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  #3976  
Old 03-19-2017, 04:02 PM
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  #3977  
Old 07-09-2017, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Huh. Nobody reading anything interesting?

I am currently reading Darkmans by Nicola Barker. It has a lot of interrelated characters, but they are all connected to Kane and his father (Daniel) Beede and Beede's friend Dory who seems to be possessed at times by a 500 year old court jester (this is on the back, so no spoiler). There's also (spoiler) a Kurd who passes out when he is in the presence of salads, specifically lettuce.

I thought the mans was weird and almost Flemish, but maybe just olde English?
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  #3978  
Old 07-09-2017, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Also (fairly) recently I read The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming, which I liked very much. I had only read general histories and it always looked like the Incas were pushed over relatively easy, but there were several uprisings and more importantly a (tiny) independent Inca state held out for decades. There were also several armed conflicts between the Spanish invaders in the meantime.
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  #3979  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I am just finishing the first Flashman novel - a savage take-down of 19th century swashbuckling tropes. Not sure the joke can be made to stretch to as many books as the series ended up having, but I am willing to look at a few more so far.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:57 PM
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This. It's absolute rubbish, but a friend insisted I would love it so I feel obligated to finish.
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  #3981  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

The cooking gene by Michael Twitty. It's a memoir slash food and regional history.
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  #3982  
Old 08-22-2017, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivisectus View Post
I am just finishing the first Flashman novel - a savage take-down of 19th century swashbuckling tropes. Not sure the joke can be made to stretch to as many books as the series ended up having, but I am willing to look at a few more so far.
Turns out, the answer to that is 2.5

But the first one is pretty savage, if stomach-turning
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Finished this and am awaiting the next few volumes form the library:


Just starting:
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  #3984  
Old 10-27-2017, 02:19 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Right now, I'm re-re-re-re-re-reading The Decameron (Guido Waldman translation for Oxford World's Classics). It's still my favorite book. Recently, I returned all the books I had out to the library and made a conscious commitment to start reading the books I had at home, often because I've spotted them at a Friends of the Library book sale. However, I couldn't resist purchasing one book for Halloween and it arrived today. :slide:



As I understand it, this book was inspired by one of my favorite horror novellas, The White People by Arthur Machen, one of the works collected in The House of Souls (you can also listen to the audiobook from LibriVox here). Indeed, Machen had written another story with substantial affinities to this one called "The Ceremony", so it seems Klein just swiped the title and pluralized it for his own novel. It's supposed to be a masterpiece of psychological horror, so I'll see if it lives up to the hype.

On that score, I've been disappointed recently by Thomas Ligotti. On the strength of the hype surrounding him, I borrowed a two-in-one collection published by Penguin Books, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe, from the library. I didn't even get to the latter half of the collection before returning the book. When I say that the first story was so boring that it made me fall asleep three pages into the second story, you may guess the extent of my disappointment. Ligotti's authorial voice is that of a moderately bright teenager armed with a thesaurus that's he's not entirely clear on how to use who is out to impress his creative writing teacher. At least I didn't waste my money on it. I took the risk buying Klein's book because it's out-of-print, so I didn't want to risk liking the book and not being able to have a copy of my own, and it was described to me in such detail by someone who read it that I was certain I'd like it.

I'm also most of the way through The World of Mr. Mulliner as an ebook, and I've been listening to Elizabeth Klett's recording of Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell as an audiobook.
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  #3985  
Old 10-27-2017, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I'm re-reading (Captain) Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.

I've read most of de Bernières books but I still think this is his best one - though the ending seems a little weak.
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  #3986  
Old 10-27-2017, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I've restarted Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series due to the urging of a certain AWOL skunk. I've discovered that it's a really good series once you make it through most of the first book.
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  #3987  
Old 10-28-2017, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
Ready Player One

:ff: shorthand: It's p much an embodiment of everything pea derides in the Guilty Pleasures thrad. It is chock full of references that just about any child of the rpg/computer/movie/television age will understand and love. With that in mind, I enjoyed it.

The story is set in the near future where some named and other unnamed disasters has changed society. Also, an overarching virtual reality system contents the masses when its creator dies and leaves 250 billion dollars to the person (or persons, I guess) who can solve the riddles, find three keys and collect the ultimate video game easter egg.

If you at one time enjoyed AD&D, early computers and gaming systems, 1980s pop culture and things along those lines, it might be a fun read just to be reminded of the things you may or may not remember from those heady days of yore.
A couple of my coworkers were talking about this the other day, and then by coincidence I needed to get rid of some credits I had with Audible so I bought it. A few chapters in I went and bought the paperback because my 15 minute morning commute wasn't giving me enough time to enjoy it, but I just started having Alexa read it to me in the morning and evenings. I liked it a lot for all the reasons I was supposed to like it, and I'm very excited about the Spielberg adaptation coming out in March.
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  #3988  
Old 10-28-2017, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

vm!
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  #3989  
Old 10-29-2017, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by curses View Post
I've restarted Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series due to the urging of a certain AWOL skunk. I've discovered that it's a really good series once you make it through most of the first book.
Erikson deliberately made the first book into a tough slog to weed out people without the patience to keep track of the absolutely colossal number of characters. It's truly one of the most fascinating fantasy series I've ever read, though; in fact, I'd probably only place Discworld and A Song of Ice and Fire on the same level. Malazan has the same level of depth as Ice and Fire, but it's a professional anthropologist's take on fantasy rather than the historian's take that Martin's series comes off as being. Also, parts of Erikson's world are much closer to full gender equality, his focus is much more on armies rather than political leaders, and gods take an active role in the series.

I still haven't quite finished it. I misplaced my copy of the ninth book thanks to a move. I think I need to pick up another copy, but I haven't had time to get to a bookstore lately.

I haven't had time to read much at all, actually, but I've been re-reading Catch-22 when I have. It's honestly one of the few books in my library that's making much sense of our current world to me, alongside the five Philip K. Dick novels in my collection (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Man in the High Castle, Ubik, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly. I will need to pick up more of his works as well). I've had to deploy references to Ubik, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and The Man in the High Castle merely this month to explain various aspects of reality that I think would otherwise have been inexplicable to me. If you're curious (spoilers for all three books in my previous sentence):

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  #3990  
Old 11-17-2017, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I'm reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. It's pretty good and I'm enjoying it muchly but when you are Dutch and reading a book in English where Japanese and Dutch people argue about Japanese translations of Dutch words and vice versa it is kinda hard not to notice that some of those would be very different if it would be in actual Dutch, not English. Like 'disseminate' which supposedly comes from the Dutch word 'semen'. But the only way to make that work in Dutch would be to use 'zaaien' (to seed) and 'zaad' (seed) instead of 'verspreiden' (spread) and 'sperma' (sperm) which would be the usual way to put it.

Anyway, pretty great book about when the artificial island of Dejima was the only point of contact with a European nation (the Dutch Republic) and Japan. And it's weird to realise that Dutch was probably widely studied in Japan at the time, compared to other European languages.
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  #3991  
Old 11-17-2017, 12:52 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Before that I've been binging on Scarlett Thomas. I found The End of Mr Y at the bookstore I worked and was intrigued by the black on the page cuts or whatever it's called:

So yeah, it sticks out that way and it kinda fits with the theme which is 19th century-based. The antagonist has been searching for a book called The End of Mr Y which was supposedly written in the late 19th century. It's hard to describe the story and it would contain spoilers but it has elements of fantasy and late 19th century science fiction but also thrillers and a lot of philosophical dialogue. Since then I've read a couple of other books of hers and they all have that colour thing on the page cuts. And I loved them all.
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  #3992  
Old 11-17-2017, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Grant Moves South by Bruce Catton.
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  #3993  
Old 11-18-2017, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
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I'm reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell.
By this David Mitchell?

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  #3994  
Old 11-18-2017, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

No, this one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mitchell_(author)

Cloud Atlas (novel) - Wikipedia
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  #3995  
Old 11-22-2017, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I would like to read a novel written by the other David Mitchell, I imagine I'd read the whole thing in his voice.
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  #3996  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:22 PM
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I've been reading the following three books:

First, as a LibriVox audiobook read by Elizabeth Klett (the LibriVox site is being updated today, so if the first link doesn't work for you, try this one):


Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Second, as a physical book, one of my library book sale purchases:


Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy

And finally, this as an ebook:


The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper
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