Author Topic: Now Reading, pt 2  (Read 13963 times)

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6914
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2013, 10:11:02 AM »
Chris, thanks for your review of I, Lucifer. I really loved Duncan's The Last Werewolf, and wondered about his earlier books.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #81 on: July 16, 2013, 04:47:24 PM »
I read the Amazon summary of The Last Werewolf and it sounds similar in spirit to I, Lucifer. You might enjoy it.

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
This is an unusual novel. It reminds me a bit of a modern day The Catcher in the Rye, written from a woman's perspective. Sheila, the author and main character, is a young writer living in Toronto. She lacks direction and is on a quest to understand how a person should be--how should we measure a person's life, to what ideals a person should strive, and how to find meaning in one's pursuits. In many ways, the novel reads like a memoir (it is written in the first-person and, as far as I can discern, the characters are her real friends). I'm not sure if I would recommend it to a broad audience; this novel won't appeal to someone who is seeking a story with a well constructed and thoughtful plot. But this novel is likely to appeal to people who have struggled at some point to find meaning in their art, who like the idea of seeking the heroic in the mundane, or who have struggled with the fine line between passion and friendship.

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #82 on: July 17, 2013, 12:27:16 AM »
The Android's Dream - John Scalzi.

Sci Fi with an interesting level of humour and insight as well as a good number of twists and turns in the story.

I liked the refernce to the 'Nugentians', the cult that follows the teachings of Ted Nugent, 'The Bowhunter', in a world where most people eat 'lab grown meat'.....

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2013, 01:02:18 AM »
currently reading both Behold the Man and Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock.

Not read these in years and forgotten how surreal Moorcock's writing can be.

Behold the Man - guy travels back in time to witness the crucifixion, discovers Christ is unable to do the things written in the bible so the guy acts out his memory of the stories so they can be written.
   I'd forgotten how unlikeable the main character is - not nasty, just unlikeable - it puts a strange edge on the story (if the story was not strange enough)....


Dancers at the End of Time Even stranger story of the last surviving group of human beings way, way, way into the future. Unlimited energy available so they spend their time recreating reality to suit their whims (changing sex, landscapes, morning to night etc etc). Somehow Moorcock writes it so that they are both decadent and innocent. It is hard to tell where 'morality' lies if ethics are irrelevant. Full of human emotion and experience, but not like we have them.....

El culto

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 347
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #84 on: July 27, 2013, 04:21:50 PM »

Antdude

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
  • Punch and Pie
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #85 on: August 02, 2013, 02:20:43 AM »
This will be old news to many, I'm sure, but I have recently discovered the Shock Totem series of horror and macabre tales on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Shock-Totem-Curious-Macabre-Twisted/dp/1448621747/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375433960&sr=8-2&keywords=shock+totem

They are available as paperbacks or e-books(my preferred format) and are a perfectly twisted and evil series of short story collections by some well-known authors as well as lots of lesser-known and sick new voices in horror. There are also interviews with various authors in each issue as well.

If you're looking for a break from the 500-page opus, or something to fill the time on the throne, I have found this to be a great series of fun, bizarre stories with something for everyone. From "The Music Box" to "The Dead March" to "Thirty-Two Scenes from a Dead Hooker's Mouth", there is everything from whimsical to seriously creepy to unmentionably horrific. And there's even a Holiday Issue.
I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.

petekelly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 570
    • View Profile
    • LuminaSounds
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2013, 03:33:14 AM »
'Walden' by Henry Thoreau. Pretty heavy going but the content is worth it.

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6914
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #87 on: August 02, 2013, 11:36:07 AM »
This will be old news to many, I'm sure, but I have recently discovered the Shock Totem series of horror and macabre tales on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Shock-Totem-Curious-Macabre-Twisted/dp/1448621747/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375433960&sr=8-2&keywords=shock+totem

They are available as paperbacks or e-books(my preferred format) and are a perfectly twisted and evil series of short story collections by some well-known authors as well as lots of lesser-known and sick new voices in horror. There are also interviews with various authors in each issue as well.

If you're looking for a break from the 500-page opus, or something to fill the time on the throne, I have found this to be a great series of fun, bizarre stories with something for everyone. From "The Music Box" to "The Dead March" to "Thirty-Two Scenes from a Dead Hooker's Mouth", there is everything from whimsical to seriously creepy to unmentionably horrific. And there's even a Holiday Issue.



I really like Shock Totem too. I've purchased every issue so far. My friend Damien has a story in the 7th issue, which comes out this week.

It's nice to hear about people still reading and enjoying short fiction!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Antdude

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
  • Punch and Pie
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #88 on: August 02, 2013, 05:26:05 PM »
I really like Shock Totem too. I've purchased every issue so far. My friend Damien has a story in the 7th issue, which comes out this week.

It's nice to hear about people still reading and enjoying short fiction!

I've read the first three already and loved every one of them. It's kind of re-vitalizing my enjoyment of reading, taking a break from all the giant, multi-volume tomes I've been plowing through. I think I'll just read through all of these and enjoy the brief glimpses into the bizarre that these writers are giving us.

From the Issue 7 Blurb:

The legendary William F. Nolan offers up “The Horror That Et My Pap—and Other Swamp Stuff,” a tale the likes of which you have never read before. S. Clayton Rhodes delivers “The Gates of Emile Plimpkin: The Gravedigger’s Legacy,” a novelette that veritably oozes horror borne of the 1800s. Damien Angelica Grintalis (formerly Damien Walters Grintalis) gives us the heartbreaking “Shall I Whisper to You of Moonlight, of Sorrow, of Pieces of Us?” And M. Bennardo supplies this issue’s creature-feature with “Thing In a Bag.”

Enjoy the creepshow.
I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.

Dave Michuda

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
    • View Profile
    • Low Light Mixes
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #89 on: August 13, 2013, 08:02:41 PM »
I'm in the middle of two good books at once.



One is the audio version of Neil Gaiman's "the Ocean at the End of the Lane."  This is the first Gaiman novel I've read/listened to and I like it a lot.  A thoughtful fairytale about a seven year old boy who discovers some supernatural secrets about his neighbors down the lane.  One review put it perfectly describing the book as "poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening."  As I said I'm l;istenign to the audio version which is read by Gaiman himself which is excellent because I love his voice.





The other book is "The Darwin Elevator" by Jason M. Hough.  Set about 200 hundred years in the future it has lots of action, mysterious aliens, a virus that turns humans into subhumans(zombie-like) and of course a space elevator.  This is the first of a three part series & so far so good.  I found the book via John Scalzi's blog.  Here's a link to the post... http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/08/01/the-big-idea-jason-m-hough/

mgriffin

  • Hypnos Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6914
  • Life is a memory, and then it is nothing.
    • View Profile
    • www.hypnos.com
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #90 on: August 14, 2013, 07:52:41 AM »
I found a signed copy of the new Gaiman book in a tiny shop on the Oregon coast, so picked up a copy of that. It seems weird to imagine Neil Gaiman going through Lincoln City, so I just had to grab it. Anyway, I've heard nothing but good things about this one.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #91 on: August 15, 2013, 03:14:49 PM »
Salt, Sugar, Fat - Michael Moss
Nonfiction. This book presents a history of the processed food industry, with an in-depth look at how foods are made, how the industry has evolved over time, how regulation and public pressure has affected it, and the science of processed food. I thought that this book would be one of those books that is designed to scare you away from eating processed food. But, it isn't (at least not on the surface). It is a quite thoughtful and balanced and has as much to say about consumer psychology as it does the food industry itself. The coolest part of it, in my opinion, is the discussion of how food scientists go about determining what they call the "bliss point" of a product--the threshold at which the amount of sugar maximizes people's positive impressions of a product.

My wife is reading the new Gaiman book. I'm eager to hear what she thinks of it.

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #92 on: August 26, 2013, 05:29:16 PM »
The Innocent: A Novel - David Baldacci
Finished this one recently. Baldacci has a talent for writing fast-paced thrillers that don't make you want to roll your eyes. This one tells the story of Will Robie, an assassin working with the U.S. government, who is being hunted for reasons he has yet to uncover. What stands out about this novel is that the set of events that set everything in motion are really quite simple. But, when you don't have the benefit of seeing how it happens, sorting through the resulting complexities is quite difficult. I appreciate it when the premise of a novel is actually simple because I think authors sometimes assume that complex outcomes must derive from complex causes. 

I'm currently reading the next in the series, The Hit. Also a good Will Robie story (so far). He is charged with assassinating another assassin.  That's a whole lot of scopes and rifles!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 10:38:53 AM by chris23 »

Dave Michuda

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
    • View Profile
    • Low Light Mixes
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #93 on: September 04, 2013, 06:15:47 AM »


Just Finished "Jennifer Government" by Max Barry.  A fast-moving, creative book that was definitely a quick, fun read.  American corporations rule the world and People take names of the corps they work for such as John Nike, Halley McDonald's, Billy NRA.  Jennifer Government works for the government and wants to go after Nike for some crimes but can't do it without outside funding.

I just started another Max Barry book - "Lexicon."  So far so good.

Seren

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2013, 08:41:11 AM »


Loooong time since I read this. is 220,000 words longer than previous pressings as publishers wanted a lot of contentious content cut.

It was fun reading it with older eyes, perhaps learning more about how much I have changed (I was only 15 or so at the time) and the mind of the author than anything else.

Apparently he was writing it from about 1949 to 1960 - not sure it would be such an'influential' book if published now, seems very nieve in many ways.

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #95 on: September 04, 2013, 04:39:24 PM »

I just started another Max Barry book - "Lexicon."  So far so good.

Just started this too! Eager to hear your thoughts when you're done.

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #96 on: September 18, 2013, 06:10:24 PM »
Finished Lexicon, by Max Barry. Excellent novel. The basic premise is that there is a secret organization of linguists (or modern "wizards") who have uncovered ways of manipulating language in order to bypass people's normal psychological defenses and, thereby, control their behavior.  The story is focused on one girl, Emily, who is recruited into the organization and, depending on which characters you identify with, either loses her way or transcends the organization. The narrative structure is quite clever (I wont' reveal the details). The only downside for me was that the "magic" of the world requires too many sky-hooks (just take the author's word for it kind-of-stuff). In addition, many of the themes reminded me of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash--maybe too much so. Recommended, nonetheless.


Dave Michuda

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
    • View Profile
    • Low Light Mixes
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #97 on: September 19, 2013, 05:31:21 PM »
Literally just finished "Lexicon" this morning.  I really enjoyed it.  I agree on the structure, definitely kept me on my toes.

Having read two Max Barry novel's, and liking both, I will definitely check out some of his other work.

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #98 on: September 28, 2013, 06:42:04 PM »
Recent reads:

Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
A classic in the mystery genre. One of my favorites as a kid and one that I revisit every once in a while. Ten individuals from different walks of life are invited by a mysterious host to an island. One by one, each of the ten is murdered. No one other than the ten were present on the island. Clever, suspenseful, and quite terrifying at times.

Daniel Quinn - Ishmael
This was a gift from a friend. Pretty interesting philosophical novel in which Ishmael, a wise gorilla who can communicate telepathically with people, explains to a human student the mythologies that people construct about the world, their place in it, and the inevitable conclusion to the myth that that many civilized societies live by. This novel feels a bit preachy in places, but there are some profound passages that make it worth a careful read.   
« Last Edit: October 15, 2013, 06:39:35 PM by chris23 »

chris23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 411
    • View Profile
    • bandcamp profile
Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #99 on: October 15, 2013, 06:38:50 PM »
Dave Eggers - The Circle
Fiction. The Circle is a Bay Area tech firm modeled after Google and Facebook--a company that is increasingly focused on making the private public as a way of enhancing social relationships, reducing crime, and facilitating transparency. The novel focuses on a young woman, Mae, who lands a job at The Circle and slowly becomes involved in its ethos. Mae eventually becomes an Internet celebrity and the "face" of the company, but at the expense of her relationships with parents and friends.

This is a pretty good read. In many respects it feels like an Orwellian 1984 for the Social Media Age, but one in which we are Big Brother. This particular story hit me pretty hard because I'm someone who can see the benefits of social media, but am reluctant to auction off my privacy. The book does a nice job at capturing that tension without being overly preachy. Eggers clearly has an opinion on these matters, but actually reserves his most sophisticated writing for the monologues of the anti-privacy advocates.