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WHAT ARE YOU READING? NOVEMBER

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
November =

+
 


Last Saturday I felt the urge to read something, I don't know why, ran to the nearest library, grabbed this and started to read. Like 50 pages later my stomach starts growling like some kind of cave demon as I hadn't eaten anything since I woke up that morning, so I went to a store and bought the book. Had I not been hungry I would probably have read it in one sitting at the library. :lol
 
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett. I'm just starting part 2, and enjoying it, in the future I'll probably read a more recent translation (the Pevear and Volokhonsky one), not that I'm having a problems with Garnett's, but I'm sure a newer one would read better.
 

DjangoReinhardt

Thinks he should have been the one to kill Batman's parents.
Read:

- McSweeney's 23
- McSweeney's 24
- Assorted Chekhov short stories

Reading:

- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

On deck:

- Assorted Nabokov short stories
 

Gruco

Banned
Uncle said:
I just finished House of Chains by Steven Erikson. I have the next book in the series as well, but I think I'll take a break from the series, because
it really got on my nerves that the dude can't kill any of his characters, so that they would actually stay dead. It's getting a bit ridiculous now.
It actually gets much worse on that angle, too.
 

PantherLotus

Professional Schmuck



It's quite good. If you like series, I highly recommend OTHERLAND. (And I just finished Shadowmarch and can give it a full recommendation)
 


Fairly decent so far. I'm about halfway through.


And I'm listening to these two


Not the best King I've ever read, but it's keeping me interested

and



Very funny.
 
More smartasses in the thread than we usually draw in... ;P

I am having trouble focusing on just one or two books like I usually do...I'm reading five right now, which is actually pretty fun.

-History of God, Karen Armstrong - Fascinating stuff. Like the title suggests, it's all about how the monotheistic concept of God came to be, and how we got to where we are today.

-Ship of Magic, Robin Hobb - Just terrible, melodramatic to the point where it is virtually unreadable. Reading this has been a depressing experience since I used to read fantasy trilogies almost exclusively in middle school/high school...are they all this bad? Sigh...probably. I adored the Assassin Trilogy; I am going to have to revisit it to see if it's just this book or if my memory has made me fonder of her writing than it deserves.

-Collected Stories, Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Good stuff, of course, but I do enjoy his long work (One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera) a lot more. His obsession and fascination with death are much harder to endure in short stories...it becomes too stifling.

-For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway - I've never really been into Hemingway, but reading this has given me a greater understanding of the author's timelessness.

-Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian - I've rarely been this divided about a book; I love and hate it equally. The core adventure story is great...the sense of ship battles unrivaled in literature, the feeling of being at sea spot-on. On the other hand, it assumes the reader has a vast knowledge of 19th century naval terms; if you really want to understand every word you need to have Wikipedia constantly at the ready while you read this. :p What you really have to do is just embrace the fact that you aren't meant to understand everything; that you are meant to go along with the flow. I tend to look up a word here and there when it keeps popping up but otherwise just kinda breeze by them. If it weren't for the authenticity of the experience, the adventure aspect wouldn't be so fun to read, so you have to put up with it. Overall, I'm enjoying it, but it will probably be awhile before I attempt the next book in the series.
 

Innotech

Banned
I kind of started reading the Hitchikers Guide to the galaxy series of books again. they are just so much fun to read. But lately Ive been just reading car magazines and Newtype.
 

snaildog

Member
echoshifting said:
-Ship of Magic, Robin Hobb - Just terrible, melodramatic to the point where it is virtually unreadable. Reading this has been a depressing experience since I used to read fantasy trilogies almost exclusively in middle school/high school...are they all this bad? Sigh...probably. I adored the Assassin Trilogy; I am going to have to revisit it to see if it's just this book or if my memory has made me fonder of her writing than it deserves.
A few of the characters start off as real bitches, but it does get better. I found it all really satisfying in the end.
 
snaildog said:
A few of the characters start off as real bitches, but it does get better. I found it all really satisfying in the end.

That's good to know. My wife is encouraging me to stick with them to the end.
 

Eric P

Member
The Take Out Bandit said:
A bit pissed that I found this is part of a series of books, but oh well. In for a penny, in for a pound.


kinda sorta, but you don't really need to read the rest to enjoy that one book from what i recall

check out The Keep and The Tomb for other books in the adversary cycle.

I enjoy them all.
 

ten5ive9ine

They've got me haunting a family in Texas.


And a Roxy Music biography by Michael Bracewell, which upon searching for an image of, I've discovered that it hasn't actually been released yet.
 

Witchfinder General

punched Wheelchair Mike
echoshifting said:
-Ship of Magic, Robin Hobb - Just terrible, melodramatic to the point where it is virtually unreadable. Reading this has been a depressing experience since I used to read fantasy trilogies almost exclusively in middle school/high school...are they all this bad? Sigh...probably. I adored the Assassin Trilogy; I am going to have to revisit it to see if it's just this book or if my memory has made me fonder of her writing than it deserves.

Read all three books as they are fantastic and end up being better than the original trilogy.


-Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian - I've rarely been this divided about a book; I love and hate it equally. The core adventure story is great...the sense of ship battles unrivaled in literature, the feeling of being at sea spot-on. On the other hand, it assumes the reader has a vast knowledge of 19th century naval terms; if you really want to understand every word you need to have Wikipedia constantly at the ready while you read this. :p What you really have to do is just embrace the fact that you aren't meant to understand everything; that you are meant to go along with the flow. I tend to look up a word here and there when it keeps popping up but otherwise just kinda breeze by them. If it weren't for the authenticity of the experience, the adventure aspect wouldn't be so fun to read, so you have to put up with it. Overall, I'm enjoying it, but it will probably be awhile before I attempt the next book in the series.

I read his novels with a dictionary at hand. Whilst they can be dense with Naval terms his characters are so fleshed out and memorable that you truly care about them. When Jack was made
Post captain at the end of the second book
I literally whooped out loud, such was my actual joy for his fortune.


What I'm reading now:

Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder - Lenin

Dense, but an illuminating read. Lenin was a towering intellectual and a man who' convictions you have to admire, whether you agree with them or not.
 

FnordChan

Member
echoshifting, I stalled out about halfway through Master and Commander for a variety of reasons, not least was leaving it in a friend's car during a road trip and not getting it back from six months. But, yeah, the vocabulary makes it a bit daunting. However, my old roommate (whose taste I trust implicitly) assured me that once you get through the first couple of books in the series you'll have a good grasp of the terminology, at which point you can completely wallow in the books without reservations. I'm looking forward to giving the series another go in the not-too-distant future.

Cosmic Bus, that pulp anthology cover art is completely awesome.

Dice Man makes a good point. For my current reading:



The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson - TToB, I reckon it is F. Paul Wilson month. Eric P recommended this to me and, 1/4 of the way through the book, I'm thoroughly enjoying it. This is the first book in the Repairman Jack series, where our hero lives in New York City and solves problems for people, particularly the kinds of problems that may require the application of violence in a manner the police probably wouldn't approve of. He lives completely outside the system and is either very careful or very paranoid. Like I said, 100 pages in and it's a damn fine adventure tale (Stephen King is apparently a big fan) with a touch of the supernatural thrown in to liven things up. As the first novel in an ongoing series, The Tomb is available as a budget edition to hook you, so copies should be readily available at a local big box retailer for five bucks or so. I imagine that I'll be wallowing in Repairman Jack for quite some time to come.

Also, for the book I just finished:



The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth - After two decades and the collapse of the Soviet Union, this spy thriller is perhaps a bit dated but still a solid read. In Moscow, an elderly Kim Philby proposes a plan to the General Secretary to have Hard Left factions take control of the UK Labour party, defeat Thatcher and the Convservatives, and then kick the US out of the UK and make it a Soviet friendly state. A stretch, sure, but he's got an extra kick to the plan that could just push Labour over the top. This results in a dense procedural, where the good guys try to foil this plan through meticulous detective work, described by Forsyth in exacting detail. This results in a solid (or, perhaps, dense) read that, while enjoyable, isn't quite up to the level of, say, Le Carre. Still, I dug it and will add more Forsyth to my reading list.

Finally, a question for Prospero or anyone else:



I've never read any Norman Mailer. Suggestions on where to start?

FnordChan
 

Prospero

Member
FnordChan said:
I've never read any Norman Mailer. Suggestions on where to start?

FnordChan

Either one of the following two:

The Executioner's Song. It's a sort of a hybrid between a novel and journalistic reportage, and you can't really be sure which is which. It takes place in Utah in 1977--the protagonist, Gary Gilmore, is sentenced to death for murder, but he's allowed to select the method of his death. He chooses to die by firing squad, and the result is a major nationwide debacle about the ethics of the death penalty. Telling you that spoils nothing about the book--it's an incredible ride. It's something like 900 pp., and I finished it in five days.

The Naked and the Dead--his first and most commercially successful novel, set in the South Pacific during WWII. It's semi-autobiographical, and a little self-indulgent at times, but very readable.

And then I'd look at--

Harlot's Ghost, a great novel (following the history of the CIA from its conception up through the Kennedy assassination), but it's long even for Mailer (1400 pages in hardcover), and its last three words are "TO BE CONTINUED". So you have to live with the fact that you're not going to get sequels. The book is more or less self-contained, though.

I also liked Oswald's Tale, which is a "non-fiction" novel in the vein of The Executioner's Song, following Lee Harvey Oswald's life in the years leading up to the Kennedy assassination. The few remaining JFK conspiracy theorists hate that book because Mailer concludes that Oswald was the lone gunman, so you'll see a number of negative reader reviews floating around about it. I think it's a compelling read, though.

Finally, if you want to read something that's relatively short and a little odd, take a look at The Castle in the Forest, which is about the childhood of Adolf Hitler. It's similar to C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters (in that the narrator is a demon who's charged with nurturing the young Hitler into a force for evil), and it's strongly colored by the religious thoughts that Mailer had in late life. I'm not even really sure if I like the book, honestly, but it's certainly interesting. I wouldn't start there when looking at Mailer's writing, though.
 

Eric P

Member
FnordChan said:
Also, for the book I just finished:



The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth - After two decades and the collapse of the Soviet Union, this spy thriller is perhaps a bit dated but still a solid read. In Moscow, an elderly Kim Philby proposes a plan to the General Secretary to have Hard Left factions take control of the UK Labour party, defeat Thatcher and the Convservatives, and then kick the US out of the UK and make it a Soviet friendly state. A stretch, sure, but he's got an extra kick to the plan that could just push Labour over the top. This results in a dense procedural, where the good guys try to foil this plan through meticulous detective work, described by Forsyth in exacting detail. This results in a solid (or, perhaps, dense) read that, while enjoyable, isn't quite up to the level of, say, Le Carre. Still, I dug it and will add more Forsyth to my reading list.

FnordChan

i actually just started a spy fiction kick a year or two ago but it's kind of shriveled once it led me to the awesome procedural books of Michael Dibdin.

my dad was really into them, but since his job was intelligence of the soviet variety in the 80s, i imagine it would be like me bringing home a boook about a daring, heroic VoIP networker admin/project coordinator only everything would be wrong.
 

FnordChan

Member
Eric P said:
i actually just started a spy fiction kick a year or two ago but it's kind of shriveled once it led me to the awesome procedural books of Michael Dibdin.

Sounds intriguing! I'll keep an eye out for Ratking.

my dad was really into them, but since his job was intelligence of the soviet variety in the 80s, i imagine it would be like me bringing home a boook about a daring, heroic VoIP networker admin/project coordinator only everything would be wrong.

I would totally read procedural novels about heroic network administrators. Well, perhaps not.

Prospero, thanks for the recommendations!

FnordChan
 

DarkAngyl

Member
Loving the F.Paul Wilson fest :D I started reading the adversary cycle years and years ago when the Keep first came out. Great adventure novels that are just a lot of fun to read. Repairman Jack is one of the greats :)


Currently finishing up:




With this one next up on deck:


If it's even half as good as Lies was, I'm gonna be a happy camper :D
 

Eric P

Member


thanks to the rather awesome job on No Country for Old Men, I've decided to try this book out as it was another suggestion

so far, so good.

What's up w/ no quotations?

also the prose has a very odd rhythm, reminds me of hemmingway.
 

QVT

Fair-weather, with pride!


Pity, I was going to read Amerika but then this was released and I have to read it and get the fucking thing done with.

Blood Meridian - It has no quotes just like all of McCarthys work. It makes it better to read with.
 

Eric P

Member
QVT said:
Blood Meridian - It has no quotes just like all of McCarthys work. It makes it better to read with.

i just started on it, so it's a matter of adapting to the style.

i was very impressed to find the amount of detail which went into this.

there was a book put out called Notes on Blood Meridian which details a lot of this, but sadly it looks out of print. I'll have to see if I can track down a copy after I'm done.
 

Eric P

Member
Fallout-NL said:
[



The first two were awesome, the last 2 were interesting, quite unlike other books I've read.

i LOVE Canticle and suggest all my sci-fi friends read it

if you're interested, you may want to check out Mary Dora Russel's The Sparrow, which is absolutely awesome.

The novel begins in the year 2019, when the SETI program, at the Arecibo Observatory, picks up radio broadcasts of music from the vicinity of Alpha Centauri. The first expedition to Rakhat, the world that is sending the music, is organized by the Jesuit order.

Only one of the crew, Father Emilio Sandoz, survives to return to Earth, and he is damaged physically and psychologically. The story is told in framed flashback, with chapters alternating between the story of the expedition and the story of Sandoz' interrogation by the Jesuit order's inquest, set up in 2059 to find the truth. Sandoz' return has sparked great controversy – not just because the Jesuits sent the mission independent of United Nations oversight, but also because the mission ended disastrously. Contact with the UN mission, which sent Sandoz back to Earth alone in the Jesuit ship, has since been lost.
 

Fuzzery

Member
Meh, I started midnight tides awhile back, right after marathoning the first four books, but I wasn't able to really get into it. I dunno, did I just need a break from the erikson style, or was the book not up to par to his other ones or just different?
 
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