Author Topic: Now reading  (Read 88014 times)

LNerell

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #100 on: August 13, 2008, 02:08:04 PM »
I'm currently reading Stay Off the Skyline by Laura Homan Lacey. A oral history book about the U.S. 6th Marine Division's invasion of Okinawa during WWII. My father was a part of that invasion, he never talked about it much and after now reading some of the book I can understand why. If he experienced half the stuff the survivors talk about in that book I'd probably want to forget it too. Not for the faint of heart.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #101 on: August 14, 2008, 10:25:46 AM »
Are there any Chuck Palahniuk experts or aficionados here?  I loved the film version of Fight Club but never read the novel, and I find myself unsure how I feel about Haunted

I do enjoy the energy and invention of it, and it's very "smart" and clever writing, but maybe to the point of being over-clever in a sometimes-irritating way.  Every detail is exaggerated and hyperreal, played up for "freak show" shock value.  There are no characters who are even remotely "normal" and so it's hard to relate to anybody, or anything that happens. 

I wonder if this book might not have greater impact for me if it seemed at least partly tethered in reality.  Fight Club had all these bizarre elements but, at least in the film, had a human element running through it, a connection to the "real" world.
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Hypnagogue

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #102 on: August 15, 2008, 06:20:27 AM »
I haven't read much Pahlaniuk, but I did enjoy "Lullaby," about a man who's hunting down a specific children's book that appears to have the ability to kill children.  Dark as hell, but engaging.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #103 on: August 27, 2008, 10:52:45 AM »
I finished Haunted and was sort of glad to be done with it.  It was full of energy and invention, but reading it felt like a too-long visit to a circus sideshow.

I'm now onto Tommyknockers by Stephen King, partly inspired by all the talk about Stephen King's bad movies elsewhere on this Forum.  I received this hardback as a gift way, way back when it was first released, and this is the point in Stephen King's career where I guess I gave up on him. I think I might have read the first few pages and given up, way back when I was in college.  Plus, I was deep into a stage of literary snobbery and I probably felt like I couldn't take a break from all the William Faulkner and and Virginia Woolf and William Carlos Williams and Doris Lessing, to give a week or two to my old buddy Stephen King.

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Antdude

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #104 on: August 27, 2008, 12:50:32 PM »
Just starting Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, the first volume in The Baroque Trilogy. Very, very dense stuff. I hope I can stick with it. Reminds me of when I read The Gulag Archipelago years ago. Made me wonder if I was biting off more than I could chew. Any other Stephenson fans here? I loved Snowcrash and The Diamond Age, but this is decidely different.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #105 on: August 27, 2008, 12:57:35 PM »
I loved Snowcrash too but whenever I've investigated Stephenson's subsequent works, I've ended up thinking "hmm, maybe this one isn't for me." 

His newest, Anathem, sounds really interesting to me (I'm a sucker for dystopian future stories) but I'm not sure I want to bite off a 1,000 page chunk of Stephenson at this point.
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drone on

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #106 on: August 31, 2008, 01:18:36 AM »
BUTTMAN magazine, volume 12 no. 7.  Some very interesting articles... ;-)

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #107 on: September 08, 2008, 07:18:30 AM »
Just started Michael Dahlie's debut novel, "A Gentleman's Guide to Graceful Living." Dry humor, crisp writing, and the first book to immediately engage me in quite a while.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2008, 10:03:15 AM »
I finished Tommyknockers last week, and enjoyed it a little, kind of, sort of.  I picture Stephen King writing through a haze of alcohol and cocaine, and I don't think I had this impression only because I've heard him say that it was around the time of this book that his family did their intervention.  Also alcohol is a big thing in the book, but more than that, the story is unfocused and goes off into boring digressions a few times.  It's less sharp than the best of Stephen King but fairly typical of King's weak mid-period.

But, I continued my Stephen King spree by starting Bag of Bones (audiobook version) this week.  This is a more recent book of King's, post-recovery, and it's much sharper.  So far the "horror" elements are very subdued, and the writing is pretty effective, straightforward and involving.

I'm also reading A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice, Anne Rice's son.  This is a book I bought when it came out and never got around to reading it.  The supernatural elements here are subdued compared to his mother's work, and it's a bit more of a high school drama, following four friends dealing with teen angst kind of stuff, but it's actually better than that description makes it sound.

I've also been reading a varied scattering of short fiction lately, such as Todd Chiang, Kelly Link, Nancy Kress, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and David Foster Wallace.  I started writing fiction again myself recently and so I've been inspired to sniff around a lot more short stories recently, different flavors from most of the short fiction I used to read (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Carver, obvious literary snooty stuff) when I was writing before.
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APK

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #109 on: September 19, 2008, 10:05:14 AM »

- Iain M. Banks: Matter  (not one of his best)
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Re: Now reading
« Reply #110 on: September 19, 2008, 10:08:33 AM »

- Iain M. Banks: Matter  (not one of his best)

Have you read "The Wasp Factory?"
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APK

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #111 on: September 19, 2008, 10:15:15 AM »
Yep, I pretty much read everything Banks writes, sci-fi and non-sci-fi.
Wasp Factory was one of his first, and quite remarkable.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #112 on: September 19, 2008, 10:19:10 AM »
I bought Wasp Factory years ago, started reading it and found it fascinating, but something happened and I stopped reading it.  You know, life intruded or something.  I've always meant to pick it back up, and just haven't yet.  I'll probably start again at the beginning, soon.
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Dave Michuda

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #113 on: September 19, 2008, 04:19:51 PM »
I'm about half way through Greg Bear's latest "City at the End of Time".  A difficult book so far.  Too many central characters & a confusing plot are making this a tough read.  But some of the ideas will keep me going to the end.  I hope the pay off is worth the struggle.

Next up...Anathem by Neal Stephenson.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 08:47:44 PM by Dave Michuda »

mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #114 on: September 19, 2008, 04:21:34 PM »
Cool, let us know about Anathem.  I'm curious about it.
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Bebbo

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2008, 05:06:04 AM »
I just finished Dan Simmons' Endymion which has spurred me on to get the last book of his Hyperion series. Now reading Stephen Fry's Making History, it's pretty good though full of Fry's observations and singular humour.

Planning to start on another travel book soon. Loved Michael Palin's Himalaya and River Dog by Neil Shand.

soma611

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #116 on: September 23, 2008, 08:23:07 AM »
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell

Wondering if I've ever enjoyed a book more.  This is a compilation of all of the author's work, all of it published, going way back, in The New Yorker.  All of the pieces included are character studies of eccentric folks in New York City. I'm thinking the first line of one of the blurbs on the book's back cover grabs it best ... A poetry of the actual, a song of the streets that casts a wide net and fearlessly embraces everything human ... 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2008, 09:43:49 AM by soma611 »

Hypnagogue

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #117 on: September 25, 2008, 09:21:16 AM »
Completely taken with Roddy Doyle's "Oh, Play That Thing." So much so that when I'm finished I am going to HAVE TO read the one that came before it, "A Star Called Henry." I've always liked Doyle (The Commitments, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors), and this book just flows with his crisp, beautifully honed prose. Very much recommended.

Enjoyed Dahlie's book, as I noted above, but when I got through it I had the sense that nothing really happened. Follow a semi-loser around, darkly humorous things happen but never seem to have any real consequence, and the book ends with him basically saying, Okay, things might probably get better from here.   Very flat overall, though still nicely written. I like Dahlie's voice and will give him a second chance next book 'round.
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Seren

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #118 on: October 30, 2008, 05:41:34 AM »
Iain M Banks - The Algebraist. Just picked it up on spec in the library.

Big book - in size and concept. Reminds in many wyays of the SF I read in my teenage years - galactic civilisations of 'Foundations' by Asimov and the Lensman series by E.E. Doc Smith.

I have to say I am very impressed, perhaps even humbled by the width and depth of imagination in the book - I assume he has built on the stuff written since my teenage years - but I have still found it an enjoyable and intriuging read - not sure where it's going to go next.....

what did you think of this one APK?

APK

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #119 on: October 30, 2008, 06:45:29 AM »
Seren
The Algebraist is indeed a good one.
Banks is great at just jumping you into expansive worlds, and doesn't
usually waste time with offering quasi-scientific explanations for everything.
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