learning how to meditate, the following books are excellent guides. Each of these authors has a novel approach to explaining meditation that complements the others.

-The Mind Illuminated by John Yates

-Shift Into Freedom by Loch Kelly

-With Each & Every Breath by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. This author has other great books available for free.

-In The Buddha’s Words by the Buddha (translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi)

I recommend that you check out /r/streamentry, an online community of laypeople (non-monks) pursuing awakening. You might also wish to contact /u/Bhikkhu_Jayasara, a fully ordained monk who often participates in /r/buddhism.

Best of luck to you on the path.

u/JustTerrific · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Despite the fact that it's got comedic elements, there are plenty of parts in John Dies At The End that are pretty wonderfully creepy.

House of Leaves always needs mentioning, it works its magic on numerous levels.

The absolute scariest ghost story I've ever read, and I never hear anyone talking about it, is Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel.

You can't go wrong with Stephen King, but if you haven't cracked into his books yet it can be a daunting task, he has a huge bibliography. For me, IT, The Shining, Salem's Lot, and Pet Sematary are some of the scariest, plus pretty much any of his short story collections are golden. In fact, any one of his short story collections might be the best place to start with King, I would recommend Skeleton Crew.

And while I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as strict "horror", one of the books that's scared me the most is Alan Moore's graphic novel From Hell. It's an absolute beast (and it's pretty much nothing like the film adaptation with Johnny Depp, so don't let that color your perceptions).

u/jekyl42 · 11 pointsr/tolkienfans

Oh, those are great posters. I visited the Bodelian years ago but didn't even think to check and see if they had a gift shop!

My gift recommendation would be The Atlas of Middle Earth, by Karen Wynn Fonstad. It's comprehensive, covering all of the books (I found the Silmarillion maps particularly helpful), and it is large, physically, probably at least 10"x14" so the maps are pretty easy to read. I received it as a gift myself, and it has become the non-Tolkien work I reference most when reading him.

u/The_Dead_See · 1 pointr/Buddhism

In terms of Buddhist texts. The Pali Canon contains the core teachings but all of it was written down many years after the death of Gotama Buddha. Until the time of the councils that codified and committed the teachings to text, it was an oral tradition. There were also notable disagreements between factions of the sangha before and after the teachings were written down. In other words, 'authenticity' is a tricky subject in Buddhism, just as in any other religion.

As a general guide, a good translation of the key points of the Pali Canon such as 'In The Buddha's Words' by Bhikkhu Bodhi is a good start. And if you're interested in Mahayana, then the writings of scholars like Dogen and Nagarjuna are important so look for good translations of those.

As for remaining secular in Buddhism. As a Western practice, that's pretty common, especially since the rise of secular mindfulness schools and such. Technically these practices shouldn't really be labeled Buddhism because the original teachings absolutely contain a strong metaphysics and literal belief in not only rebirth but also in various spiritual realms and such. Don't get hung up on desiring the label of 'Buddhist'. Just follow your path through secular schools and see where it leads you.

u/SlothMold · 14 pointsr/booksuggestions

So I have a friend in jail that I regularly send books to. This doesn't cover every situation, but I assume the circumstances will be similar.

He says that the (meager) prison library is very skewed towards religious books, classics, GED materials, and low-difficulty grocery store novels. Anything other than that will be appreciated. The books most requested are thick fantasy books, activity books (sudoku, physics workbooks, etc), science non-fiction, and coffee-table books or magazines with lots of pictures. These will be swapped with other inmates so that anyone interested has a chance to read.

Some things to keep in mind:

u/BilisknerPL · 1 pointr/Games

It's really weird it is translated so slowly, cause in Poland it's like the most famous saga and personally i think that what Andrzej Sapkowski created is genius. Interesting fun fact: The Witcher (game series) take off where the books have ended and are officially approved by the author.
Anyway, you're in luck!

Ok, so i'll try to give You some help, whether You like it or not. Sapkowski first started to publish The Witcher stories in a magazine between 1986-1990. Then they've been assembled in books. So, to this day there have been 7 stories compilations released (In Poland), but what we're interested in are the following: The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny in that order (these 2 are the introduction to The Witcher world)


  • The Last Wish (1993) was released in English in 2007. Here it is on amazon
  • Sword of Destiny - The book has been translated into Czech, Russian, Lithuanian, German, Spanish, Bulgarian and French. It has not been translated into English and there are no plans to do so to date. The publisher of the English edition of the Witcher books decided to skip The Sword of Destiny and publish Blood of Elves.
    But no worries, you already know what is going on and You're ready to jump in The Witcher Saga! (ok, you'll lose some of the flow, since there's a bunch of characters introduced here that later appear in The Blood of Elves.)


  • The Blood of Elves(1994) - Here it is on amazon
  • Times of Contempt/The Time of Contempt(1995) - it was supposed to be June 27th, but on amazon it says August 27th - Here it is on amazon
  • Baptism of Fire(1996)
  • The Swallow's Tower(1997)
  • Lady of the Lake(1999)

    Well, with Witcher 3 coming soon and with the hype around it i guess they will continue the releases. I highly recommend it to everyone! Also it gives a better perspective on the game series, its characters, plots, etc.

    There's also one Witcher story (The Spellmaker) in this: The Polish Book of Monsters
u/specialk16 · 0 pointsr/gaming

This is precisely with I think places like /v/ have much better conversations than /r/gaming in general. Whenever a movie-videogame thread appears nobody goes into this "better-than-thou" attitude. Everybody knows it's a joke, everyone does it for fun. Nobody is trying to appear all smart and intellectual because they are repeating what's already obvious.

It really is fun to see people speculate about which actors would play which characters, for example.

Also, Bioshock:Rapture is proof enough that quality adaptions are possible as long as you have talented people behind it.

u/mrsjksnowwis · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

So, I'm not sure if you're anything into BDSM... but this book/series is great. It's a little dark, but is also a great fiction, almost fantasy, and great romance.

u/brijjen · 1 pointr/books

Start with shorter stories - much like running or anything else, there's an element of having to build yourself up to reading something longer like a novel. You could also try reading books that connect to the video games/movies/shows/etc that you like. It can be hard to get into a book if you don't care about the characters - but if they're from something you're already familiar with, it can be easier. If you're a fan of Bioshock, for example, there's a great book about how Rapture came to be.

Good luck! :)

u/Folkariffic · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hey! This is my kind of contest. Here's my list:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Horari -
    From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? (copied from the Amazon page)

  2. [Name of the Wind - Kingkiller Chronicles by Pat Rothfuss] ( -
    My name is Kvothe.
    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
    You may have heard of me. (copied)

  3. [The Golem Cypher: T.R.I.X. by B.V. Bayly] ( - Once one of the best assassins in the galaxy, Cadell is now the hunted. The Ascendency, the ruling galactic empire and Cadell’s ex-employer, has stripped him of everything and placed a significant bounty on his head. Forced to live with the shadows of his past, Cadell hides on the backwater planets of the outer rim. Away from anyone who would recognize him.
    When his old friend and mentor, Salis, dangles a job in front of him that will get him an Ascendency pardon and let him clear his name, Cadell is ready to take it on. Armed with his constant companion, a strange alien symbiote named T.R.I.X. and his skills as an assassin, Cadell sets off to complete the strange job. ( A nifty book but a relatively new author, worth the read!)

  4. [I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid] ( - All I'll say about this is that it's quite volatile when it comes to the reviews it's received. I enjoyed it, but many other didn't... It's quite a ride if you end up enjoying it.

  5. [Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer] ( - In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. (One of my favorite books/stories of all time. I
    also hold the movie close to my heart.)

    This took me a good few minutes, I hope you find something you like through this contest :)
u/DubiousCosmos · 6 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

If we start our experiment when Earth and Mars are at their most distant points (i.e. 180^o out of phase around the sun) from each other, very little will ever happen. Our rope will go slack and float in space for the rest of the planets' orbits, and will be pulled taught again whenever they're very far apart. You might get some cool wave motion along the length of the rope as it flops around in zero-g.

But that's pretty boring. If we instead start our mad experiment when Earth and Mars are not at their most distant points from each other, bad things are going to happen. In all likelihood, the rope would snap. But that's also pretty boring, and I'm guessing this isn't the answer you want.

Let's assume the rope is made of some magical material which can withstand any amount of tension without stretching or breaking, but somehow still behaves like a rope when not under tension. So it's completely immune to the effects of stress and strain, except when we need it to act like a rope. Wonder Woman's magical lasso might have us covered here.

Eventually, Mars and Earth are going to want to get farther apart than our rope wants to allow. Keeping them connected is going to require decellerating one planet and accelerating the other (in inverse proportion to their masses, since F=ma must be the same for both). Now we run into the issue that it takes a lot of force to accelerate a planet. The rope has to provide this force, and it's providing it over a relatively small area of each planet's surface. Planets don't like that^[citation ^needed] . Since we've required that our rope can't break, Earth and Mars soon will. The rope will begin cutting through both planets until it frees itself from one and remains embedded in the other. The pressure exerted on Mars' surface will be about twice as high as the pressure exerted on Earth's, and Mars is half as thick, so I'd wager Mars would be cut in half long before the rope reached Earth's core.

But that's only slightly less boring than the rope snapping. Yes, I just called "cutting Mars in half" boring. Let's make Earth and Mars infinitely durable like our rope. The various mining industries on Earth and the budding potato farming industry on Mars will likely be displeased by this, but we'll carry on without them.

Now's where I have to speculate a bit. Earth and Mars' orbits are now a coupled system. By necessity, they will now orbit at a common radius, and I think they'll likely end up like a pair of moons that co-orbit each other while orbiting the sun as a pair. Thanks to energy conservation, we can calculate the average radius of this new orbit. I got 1.035 AU, which is only 3.5% further from the sun than Earth already is. The combination of Earth being much more massive than mars and closer to the sun means that Earth is heavily favored in the gravitational binding energy equation. Earth's moon will remain gravitationally bound to this new system, but I'm pretty sure Deimos and Phobos will be left behind to co-orbit the sun and each other at pretty much the radius of Mars' original orbit (assuming neither of them slams into Mars while it travels inwards).

The three-body system of Mars, Earth, and the Moon, will almost certainly be unstable, so at least two of these bodies should expect a catastrophic impact in their near future. Fortunately, we already made Mars and Earth invincible to get here, so only the secret Nazi colony on the dark side of the Moon has to worry.

u/megaanmaarie · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

C'mon...gimme. I've wanted this book for a while now, haha.

As for the dream gift, these would be pretty awesome.

You two look absolutely amazing! :D But really, you two are just simply amazing anyways!

u/WarWeasle · 1 pointr/gamedev

Here is my advice to anyone going to college or wanting to learn: Read How to Read a Book. I'm not insulting you, I was 35 when I read it and it's a life changing book.

Ok, if you want to be a programmer, I recommend reading The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. It's not a light read but will get you solid understanding to work from. Learn C, work with pointers and get to understand them. If you do graphics this will be invaluable. Oh, and start writing code. There is no substitute for experience, I've seen people with masters degrees in software who couldn't write code. That being said, get a general degree in Computer Science or Electronic Engineering. It's a great fallback and you might enjoy writing code for F-22s more than writing video games. (Just saying)

Oh, write your own game. Write pong and pac-man. If you are good at what you do you will always have a place to do it. The universe is funny like that.

u/devianaut · 7 pointsr/gaming

might I recommend the excellent bioshock rapture by john shirley?! believe it or not, the audiobook is quite good as well; narrator seems to shift his accent to mold to each decade the chapters take place in. i truly enjoyed both mediums. great prequel story to jump into, as long as you've played some of the games.