Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 480195 times)

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #150 on: August 12, 2008, 10:42:50 am »
I've just read Brave New World for the first time since I was at skool.

It's crap :(

Are you kidding?  ??? It is just about the most brilliantly written and perceptive dystopia ever. Far better than Nineteen Eighty-Four

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #151 on: August 12, 2008, 10:46:04 am »
Currently half way through Ken Mcleod's "Night Sessions". So far, so good.

I've just read The Execution Channel, which I found slightly disappointing... I was hoping he'd done a Spook Country, but the politics never really seemed more than a tokenistic and exploitative backdrop. He's just never quite managed to write a book that is brilliant throughout IMHO - it has the air of too many good ideas which don't really work together forced into a book.

Elleigh

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #152 on: August 12, 2008, 02:26:38 pm »
I'm now reading 'From University to Uni' A very interesting read about the political agenda and policy shifts in higher education.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #153 on: August 12, 2008, 02:29:42 pm »
IBM & The Holocaust

Enigma

alchemy

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #154 on: August 12, 2008, 02:33:12 pm »
Far better than Nineteen Eighty-Four


Well if Nineteen Eighty Four is anything like Animal Farm and The Road to Wigan Pier than I'd rather read the back of a cereal packet.

After reading them I couldn't (and still can't) understand why Orwells' books are held in such high regard

αdαmsκι

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #155 on: August 12, 2008, 02:51:37 pm »
Small Wars Permitting by Christina Lamb recounts the foreign correspondents trips across the world during the last 20 years.  It starts out in Pakistan talking about the coming to power of Benazir Bhutto in 1988, before the authors heads off to Latin America, South Africa, the Middle East and currently she's living in Portugal.  The book is partly made up of Lamb's articles publishes in a variety of newspapers and then her own thoughts and feelings about her experiences.  It's interesting reading about events with the knowledge of hindsight and seeing how events have unfolded in, for example, Pakistan. 
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #156 on: August 12, 2008, 05:49:33 pm »
Currently half way through Ken Mcleod's "Night Sessions". So far, so good.

I've just read The Execution Channel, which I found slightly disappointing... I was hoping he'd done a Spook Country, but the politics never really seemed more than a tokenistic and exploitative backdrop. He's just never quite managed to write a book that is brilliant throughout IMHO - it has the air of too many good ideas which don't really work together forced into a book.

He paints a depressingly plausible vision of near future Britain though.  I really disliked the ending as well. 

Night Sessions has quite a bit in common with Charles Stross's "Halting State", a police procedural in near future Scotland, I suspect they've been bouncing ideas of each other in the pub!
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #157 on: August 12, 2008, 08:38:30 pm »
My Name is Legion by A.N. Wilson....
Who only by moving can balance, only by balancing move....

redshift

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #158 on: August 12, 2008, 09:22:59 pm »
Far better than Nineteen Eighty-Four


Well if Nineteen Eighty Four is anything like Animal Farm and The Road to Wigan Pier than I'd rather read the back of a cereal packet.

After reading them I couldn't (and still can't) understand why Orwells' books are held in such high regard

You and me both.  I read the deconstruction of Hardy a few pages back with a disbelieving stare too.  Most 'classics' leave me cold.  Then again, I read Woolf's Orlando a few years ago and found the prose poetry fantastic.
L
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #159 on: August 19, 2008, 11:23:20 pm »
I always wonder if a certain amount of literary merit isn't in fact context dependent ie depends on what else's about (a bit like a ballad winning at Eurovision when it was mostly pop and vice versa, not that I've watched eurovision since 1982)

___________________________(you did say bookS)
I have finished in the last month:
Nella Last's war (one of the mass observation diaries)
Sepulchre (Kate Mosse, not as good as Labyrinth as plot too similar so novelty wasn't there)
the Hinge factor (what if Marshall Ney had spiked the guns at Waterloo etc)
Chernobyl Strawberries
the Fixer (I think quite well known when it first came out)
and countless light reads that I almost as soon forget, some of which my offspring were supposed to have read and didn't

Have had on the go for ages:
L'Aventure des Langues en L'Occident
Narziss und Goldmund (err, in translation, I am too lazy)
Sisam, 14th centure verse'n'prose
After Babel (on language and translation)

Am now also reading:
Solitaire Mystery
Life and Death of Smallpox
In the dark, all views are the same.

citoyen

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #160 on: August 19, 2008, 11:51:42 pm »
I've just read Brave New World for the first time since I was at skool.

It's crap :(

I made the same mistake last summer. I used to think it was great. This time round I thought it was pretty turgid. It might have been a brilliant dystopian fantasy once upon a time but now it seems incredibly dated, and doesn't even offer the consolation of being well written (unlike, say, HG Wells and Jules Verne).

I read the deconstruction of Hardy a few pages back with a disbelieving stare too.  Most 'classics' leave me cold.  Then again, I read Woolf's Orlando a few years ago and found the prose poetry fantastic.

I can't read Hardy. I find him unbearable. And not because I don't like books with a high misery quotient - I love George Eliot, for example, and Middlemarch is one of my favourite books ever. In a similar vein, I've also got Les Miserables on my to-read pile (in French, of course, pseud that I am).

I'm currently reading A History Of The World In Six Glasses by Tom Standage, which is a clever idea well executed. The history aspect of it is a bit superficial (perhaps not surprising given the scope of the book in relation to its size), but it works as a good, broad overview and is written in a flowing, easy-to-read style.

d.

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #161 on: August 20, 2008, 09:16:28 pm »
I'm now reading Jonathan Glover's Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, and some of Tobias Wolfe's short stories.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #162 on: August 20, 2008, 09:18:15 pm »
I have just finished reading 'Margrave of the marshes' the John Peel biography this evening.

Just got this through interlibrary loan...
scottclark.photoshelter.com

andygates

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #163 on: August 20, 2008, 10:04:29 pm »
The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey's seminal ecotage novel.  In which I became convinced that Hayduke was the inspiration for Marvel's Wolverine...
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #164 on: August 20, 2008, 10:05:18 pm »
I took Desert Solitaire to (re)read on vacation, but didn't get to it. Still, it's on the "soon" stack.
scottclark.photoshelter.com

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #165 on: August 21, 2008, 09:26:56 am »
The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abbey's seminal ecotage novel.  In which I became convinced that Hayduke was the inspiration for Marvel's Wolverine...

Great read. It was an inspiration for quite a few things I did when I was younger. Allegedly.

JT

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #166 on: August 21, 2008, 09:38:50 am »
Under The Paw: Confessions of a Cat Man by Tom Cox.


a great mind thinks alike

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #167 on: August 26, 2008, 02:13:24 pm »
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. 

I read bits of it when I was a kid, but completely forgot about it until I watched Comics Britannia the other week. 

It's also the first graphic novel I've read.  Well, unless you count Beano and Dandy annuals.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #168 on: August 26, 2008, 03:18:22 pm »
I just finished _The Rings of Saturn_ by W.G. Sebald, who I only heard of recently. It's a novel, but reads like notes from a long walk interrupted by long asides on history and odd people. I think I need to find his other two novels now. 
scottclark.photoshelter.com

Jezza

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #169 on: August 26, 2008, 03:24:50 pm »
I just finished _The Rings of Saturn_ by W.G. Sebald, who I only heard of recently. It's a novel, but reads like notes from a long walk interrupted by long asides on history and odd people. I think I need to find his other two novels now. 

I love this book. It's like a stream of consciousness for me, to range far and wide around the world but keep returning to the same place - the Suffolk coast, where I live.   

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #170 on: August 26, 2008, 03:25:42 pm »
'The Inheritance of Loss' by Kiran Desai

really very readable  :)

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #171 on: August 26, 2008, 04:43:20 pm »
I love this book. It's like a stream of consciousness for me

Same here--even though it's a strange form for a novel, it seemed completely natural for me. I guess some would find the lack of characters and plot boring, and the long asides irritating, but I liked it more than a lot of conventional novels I've read.
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microphonie

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #172 on: August 26, 2008, 07:12:09 pm »
Just started Will Self's 'The Book of Dave'

I abandoned his 'How the Dead Live' so hopefully I'll get a bit more into this one (& be inspired to restart HTDL)

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agagisgroovy

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #173 on: August 26, 2008, 08:46:57 pm »
MacLennan's Gaelic Dictionary, old pre-GOC edition.  ;D

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #174 on: August 26, 2008, 08:49:35 pm »
The Bible.

Just to remind me what a Totally Barking lot us humans are.