• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

What are you reading? (End of Summer Edition)


So what is everyone reading right now?

I'm currently reading


Just curious on what everyone is reading. My last book thread made me wonder.
Currently reading the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo. It saddens me that I made it through school without ever being made to read Dumas, as I pretty much love his books.


A briefer history of time by stephen hawking. It's good, but so far it's stuff I alreadt gleaned from wikipedia and various sites (and gaf!)



I just finished Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. This coincided neatly with Spin winning the Hugo award for best novel a few days ago; at the time the award was announced, I was 2/3 of the way through the book and ready to give it the Hugo then and there. One night, the stars vanish from our sky, and though the sun rises the next day that's the only object visible in the heavens. After a bit of research, it's established that there's a sort of barrier surrounding Earth, and for some reason time outside the barrier is progressing much faster than it is inside. Much, much faster. Over the course of the novel our heroes try to understand the mystery, cope with the possibility of a swiftly aproaching apocolypse, and perhaps even have time to fall in love on the side. Spin is an absolutey incredible novel, readily available in mass-market paperback and guaranteed to rock your world. Addicitive, crucial reading.

Yesterday I started in on Greg Rucka's A Gentleman's Game, a spy novel based on his comic series Queen and Country, itself directly based on the cult cold war television series The Sandbaggers. Queen and Country has been updated for the modern world, with terrorists instead of communists and a woman as the protagonist, but otherwise it contains all the grit and savage internal bickering that made it's source material so enjoyable. I dunno if a Q&C sotry strictly needed to be told as a novel, but so far (I'm about halfway through; it's a very fast read) I'm digging it. After a devestating terrorist attack on the London Underground, a retaliatory strike is in order, and it looks like our heroine, a special agent for M16, is about to be sent out to kill some folks. The question is, have they got the right folks and will she be able to pull it off? Lots of fun, especially if you're a fan of the comic. If you're not a fan, I'm guessing it's still plenty entertaining, though you may want to just go back to the classics and read some Le Carre.

The Faded Sun Trilogy, C.J. Cherryh - picked it up at the used book store on a blind buy. A little long-winded sometimes, a little full of itself sometimes, but it's got some decent social commentary.

Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion - Incredibly interesting, very topical, despite originally coming out in the early 90s and being updated in 2000 (before the current shitpour hit). Very recommended to anyone who wants a nice framework for filtering through the sludge pumped out by our administration, advertisers, and marketing departments.


Just finished Watchmen... good god, what a book. Blew my mind.

About to start Brave New World, and Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro.


Regarding Henry Jenkins' Convergence Culture:

OnkelC said:
Takes me half an hour per side, but quite interesting.

Post your thoughts when you're done, Onkel. A friend of mine was commenting on the book the other day and I'm quite curious to read it, especially as I'm a big fan of Jenkins' Textual Poachers, despite this rather critical review said friend linked to.

KingGondo, your next Alan Moore reading assignment is From Hell.



about the same metal capacity as a cucumber

Bought it before I left for a long plane trip. Really entertaining. Fun, and fast moving.



City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer. Fun and strange book about a very large and special city.

Just finished:

Lila - an Enquiry into Morals by Robert M. Pirsig. A sequel to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Develops Pirsig's thoughts about "the Metaphysics of Quality".

Out by Natsuo Kirino. Smashingly good crime-novel about a few Japanese women who get into one hell of a mess.

Next on the list:

War & Peace by Tolstoy (not this version, but the new translation from Penguin).

I went a bit nuts lately, and bought a shitload of books:
- Complete Shakespeare
- Complete Plato
- nearly complete works by Kafka
- Gravity's Rainbow by Pynchon
- War & Peace by Tolstoy
- The Island of the Day Before by Eco
- The Satanic Verses by Rushdie
- The Magus by John Fowles
- Mimesis by Erich Auerbach
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez
- Collected Stories by Marquez
- Life: A User's Manual by Perec
- The Interpretation of Dreams by Freud
- Slaughterhouse 5 by Vonnegut
- In the Miso Soup by another Murakami
- Animal Farm by Orwell
- Of Mice and Menby Steinbeck
- Heart of Darkness by Conrad
- Grendel by John Gardner
- Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne
- Litany of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe
- Neuromancer by Gibson
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by Rowling
- Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- The Call of Cthulhu and other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft
- The Epic of Gilgamesh
- Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner
- The Tipping Point by Gladwell
- The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
- House of Leaves by Danielewski
- If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Calvino
- Invisible Cities by Calvino
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Encyclopedia of the Dead by Danilo Kis
- A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
- Valis by Philip K. Dick
- Perfume by Susskind
- Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar
- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
- The Rum Diaries by Hunter S. Thompson
- Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
- Pale Fire by Nabokov
- The Third Policeman by Flann O' Brien
- Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This
- and 11 books for my history-course

... should keep me occupied for a LONG while. Hope all the books don't interfere too much with my studies and job, though. Going to tackle War & Peace first, and after that, I'll just pick something at random. I believe most of them should be good (to be honest, I bought most of them on recommendations from Neogaf).

Eric P

FnordChan said:
Yesterday I started in on Greg Rucka's A Gentleman's Game, a spy novel based on his comic series Queen and Country, itself directly based on the cult cold war television series The Sandbaggers. Lots of fun, especially if you're a fan of the comic. If you're not a fan, I'm guessing it's still plenty entertaining, though you may want to just go back to the classics and read some Le Carre.


I don't know if i'd suggest it to non-fans of the comic though. I haven't yet read the second book he's done. I'd like to suggest checking out Fistful of Rain by Rucka. Kind of a different thriller, though it seems a bit more...i don't know more mainstream in its writing style if not its story.

I am currently reading

Dirty Tricks - Micheal Dibdin
Dibdin's ( The Tryst ) fifth novel is a deliciously mean-spirited satirical tale of murder and betrayal. The unnamed narrator is a 40-year-old teacher of English as a second language, by his own description "damaged goods . . . another over-educated, under-motivated loser." A sort of '60s throwback, he has reluctantly returned from stints abroad to a Thatcherized England, where chance throws him together with a well-to-do but hopelessly vulgar suburban couple. His affair with the wife proves his first step up the social ladder. As he climbs over the bodies around him, the book becomes a pointed, witty send-up of the new Tory brand of self-help, and the protagonist's clumsy ruthlessness a parody of free-market economics. On the final pages the whole thing comes together in a bleak, black joke on the era of neo-conservatism, in England and elsewhere. Dibdin's subtly inflected first-person narration is a marvel of controlled tone, with the narrator's snide, snobbish facade gradually dissolving into self-disgust until he marshals his emotional forces in the climax. A wickedly funny tour de force.

The Man Who Was Thursday - GK Chesterson.

Next is Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinard. I was lucky enough to find a copy of this now out of print book in a used book store.

Review here.



meh. Interesting, but I'm finding the narrative voice of the mother too whiny, at least Vernon God Little was funny as far as newly established school-shooting genre goes. Well written book, but hard to like.
E.M Cioran (en las cimas de la desesperanza, dont know the english name), Burroughs The Wild Boys, Raymond Carver´s Cathedral and Short Cuts, and a book about german painter (you GOTTA look at this guy´s work, FAN-MOTHER****IN-TASTIC!!!) Neo Rauch.


Timbuktu said:
(We Need to Talk About Kevin)

meh. Interesting, but I'm finding the narrative voice of the mother too whiny, at least Vernon God Little was funny as far as newly established school-shooting genre goes. Well written book, but hard to like.

It gets better; don't know how far you've got, but it massively improves once Kevin starts... well, being Kevin. I was really having a hard time with it for a while, but eventually Shriver "finds her groove", as it were.


About midway thru this:

I have no clue what I'm going to read next. I think I'll see what $10 nets me at the used book store around here.


I think I'm done with my summer reading. I finished off with these two:

Life of Pi (excellent and now one of my faves)
Fences and Windows (by Naomi Klein...a mish-mash collection of articles discussing globalization. Makes me want to run to a picket line.)


I'm reading Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman--a sort of 20th-century version of War and Peace, set mostly in Stalingrad. Not quite as good as Tolstoy so far, but really, what could be. But the book was banned in the Soviet Union, and anything that's banned is awesome by definition.

I just received two books from Amazon today--Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, and Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi Wa'Thiong'O, an exiled Kenyan who lives in the United States now. Wizard of the Crow looks really, really promising. Here's the starred review from Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. The fictional Republic of Aburiria chronicled in this sprawling, dazzling satirical fable is an exaggeration of sordid African despotism. At the top, a grandiose Ruler with "the power to declare any month in the year the seventh month" and his sycophantic cabinet plan to climb to heaven with a modern-day Tower of Babel funded by the Global Bank; beneath them, a cabal of venal officials and opportunistic businessmen jockey for a piece of the pie; at the bottom are the unemployed masses who wait in endless lines behind every help-wanted sign. Kamiti, an archetypal New Man with two university degrees and no job prospects, sets up shop as a wizard; with the help of Nyawira, member of both an underground dissident movement and a feminist dance troupe, he dispenses therapeutic sorcery to a citizenry that finds witchcraft less absurd than everyday life. Kenyan novelist Thiong'o (Petals of Blood) mounts a nuanced but caustic political and social satire of the corruption of African society, with a touch of magical realism—or, perhaps, realistic magic, as the wizard's tricks hinge on holding a not-so-enchanted mirror to his clients' hidden self-delusions. The result is a sometimes lurid, sometimes lyrical reflection on Africa's dysfunctions—and possibilities.

Musashi Wins!


Interesting read. Many new books discuss the psychology of happiness, especially as they relate to studies of what people do and not just what they say, but few tempt the hubris of using this fledgling science to actually recommend courses of personal action. It would seem to walk a too fine line with "self help", but Haidt's writing and ideas rise above most of what I've looked at in that genre.

Picked this up at the local library today and I'm pretty excited to begin reading. Sheldon, besides writing some intriguing fiction, led a fascinating life.


Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Book 7 (screw Roman numerals).

Damn you King. Damn you for doing that. DAMN YOU MAN. DAMN IT

Even hinting would spoil, so I won't but....


Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
I've been eyeing Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman collection; anyone heard good things? I wasn't crazy about Kafka On the Shore, but yay for Hard-Boiled Wonderland n' stuffs.

For the folks involved in Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, have you read his Number9 Dream? I keep wanting to borrow it from work but there's only one copy. Of all his work, that one sounds the most interesting to me.

Anyway, I recently started Bill Buford's rambunctions, highly entertaining Heat:



Just polished off Busting Vegas by Ben Mizrich.

Basically another MIT Blackjack book, this time detailing the "three rules" which are actually pretty damn effective in a group and mean you don't even have to count cards. Interesting read, although you could tell he embellished certain elements to get a happier ending. Pretty damn hilarious though reading about a crew thinking they'll take on the world and getting the crap kicked out of them, hehe.
Top Bottom