What are you reading? (August 2017)

#51


Just started Tigana, friend recommended this to me. He reads a ton of fantasy and this stood out to him as one of the best he'd read in recent years. Read the first chapters and the writing's pretty good. Will definitely keep going.
I'd never heard of this guy until this thread. Picked up a bunch of his eBooks based on the comments here!
 
#53
Avery Cates Saga Book 5 of 5: The Final Evolution
Rereading Lovecraft's body of work to refresh myself for my current and future work as an author, I intend to do some refreshing on WW1 later this year possibly next year for my third book, which will probably include Storm of Steel(Sturm und Gewittern) and Quiet Along The Western Front, as well as several podcasts/youtubes. I'm open to suggestions on books, I want to get some more Eric Larson books too, since Devil in The White City was incredible.
 
#54
Avery Cates Saga Book 5 of 5: The Final Evolution
Rereading Lovecraft's body of work to refresh myself for my current and future work as an author, I intend to do some refreshing on WW1 later this year possibly next year for my third book, which will probably include Storm of Steel(Sturm und Gewittern) and Quiet Along The Western Front, as well as several podcasts/youtubes. I'm open to suggestions on books, I want to get some more Eric Larson books too, since Devil in The White City was incredible.
I haven't read many WWI books, but I really liked this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Sout...?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1501836070&sr=1-1

Having been in those places, the Italian-Austrian front was really something else.
 
#55
Started reading the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, currently reading the second book The Player of Games. I'm about halfway through and I like it a lot better than the first one.
 
#58
Finished The Closers. The Bosch series was dipping in quality there for a bit but this was a good return to form and I think the reason was because it focused almost solely on the mystery and detective work and there wasn't the extemperarneous bs that's been filling up the past few books. I definitely recommend it. You don't even have to have read the previous Bosch books to enjoy this one.

Now on to something to help quench my unending thirst for Victorian London related material - The Ghost Map.


The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
 
#59
Reading "When the Eagle Hunts" by Simon Scarrow. Just started it and it's the third book in like a 15 book series. I really enjoyed the first two so I'm guessing I'll power through this series in no time.
 
#60
I wouldn't say that the Handmaid's Tale and Never Let Me Go share much in common besides generally fitting in the dystopia genre and being first person narratives.

The Handmaid's is about a woman who went through the collapse and restructing of society, lost everything, and is trying her best to survive in the new status quo.

Never Let Me Go is a woman's reflection on her childhood and coming of age in a terrible reality that has always been normal for her. A lot of the sadness in that novel comes from the fact that the children live more or less normal lives, mostly accepting their horrible fate.
 

aidan

Hugo Award Winning Author and Editor
#61
Would this be a good entry point into fantasy reading?
Guy Gavriel Kay is masterful at what he does—but whether his books are a good entry point to Fantasy is more a matter of what you're expecting from them and the genre. (Aside from his earliest trilogy and his YA novel, Ysabel), Kay's novels are more like historical fiction set in secondary worlds with a "quarter turn to the fantastic" (to steal a popular phrase used to describe Kay's work.) There are elements of fantasy in his novels, but they are grounded in recognizably human issues—political, personal, religious, etc. You won't find fireball slinging' wizards, fantasy races like elves, dwarves, etc. It's not fantasy in Tolkien's mold—rather, they're something like Follett's Pillars of the Earth or Clavell's Shogun, just not set in our world (and not quite so long/dense). Each of his settings (some of which share an overall planet, some which don't), are all directly inspired by countries, people, histories, religions, cultures, etc. from our history, and you'll often find parallels to recorded historical events.

Everything Kay writes is absolute gold—but if you're looking for something that resembles what most people think of as Fantasy, you might be better off looking at authors like Tad Williams (Shadowmarch series or the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy) , Daniel Abraham (The Dagger and the Coin series), Kate Elliott (Crown of Stars series), or Elizabeth Bear (The Eternal Sky trilogy).
 
#63
Reading The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie (my first Poirot, enjoying it quite a bit)



The Complete Short Stories Of Ernest Hemingway (going to be my 'Kindle in-between books book' for a while.



And just picked up Fierce Kingdom



Finished in July

One Summer America 1927 - fantastic read
The Outsiders - 50th anniversary this year and holds up remarkably well
NOS4A2 - recommend, probably my favorite Joe Hill novel
Night Film - recommend, love what Marisha Pessl did with this book
 
#64
Taking a second stab at Infinite Jest after tapping out last summer. I'm on pg. 270 and pretty lost. Recall certain moments in the preceding pages but not most. Am I myself and the book a disservice by continuing on from my current point in the book?
 
#65
Read Yahtzee's debut book Mogworld. It's an easy read but not a very good one if that makes any sense. It feels like Yahtzee is wrestling between telling a genuinely interesting satirical fantasy novel and cramming as many snarky jokes and clever similes as he possibly can.

I'd recommend this if you're in the mood for something in the vein of a Douglas Adams novel.

 
#66
I wouldn't say that the Handmaid's Tale and Never Let Me Go share much in common besides generally fitting in the dystopia genre and being first person narratives.

The Handmaid's is about a woman who went through the collapse and restructing of society, lost everything, and is trying her best to survive in the new status quo.

Never Let Me Go is a woman's reflection on her childhood and coming of age in a terrible reality that has always been normal for her. A lot of the sadness in that novel comes from the fact that the children live more or less normal lives, mostly accepting their horrible fate.
Right--What I mean isn't that the books are the same, but that they are exploring similar scenarios (oppressive dystopian societies, characters lacking agency due to government decisions, a lack of ownership over one's own body etc.) from different points of view. I personally find The Handmaid's Tale to be much more affecting. Never Let Me Go left me . . . a bit cold.
 
#67


Only been able to read it few nights a week so about 20% of the way through. Definitely interesting but more dense than 1776 or Bunker Hill which I read in previous months, isn’t as readable. Learning a whole bunch of shit I didn’t know about though and looking forward to the rest of it.
 
#68
Just finished The Disaster Artist, which was terrific. Hilarious one second, then heartbreaking, then heartwarming. It has so much emow-shahn. Very much looking forward to the film now.

Now I'm some chapters into The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX, one I've been meaning to do for while since I kind of consider them my favorite band ever and their music kind of changed my life.
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
#69
I've just finished Bu Bu Sheng Lin (Lotus Blooming at Every Step) by Yue Guan, and it's an amazing read. At some 3.5 million words, it's an extremely meaty novel taking place in early Song China. It has everything from war to romance to political intrigue to economics to revenge to diplomacy and more. So far it's my favorite Yue Guan novels because it's more adventurous than the other ones. Really great stuff but it's an enormous time commitment.
That sounds amazing and I hope it's translated at some point.
 
#70
Taking a second stab at Infinite Jest after tapping out last summer. I'm on pg. 270 and pretty lost. Recall certain moments in the preceding pages but not most. Am I myself and the book a disservice by continuing on from my current point in the book?
You don't need to remember every little thing, no, but every little thing will be referenced later in the book. That makes it extra rewarding on a re-read, but unless you're a person with meticulous attention to detail (which I'm not) some of this will just fly past you. It's not big deal. Frankly, all that stuff is cool (how all the little pieces manage to lock together), but the real joy in Wallace is in the writing itself. You don't have to have the full picture to enjoy it.

And I've always said the book doesn't really hit a stride until about page 300, so you're right about there. If you can read the chapter about Eschaton and not feel absolute and total bliss, then stop. But at least read that, and then find The Decemberist's music video of it.
 
#72
Finished Proust's "Swann's Way" yesterday. Yep, it DOES deserve to be ranked among the very best. Can confirm. Not going to go into all the reasons why, though, so just trust me. I won't go straight to the next volume of "In Search Of Lost Time" - these things take a while to digest. One or maybe two volumes a year should be ok.


Now, just started "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. Comes very highly recommended by a friend, and I loved Tartt's "Little Friend", so this should be fun.
 
#73
Finished Proust's "Swann's Way" yesterday. Yep, it DOES deserve to be ranked among the very best. Can confirm. Not going to go into all the reasons why, though, so just trust me. I won't go straight to the next volume of "In Search Of Lost Time" - these things take a while to digest.
Swann's Way is ASS compared to the last two volumes. If you've ever experienced unrequited love, 1) I can empathize, and 2) OMFG.

The dinner party shit in 2, 3, and 4 (my memory probably sucks) is mixed in with great stuff, but they're a slog. If I ever go back, I'm hanging onto a reader's guide like a life-preserver.
 
#74
What are some of your favorite resources when looking for what to read next? I'm in a bit of a rut.

Gave up on East of Eden. Steinbeck is awesome, this just isn't the book for me. If I venture far enough in his catalogue I'm sure I'll find an all time favorite. He's just too good for there to not be at least one. Hemingway gets a lot of praise, but this dude right here. If you're looking for simple, clear prose that's beautiful, profound, and carries a long way, I think he's better at it. Maybe nature writing in The Sun Also Rises can duke it out versus Cannery Row some, but when it comes to human nature, Steinbeck is a rare talent.

The Three Body Problem is hot garbage. I do want to reread A Brief History of Time, at least some of it, now.

In the batter's box are Two Serious Ladies and Lincoln in the Bardo. Looking for something substantial since I've been reading a mystery/adventure series before this. Any ideas?
 
#75
Just started on The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. I like it so far. Definitely love that the lore and terminology is not dumbed down or spoonfed to the reader. I'm a little confused but I feel like that's normal for now.

I had promised myself that I wouldn't start any series that wasn't finished, but I heard good enough things about this to make an exception.
 
#76
Guy Gavriel Kay is masterful at what he does—but whether his books are a good entry point to Fantasy is more a matter of what you're expecting from them and the genre. (Aside from his earliest trilogy and his YA novel, Ysabel), Kay's novels are more like historical fiction set in secondary worlds with a "quarter turn to the fantastic" (to steal a popular phrase used to describe Kay's work.) There are elements of fantasy in his novels, but they are grounded in recognizably human issues—political, personal, religious, etc. You won't find fireball slinging' wizards, fantasy races like elves, dwarves, etc. It's not fantasy in Tolkien's mold—rather, they're something like Follett's Pillars of the Earth or Clavell's Shogun, just not set in our world (and not quite so long/dense). Each of his settings (some of which share an overall planet, some which don't), are all directly inspired by countries, people, histories, religions, cultures, etc. from our history, and you'll often find parallels to recorded historical events.
Yup. Kay's great, but he's sort of unique in the fantasy genre. His books still do have enough fantastical elements that they don't qualify as historical fiction. The exception being "Under Heaven".

That sounds amazing and I hope it's translated at some point.
It is amazing; even more so than I expected. Guy Gavriel Kay is pretty darned good for a historical novelist, but Yue Guan blows him out of the water. The amount of historical detail and sheer cultural density is something that I have yet to see any English-language writer get close to.

Unfortunately, the book is also 3.5 million words and historical novels are a pain in the ass to begin with. If even Jin Yong can't get an official translation, there's very little chance for Yue Guan. One of these days I'm going to see if I can trick someone into making a fan translation.
 
#77
Finished Uprooted and Curse of the Chalion, both are good, but the teacher-student romance relationships in both books made me a little bit uncomfortable.

Reading What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (almost finished) and It Can't Happen Here (about 15% in). There's one speech in It Can't Happen Here that was really uncannily scary: a reverend was giving an anti-Semite rant on the radio, that he was against the corrupt Jewish financial organizations. And he clarified, he was not against individual Jews, as he had rabbis and Jewish people in his League of Forgotten Men, he was condemning the intangible Jewish banking boogeyman. Then followed by declaration of support to a senator that would "drain the swamp". I had to put down my book, I screamed in my head, and reread the paragraph. That was too real.
 
#78
I just finished Ready Player One. I picked it up because I've seen it recommended a lot and thought it was some literary science-fiction classic.

Wow, were my expectations wrong. I don't think I've cringed so hard reading a book, ever.

That'll teach me so read a book without any prior knowledge of it again. I had been extremely lucky so far.
 

Farside

Unconfirmed Member
#80


First book I'm reading from her and I'm in love. She can write.



If you have ever wondered why criticism is so unduly suspicious, and the ways out, here it is.



A quite basic primer on Buddhist thought.



A new translation of the Heart Sutra with commentary. Hahn attempts to get at some fundamental misunderstandings and correct them here.
 
#81
I just finished Ready Player One. I picked it up because I've seen it recommended a lot and thought it was some literary science-fiction classic.

Wow, were my expectations wrong. I don't think I've cringed so hard reading a book, ever.

That'll teach me so read a book without any prior knowledge of it again. I had been extremely lucky so far.
The book was a fun, Pulp-y adventure novel with a bizarre lens into obsession. I hated the ending though. Its the only part I will agree that is "cringe-y".
 

Servbot #42

Unconfirmed Member
#84


This was pretty good, it certainly gave me a feel for dread, those stories... Then it takes a turn and it becomes something else, at least that's what i got of it.



This book is pretty cool, is like the matrix and deus ex and oh wait it was released on 1984! That's crazy.
 
#85
Just finished The Disaster Artist, which was terrific. Hilarious one second, then heartbreaking, then heartwarming. It has so much emow-shahn. Very much looking forward to the film now.

Now I'm some chapters into The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX, one I've been meaning to do for while since I kind of consider them my favorite band ever and their music kind of changed my life.
I've bought the book on kindle because it was dirt cheap a few weeks ago but I have never watched the movie. Should I read the book or watch the movie first?
 
#86
I've bought the book on kindle because it was dirt cheap a few weeks ago but I have never watched the movie. Should I read the book or watch the movie first?
I'd say it's very much enhanced and enlightening having seen The Room first, but the book does provide adequate context for those who haven't. It definitely has its own story to tell.

Although, you should just watch The Room because it's fucking awesome.
 
#88
I've really been trying to get into reading since I read nearly nothing in high school and still, somehow, managed to excel on my AP English exams. I adore reading about history and fiction but reading books was something I never got into.

I've picked up Cormac Mccarthys Blood Merridian and am into it so far. I've heard it's a modern classic so I'm eager to get back into it.
 
#89
I'd say it's very much enhanced and enlightening having seen The Room first, but the book does provide adequate context for those who haven't. It definitely has its own story to tell.

Although, you should just watch The Room because it's fucking awesome.
The Room is just 90 minutes anyway. Definitely watch it before reading The Disaster Artist.
Do you want to play some football?
 
#92
I finished reading The Martian I really really enjoyed reading it and found the main character to be funny.

I am currently reading Sliver by Ira Levin, which I have been misreading it as Silver. >_<;

Anyway unlike The Martian were I was hooked after chapter one, Sliver is a bit of a slow burner but I am enjoying it so far.

My haul from a book sale in Hershey yesterday. These books smell like chocolate!

I read The Cuckoo Calling, it's a good book and I really enjoy the Comoran Strike series.
 
#94
Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price - about 3/4ths of the way through the audiobook. Its not high art or anything, but if you want some breezy, legit entertaining sci-fi you could do much worse.
 
#95
"Ready player one". Had been sitting on my reader 4 ever. Figured I read it before the movie. Cannot get into it much yet.

Nextup is "meddling kids".
 
#96
I finished "The Rivers Of London" by Ben Aaronovitch and give it 3.5/5. Pretty interesting story although I felt it lost it's way at times and some bits which you're lead to believe would be key aren't as key as I expected. I'll probably read more in the series.

Now reading "The Power Of The Dog" by Don Winslow. Really annoyed that there isn't an Audible version to go with the Kindle copy I've bought though.
 
#99


I've had this book for a while but decided to give it a go since it's considered such a classic. I'm flying through it but it's a fun little book. Maybe I should also watch the movie, since I've never seen that either.
 
Maybe I should also watch the movie, since I've never seen that either.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?! Wow, I thought it was mandatory for all kids to have seen this about 10 times before they turn 12 or so. I guess we're into the territory where its too old now.

EDIT: Jeez that movie is 33 years old *sigh*