jayseven

General Book Thread

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We get the occasional thread about books that never lasts long enough to get going, or rarely demands resurrecting.

 

Please use this thread for your general book comments. I hope.

 

Since I started work I've had a whole lot less time to do as I please, yet I've begun to read a hell of a lot more. I have a book for my train journeys called Shantaram, a 900-page epic that I'm not even half-way through yet and already it's been spell-binding and mind-opening. It's about an australian who has arrived in early 80's Bombay after escaping an Australian Jail, who falls in love with the city and its people. It is relentless, descriptive, engaging and optimistic.

 

At night I tend to read The Corner before bed time (dan-likes-trees got the book too, or showed an interest, right?). It's from the writers behind The Wire, again set in Baltimore, centered around a couple of streets. it is more expansive than its sister show because there's a heavy political undertone; there are frequent essays into how the drug-fuelled culture is an impossible beast to tame, while at the same time there are believable lives played before the reader.

 

To leave a few general questions for you - and don't feel you have to reply to any or all at once - Are you reading currently? Do you have a typical type of book? Do you buy books or borrow from the library? What was the last book you read? What is your favourite book? When do you read?

 

And so on. Don't all rush at once.

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Not gonna help my geeky persona but ive been reading the Deep Space Nine season 8 books recently, got through Avatar 1 and 2 pretty quickly which are a nice reintroduction to that universe and im now onto the third book in the series.

 

I was also planning on buying the novel version of Battle Royale today but it doesnt look like its been converted for Kindle yet so im going to wait.

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Currently reading another Jack Reacher (author - Lee Child) novel titled 61 Hours. It slots into the rest of the series like any other, I'm surprised how any writer can keep up with uniformity in their books to such an extent. You can join the series at any stage, there's obviously chronology in the events, but each time there's a new plot and very little, if any hint of continuity. Each one offers a little more history about Reacher though, who's a fairly mysterious, justice-fuelled character

 

They're not going to open your eyes to much, but what it does offer is an entertaining and, in places funny, tension ratcheting thriller. I think what's refreshing about these books is that the protagonist is an absolute tank, and you always know he'll come up with some bat-shit manoeuvre to get out of trouble, or put others in it.

Edited by dwarf

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A book?! Pffft, modern technology.

 

I'll take a good cave painting over a book any day.

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I'm currently waiting for Michael Crichton's last novel. It's due out this year. I know it isn't entirely written by him, but the way he works means that everything is already planned out and the publisher is taking their time with fining the write ghost writer to put his notes into words.

 

I've read loads of his books (many of which have been turned into rubbish films, with the exception of Jurassic Park) and absolutely love the style of his writing, and all the (sometimes fake, sometimes real, sometimes a mix) science in them. I should find another author who writes in a similar style.

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Dwarf; plenty of good writers do it. Ian Bank's Culture series has been written over, what, 20+ years? Each one is fairly distinct, hefty and tomelike, yet they all exist within a given environment. I'd argue that most serial stories are indeed digestable in unordered segments - but of course best enjoyed chronologically.

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Yeah, my point is made in broad terms, I find myself wondering how all authors do it. I guess they have to find a way; it's their income.

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I guess it's the mark of a truly good author :) Many are unable to carry the strength from one book to another. None are willing to share their secret :P Fleming and Doyle both hated the character they'd created because they felt compelled to write storylines fitting them. Banks had an arsenal that consisted of several universes that meant that he could, relatively speaking, easily write whatever teh fuck he wanted. But I think the secret is that the author has to enjoy writing, that he has to be describing a world he deeply understands, rather than simply spend their time attempting to make a buck.

 

Mind you, I'm sure some authors have a bit of both worlds.

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I guess it's the mark of a truly good author :) Many are unable to carry the strength from one book to another. None are willing to share their secret :P Fleming and Doyle both hated the character they'd created because they felt compelled to write storylines fitting them. Banks had an arsenal that consisted of several universes that meant that he could, relatively speaking, easily write whatever teh fuck he wanted. But I think the secret is that the author has to enjoy writing, that he has to be describing a world he deeply understands, rather than simply spend their time attempting to make a buck.

 

Mind you, I'm sure some authors have a bit of both worlds.

Youuuu sexist.

 

Writing about what you know/feel is the most important objective to set yourself, I mean it's worked out well for my best-selling novels anyway.

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I wish I read books more. I power through them when I'm in the mood, but that's so rarely. I have The Waves by V. Woolf sitting on my shelf, staring at me. I've started that twice and failed already though.

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Anyone got good dystopia novel recommendations? Apocalyptic/survivalist type I guess, but I'll keep it vague. Anything fantasy really that follows someone on a lonely journey also.

 

Because it's more interesting than if my life were to be put in a book.

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I love a good book, and, as such, my Amazon Kindle is arguably my most prized possession, and favourite Christmas present ever.

 

If anyone wants a good read, I recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. About as amusing as living in Nazi Germany gets without straying into 'Allo, 'Allo! territory.

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Anyone got good dystopia novel recommendations? Apocalyptic/survivalist type I guess, but I'll keep it vague. Anything fantasy really that follows someone on a lonely journey also.

 

Well, I don't know anything apocalyptic/survivalist but I do know two dystopia novels:

 

The classic, of course, Brave New World. One of my all time favourite books.

 

And then there is Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. It's not really a dystopia novel but it's similar to one.

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I too feel that I don't read often enough. I've been told that autobiographies don't really count either! ;)

 

The last book I probably read was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, the story of a boy (told from his perspective) with 'autism', who sets out, with his pet rat, to investigate the murder of his neighbours dog. Because of his condition he shows no emotion to events he comes across throughout which makes for a really interesting take on a story. That and you're always worried he's going to sit on his pet rat that he carries around in his pocket! :p

 

Oh wait, I also read The Long Way Round, the story of Ewan Mcgregor and Charlie Boormans motorcycle journey around the world, which just appeals to me in every sense!

Edited by Retro_Link

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I've just started reading Submarine, because I loved the film so much. It's good. :)

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I've been trying to finish Norwegian Wood for a while, but all these pesky novels I have to read for school keep popping up.

 

The Woman Who walked Into Doors: Found it boring to read, it got its point across and all (domestic violence is bad mkay) but it got really repetitive.

 

Q&A (also known as Slumdog Millionaire): A decent read, got a few chuckles out of me, but found it a bit too formulaic trough the whole thing.

 

Independent People: By far one of the better novels I've read, its a mocking take on the conservative ideals in the early 20th century Iceland.

Interesting, funny and a very harsh take on the farming community.

 

And a whole bunch of short stories I can't be bothered to mention.

 

I

If anyone wants a good read, I recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. About as amusing as living in Nazi Germany gets without straying into 'Allo, 'Allo! territory.

 

Second that, it mixed tragedy and comedy in just the right way.

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I love books and literature, but for some reason I suck at actually sitting down and reading. :blank: I don't know if it's my attention span that's lacking or what it is, but it's really annoying. I have so many books I want to read, but I worry I might never get my arse in gear to get them read.

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The last book I probably read was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, the story of a boy (told from his perspective) with 'autism', who sets out, with his pet rat, to investigate the murder of his neighbours dog. Because of his condition he shows no emotion to events he comes across throughout which makes for a really interesting take on a story. That and you're always worried he's going to sit on his pet rat that he carries around in his pocket! :p

I read that a few years ago. Outstanding book, very refreshing read. I loved how he included little diagrams and doodles. I love reading books with interesting narratives, especially when they're not done just for the sake of being different. Fight Club was also great for this reason (amongst many).

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I rather liked the narrative of The Time Traveller's Wife- though not that unusual, the take on time travel was cool.

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Good Thread. :)

 

Since I've just got back into reading. Haven't had much time recently like in the last two days to read since I have assignments due in but I will get down to it once I have them complete. :D

 

The Road was okay, I was expecting more if I'm honest.

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Anyone got good dystopia novel recommendations? Apocalyptic/survivalist type I guess, but I'll keep it vague. Anything fantasy really that follows someone on a lonely journey also.

 

Because it's more interesting than if my life were to be put in a book.

 

The Handmaid's Tale might be worth a look if you're after more general dystopian than apocalyptic/survivalist as such.

 

Though if you haven't read it, 1984.

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Good Thread. :)

 

Since I've just got back into reading. Haven't had much time recently like in the last two days to read since I have assignments due in but I will get down to it once I have them complete. :D

 

The Road was okay, I was expecting more if I'm honest.

 

McCarthy is...minimalist. His real skill is in using very little to express a lot of emotion and merely hinting at the full extent of what he's getting at. It really works for me but I can see why it would leave a lot of people cold.

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I've just started reading Submarine, because I loved the film so much. It's good. :)

I just read this last week, but I've yet to see the film. Might try and watch it tonight - sounds like it might actually be better than the book. As for the novel, I quite liked how the sense of progression in the protagonist's maturity was indicated by the writing style - by the end he seemed like a real writer with flashes of immaturity, which contrasted quite sharply with the stark and slightly odd initial style. Although I thought this early style was less convincing. And while the plotting worked well at the start, it fell apart a bit towards the end.

 

Before that, I read Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog, which is the fourth in a series about a private detective (I've read the others too). She writes very well, with lots of astute and sometimes quirky observations (e.g. describing polystyrene chips as "albino quavers"), but I have to say I'm getting annoyed with her overly intricate plots filled with slightly clumsy parallels. Not that I dislike intricacy, it just has to be done well...

 

Talking of which, a while before that I read David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, which was stunning as expected. The confidence he uses in driving the dialogue-driven story to unexpected places without any sense of the author's hand driving things is just awe-inspiring. As is his ability to create hundreds of believable characters, and to conjure up the atomsphere of a dystopian future in a historical setting.

 

And it's maybe not entirely relevant, but I've been reading more of e.e. cummings, one of my favourite poets, recently. I love this poem even though I fundamentally disagree with it (it might be fun to write a reply, actually):

 

pity this busy monster,manunkind,

not.  Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victum(death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
-electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange;lenses extend

unwish through curving wherewhen until unwish
returns on its unself.
		          A world of made
is not a world of born-pity poor flesh

and trees,poor stars and stones,but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence.  We doctors know

a hopeless case if-listen:there's a hell
of a good universe next door;let's go

 

Sadly though, I don't get nearly enough time to read fiction as I'd like - above are most of the novels I've read since summer.

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I'm currently enjoying The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and the universe is well thought-of and quite detailed and yet keeps to how the average person would sound and think, all in the perspective of Sookie.

 

I'm on the fifth book, Dead as a Doornail, and at the moment, the best one is Dead to the World in my opinion. I'm looking forward to reading the rest and buying the eleventh one. After that, I have Karl Pilkington's diaries from An Idiot Abroad to read. I can't wait.

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