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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4721
    Mrenda's Avatar
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    I just finished Solar Bones by Mike McCormack. It was longlisted for the Booker, and Irish lit twitter was a little peeved when it didn't make the shortlist, although some of that might be dramatics for the sake of encouragement. It's not bad. The conceit of it being one long sentence mostly works, and it draws you through the novel quite easily. That could as well be the prose not being really challenging, and the events of the story not very out there. Like the other book I read from the publisher it seems more like a single idea really hammered home over the course of a 200 page novel, with not much that draws thought out as you read, until the end, which I did really enjoy. The blurb on the back of the book tells you the protag is dead, so everything is coloured by that, and I do wonder if it wasn't for this knowledge and a desire to see how it ties together would the story work as well. It's mostly a treatise on family. Family, relationships, and what a nondescript, average, normal life means to someone. I read most of it in two days, so if you're looking for a quick read it's worth a shout. I haven't read any of the shortlisted books for the Booker so I don't know if it was hard done by, but my immediate thought without being able to reference it against anything else is it's a fair call from the judges.

  2. #4722
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    Quote Originally Posted by halka View Post
    Out of curiosity, what device are you using when not leafing through dead trees? It's about time I start planning some presents for the family.
    Kobo Aura One, pondered it a while, not the cheapest, but i really do like its size.

    That said, my old Kindle did the job too. And for somebody as a present a 'simple' Paperwhite might be better. Ofc one is hooked to amazon with it if not using calibre or the like....

  3. #4723
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    Ran out of material so starting this thread from the beggining (lord give me strength and neg/reps)

    So far done some of the Honor Harrington, first 2 were good next 2 not so much...

    Think im gonna put these aside and hit Old Man's War, The Quantum Thief and Hyperion.
    Last edited by Ted Breakers; September 21 2017 at 04:40:08 PM.

  4. #4724
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    The Reluctant Fundamentalist was a good read. Possibly even more interesting was reading the reviews after, and the focus, especially the US newspapers give to post 9/11 sentiment and comment in the book, which is evident and the lessor focus they give to the individuality of the protagonist narrator. Mohsin Hamad is obviously trying to set metaphor and allegory in a lot of what he's written, but apart from the occasional comment about the protagonist being "not entirely likable" (to paraphrase,) the critical commentary on it quite often doesn't engage with the significance of the narrator''s experience. There's definitely something, "other," about the narrator, but then again that's the whole point of the book. He's supposed to be other to western ways, despite his attempts at opposing his instincts, and in his attempts to live the American Dream. The language of the storytelling is also, "other." The prose is written in fluent language but with a fluency from a narrator whose mothertongue isn't fully anglicised and speaks with an educated phrasing. There seems to be a reluctance to read the book and its story at a personal level. This may be typical for literary review, trying to cast the book in light of greater significances but its especially telling in this instance because humanisation and huamnity is at the core of the story.

  5. #4725
    Donor Sponk's Avatar
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    New Ann Leckie book is out.
    Contract stuff to Seraphina Amaranth.

    "You give me the awful impression - I hate to have to say - of someone who hasn't read any of the arguments against your position. Ever."


  6. #4726
    Movember 2012 I Legionnaire's Avatar
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    This Hallowed Ground

    I decided to go back and read some Civil War history since most of my education focused on ancient Europe. This is a fantastic book written in narrative style that gives a broad overview of the war. Even though it was written in '54 the language is approachable, not dry. The copy I have was released in 2012, so I'm not sure if they adjusted the language since the original publication. In any case, it won a Pulitzer and I can see why.

    These two are next on the hit-list.

    Battle Cry of Freedom

    Landscape Turned Red

  7. #4727
    SAI Peregrinus's Avatar
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    Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy

    A book about how to bootstrap metrology & machining, following along with the development of the Moore No. 3 Universal Measuring Machine (and other less accurate tools on the No.3 chassis). Includes quite a bit of the history of metrology. There's a whole section on machining (and measuring) down in the millionths-of-an-inch (100s of nanometers) range.

  8. #4728
    Djan Seriy Anaplian's Avatar
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    My mum just sent me a beautifully illustrated version of the Hobbot from 1966.

    It's really quite fun so i'm happy to post pics to those interested.

    I really want to buy a Dracula first edition, but the prices are astronomical and it's either that or a new watch. Handling one in the British Library gave me chills.

    Disclaimer: i buy these things; to keep, read and store well. Not to trade.

    Also this is a long shot, but, London peeps, do you know of an excellent book binding service that cover in heavy leather with marbling on the pages? This would be for the culture serious/one offs

  9. #4729
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    In light of Annihilation being turned into a movie I decided to get it off my to read list. It was described to me by the store clerk as "Lovecraft without all the horrible racism", which was fine by me since I love Lovecraft and find the racism dispensable.

    I think their description was quite fitting. It's not a long book, only ~190 pages, but for the bulk of it I didn't not feel like the protagonist was at all safe. A sense of creeping tension pervaded everything, when there wasn't active danger from whatever terror the protagonist was confronting at the moment. Gave it four stars out of five and four out of five, then went to buy the other books in the trilogy. I think a good analogue would be Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space".

    #2 is a very different book. Not only longer by a decent margin but different in feel. I believe a blurb on the back describes #1 as an adventure novel with a heavy layer of weird while #2 is a spy novel with the same. I don't think it was quite as good, call it a weak four out of five, but still quite enjoyable. It answers a few questions about #1 but raises a few more. I started #3 late last night so only got a little way in, hopefully it ends well. I don't need all the answers, just enough.

  10. #4730
    Donor Sponk's Avatar
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    Finally got to Strange Dogs (expanse short story).

    Not bad. I like the writing style.

    Next up is Leckie's latest, then I think I'll swing back and go through the Atrocity Archives because I don't think I've read the last few.
    Contract stuff to Seraphina Amaranth.

    "You give me the awful impression - I hate to have to say - of someone who hasn't read any of the arguments against your position. Ever."


  11. #4731

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    Miles Cameron's latest The fall of dragons is really really good. I would have to say its the best in the series.

    Apart from being a great story , enjoying the vocabulary and pace at which the story moves.

  12. #4732
    Donor Shiodome's Avatar
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    hey booky reader nerds, I'm after a good book on the 30 years war. Anyone got recommendations?

  13. #4733

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiodome View Post
    hey booky reader nerds, I'm after a good book on the 30 years war. Anyone got recommendations?
    What about "Three Musketeers"?


    Seriously though, interested in this as well. I've heard about the "Ring of Fire" series, but this is "alternative reality" genre...

  14. #4734
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiodome View Post
    hey booky reader nerds, I'm after a good book on the 30 years war. Anyone got recommendations?
    Europe's Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson is good history. Proper history though, not light reading.

  15. #4735
    Kai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmoore View Post
    Miles Cameron's latest The fall of dragons is really really good. I would have to say its the best in the series.

    Apart from being a great story , enjoying the vocabulary and pace at which the story moves.
    Soo much this. Solid proper medieval story with Dragons

  16. #4736
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Redmoore View Post
    Miles Cameron's latest The fall of dragons is really really good. I would have to say its the best in the series.

    Apart from being a great story , enjoying the vocabulary and pace at which the story moves.
    Soo much this. Solid proper medieval story with Dragons
    Thanks for reminding me, forgot about the series after the first one (which I really liked).

    Currently reading Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay which so far has been quite enjoyable.
    The world is against me, it wouldn't be fair otherwise"

  17. #4737
    Donor Tellenta's Avatar
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    Just had a brain fart recently and realized Doug Stanton is the same person as a family family friend who coincidentally has the same name. I'm currently reading his books because neato.

  18. #4738

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    In my attempt to stay ahead of the TV series with the books, I've now started the 4th book in The Expanse series. And finally the series title makes sense.

    I like both the show and the books. What I find interesting is, that when I try to come up with an explanation why it's good, I can't come up with a clearly identifiable fact. If one just looks at the overall story, it's one of thousands of space operas. And as of now, it hasn't those mind-bending settings than i.e. a Peter Watts book. Or the philosophical depth of i.e. Clarke's Foundation. Or the social analysis/critic like i.e. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. And yet it manages to keep me interested and wanting more.

  19. #4739
    Donor Sponk's Avatar
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    Sometimes you just gotta go with a series that plays it straight.
    Contract stuff to Seraphina Amaranth.

    "You give me the awful impression - I hate to have to say - of someone who hasn't read any of the arguments against your position. Ever."


  20. #4740
    Donor Sponk's Avatar
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    RN I'm reading some books written by a guy who writes novels based on posts from /r/writingprompts

    They're actually pretty decent. Worth the $3 or whatever, although I think he posts them free on reddit anyway if you CBF
    Contract stuff to Seraphina Amaranth.

    "You give me the awful impression - I hate to have to say - of someone who hasn't read any of the arguments against your position. Ever."


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