Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 426203 times)

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5725 on: September 05, 2019, 02:32:20 am »
"Raid 42", the fourth of Graham Hurley's "Wars Within" series of loosely-connected novels set in or near WW2.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5726 on: September 05, 2019, 09:11:05 am »
Naill Griffiths' latest Broken Ghost. It's grim out west. Perhaps not quite as grim as the portrayal in Grits or Sheepshagger, but I still don't imagine that the Aberystwyth Tourist Board will be jumping to endorse it.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5727 on: September 05, 2019, 09:46:57 am »
The Terror, by Dan Simmons, a fictionalised account of Franklin's attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage with HMS Terror and Erebus.  Enjoying it so far.
 I think shit's gonna get weird.  :thumbsup:

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5728 on: September 18, 2019, 03:10:52 am »
I just finished re-reading A People's History of the Inited States, by Howard Zinn. Definitely worth re-reading, if only to be reminded that the US never was a democracy, although we have made some progress toward becoming one. We've also regressed a fair bit from time to time, especially since November 2016.

I'm now reading Inferno, by Max Hastings, being his history of World War II. His description of the Finnish-Russian war shed some light on that corner of the conflict, and his description of Vichy French behavior and the whole collaboration thing was quite the eye-opener for me.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5729 on: September 18, 2019, 07:17:31 am »
A Tale Of Two Cities. My first Dickens novel. I found it in a little (Canadian-owned) bookshop in Paris, so I had to buy it. I understand that not all Dickens’ books are easy to read, but this one is going down very nicely.
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5730 on: September 18, 2019, 07:40:09 am »
We had A Tale Of Two Cities shoved at/in/up us at school for Junior Cert Eng Lit. I was 13 or 14 at the time and hated it. Fortunately it had been filmed a few years earlier - Dirk Bogarde as Cardboard Sid, and Saruman as the narsty aristo.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5731 on: September 18, 2019, 05:31:33 pm »
I had that one inflicted on me in audiobook form as a child.  From what I remember between vomiting[1] sessions, it was pretty good by Dickens standards.


[1] Back of car + audiobook + chain-smoking were a perfect storm as far as my stomach was concerned.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5732 on: September 18, 2019, 07:18:09 pm »
A Tale Of Two Cities. My first Dickens novel. I found it in a little (Canadian-owned) bookshop in Paris, so I had to buy it. I understand that not all Dickens’ books are easy to read, but this one is going down very nicely.
That was my first (and still my only) Dickens that I've chosen to read. (I'm sure I was force fed another one when younger, but all I remember is being thoroughly bamboozled by the scores of characters.)

Anyway, I thought Tale of Two Cities was brilliant. It had far more humour in it than I expected. It sort of inspired me to read lots more Dickens, I just haven't got round to it yet (too many other books in the pile).
Rust never sleeps

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5733 on: September 18, 2019, 07:40:37 pm »
I just finished re-reading A People's History of the Inited States, by Howard Zinn. Definitely worth re-reading, if only to be reminded that the US never was a democracy, although we have made some progress toward becoming one. We've also regressed a fair bit from time to time, especially since November 2016.

I'm now reading Inferno, by Max Hastings, being his history of World War II. His description of the Finnish-Russian war shed some light on that corner of the conflict, and his description of Vichy French behavior and the whole collaboration thing was quite the eye-opener for me.

The Penguin History of the USA is an interesting read, though disappointingly not told from the penguin's perspective. Once you get over that notable deficit, it's brain-achingly informative.

After diving the depths of the Amazon Kindle bargain bin, what I like to think of literary bog snorkelling, I just read Dark Matter so you don't have to. Another of those books the reviewers like but ian doesn't. Honestly, I'm at a variance with the reading world. Oh, it's another one of those books written as a movie pitch (oh, I know that's where the money is but it doesn't have to be so shittingly obvious).

The good stuff? It's written with words.

After that it's downhill. Dark Matter, oh you intriguing little minx of a title, beckoning me through the door and extracting my 99p. It's not about fucking DARK MATTER. It's about the multiverse, you know, every decision branches a universe, so what if. What if? Fortunately, no one has ever, ever contemplating writing on this subject before. But there's no dark matter to be found in the book which I suppose is suitably and empirically ironic. I'll give the author a point for that. I'll take it off for not understanding less about physics than my cat.

The plot is a straight road. There are no deviations, no turn offs, not even a piss break or mug of crappy diner coffee to put a stitch in the journey. There are no hitchhikers, no idiot overtakes. No evil bouncing tires. There's just the road. Straight to a destination that's obvious from the first page. Reviewers report they're thrilled by the twist. These are people who would probably shit themselves in surprise in discovering they have a belly button.

Characters that frankly are a poor use for the cardboard boxes that cats would have enjoyed sitting in far more. The lead is a theoretical physicist yet seems bafflingly dim. The dialogue is corny enough that Fray Bentos would put it in a can. Everyone is a bit stupid and a lot dull. No one has motivation, there's no ambiguity to any of the characters, and it's a book about multiverses, so you'd think it would be ripe for that. But no. The bad guys are bad. We're not told why. They're just there to be the bad guys. One character (I use the term advisedly) appears for a chapter or two, takes centre stage, and then simply disappears. Like she somehow found an escape route. I hate her for this because I felt duty-bound to stick it out to the end.

Pacyness seems achieved through the use of short sentences that lends a rather surreal Peter-and-Jane-ness to proceedings.
!nataS pihsroW

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5734 on: September 19, 2019, 10:56:23 am »
After that it's downhill. Dark Matter, oh you intriguing little minx of a title, beckoning me through the door and extracting my 99p. It's not about fucking DARK MATTER. It's about the multiverse, you know, every decision branches a universe, so what if. What if? Fortunately, no one has ever, ever contemplating writing on this subject before. But there's no dark matter to be found in the book which I suppose is suitably and empirically ironic. I'll give the author a point for that. I'll take it off for not understanding less about physics than my cat.

Fair enough. So far, nobody has found dark matter outside the book either.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5735 on: September 19, 2019, 11:13:10 am »
That was my joke (such as it was). Tough audience.

Anyway, glancing at the Amazon reviews ex post facto, I see the cover blurb quote came from the chap who wrote The Martian so I should have known. At least I got to the end (which I didn't with The Martian), which feels like some sort of achievement worthy of the 99p investment. But honestly, I feel like I've been forced to read someone's movie pitch. Seems the author is quite famous for something called Wayward Pines, which has skipped my attention.

In a similar trudge I'm trying to finish a book on Chernobyl which was OK when it was describing what went wrong but now seems to be describing the extended demise of the soviet system in real-time.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5736 on: September 19, 2019, 01:46:14 pm »
Parker Bilal's latest, "The Divinities". A major change, given his last several books have been set in Cairo, with a refugee Sudanese cop as protaganist.

This latest is a more conventional in that it's a London set police procedural. So far, so good.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5737 on: September 20, 2019, 03:03:10 am »
I just finished re-reading A People's History of the Inited States, by Howard Zinn. Definitely worth re-reading, if only to be reminded that the US never was a democracy, although we have made some progress toward becoming one. We've also regressed a fair bit from time to time, especially since November 2016.

I'm now reading Inferno, by Max Hastings, being his history of World War II. His description of the Finnish-Russian war shed some light on that corner of the conflict, and his description of Vichy French behavior and the whole collaboration thing was quite the eye-opener for me.

The Penguin History of the USA is an interesting read, though disappointingly not told from the penguin's perspective. Once you get over that notable deficit, it's brain-achingly informative.

Thanks, the Penguin History of the USA is now on my Amazon wish list.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5738 on: September 20, 2019, 06:12:13 am »

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5739 on: September 20, 2019, 10:30:09 am »
That was my joke (such as it was). Tough audience.

Yeah, I missed "ironic". I'd say it was due to speed-reading but it's more that my eyes zoom around all over the place unbidden when I'm reading anything these days. I blame Microsoft.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5740 on: September 23, 2019, 01:42:22 pm »
A Tale Of Two Cities. My first Dickens novel. I found it in a little (Canadian-owned) bookshop in Paris, so I had to buy it. I understand that not all Dickens’ books are easy to read, but this one is going down very nicely.
And finished.
It’s not the best of books, it’s not the worst of books.
In fact, it’s a far, far better book than I had ever expected.
L'enfer, c'est les autos.

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5741 on: September 23, 2019, 06:47:43 pm »
"Curtain Call" by Graham Hurley.  First of a series featuring one Enora Andressen (volume two was published last week).  In spite of the lead character's name it is not Scandi-noir, no, instead it sort-of revisits the universe of the author's Portsmouth-set and relentlessly grim Joe Faraday series.  Interesting enough to make me want to seek out "Sight Unseen".

Ms. Andressen, FWIW, is a French actress married to, but separated from, a Swedish film director.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5742 on: September 23, 2019, 07:17:50 pm »
I think you'll find that "Portsmouth-set and relentlessly grim" is a tautology. :demon:

Signed, a resident of said city.

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5743 on: October 01, 2019, 01:41:41 pm »
If you’ve not already read them, Jon Courtenay Grimwoods excellent “Assassini” trilogy is on offer at Amazon.  First volume is 99p


https://twitter.com/joncg/status/1179010251665883144?s=21
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fuzzy (retd.) AAGE

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5744 on: October 01, 2019, 11:01:54 pm »
I am reading an analog copy of Harry Harrison's "A Transatlantic Tunnel- Hurrah!"
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Steph

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5745 on: October 04, 2019, 08:22:49 am »
I am reading an analog copy of Harry Harrison's "A Transatlantic Tunnel- Hurrah!"

Coal-fuelled aircraft!
Mae angen arnaf i byw, a fe fydda'i

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5746 on: October 04, 2019, 09:09:32 am »
I am reading an analog copy of Harry Harrison's "A Transatlantic Tunnel- Hurrah!"

Joe Poyer wrote a rather good book called Tunnel War back in the 70s or 80s.  1910ish attempts to build Channel Tunnel got at by furriners.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5747 on: October 04, 2019, 10:49:33 am »
I am reading an analog copy of Harry Harrison's "A Transatlantic Tunnel- Hurrah!"

Coal-fuelled aircraft!

Good god, don't anyone tell Esther McVey.
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5748 on: October 04, 2019, 11:32:46 am »
The Power - Naomi Alderman.

It's a good book, but I'm struggling not to read Roxy in a USAnian-idea-of-a-BRITISH-accent, which is distracting.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

nicknack

  • Hornblower
Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #5749 on: October 05, 2019, 10:02:32 am »
If you’ve not already read them, Jon Courtenay Grimwoods excellent “Assassini” trilogy is on offer at Amazon.  First volume is 99p


https://twitter.com/joncg/status/1179010251665883144?s=21
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