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What are we reading?

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Posts

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I'm doing The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay right now, which is, thus far, pretty darned amazing.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    Right now I am reading "The Master Switch" by Tim Wu ... very interesting read so far. Reading how the big four Hollywood Studios started is interesting, considering they just blatantly disregarded patents at the time and went ahead and did their thing.

  • GolemGolem Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I am currently read "God, No!" by Penn Jillette so far a very good read.

    I am also working on "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Author Conan Doyle

    so far...not really digging it as much as some of the earlier works in the Holmes series. I liked the Air Gun Assassin at the beginning but, I still always found that excuse that I couldn't tell you (the most trusted and important person in my life) because I don't trust you and your so incompetent you would clearly give something away.

    Golem on
  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    Kavalier and Clay was darned amazing, yeah.

    I'm switching between Clockwork and a massive Ray Bradbury collection. Both are filling me with happiness.

    KqOm9Bt.jpg
  • Major TomMajor Tom Registered User
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I'm doing The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay right now, which is, thus far, pretty darned amazing.

    Seriously. I'm not all that well versed in contemporary American fiction, but it is my favorite thing I've read in that category.

    Currently I'm re-reading The Adventures of Augie March which is maybe my favorite American novel, if not my favorite novel.

    Saul Bellow's writing is the kind of writing that makes me pause every fifteen minutes or so just to marvel at the incredible feat of communication he just pulled off.
    I drank coffee and looked out into the brilliant first morning of the year. There was a Greek church in the next street of which the onion dome stood in the snow-polished and purified blue, cross and crown together, the united powers of earth and heaven, snow in all the clefts, a snow like the sand of sugar. I passed over the church too and rested only on the great profound blue. The days have not changed, though the times have. The sailors who first saw America, that sweet sight, where the belly of the ocean had brought them, didn't see a more beautiful color than this.

    I mean, holy shit.

    The way he can oscillate effortlessly between uplift and optimism to incredible poignancy is also unmatched.

  • liquiddarkliquiddark Odd magpie St. John's, NLRegistered User regular
    Currently reading:
    - Footfall by Larry Niven, which is light but thoroughly-reasoned alien invasion fiction
    - I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter, which is a sort-of-sequel to Godel Escher Bach. His ideas about the mind are pretty wonderful.
    - Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner and , which is, sadly, not as good as the first book in the series. Or maybe I just need to do more writing and drawing to really understand the problems he's cutting through. Certainly Darick Robertson seems to think so, and he would probably know.
    - The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon. Not very far into it, not much to say about it yet.

    Current project: Contension, a realtime tactics game for mobile
    @oldmanhero .programming .web comic .everything
  • nicopernicusnicopernicus Registered User regular
    I am currently working on Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am reading Team of Rivals by Doris Goodwin for school, and I am liking that too.
    I just finished City of Thieves by David Beinoff, and I thought that was amazing!

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  • EVOLEVOL Registered User regular
    Going through 1Q84 by Murakami. Started off slow and had lots of problems that I personally have with Japanese literature in general, but halfway through it became fan-fucking-tastic. I just hope it keeps up the momentum built so far and ends well.

  • LethinatorLethinator Registered User
    EVOL wrote: »
    Going through 1Q84 by Murakami. Started off slow and had lots of problems that I personally have with Japanese literature in general, but halfway through it became fan-fucking-tastic. I just hope it keeps up the momentum built so far and ends well.

    I'm also reading 1Q84. I sort of had the opposite experience... loved the first half, then at about that point something sort of squicked me/seemed out of character but I'm continuing, because, hell, I'm already halfway through this massive book and I trust it will redeem itself in my eyes. I think after this I'm going to read The City & The City by Miéville.

    Also just reread Wizard of Earthsea for the billionth time. So good.

  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    EVOL wrote: »
    Going through 1Q84 by Murakami. Started off slow and had lots of problems that I personally have with Japanese literature in general, but halfway through it became fan-fucking-tastic. I just hope it keeps up the momentum built so far and ends well.
    I started 1Q84 a month ago, read the first chapter, and then put it back down again. Maybe I should give it another shot once I'm done with GRRM (which, at this rate, will be next year). I have pretty fond memories of Murakami from my college years, but 1Q84 seems intent on reminding me that, even though no chubby teenage girls or unemployed thirty-year-old bachelors have shown up yet, I'm still reading a Murakami novel. I mean, for god's sakes:
    'And also,' the driver said, facing the mirror, 'please remember: things are not what they seem.'
    Things are not what they seem, Aomame repeated mentally. 'What do you mean by that?' she asked with knitted brows.
    The driver chose his words carefully: 'It's just that you're about to do something out of the ordinary. Am I right? People do not ordinarily climb down the emergency stairs of the Metropolitan Expressway in the middle of the day—especially women.'
    'I suppose you're right.'

    I'm not sure if this is a problem with 'Japanese literature' or just Murakami using his trademark alternate-reality mysticism as a hammer.

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    I alternate between loving and loathing Murakami. Kafka on the Shore and Dance Dance Dance, for example, were wonderful books. Wind-Up Bird, on the other hand, took two tries and three years to push through, and when I got to the end I felt like I'd wasted hours of my life I would never get back.

    KqOm9Bt.jpg
  • EVOLEVOL Registered User regular
    Lethinator wrote: »
    EVOL wrote: »
    Going through 1Q84 by Murakami. Started off slow and had lots of problems that I personally have with Japanese literature in general, but halfway through it became fan-fucking-tastic. I just hope it keeps up the momentum built so far and ends well.

    I'm also reading 1Q84. I sort of had the opposite experience... loved the first half, then at about that point something sort of squicked me/seemed out of character but I'm continuing, because, hell, I'm already halfway through this massive book and I trust it will redeem itself in my eyes. I think after this I'm going to read The City & The City by Miéville.

    Also just reread Wizard of Earthsea for the billionth time. So good.

    There were definitely some squicky moments but I think that was the intent. Only other book I read of Murakami's was Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World, so I wouldn't know, but I take it that his work is pretty formulaic? The problems that I said that I had with Japanese literature in general was mostly about the prose, which the quote Baron Dirigible made illustrates pretty well. It's just so... dry. It's still the single biggest complaint I have against the 1Q84 right now really. The plot is great so it doesn't matter that much, but it's still somewhat grating.

  • spcmnspffspcmnspff Registered User regular
    I loved Dance Dance Dance so much. Still think Murakami is at his best when his books a) take place predominantly at night and b) make gratuitous use of sheep.

  • GolemGolem Registered User regular
    I just finished Penn Jillete's "God, No!" which was amazing! I was really moved by not only Penn's open mindedness as well as his thirst to question every thing he knows, pretty motivating.

    I'm also starting on Brian Jaques "Triss" I love the Redwall series, I've been reading and re-reading it all my life. After this I suspect I'll be browsing through some more e-books to find something good.

  • allanteerallanteer Registered User
    At the moment, I'm in the process of listening "The Last Argument of Kings" by Joe Abercrombie and reading "The Well of Ascension" by Brandon Sanderson. This is my first real post on the forums and interacting with individuals to enjoy books is really refreshing.

  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    Just finished The Black Powder War by Naomi Novik! I love this series so much. Can't wait to pick up the next book this weekend.

    I think I'm going to try reading the first Malazan book for the THIRD time. Last time I got I think 3/4ths of the way through before giving up. Every time I read it I have the same issue with it, but every time I stop reading it I hear people say that's the issue EVERYONE has with it and that it pays off in the end. So, I guess this time I'm either going to finish it or give it away to someone else so I stop hitting my head against the wall.

    Also: Welcome to TWB, @Allanteer !

  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    So I started "The Forever War" last week and so far it is pretty good.

    Yesterday I discovered "After the Golden Age" by Carrie Vaughn - and I tore through it in one day. It has become pretty rare for me to do this. The book is great - anybody read that?

  • pandibearpandibear Registered User regular
    I am currently reading, "An Historical Sketch of The Greek Revolution" by Samuel Gridley Howell.

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Started a new audiobook this morning, "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson. Not sure what to think yet, but I'm barely into it and have heard good things, so I'm sticking with it.

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    Started a new audiobook this morning, "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson. Not sure what to think yet, but I'm barely into it and have heard good things, so I'm sticking with it.

    I wasn't a big fan of the Baroque trilogy until the final book. It's too meandering and spread over three giant books. Although it has a lot of people who tie into Cryptonomicon.

  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    I'm giving up on Malazan again and for the last time. I don't care how good the series gets, it's absolutely not worth struggling through this first book. It's taken me a week just to get 200 pages in and, while I don't mind a challenging book, I don't feel like there's ever any reward for the challenge and I'm so tired of the author repeating phrases over and over again.

    Venting done. Moving on! I finally picked up Her Fearful Symmetry, which I've heard mixed reviews about, but I'm hoping for the best.

  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Edit: Wooo, double post!

    VanityPants on
  • liquiddarkliquiddark Odd magpie St. John's, NLRegistered User regular
    I bought A Dance with Dragons on the Kindle store. 47 pages in and I've already ragequit twice.

    Current project: Contension, a realtime tactics game for mobile
    @oldmanhero .programming .web comic .everything
  • trevoracioustrevoracious Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    EVOL wrote: »
    Lethinator wrote: »
    EVOL wrote: »
    Going through 1Q84 by Murakami. Started off slow and had lots of problems that I personally have with Japanese literature in general, but halfway through it became fan-fucking-tastic. I just hope it keeps up the momentum built so far and ends well.

    I'm also reading 1Q84. I sort of had the opposite experience... loved the first half, then at about that point something sort of squicked me/seemed out of character but I'm continuing, because, hell, I'm already halfway through this massive book and I trust it will redeem itself in my eyes.

    There were definitely some squicky moments but I think that was the intent. Only other book I read of Murakami's was Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World, so I wouldn't know, but I take it that his work is pretty formulaic? The problems that I said that I had with Japanese literature in general was mostly about the prose, which the quote Baron Dirigible made illustrates pretty well. It's just so... dry. It's still the single biggest complaint I have against the 1Q84 right now really. The plot is great so it doesn't matter that much, but it's still somewhat grating.

    I got 78% through 1Q84, and I don't think you could pay me to finish it. The premise of a down-the-rabbit-hole story set in 1984 Tokyo was too much to pass up, but I just don't think Murakami is a good writer. I mean, he repeats major plot points three times, often going as far as italicizing them the third time around. I don't see how you can throw up a neon sign at every plot twist and still be touted as literary.

    And if I hear about how Ushikawa is ugly and doesn't really fit in one more time, I'm going to flip a table. I get it, Murakami. The guy looks weird.

    I just feel like the narrator doesn't trust me to observe or remember anything.

    trevoracious on
  • geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    I just tore through 11/22/63 by Stephen King in three days. This might be his best book ever, and definitely his best in at least a decade. Truly fantastic. I was starting to lose hope for him, since under the dome was awful and the last couple dark tower books weren't up to par. But man was this book awesome. Definitely the first King novel that made me cry.

  • KetarKetar Duke of Weaseltown Like an agile peacock!Registered User regular
    geckahn wrote: »
    I just tore through 11/22/63 by Stephen King in three days. This might be his best book ever, and definitely his best in at least a decade. Truly fantastic. I was starting to lose hope for him, since under the dome was awful and the last couple dark tower books weren't up to par. But man was this book awesome. Definitely the first King novel that made me cry.

    Did you read Duma Key? If so, I guess I'd be curious as to your opinion on it. I thought it was one of his best books in a while, but haven't convinced myself to grab 11/22/63 just yet.

  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    liquiddark wrote: »
    I bought A Dance with Dragons on the Kindle store. 47 pages in and I've already ragequit twice.

    It's by far the weakest book in the series, I think. For the amount of time the thing was being written, I was surprised there was still so much I felt could be edited in that book. There's a LOT of repetition in the phrasing and a lot of chapters that feel like either nothing is happening or it's the same things that happened in the chapter before.

    I still enjoyed it overall, but it was definitely a struggle to get through at some points.

  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    Ketar wrote: »
    geckahn wrote: »
    I just tore through 11/22/63 by Stephen King in three days. This might be his best book ever, and definitely his best in at least a decade. Truly fantastic. I was starting to lose hope for him, since under the dome was awful and the last couple dark tower books weren't up to par. But man was this book awesome. Definitely the first King novel that made me cry.

    Did you read Duma Key? If so, I guess I'd be curious as to your opinion on it. I thought it was one of his best books in a while, but haven't convinced myself to grab 11/22/63 just yet.


    I actually prefer Duma Key to 11/22/63, but only by a slim margin. That said, 11/22/63 is amazing. I think even non King fans would love it, though there are a few King callbacks scattered throughout.

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  • Adam CasalinoAdam Casalino New York (in my heart)Registered User regular
    I'm reading True Grit right now, pretty good. Also started on Musashi, and epic samauri saga.

  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    I started the first of the Hunger Games books yesterday and I am already nearly done. It is pretty good actually.

  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    Finished The Family Fang yesterday. Not usually a fan of dysfunctional middle-class white family stories, but this one happened to click with me. Something about how the two main characters are written, especially Annie.

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I'm considering quitting Quicksilver. I just can NOT get into this thing. It feels like a random series of diversions and commentary on scientific progression and politics 300 years ago, with absolutely no coherent story to speak of. Am I just missing something?

  • MagellMagell Sphinx! Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I'm considering quitting Quicksilver. I just can NOT get into this thing. It feels like a random series of diversions and commentary on scientific progression and politics 300 years ago, with absolutely no coherent story to speak of. Am I just missing something?

    Not that I can see. I powered through that and the second one. You can probably skip to the third book in the series. I don't remember the name, but it's good.

  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    I found the entire Baroque Cycle to be a massive waste of my time and energy. I think I've disconnected from what Stephenson is doing with his work post-Cryptonomicon. Even REAMDE was largely a thousand pages of tedious jibber jabber to me.

    Just finished Swell by Corwin Erickson(sp?). The first half was enjoyable but it spun out of control a bit in the latter half and after you've lost the narrative, his already affected prose and ambivalent main character (which works really well initially) become more annoying than interesting. Still, I'd say it's worth a read.



  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    I'm reading Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell. I think every time I'm not reading Cornwell, I forget just how much I love his books. There's no other explanation for why I'm always so surprised when I pick one up and it rocks my socks off.

  • setrajonassetrajonas Registered User regular
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    It feels like a random series of diversions and commentary on scientific progression and politics 300 years ago, with absolutely no coherent story to speak of.
    That is the story, minus the random part :P It's a prequel to Cryptonomicon (which didn't have much of a "coherent story" in a similar way, it was just shorter about it) in more than just shared characters, in that it touches on matters of technology, cryptography and money, but it also happens, in a more encompassing sense, to be a treatise on the birth of modern science, particularly as seen through the twin influences of Newton and Leibniz.

    If you're looking for a traditional narrative in the Baroque Cycle though, the second and third books definitely have their own standalone plot progressions that fit into the greater scheme of things. The Confusion is basically the swashbuckling adventures of Jack and Eliza, and The System of the World is a political/economic thriller pitting Waterhouse and Newton against Jack.

  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    I'm considering quitting Quicksilver. I just can NOT get into this thing. It feels like a random series of diversions and commentary on scientific progression and politics 300 years ago, with absolutely no coherent story to speak of. Am I just missing something?

    The Baroque Cycle was the most boring piece of shit in the history of uninteresting turds. I don't blame you for giving up.

    KqOm9Bt.jpg
  • DurrikenDurriken Registered User
    Right now it's Rise of The Wyrm Lord by Wayne Thomas Batson, part two in a trilogy I think. I started some four years ago and now, laughably, I'm finding time to actually finish it.

    Pray for the Lost; Rejoice for the Saved; Cry for the Damned.
    There are creatures out there who want your soul, creatures that are willing to rip away your husk of a body in order to obtain it. They hunger in darkness and hunt in blood. Will you be lost...saved...or damned? Your choice.
  • SomedudeSomedude Registered User new member
    Just picked up A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.
    Read some of it in High School, but now I think it's time that I gave it a fair chance.

  • badpoetbadpoet Registered User regular
    Blazing my way through Michael J. Sullivan's Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, and Heir of Novron. Saw Theft of Swords as a featured book on Google play, and thought I'd check it out. Bought it for the Nook. Bought the other two after the conclusion of the first book (each of the books is a compilation of two smaller books that Sullivan self-published before).

    They're a fast read. Characters are quite a bit like Fafhrd and Gray Mouser from Leiber, though the author claims to have never read any of those stories. Overall, I'd say they're B+ or A- grade fantasy books.

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