What books have you been reading lately?

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What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:21 am

I always enjoy reading books but unlike TV shows, video games and films I have no idea where to go for reading inspiration. Inspire me.

On holiday just now I read Ian McEwan's latest one, The Children Act. It was decent. I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini because I loved The Kite Runner, and it was very good, although I don't think any book, film or TV show has devastated me as much.

I also read Richard Brittain's entire literary output which was enjoyable.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:29 am

Jon O'Neill wrote:I also read Richard Brittain's entire literary output which was enjoyable.
Does that include the transcript of his defence?

Anyway, I'm a massive Linwood Barclay fan and think everyone should read his books if they like suspensey-detectivey-thrillery type stuff.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Giles » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:46 am

I'm actually currently reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, and recently got through Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, both of which really make you think about life and the decisions you take. what if? by Randall Munroe (see: http://www.xkcd.com) is like a scientific Ask Graeme.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:31 am

Have you read Gev's book Jono?

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:36 am

Jon Corby wrote:Have you read Gev's book Jono?
Read the first chapter about 8 times. Still don't get it.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:38 am

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:I also read Richard Brittain's entire literary output which was enjoyable.
Does that include the transcript of his defence?
Image

Reading Perfume: The Story of a Murderer at the moment. Really like how grim it is, but perhaps not the best thing to read before bed. Prior to that, re-read Bridget Jones' Diary (not as good as I remember it; the film is much better), and read for the first time: Up Pohnpei (really good - about Mark Watson's brother coaching one of the Micronesian islands at football), The Alchemist (easy to read and a nice yarn, but very wishy washy) and the Highway Code (boring as all fuck, but pretty handy for passing a driving theory test). Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot is up next.

Anyone else prefer non-fiction to fiction?
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:40 am

Love it! :D
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Phil Reynolds » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:34 am

I'm currently nearing the end of Edge of Eternity, the final book in Ken Follett's "Century Trilogy". It's the fifth of his books I've read, after the earlier ones in the trilogy and the two Pillars of the Earth books. I enjoy the epic scale of his books and want to keep turning the pages, but at the same time I find their appeal slightly puzzling as I never feel emotionally engaged or care about the characters that much, which I normally think of as a prerequisite of good fiction.

Jono, the first two Khaled Hosseini books left me devastated too. I found the third one (And The Mountains Echoed) oddly disappointing as it didn't have the same effect.

Two very different books I read on holiday last year and really enjoyed: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, a family saga with a gobsmacking twist half way through; and Jonathan Harvey's The Girl Who Just Appeared. Harvey will always have a special place in my heart for his 1993 stage play Beautiful Thing; his writing won't be everybody's cup of tea, as some of his humour is a bit lacking in subtlety, but this one starts off in familiar territory before a stunning change of pace (and narrator) half way through takes the story in a completely unexpected direction. It's far and away his best novel yet.

Agree about Linwood Barclay, though some of his are better than others. The last one I read, Trust Your Eyes, was excellent and made clever use of Google Streetview in a way that other thriller writers are probably gnashing their teeth about, wishing they'd thought of it first.

Last but least, I recently enjoyed Guy Martin's autobiography.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:54 am

I was on holiday for a week recently, and read The Long Mars, Metamorphosis, The Lord of the Rings, and Jane Eyre. I enjoyed them all in different ways, although Bronte is somewhat long-winded, and the Pratchett influence on the 'Long' series appears to be dwindling, as one might expect.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:54 am

Jon O'Neill wrote:I also read Richard Brittain's entire literary output which was enjoyable.
Well you'd better have fucking read my book then.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:44 pm

I'm reading this at the moment. It's a bit dry though.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:11 pm

My default go-to recommendation that I think most people I like will also link is Stone Junction by Jim Dodge. Considering how much I enjoyed it it feels weird to say I've only read it once but I can't recall ever reading a book more than once, there are too many out there.

Having just finished my first Murakami, I'm now reading a profileography of Chris Morris called Disgusting Bliss which I'm enjoying very much because Chris Morris is awesome.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Mark James » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:31 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote: Anyone else prefer non-fiction to fiction?
I much prefer it. Can't remember the last time I bothered with fiction.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Phil Reynolds » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:32 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:I can't recall ever reading a book more than once
I've read all of Armistead Maupin's books multiple times - the earlier Tales of the City ones probably four or five times each. They're like much-loved holiday destinations that you can't resist going back to again and again.

I've read the aforementioned The Girl Who Just Appeared twice, and will probably do so again in a few years. But Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency has the distinction of being the only book I've ever read where I reached the last page and immediately turned back to page 1 and started again.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by JimBentley » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:05 pm

Mark James wrote:
Jennifer Steadman wrote: Anyone else prefer non-fiction to fiction?
I much prefer it. Can't remember the last time I bothered with fiction.
Me too, though I was a voracious reader of all sorts of fiction when I was younger (off topic I know, but I do think that reading when you're growing up makes sure that you can spell accurately in later life). I've enjoyed some of David Mitchell's (the novelist, not the comedian) stuff recently but otherwise I'm a biography and factual guy these days. Tracey Thorn's "Bedsit Disco Queen" was brilliant and I'm currently on "Jacked", which is the unauthorised story of Grand Theft Auto, DMA Designs, Rockstar Games, Jack Thompson and all that stuff. It's good.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by JackHurst » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:47 pm

I've been reading C4C posts that Gevin can't see.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jun 02, 2016 5:46 pm

We've had recently active threads on films and TV programmes, so I thought I might bump this. I try to read an eclectic mix of books, and when picking a fiction book, I often use this as a guide. The last three books I've read are Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and Mort by Terry Pratchett.

Superintelligence is quite an interesting book about what could happen when computers become more intelligent than us. It's a bit dry though, and despite his apparent thoroughness, I don't think he really covers all the ground.

I'd never read any of Dickens before, and picked a Tale of Two Cities because my Mum recommended it. While I quite enjoyed it, it certainly took me a while to get through. I don't know if he does this in other books, but at random points in the book, he starts writing in a more "poetic" way, which basically just means more difficult to follow. I read the Wikipedia article on the book afterwards to pick up a few details that I'd missed. It was also fairly obvious from quite a way before the end how it was basically going to end.

I'd never read any Terry Pratchett before either, so I thought I'd give it a go, and Mort has often been called his best book. I have to say though that I was a bit disappointed. I mean, it's OK, but his writing isn't really that witty (like, not as witty as he's trying to be), and the story, while OK, certainly isn't particularly good. And from about 2/3 of the way in, it kind of loses its coherence somewhat.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:45 pm

Biographies mostly
John Lydon, Morrissey and Chris Evans.
I enjoyed Both,Danny Bakers autobiography volumes.
The last fiction I read was The Martian

Worst book I ever read was Cloud Atlas my favourite was either Catch 22 or Life of Pi
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:31 pm

N/A. Can't remember the last time I read a book that wasn't a textbook. Find them inefficient, hugely time-consuming for little reward, and rarely a fraction as interesting as a copy of the Economist or whatever.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Matt Bayfield » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:01 pm

I've read three books this year. In what might be the narrowest niche of literary tastes, all three are autobiographies of female American guitarists:

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein (published 05-Nov-15)
Living Like A Runaway: A Memoir by Lita Ford (07-Apr-16)
The Rise, The Fall, And The Rise by Brix Smith Start (05-May-16)

I enjoyed them all.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:00 am

wtf jen. terrible english student!

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:01 am

Been smashing through the works of China Mieville recently. I don't like science fiction generally but his stuff is insanely good, and I guess is more like "science fiction in a non-fiction world" if that makes sense.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:53 am

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Have you read Gev's book Jono?
Read the first chapter about 8 times. Still don't get it.
What's not to get?

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Johnny Canuck » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:09 pm

Has anyone read Ernest Cline's books, Ready Player One and Armada? They've seemed to have become fixtures in 2010s geek culture and I enjoyed them while they lasted (plus Wil Wheaton narrated the audiobooks and he is an awesome dude), but I don't think I'd care to read them again.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:22 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:wtf jen. terrible english student!
Au contraire - judging by my grades, a much better English student than virtually all of the overwrought booksniffers on my degree ;)
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:06 pm

Trust me, that grade won't mean shit :)

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:00 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:Trust me, that grade won't mean shit :)
I know :( Employers and job agencies are all about the Countdown these days.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Conor » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:19 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote:Trust me, that grade won't mean shit :)
I know :( Employers and job agencies are all about the Countdown these days.
Tru dat. But learning words is needed to be good at Countdown, and books are great for learning words. I mean, technically one could learn words like arbitrary strings of letters with an application, but that would never catch on.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Conor » Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:11 am

On my last holiday I read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Liquid reading. Recently finished Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters by J.D. Salinger. Tenderly affecting. Currently reading A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh. A fun read, and it uses the word 'shag' a lot.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Thomas Carey » Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:39 am

Johnny Canuck wrote:Has anyone read Ernest Cline's books, Ready Player One and Armada? They've seemed to have become fixtures in 2010s geek culture and I enjoyed them while they lasted (plus Wil Wheaton narrated the audiobooks and he is an awesome dude), but I don't think I'd care to read them again.
Bit late to the party here but RPO is my joint favourite book and I've read it about 6 times. I have Armada but never actually read it, will do over summer
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Thomas Carey » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:47 pm

Thomas Carey wrote:
Johnny Canuck wrote:Has anyone read Ernest Cline's books, Ready Player One and Armada? They've seemed to have become fixtures in 2010s geek culture and I enjoyed them while they lasted (plus Wil Wheaton narrated the audiobooks and he is an awesome dude), but I don't think I'd care to read them again.
Bit late to the party here but RPO is my joint favourite book and I've read it about 6 times. I have Armada but never actually read it, will do over summer
Update: just finished Armada. Didn't think much of it at first, but got good quickly, definitely enjoyed it. Not a patch on RPO though.

Got a decent-sized list of stuff I want to read over summer, probably won't get through it all but might post some short 'reviews' here.
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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:37 am

Just finished American Psycho. A light-hearted romp through the life of a young white-collar worker.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by JimBentley » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:24 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Just finished American Psycho. A light-hearted romp through the life of a young white-collar worker.
I remember reading that at university and really enjoyed it; very much my sort of thing. It made especially funny use of the protagonist's taste in music (all 80s AOR, which of course at the time I absolutely hated) if I remember. Never got round to seeing the film but it always struck me that a film wouldn't work, as it would have to be toned down too much (although on the other hand, having the actual songs accompanying the madness could be really effective).

Has he done much (that's any good) since? He sort of fell off my radar.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:09 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:Just finished American Psycho. A light-hearted romp through the life of a young white-collar worker.
I remember reading that at university and really enjoyed it; very much my sort of thing. It made especially funny use of the protagonist's taste in music (all 80s AOR, which of course at the time I absolutely hated) if I remember. Never got round to seeing the film but it always struck me that a film wouldn't work, as it would have to be toned down too much (although on the other hand, having the actual songs accompanying the madness could be really effective).

Has he done much (that's any good) since? He sort of fell off my radar.
I haven't read anything else by him. I might do. I'm reading The Talented Mr. Ripley now - a different experience as I've seen the film this time so basically know the plot. But it's still enjoyable to be reading Fiction again after almost a year off.

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:20 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:But it's still enjoyable to be reading Fiction again after almost a year off.
I blame the internet. Before the internet I used to read two, maybe three books a week. Now it's more like one every couple of weeks or so.

There's just TOO MUCH STUFF! I can't handle it all anymore! Although I doubt I'll lose any sleep over it. *








* because I'm a chronic insomniac

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:55 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:But it's still enjoyable to be reading Fiction again after almost a year off.
I blame the internet. Before the internet I used to read two, maybe three books a week. Now it's more like one every couple of weeks or so.
I think I should put people who can read really quickly in the people you shouldn't trust thread. Two or three a week?! I wish I could do that!

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Re: What books have you been reading lately?

Post by JimBentley » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:09 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:
Jon O'Neill wrote:But it's still enjoyable to be reading Fiction again after almost a year off.
I blame the internet. Before the internet I used to read two, maybe three books a week. Now it's more like one every couple of weeks or so.
I think I should put people who can read really quickly in the people you shouldn't trust thread. Two or three a week?! I wish I could do that!
Nah, you jsut must be slow. You should've seen me in primary school, it was more like two books a day (although, to be fair, several of those were probably Noggin the Nog or something).

But seriously, when I was a big reader it wasn't unusual at all to read a standard length novel in a single reading.

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