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What are you reading? 
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Ragnarok73 wrote:
Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin

The Song of Ice and Fire saga continues, and damn, was this book ever worth the wait. In fact, the only bad thing is that we now have to wait for book 6, damnit. For my more detailed thoughts, see the Game of Thrones thread in the Television sub-forum.


I just finished The Game of Thrones, and am now on A Clash of Kings. It took a while to get into it because there were so many characters to keep track of (thank God for the Appendix!), but I loved it so much that i went out and bought the rest of the books in the series. It's awesome, even for someone who doesn't read much fantasy.

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Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:07 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Currently reading Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination Of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber. Only about a quarter of the way through, but a pretty interesting account from all sides about that fateful day in 1981.


Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:22 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
I was fairly excited to get my paws on a copy of the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of Doctor Zhivago. Not necessarily a titan of Russian lit but you can nary go wrong with this pair. Good stuff.


Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:27 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Oh, I always forget about this thread. Liked Jude the Obscure quite a bit. Loved it, in fact. A pity that Thom Hardy never wrote a novel after this one. Guess I'll have to check his earlier stuff out. And Jude? It was criticised for being obscene. As if. Very ahead of its time. And it has crushed dreams. So many dreams. All for nought.

Started The Hunger Games. Not often that I read something recent but there's a cinematic adaptation coming out. If Jeffries is wrong about this one I'm throwing out every one of his recommendations. Just kidding :D . No I wasn't :cry: .


Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:44 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Finished up Rawhide Down last week. Very interesting book and actually a pretty easy read.

Just jumped on the bandwagon this week (pretty late...actually caught the bandwagon on the outskirts heading out of town) and picked up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from the library in anticipation of the upcoming Hollywood version of the same. Only a couple of chapters in and really no strong impression so far. In the back of my mind is always Stieg Larsson's depressing story. I hope when I make my multi-millions I'm not dead when it happens.


Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:55 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
johnny larue wrote:
Just jumped on the bandwagon this week (pretty late...actually caught the bandwagon on the outskirts heading out of town) and picked up The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo from the library in anticipation of the upcoming Hollywood version of the same. Only a couple of chapters in and really no strong impression so far. In the back of my mind is always Stieg Larsson's depressing story. I hope when I make my multi-millions I'm not dead when it happens.


Just finished this up last night. It was a pretty good read, although I had guessed a few major plot points prior to their reveal. Put the Swedish film on Netflix queue and will probably see the Hollywood version this winter.

Next up...going to tackle Atlas Shrugged...apparently I have too much time on my hands...


Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:36 am
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Just bought Stephen King's Just After Sunset for $7.40 at Barnes And Noble. So far its shaping up to be pretty good. King's hit and miss. But when he hits, he hits.

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Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:38 am
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Post Re: What are you reading?
ed_metal_head wrote:
Started The Hunger Games. Not often that I read something recent but there's a cinematic adaptation coming out. If Jeffries is wrong about this one I'm throwing out every one of his recommendations. Just kidding :D . No I wasn't :cry: .


The Jeffries gonads are safe for now. I was suspect of The Hunger Games before reading it but the novel quickly won me over. It's one of those "page turners" and it certainly didn't hurt that the novel is set in a dystopia. The premise screamed Battle Royale (which I find completely overrated) but there isn't too much battling. Now I'm somewhat looking forward to the movie. Casting seems really good. I fear this won't translate too well though. We'll see.

Started On the Road. So far it's pretty similar to The Road. Actually, that was a lie. Nothing alike. Guess I just like mentioning "roads". And gonads too.


Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:41 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
I was on a very long hiatus from reading for the past two years. Somewhere along the line, apart from the Harry Potters of this world, I literally stopped reading new stuff. Thankfully, I was able to find my groove back a couple of months back and I hope it is here to stay. I typically read mystery, thrillers, and fantasy but have been trying to venture outside also as my reading of The Five People You Meet in Heaven showed to me. Right now, I am working on David Baldacci's Absolute Power (have already read Camel Club and Collectors from him) and have Shantaram and Steig Larsson's The Girl series also to get to. After that, am planning to get around to A Song of Fire and Ice.

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Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:24 am
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Post Re: What are you reading?
I've got bookmarks in about a dozen books at any given moment, but these are the ones that I've been dipping into the most lately:

Big Dead Place (2005) by Nicholas Johnson

This is probably the only book about Antarctica that includes the phrase "enema loving dick licking fuckwad." It's a memoir of the author's time at the McMurdo research station, and it's hilarious to learn what kind of crap goes on there. This quote sums it up well: "I have never heard of one returnee who finally quit because it's the world's highest, driest, coldest or whatever. People leave because of the bullshit." Also, "If Antarctica has an asshole, McMurdo is it."

A Maze of Death (1970) by Philip K. Dick

It's not gripping me quite as much as Dick masterpieces like A Scanner Darkly, Ubik, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and The Man in the High Castle, but I'm digging it. Plot summary from the back: "Fourteen strangers came to Delmak-O. Thirteen of them were transferred by the usual authorities. One got there by praying. But once they arrived on that planet whose very atmosphere seemed to induce paranoia and psychosis, the newcomers found that even prayer was useless. For on Delmak-O, God is either absent or intent on destroying His creations."

Starring Sherlock Holmes (2007) by David Stuart Davies

Beautiful hardcover coffee table book the size of Rhode Island, all about the history of Holmes on film. I recently bought it for $26 on Amazon. Worth every penny.

True North (2005) by Bruce Henderson

It's about Peary and Cook, the two men who both claimed to have been the first to reach the geographic North Pole. The animosity and character assassination that went on is just as interesting as the explorations.

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Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:33 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading?
Recently checked out a book called Low Town. Basically it mixed Sin City with Medieval-ish Urban Fantasy. Pretty fun to read.


Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:55 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Had a good run of good books in 2011. May have been one of the better years of the past ten. But I'm no kind of timely so there goes any opportunity to make the bold statement that 2011 was the best year for books, like, ever.

Got a nice gift of an e-reader a few months back and, since it only does the e-reading without the bells and whistles of some of the other models, have tasted some different waters. For me, at least. One departure, and it was very good, was Stephen King's 11/22/63. Not only a clever spin on how time travel might actually work but also, and this is what I liked most, an honest appraisel of how nostalgia actually works.


Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:16 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Crap. I forgot about this thread.

I've been on a Grant Morrison kick. I recently finished his 1980s run on Animal Man, which is pretty damn good.

A bit of backstory: DC already had phenomenal success by going across the pond and hiring Alan Moore to reinvent Swamp Thing several years earlier, so they tried it again and unearthed Grant Morrison in Scotland. He in turn unearthed Animal Man, a little-known throwaway character from the 1960s, which he developed into a touching domestic superhero story combined with radical animal politics and (par for the course with Morrison) a total meta-fictional mindscrew. Nobody does it better.

Also, I've been working my way little by little through Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. It's Morrison's personal overview of the superhero genre over the years, done in old-fashioned text without pictures. As I've said before, he thinks his own thoughts and has a lot of insight into this stuff. It's a very worthwhile look at this archetype which is native to comics and native to America. I usually go to Barnes & Noble when I'm on break at work, and I've been reading this book in 15 minute increments. I'm over halfway done. Please don't tell them.


Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:28 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
Got a few books a-goin'.

Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin, an epistolary treatment of parenthood that uses a school massacre as its optic. This one is a good and loud example of how a narrator can unwittingly write her biography while attempting to communicate what she believes is her biography... but isn't. I have yet to determine whether or not I like the novel.

Tana French's The Likeness, sequel to the fine In The Woods. Not quite as good as the first in the series but I'm told the third makes the second completely worthwhile. We'll see.

A World On Fire, Amanda Foreman's account of Britain's role in America's Civil War. Pretty breathless given the subject (such is my enthusiasm for history, unfortunately) and another reminder that my education has plenty of holes. While it's nice to know this it's also terrifying to know this.

Lastly, And So It Goes, a recent biography of Kurt Vonnegut. Turns out that Kurt Vonnegut did a fine job as his own biographer (some might say autobiographer) in both non-fiction and novel. But we don't read biographies to be informed about The Facts of The Person, necessarily; Charles Shields does some good work with interpretation and unearths surprising deaths and shallows to The Man Who Would Be Trout. This variety of literary criticism is always welcome.

Which reminds me (and forgive me if I've written this elsewhere): go out and find Harold Bloom's volume on Stephen King. Immediately. The introduction, wherein Bloom cries for sanity in the form of destroying all of King's work, is something to behold.


Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:03 am
Post Re: What are you reading?
The last three:

When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead) - outstanding children's novel -- intended audience is a bit older than I hoped for (8-12, my guess) -- that I heartily recommend to all who (a) still have an appreciation for this kind of thing and (b) those who would like to have their kid read something that is thought-provoking in a way to which they may not be accustomed. The references to 70s television and icons kept me amused, too.

Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes) - Latest winner of the Man Booker is a good run through memory's territory. Sensitive and surprisingly complex but not quite as good as Richard Powers' The Echo Maker, a more amazing run through the same themes. Barnes has been off of my radar since the late 1990s when I wasn't ready for his other stuff.

and I came here to start my multi-thread promotion of

The Flame Alphabet (Ben Marcus) - Way way way ahead of the competition, a novel about a virus that is acquired by children and passed to adults via their speech. You can guess at the panic felt by "adults" but the real metaphorical weight is in the fear felt by those who carry the virus and are about to become old enough to be infected by the virus they carry. The book makes the expected comments on youth, language, youth language and burgeoning adulthood but Marcus makes a unique connection between youthful tendencies and anti-Semintism that ranks as one of the more original ideas I've encountered in lit. Man Gone Down, McCarthy's C. and this one... they keep it alive. It isn't sci-fi but it should appeal to those who like fabulist elements in their lit. Maybe you.


Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:17 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Major Aphasia wrote:
Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin, an epistolary treatment of parenthood that uses a school massacre as its optic. This one is a good and loud example of how a narrator can unwittingly write her biography while attempting to communicate what she believes is her biography... but isn't. I have yet to determine whether or not I like the novel.


HA! This thread is unpopular.

The other books in the post ended up being very good (the Vonnegut bio was particularly good and distressing) but We Need To Talk About Kevin was neither very good nor distressing. Shriver is an O.K. writer but her narrator... gadzooks. Eva, the narcissist that tells the story of her psychopathic son, never tires of repeating the dullest details (she's obsessed with her body, obsessed with exonerating herself (for obvious reasons), and possibly just as damaged as her progeny) and wears out her welcome long before the story ends. Shriver doesn't attempt to make Eva sympathetic (good) but she also cheats by building her story to a horrific climax... that's against the rules she established when she chose to make this epistolary. It reveals the wizard behind the curtain and wrecks (a) Eva's reliability as a narrator (fine, whatever... every fucking novel in first-person is told by an unreliable narrator. Ta da! Some are more unreliable than others.) and (b) Shriver's reliability as a teller of this story. I have no doubt the movie improves upon this material despite the fact that I haven't seen the thing.


Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:30 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
The First Law series was pretty good. Similar to Game of Thrones, so I hear, though I've not read it yet. It's a neat little deconstruction of some fantasy archetypes and has some pretty cool characters too.


Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:43 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Just finished up Atlas Shrugged....whew...that was a long one. I only read about 30-40 minutes on weekdays (lunch hour) and there were a LOT of pages. Some pretty good ideas in there, and some pretty naive ones as well. The narrative structure didn't bother me much and the story itself kept my attention, though things do unfold at a pretty slow pace in parts; but given the state of society at the start of the novel compared to at the end, it probably made sense to have things unfold as they did. A few bits of extended "monologuing" (including "the speech") did get a bit dry, and Rand had a bad habit of not dropping reminding clues as to the identities of characters who came in and out of the book. For the most part, I enjoyed the read.

Next up...I think I'm going to go to book 2 in the Millenium trilogy.


Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:11 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
I've started reading both Dorian Gray and The Dragon Can't Dance. The latter is especially apt, given the times (well, not from tomorrow). Unfortunately, I keep start/stopping. Time. Wish I had more of it.


Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:51 pm
Post Re: What are you reading?
Just finished The Invisibles, Grant Morrison's sprawling comic book epic about anarchy, magic, and conspiracy theories. It's not really possible to summarize it, but it starts out by fucking with your consciousness and only steps it up from there.

Starting on Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World.


Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:38 pm
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