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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1
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    What are you reading?

    Do people out there still read?

    I've been going fairly light for the last couple of months, giving myself a bit of time off the heavier stuff - been reading (and in some cases re-reading) the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov. It's a bit up and down in places but on the whole I've enjoyed it. I'm trying to read through a lot of the stuff that I've bought and never got around to reading, so now that I've finished I've picked up Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon. I know he died before it was finished and I've not really read too much that just ends, so no idea how I'll feel about that when I get there.

    Anyway, what have you been reading lately?

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    I have been reading mastery by robert greene, really great boo

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    What else is on? JSR-13's Avatar
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    Right now I'm reading "Black Boy" by Richard Wright. I believe Native Son was a required reading in HS, but I can't remember. "Black Boy" is a very vivid tale of life in the Jim Crow south. Only four chapters in, and he hasn't even made it past age 9 in the narrative yet, and he has already been through a lot.
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    I recently finished an old Victorian novel that I had lying around, by M.E. Braddon. Was quite good, but as is typical of a lot of stories from that period it finished with a pretty syrupy ending, so a bit of a let down at the end. Now I'm reading a Stephen King novel that I was bought for Christmas some years ago and that I just threw on the shelf and forgot about, called Duma Key.

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    Hey guys. I'm a newbie on the forums, although I've been reading LOP for around sixteen years now. If you guys like to read, check out A House of Badgers by J. David Myers, an ebook available on Amazon. It's a horror-suspense story set in an 1890s Midwestern town. Simply search the book and author and click the cover icon to get a free preview of the novel. After reading that, if it's not your thing, thanks for taking the time to look it up. Cheers!

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    So, reading a bit of nineteenth century stuff at the moment, including something Russian that I started but didn't finish during my undergraduate years. But looking to hit something a bit lighter next. Probably go more contemporary.

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    Been reading a lot of Pratchett lately, I always seem to read the Discworld series in random smatterings and never in anything that resembles an order. Not that you really need to, but still. Reading "The Truth" right now and it's quite promising.

    Pete, what Russian stuff are you tackling? I'm a big Dostoevsky man myself.

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    At the moment I am just over half way through Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov. It's basically the Russian superfluous man type figure manifest as someone who withdraws from society into total inertia.

    I have read a couple of Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment and Devils. Also have a copy of The Idiot on my shelf that I have been meaning to get around to at some point.

    Did a course on this stuff as a student and generally enjoyed most Russian stuff from this period. Ended with Tolstoy, but elsewhere I read some Chekhov which fit in well with some of it. Remember really liking Dead Souls by Gogol.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 09-12-2017 at 05:33 PM.

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    Yes! You are really speaking my language with some of that stuff. Also highly recommend Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I should read more Gogol, I really liked what I read from him but that was quite a while ago. For contemporary Russian, I really like Olga Grushin, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is one of my all time favorites.

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    I don't know anything that contemporary. My Russian knowledge comes to an end with Solzhenitsyn. But really he's an outlier and I don't know much after Chekhov at all.

    If I come across a copy of that one going reasonably I'll pick it up. Always good to branch out a bit.

  11. #11
    I'm going to go back and re-read Ready Player One. Great book, and soon to be a Spielberg movie, even though I wasn't sold on the trailer. If you're into the 80's at all, it's right up your alley.

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    Don't really know much about that. If it's going to be a film I'll probably see that when it comes out, going by the title anyway.

    Saw Pratchett mentioned a few posts up. I read The Colour of Magic last year. Can't say I know much more than that, but obviously some of the Discworld stuff has entered the popular imagination now - especially here in Britain where some of his stuff has been adapted for TV.

    Coming to the end of the two things I'm reading in the next couple of days so will need to choose what I'm going for next. I've been trying to read a lot of the books that I've bought but never got around to reading lately, rather than buying more, so it'll be something that's in the house already. It's just a case then of deciding what you're feeling like at the time.

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    I really enjoyed the Ready Player One book. It wasn't perfect but it was mostly very good fun. Tried to read the same author's next book, Armada, but didn't care for it much. Much less charming and the issues which seemed small in RP1 were magnified. Main character verging on Mary Sue, generally (and sometimes racially) stereotypical characters, difficult to swallow premise, half hearted character arcs. RP1 lived and died on the charm of its gimmick and it pulled it off really well in the end, but I don't think I'll be reading any more Ernest Cline.

    Finished "The Truth" but I'm still on a Pratchett kick, so I'm buzzing right through "the Last Hero" and will probably reread Good Omens next, since I've heard an adaptation is coming soon.

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    Is this thread just about novels and other fictional works? I rarely read any novels, and when I do they tend to be much more contemporary to what everyone's discussing here, so I'm really way out of my comfort zone here.

    If anyone wants to chip in with any non-fiction, I'd be glad to head what others have been reading so I can see what I can grab next. As for me, I've been finishing up Cal Newport's Deep Work, and I've enjoyed it. It's opened my eyes to a lot of things that were nagging at me when it comes to my work but couldn't really put a finger as to why I was being nagged by those things. It's been an interesting read for sure.

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    Not just for novels, no. That's mostly what I have been reading for a while now. But a couple of months ago I read a book about George Wallace and the origins of the new Conservatism. Interesting but heavy going. Got quite a few non-fiction things to get through but read a lot of heavy stuff for work and prefer something a little lighter when I am switched off.

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    I find it difficult to read these days due to mental health and lack of any kind of concentration.

    The last books I read were Slash and Dave mustaines autobiographys. Great books that give an insight into just how messed up the music industry is. Literally every other page they mentioned doing drugs. Obviously that's just the kind of people they were. Drugs don't necessarily make a great musician at all. But for whatever reason, they both did a shed load.

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    I don't read too much non-fiction, though I dig the occasional biography. I really enjoyed the ones on John Adams and Abe Lincoln that came out some years back.

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    Man On The Silver Mountain Steve's Avatar
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    That Mustaine book is really good. Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries is also a really engrossing read, even if you're not a fan. I'm a big biography guy, though, so take that as you will.

    I'm thinking about reading Gerald's Game again before the Netflix movie comes out in a week or two. Been years since I read it but I remember enjoying it.

    Much spoopy. Very creppy.

  19. #19
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    If anyone is/was a child of the 1980's, then I strongly suggest reading Ready Player One before the movie comes out. It is a fantastic book with non-stop video game, and pop culture references.

    The movie (based on the trailer) looks to update the pop culture references, but still be true to the idea of the book as Ernest Cline also wrote the screenplay.

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    Might be late to the party, but on the Pratchett points above, I definitely recommend The Fifth Elephant. The Sam Grimes stuff is my absolute favourite when it comes to Discword, and I thought Elephant read really cinematically and brilliantly. I really enjoyed Jingo too, actually. And I love, love, love the themes in The Hogfather. The line about human beings creating boredom in a universe as full of wonders as the one we live in sticks with me to this day.

    I've decided to get some Le Carré stuff under my belt recently, starting with The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. I might pick back up on We Can Remember It For You Wholesale too, with the new Electric Dreams adaptations of Philip Dick's work currently airing on C4 here in the UK.

    I had The Belgariad series recommended to me recently, because I was after a fantasy series that didn't consist of seventeen doorstops. Anyone read it?
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    Ah, just finished both Fifth Elephant and Hogfather recently! Both were great, top notch as the Discworld series goes.

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    I remember reading feet of clay and various others discworld novels.

    My absolute favourite though by pratchett was the carpet people. Not the longest of books but a very entertaining read. It literally is about people living in a carpet.

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    I don't really know much fantasy except for Tolkien, and the aforementioned The Colour of Magic. Oh, I guess I did read 2 of the Harry Potter books as well.

    Fully committed to something a bit lighter and more contemporary, and reading The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry. Started slowly but the advantage of this over some of the older, denser stuff is that I'm already 70 or so pages in so it's picking up. Don't really have too much of a slog to get into it.

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    Agree with 'Powder above in relation to Ready Player One, the narrative really got its claws sunk into me and Earnest Cline scuplted a really cool universe for the fiction to live in. I'm not so confident about the movie though, I'll reserve my full judgement until I've seen the movie but I suspect particularly the climax may end up with a little too much big CGI things fighting other fancy CGI things for my liking.

    Taking things a different tone I finished a fantastic Australian crime thriller called The Dry by Jane Harper. It is the story of a police officer who returns to his tiny home town in rural Australia after his former best friend murders his wife, son and then commits suicide..... or did he? Seriously though I can't remember another book that conveys the feeling of rural Australia better than this one. It nails the hyper senese of community in these tiny towns as well as the desperate isolation that comes with living in them. Apparently Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to make a movie, we'll see how that goes but in the meantime I'd recommend this book to anyone even if you only have a passing interest in crime fiction.

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    Finished The Hippopotamus. Was alright, but not great. Not in the same league as Moab is my Washpot. But yeah, now reading a short renaissance play as a palette cleanser. Not enjoying it very much but it's short so I'll push on and finish it. Will then come back to something a bit more contemporary, either a Victorian thing or something in the last fifty years and American.

  26. #26
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    Just finished Something Happened by Joseph Heller, the author of Catch 22. Catch 22 is one of my favorite books and I've enjoyed a lot of Heller's other stuff, but I'm not as sure about this one. I definitely felt like I got in the mind of the main character, a profoundly unhappy man, but the experience wasn't exactly pleasant as the book uses stream of consciousness and repetition to simulate the feeling of this guy's thoughts running out of control, and it becomes a bit of a jumble. The ending is also very sad and I'm still processing it. I definitely found it interesting but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. I've got another Heller waiting at home (God Knows, if I recall), but I might give him a rest in between and pick up something else.

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    I've actually read all the Heller novels. I kinda like Something Happened, but yeah, it's certainly not the most pleasant read. Definitely the most uncomfortable. God Knows is a lot easier going - less respected by the critics but more of a thought experiment.

    Have picked up Consider Phlebas next. Quite a long one so I'll probably be doing space opera sci-fi for a while.

  28. #28
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    Nice! Decided to dive right into God Knows and yeah, it seems like it's going to be more up my alley. Not that Something Happened wasn't, it was just a difficult read. What's your favorite of Heller's, Pete?

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    I mean, it's hard to look past Catch-22, but of the more interesting answers I think I like Picture This. Comes right after God Knows and has the same kind of ambition, perhaps even more.

    Generally I'd say that for me the list looks a bit like this, though with room for some movement.

    Catch-22
    Picture This
    Something Happened
    God Knows
    Good as Gold
    Closing Time
    Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

  30. #30
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    Picture This is one of the few I have yet to read. Of what I'd read, I think I'd go with this, though I also might shift a bit depending on the day:

    Catch-22
    Closing Time
    Good as Gold
    Something Happened
    Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man

    I really did enjoy Closing Time, possibly due to my overpowering love of Catch-22 and the character of Yossarian. What puts it near the bottom of your list?

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    I honestly thought it was a pale sequel, and a revisit for sales more than because it had anything pressing to say. Like trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice. In many ways Good as Gold is the better sequel to Catch-22, even though it is not actually a sequel.

    Picture This hugely divides opinion. You will either love it or think it's shit. Decent chance you could like it if you are going well with God Knows.

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    I've enjoyed ever Heller I've read so far, even though Portrait was a little tired and self indulgent I still had a really good time with it, so chances are I will like Picture This a lot whenever I get to it!

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    I liked all of them except the last two on my list, and I didnt actively dislike Closing Time, so I think there are a lot to be said for all the rest, whatever their individual merits/flaws.

    Still pushing on with the sci-fi. Finding Consider Phlebas more of a slog than I expected.

  34. #34
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    Finished with Heller for now and moved on to finally reading The Martian. Thought the movie was really good and so far the book is even better. I love protagonists who use logic to solve difficult issues, and it's a very smart and witty book.

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