Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 446619 times)

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #600 on: May 22, 2009, 11:30:56 am »
Coincidentally, D&OIP&L is next-but-one on my must-read pile. Should I be looking forward to it?

I think so, yes. I recommend that you read Hemingway's A Moveable Feast immediately afterwards too.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #601 on: May 23, 2009, 01:56:39 am »
Coincidentally, D&OIP&L is next-but-one on my must-read pile. Should I be looking forward to it?

d.


Having just finished it, I would say yes.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #602 on: May 23, 2009, 11:45:42 am »
Amazon have just delivered my copy of Death of Grass. It will be my reading material for my trip to Luxembourg next week.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #603 on: May 24, 2009, 05:50:47 pm »
"No Picnic on Mt. Kenya", the story of a group of Italian POW's who escape from a British POW camp during WWII, make a serious attempt on Mt. Kenya using home made equipment from materials scavenged from around the POW camp, and then return to the prison camp. Apparently they made it to the lower of the two summits at 16,300 ft.

Zoidburg

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #604 on: May 24, 2009, 06:24:01 pm »
"No Picnic on Mt. Kenya", the story of a group of Italian POW's who escape from a British POW camp during WWII, make a serious attempt on Mt. Kenya using home made equipment from materials scavenged from around the POW camp, and then return to the prison camp. Apparently they made it to the lower of the two summits at 16,300 ft.
Were they Alpini?

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #605 on: May 24, 2009, 07:27:15 pm »
Were they Alpini?

No, just a handful of ordinary prisoners who got fed up with prison camp life and put the whole thing together as a way to stay busy until the war ended. A former Alpini acted as an advisor during the planning stages, but he was disabled by leg injuries and unable to take part in the escape and climb.

mr endon

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #606 on: May 24, 2009, 07:30:41 pm »
The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience
by Francisco J Varela (Author), Evan Thompson (Author)
Yes, I'm deep.

mr endon

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #607 on: May 24, 2009, 07:32:59 pm »
Oh, and
 Lucid Dreaming: The Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep by Celia and McCreery Green (Author)
Deeper still.

mr endon

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #608 on: May 24, 2009, 07:34:45 pm »
I forgot to mention
Lights Out for the Territory: 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London
by Iain Sinclair.
Bit of light relief.

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #609 on: May 25, 2009, 10:54:52 am »
That is far from Ian Sinclair's best though IMHO. I reckon he's been going steadily downhill since Downriver and perhaps even since he stopped writing poetry...

I liked Varela's earlier work with Maturana... incidentally, I've just finished an interesting first contact sf novel by Peter Watts called Blindsight which is heavily based in contemporary evolutionary neurobiology. I found Roger Penrose hard enough, but he recommends a German philosopher called Thomas Metzinger's Being No-One as the toughest (but most important) thing he's ever read... that sounds like a challenge, but luckily Metzinger has just written a version for the lay reader (i.e. me!) called The EGO Tunnel, which I now have on order.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #610 on: May 28, 2009, 02:22:49 am »
Boy Racer by Mark Cavendish

I'm not normally one for autobiographies, especially not of 23-year-olds who are so clearly still in the early stages of both their life and their career, but a review copy was sent to the office so I picked it up to start reading on the train home tonight.

It has a slightly quirky structure - each chapter seems to be based loosely around a stage in last year's Tour de France, but the description of each stage is really just a starting point for a digression into anecdotes about his childhood. The hand of the ghost writer is all too visible.

Most of the personal reminiscences are pretty boring (he's not a likeable fellow and really hasn't done anything of interest outside cycling) but the racing itself is mostly well described and even pretty gripping in places - especially since it's all so recent and some of the action is still very fresh in my mind.

I'm not going to recommend you all rush out and buy it, but it's quite passable as a light read if you're interested in the tedious detail of the life of a professional cyclist.

d.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #611 on: May 29, 2009, 04:13:01 pm »
Mark Beaumont : The Man Who Cycled The World

Mark Beaumont Book
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ChrisO

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #612 on: May 30, 2009, 08:34:06 pm »
Finished A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil. Not impressed. Some funny scenes but...

Now reading Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr.

Only two short chapters in but liking it so far. Surprising because it was recommended by Mrs ChrisO and our literary tastes rarely converge from about the 1920s onwards.

Very Raymond Chandleresque but not so obvious as to be simply a copy.

Hummers

  • It is all about the taste.
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #613 on: May 30, 2009, 09:24:09 pm »
Just finished Darker Domain by Val McDermid. Had me gripped up to the last page even though I suspected how it might end.

Also just read Revelation by C. J. Samson and although I thought it got a bit tatty at the end, his portrayal of England in the 1500s was interesting and thought provoking.

H

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #614 on: June 07, 2009, 06:47:22 pm »
"The Rape of Nanking", by Iris Chang. Very grim reading, and the depiction of Japanese society in the early 20th century is really unsettling.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #615 on: June 07, 2009, 06:52:14 pm »
Oh, and
 Lucid Dreaming: The Paradox of Consciousness During Sleep by Celia and McCreery Green (Author)
Deeper still.

Lucid dreaming is great, the actual dreaming that is. I can't do it really much anymore because of the medication I'm taking.
But it's great having a certain control over your dreams, especially when it comes to flying and elevating.  :thumbsup:
Quote from: Marbeaux
Have given this a great deal of thought and decided not to contribute to any further Threads for the time being.
POTD. (decade) :thumbsup:

Zoidburg

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #616 on: June 07, 2009, 06:52:51 pm »
"Rant" by Chuck Palahniuk.

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #617 on: June 07, 2009, 07:30:45 pm »
Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling. Great stuff. It is remarkable how well the future society he depicts has held up (despite the fact that they all use tape! he wasn't always such a good 'futurist' as he claims to be now). What is interesting is how un-cyberpunk it all is and how traditional. Despite him being the chronicler of the sub-genre, it seems clear now that he didn't really start writing cyberpunk stuff until some time after people like Gibson and Shirley had set the course ahead... and to me Gibson's world of people living in the margins of an info-saturated characterised by species extinction, urban terrorism, failing tech and overcrowded arcologies still seems far more imminent.

Zoidburg

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #618 on: June 07, 2009, 07:46:23 pm »
Ballard.

He was the pioneer of near future distopia, before "cyberpunk" was even used as a name for it.

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #619 on: June 07, 2009, 08:11:42 pm »
Ballard.

He was the pioneer of near future distopia, before "cyberpunk" was even used as a name for it.

Ballard didn't really think of himself of a dystopian, nor was he 'cyberpunk' - inner space was his famous term for what he was interested in - the alienated psychology of modern society. He wasn't really that bothered about technological sociopolitics - the key characteristic of cyberpunk... He was, however, one of my favourite writers by some distance.

If you want some cyberpunk precursors, John Brunner is far more in a direct line. Vernor Vinge also famously came up with something like the Internet before Gibson.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #620 on: June 08, 2009, 10:14:03 am »
The Discovery of France - Graham Robb

A really interesting if dense book. Did you know for instance that in the middle of the 19th century only 50% of the French population had French as a first language ? Graham Robb has spent years cycling round France and is also a scholar of French subjects. The book doesn't really talk about his cycling but is a fascination account of how the modern state of France became what it is today. It's filled with details about the way of life in France in the past and reveals how many of our and the French's pre conceptions about their past and traditions are quite wrong. Recommended.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #621 on: June 13, 2009, 04:39:44 pm »
The Damned United.  No, I haven't seen the film, nor am I into football, but Cloughie was an interesting character. 
Never tell me the odds.

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #622 on: June 13, 2009, 04:41:04 pm »
The Damned United.  No, I haven't seen the film, nor am I into football, but Cloughie was an interesting character. 

and David Peace is a very good writer indeed. He's living in Japan now, and Tokyo Year Zero, the first book he's written there, is excellent.

Zoidburg

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #623 on: June 13, 2009, 05:07:41 pm »
"How To Be Good" by Nick Hornby

Which may end up being in the bin if it does not improve in the next ten pages.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #624 on: June 14, 2009, 03:30:22 pm »
"Being Good" by Nick Hornby

Which may end up being in the bin if it does not improve in the next ten pages.

If you've got past the words "Nick Hornby" on the cover, you've got further than I'd ever have got before it ended up in the bin.

d.