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Read any good books lately?


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I'm currently reading volume one of Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (in other words, the very first ninja turtles) and it is as entertaining as it is disturbing. If TMNT was as much a part of your childhood as it was of mine, then you should check it out. The quality of it is certainly questionable, but it is very interesting nonetheless.

 

You can read it online for free, over here.

 

I've never really bothered to check it out, but maybe I will.

Turtles certainly was a big part of my childhood.

 

I recently read Gun With Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem.

If you like hard boiled film noir detectives with some futuristic elements and a scientifically evolved Kangaroo, this is your book.

I first read about it in the library of Newcastle (Australia) and from the moment I saw the cover, I was sold.

gun-with-occasional-music.jpg

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I just read Anubis Gates (by Tim Powers) and King Solomon's Mines (Henry Rider Haggard).

Anubis Gates was a really great book and it surprised me actually how Powers managed to make everyhing in the story seem plausible. By mixing his fictious storyline with real historic facts and persons, the story just gets a lot more believable while some of the things that happen in the book are completely impossible.

 

I just bought a couple of other books by Powers and I'm certainly expecting great stuff after reading On Stranger Tides and Anubis Gates!

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Hey Lagomorph01 where did you find that book? It looks real interesting!

 

I found out about it going through a book of science fiction covers while waiting for a computer at the Newcastle Public Library.

 

When I got back home (The Netherlands) I just ordered it on bol.com (which is basically the dutch version of Amazon.com. You could probably get it from Amazon too.

I definitely recommend it, it's a good read!

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I just read Anubis Gates (by Tim Powers) and King Solomon's Mines (Henry Rider Haggard).

Anubis Gates was a really great book and it surprised me actually how Powers managed to make everyhing in the story seem plausible. By mixing his fictious storyline with real historic facts and persons, the story just gets a lot more believable while some of the things that happen in the book are completely impossible.

 

I just bought a couple of other books by Powers and I'm certainly expecting great stuff after reading On Stranger Tides and Anubis Gates!

The Anubis Gates has in my opinion, the best ending ever written.

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  • 2 months later...

Miami Blues by Charles Willeford is one of the best things ever written. Read it. Read it!

 

I'm currently reading The Black Dahlia, by James Ellroy. So far, I dig it.

 

What have you guys been reading?

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I just bought a couple of other books by Powers and I'm certainly expecting great stuff after reading On Stranger Tides and Anubis Gates!
Glad to hear you enjoyed The Anubis Gates. Keep us informed about how you like the others!
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  • 1 month later...

My copy of On Stranger Tides has finally arrived. I'm going to start reading it next week. Can't wait.

 

Also, ATMachine has been telling me a lot about this novel Captain Blood and mentioning how good it is. You can now read that for free.

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  • 2 months later...

Whacha readin'?

 

I read The Yiddish Policemen's Union. People should read it. It is good. Even if you don't know anything about Judaism (like me), it is still recommended.

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I recently read Graham Annable's Book of Grickle. I just love his work, and the book did not disappoint. Even though I'd already read some of the comics before in Further Grickle, I still think it was worth the purchase for the material I hadn't read yet (especially 'Decency' is very potent). And it's in hardcover too, so it looks good on your bookshelf!

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Wow, that gave me a small lump in my throat. How could something so simple be both thought-provoking and sad? It made me think of Hemingway's "The Killers", as well as go on a small philosophical detour in my head.

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  • 3 months later...

Just realized how douchey and pretentious my last post read. I kick myself in the face.

 

I went on a fantasy kick this month, starting with George RR Martin's A Game of Thrones, a dark fantasy novel written for adults - seriously, if you get squirmy from your heroes dying and complex plots, avoid this. There be incest, political intrigue, swearing. Alternatively, it's un-put-downable, especially in the last 400 pages or so. Up to you. Worth mentioning that the prose isn't exactly Herman Melville.

 

I then read Monstrous Regiment, by Terry Pratchett. I enjoyed it. I like to laugh. I laughed a lot.

 

Now, I'm on Fellowship of the Ring. It's very pleasant. Tonally, very different from the film. I like it so far.

 

What have you guys been reading?

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I should read more Terry Pratchett as I'm myself into laughing as well.

 

I've recently finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, which I've been trying to finish for years. Packed with delightful characters.

Also began reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, and it's nice to be able to finish a book in a day (twelve to go).

 

Lately I've been enjoying non-fiction and learned a lot by reading Here, There and Everywhere. Geoff Emerick's book on his recollection of having recorded The Beatles and working with them.

I'm currently waiting for the arrival of the next non-fiction book, Christian Dior's autobiography, because I'm such a fashionable person.

 

And what else... oh, yes, I recently began reading Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. I always loved James Bond, but so far this doesn't seem to be quite what I expected. I've read several pages and I'm yet wondering where are all the explosions and shooting and sex. Instead, it reads like some sort of RPG, in which you are presented with literal documents "...and Bond received a dossier and since I don't know what else to write about I'm going to show you page by page everything that dossier contains..... PAGE 1". **** you Fleming! show me the fancy cars already!

But no, it's actually interesting and more believable than most of the movies.

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I should read more Terry Pratchett as I'm myself into laughing as well.

I just read The Colour of Magic for the first time recently. The scenes with the characters being confused by modern technology and terms was a lot of fun. I really like his narrative style. It's one of the better books I've read in a long time. I don't know what took me so long to read it in the first place. ;) I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the Discworld series. :)

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And what else... oh, yes, I recently began reading Casino Royale by Ian Fleming. I always loved James Bond, but so far this doesn't seem to be quite what I expected. I've read several pages and I'm yet wondering where are all the explosions and shooting and sex. Instead, it reads like some sort of RPG, in which you are presented with literal documents "...and Bond received a dossier and since I don't know what else to write about I'm going to show you page by page everything that dossier contains..... PAGE 1". **** you Fleming! show me the fancy cars already!

But no, it's actually interesting and more believable than most of the movies.

 

In general the books are a lot more grounded than the films, but all of Casino Royale was in the film really, they just added to it. Dr No (the film) is probably the best example of actual Fleming, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

 

As for best books - From Russia With Love and Thunderball. Goldfinger's amazingly different from the film considering it was only the third film and Fleming was still alive. Oddjob's still in it though I believe.

 

Ones to avoid - Diamonds Are Forever and The Spy Who Loved Me. DAF is the only one I stopped reading because of boredom, and Fleming hated TSWLM so much he actually wrote in the film contract that if it was ever adapted the filmmakers were not allowed to use any of it!

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I've recently finished Crime and Punishment by Fido Dogstoevsky... oops, I mean Fyodor Dostoevsky. ;) A great book; even though it's rather hefty, it's a genuine page-turner, and I loved every moment of it. I'm now reading a collection of short stories by Tolstoy.

 

On the audio book front, I finished the 32-hour Don Quixote. On the one hand, I miss the blundering knight, but on the other, the story dragged a bit towards the end, I think Cervantes just couldn't bring himself to end it, until he finally did. The next audio book I'm listening to is Agatha Christie's collection of (mostly Poirot) short stories, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding.

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I've recently finished Crime and Punishment by Fido Dogstoevsky... oops, I mean Fyodor Dostoevsky. ;) A great book; even though it's rather hefty, it's a genuine page-turner, and I loved every moment of it. I'm now reading a collection of short stories by Tolstoy.

 

You have no frigging idea how much I want to read Dostoevsky's books, but I made a pledge to read every single book I own before I go for anything else. But ****, do I need to read The Idiot or Crime and Punishment. I crave them. I'm impulsive like that: one day I'll want to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, I'll go to the store, pick it up, go home, read it, put it on the shelf and think about it. Now I crave Crime and Punishment the same way.

 

Sadly, people kept giving me books for a few years - books were suddenly available and for cheap, and people knew I liked them - so now I have a stack of something like 140 novels I haven't read yet. :( I'll need 3 years to tackle all these.

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Drop whatever you're doing and go read Crime and Punishment! Although, I'm a lot like you, I want to first finish the books I have on the shelf before moving on to new ones. Right now I'm in a Russian phase, and I want to finish those books before moving back to Discworld or maybe Poirot books. That'll take a while though, I've still got three more books of Russian literature to go through in my boxed set, and then the 3 Dostoevsky books I bought because I liked Crime and Punishment so much (Poor Folk, The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov), and Diary of a Madman and other stories by Gogol. And I've got hundreds of books on my Amazon wish list...

 

Also, that's an impressive backlog you've got there, Kroms. I hope you'll manage to read through them some time soon! (Although reading shouldn't feel like a chore.)

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  • 2 months later...

Last books I bought:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Symbol-Dan-Brown/dp/0552149527/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295570242&sr=8-1

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phantoms-Brain-Human-Nature-Architecture/dp/1857028953/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1295570346&sr=1-1

 

and:

http://www.amazon.de/Man-Who-Mistook-Wife-Picador/dp/0330294911/ref=pd_sim_b_23

 

In German of course. ;) They´ve a little bit to do with the game Gray Matter. That´s why I bought them. And it´s very interesting, too!

But I´m not ready with an other book.

 

And I f...... must have the comic books of SWKOTOR! :) But it´s pity they´re not really BOOKS like the books of SW Republic Commando.

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Since my last post here I read a short story collection by Chekhov (in which Misery especially stood out for me; if you don't get chills after reading that, you don't have a heart) and Gorky's My Childhood, which is a wonderful retelling of the author's early years. I'm currently reading Quarantine by Maximov, not sure what to think of it yet; it looks like a Ulysses-style novel, in that the book goes beyond the story itself.

 

I also listened to Nabokov's Lolita read by Jeremy Irons. I'm amazed by the beautiful prose Nabokov produced, even though English wasn't his native language. The reading by Jeremy Irons is perfect as well. Another audiobook I've just finished is The Clocks by Agatha Christie. Perhaps not one of her better works, and Poirot has a rather minor role in it (which isn't necessarily bad), but I did enjoy the chapter where Poirot talks about his book collection, gives an insight into Christie's own sources of inspiration. Oh, and I listened to Cat Among the Pigeons as well (also by Christie, and also read by Hugh Fraser). Again a story where it tells that Poirot was almost added as an afterthought, due to publisher pressure. I know he's a popular character, but these books would have worked well without him too... oh well. :)

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I read The Fellowship of the Ring. I loved it, and I don't know why it took me so long. I'm currently reading A Confederacy of Dunces; again, loving it, and again, it's taking its time. I'm not sure why. One day I'll read 100 pages, and then it'll take me a month to get through 40.

 

Anyways, I really want to read A Clash of Kings next. I'm a really big fan of the first book, and with my holidays on the horizon (yeah, still on first term in this part of the world), I'll hopefully get a bit of reading done. 140 books won't read themselves!

 

(Although reading shouldn't feel like a chore.)

 

This happened. I'm trying to think of reading as an entertainment again.

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  • 8 months later...

So, let's revive this thread.

 

I recently finished reading the first five A Song of Ice and Fire books. I'm looking forward to reading the sixth, whenever it comes out.

 

You may have seen the first season of the HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones. While that's good, it loses so much of what makes the books so great. The small character moments, the backstory (which is just as good as the current plot), all the secondary characters you get to grow attached to.

 

The series is a large, sprawling story about a political struggle in a fantasy kingdom - but don't let that put you off. I'm not a big fan of fantasy, but these books aren't what you'd expect. No orcs or elves or anything like that. The writer seems to dispense with unnecessary tropes, and to quote him: "I've always agreed with William Faulkner—he said that the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about. I've always taken that as my guiding principle, and the rest is just set dressing. I mean, you can have a dragon, you can have a science fiction story set on a distant planet with aliens and starships, you can have a western about a gunslinger, or a mystery novel about a private eye, or even literary fiction—and ultimately you're still writing about the human heart in conflict with itself."

 

The books adhere to that.

 

One thing I greatly admire about the series is how fascinating it lets background characters become. Because of the way chapters are structured - told from different viewpoints (a chapter from Eddard's POV, another from Bran's, then back to Eddard, etc) - you get different perspectives on certain characters that change how you perceive things over time. Most characters are painted in shades of grey, even the ones that are seemingly one-dimensional at first. There are only two purely "good" or "evil" characters in the series, and you could make a case for one them being the way he is. (The other, as far as I can tell, is an insane sadist. Future books will tell.)

 

There are subtleties. A throwaway line in book 2 because a foreshadowing of events in book 3. A joke in book 3 hints at darker motives in book 5. It's great.

 

This review from an Amazon user sums up the series rather well.

 

For the interested, the books in the series are: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords (which should be taught in schools for how it so beautifully weaves character development with plot and a fast pace), A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons.

 

What about you? What books have you been reading?

Edited by Kroms
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