Thread: What are you currently reading?

  1. #51
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're talking about the "Kidd" series, which I haven't read yet. (So many books, so little time!)

    Titles include:

    The Fool's Run
    The Empress File
    The Devil's Code
    The Hanged Man's Song
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  2. #52
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    Currently reading these:

    The Secret History of the World - Jonathan Black (the perfect antidote for those of us who are fed up with the cold, clinical, "science is all" writings of Hitchens, Dawkins et al.)
    Necronomicon - Simon
    Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
    Wild Abandon - Joe Dunthorne
    Brendan Behan's New York
    Last edited by PeterG; 11-13-2012 at 05:58 AM.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    BTW - if anyone was ever a fan of the late James Michener ... there is a new James Michener.

    His name is Edward Rutherfurd. (I think that's the correct spelling.)
    Great writer, and yes, that is the correct spelling. Don't think I'd call him "new" though, his first book Sarum, came out late 80s, about 25 years ago!!!
    Last edited by PeterG; 11-13-2012 at 06:12 AM.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post
    Does anyone know the English write Gerald Seymour?

    He's had books set in Ireland during the troubles
    Yes, I like him, I read Field of Blood - which was about an ex-IRA man and a British officer. The only problem I have with GS writing about Northern Ireland is that his research is occasionally lacking, when he gets simple details wrong. Sometimes details that any squaddie in either the British Army or the IDF could have told him and sometimes details that any Belfast local could have told him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunlight Caller View Post
    Currently reading The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco.
    Sounds like my cup of tea. Is it set hundreds of years ago like his other books? And what cemetery is it? I've been to the Jewish cemetery in Prague.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    The Hobbit.
    Read it at junior school and hated it. Tried it again many years ago as an adult & still hated it.

  7. #57
    I haven't read the whole thread so I don't know if it's been mentioned yet but I'm reading David Byrne's How Music Works. Is there any musician as erudite yet accessible? Is Byrne ever uninteresting? No. Buy this book!

  8. #58
    Read Ian Rankin's latest, Standing in Another Man's Grave, over the weekend - it's just been published, & marks the return of Rebus...as does, if there are any prog fans out there, Tony Kaye, of the Complaints team.

    Last night, I finished The Master of Bruges, by Terrence Morgan, a novel woven around the life of the painter Hans Memling - there are a series of short mini-treatises on painting, but the main sections aren't nearly painterly enough (there's virtually no sense of Memling being in Bruges, a most "painterly" town). There is also a rather far-fetched plot strand involving various players in the latter stages of the Wars of the Roses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptrick View Post
    I am reading The Book Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe, along with The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge.
    How are you finding this? I recently read Wolfe's latest, Home Fires, which I thought was pretty good, if not quite up to classic standard (& on the back of which, I'm working my way through R.L. Stevenson's The Suicide Club) - & am currently dipping in & out of The Island of Dr Death & Other Stories & Other Stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by helicase View Post
    At the moment I'm reading:
    Flann O'Brien - Best of Myles (Collection of newspaper columns)
    Thomas Pynchon - The Crying of Lot 49
    I suspect you may be enjoying both, greatly

  9. #59
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Sounds like my cup of tea. Is it set hundreds of years ago like his other books? And what cemetery is it? I've been to the Jewish cemetery in Prague.
    I read The Name of the Rose, many years ago, and enjoyed it immensely. I then picked up his Faucaults Pendelum and, though I did finally manage to finish it, thought it was one of the hardest books I ever read. I really needed an internet (there wasn't one yet when I was reading this book) just to check out all the damn references. The only harder book I ever tried to read was James Joyce Ulysses (made it through chapter 4, then gave up).

    So, is this new one a story or a theoretical treatize ? Based on the comments on Amazon they say he will wear most readers out in 25 pages and cause the average reader to throw the book at a wall after 100.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    The only harder book I ever tried to read was James Joyce Ulysses (made it through chapter 4, then gave up).
    That's about as far as I got as well on my two attempts to read it. But I shall try again some day.

  11. #61
    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    I read The Name of the Rose, many years ago, and enjoyed it immensely. I then picked up his Faucaults Pendelum and, though I did finally manage to finish it, thought it was one of the hardest books I ever read. I really needed an internet (there wasn't one yet when I was reading this book) just to check out all the damn references. The only harder book I ever tried to read was James Joyce Ulysses (made it through chapter 4, then gave up).

    So, is this new one a story or a theoretical treatize ? Based on the comments on Amazon they say he will wear most readers out in 25 pages and cause the average reader to throw the book at a wall after 100.
    The new one is a story and had a great sense of humor about it. It is probably the easiest read of anything he has written.

  12. #62
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Yes, I like him, I read Field of Blood - which was about an ex-IRA man and a British officer. The only problem I have with GS writing about Northern Ireland is that his research is occasionally lacking, when he gets simple details wrong. Sometimes details that any squaddie in either the British Army or the IDF could have told him and sometimes details that any Belfast local could have told him.
    You had the 'inside track' though, and would quickly pick up the small inaccuracies. I had the same thing with his "A Song In The Morning".

    I just finished his "The Collaborator - quite good, set in the criminal underworld of Naples.

    I think a lot of people (particularly those not originally from the UK / Ireland) will have difficulty with his writing style.

    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    Read Ian Rankin's latest, Standing in Another Man's Grave, over the weekend - it's just been published, & marks the return of Rebus...as does, if there are any prog fans out there, Tony Kaye, of the Complaints team.
    I've never read Rankin - don't even know what his style is like. Any insights..?
    Regards,

    Duncan

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post


    I've never read Rankin - don't even know what his style is like. Any insights..?

    Hard boiled Scottish detective stuff. But very slow moving novels, very detailed, however fantastic gritty storylines and great twists and turns. It isn't pulp fiction crime a la Ed McBain or short format Agatha Christie. Long developed stories.

  14. #64
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Hard boiled Scottish detective stuff. But very slow moving novels, very detailed, however fantastic gritty storylines and great twists and turns. It isn't pulp fiction crime a la Ed McBain or short format Agatha Christie. Long developed stories.
    Thanks - that's exactly what I wanted to know.

    I'll give him a try the next time I download something onto my Nook...
    Regards,

    Duncan

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by BobM View Post
    The only harder book I ever tried to read was James Joyce Ulysses (made it through chapter 4, then gave up).
    Go figure, I swallowed the full thing when I was 15 years old. Took a few months, but I remember enjoying it. Nowadays, though, I think it was clearly a mistake, 'cause I only vividly remember three chapters towards the end (one structured as a stage play, another telling the same story in call-and-response fashion, and finally the last one with the famous "stream of consciousness" bit). I must familiarize myself with the rest again, it would be interesting to see what impression this book's gonna make on my current self as opposed to the Benjamin-from-Coe's-"The Rotter's Club"-type of guy that I've been at 15.

    Guess I should've read "Foucault's Pendulum" at 15 too, because when I got to it some ten years later, I couldn't make my way through it and stopped after 1/3 of the book or so Still a big fan of "The Name of the Rose", though.

    Currently reading: Patti Smith's "Just Kids". She tells a story of her own life, and of course Robert Mapplethorpe's too. Pretty fascinating so far.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    detective stuff
    Speaking of which, any fans of Elizabeth George on this board? I love me some Rankin, but she's probably my favorite currently active crime writer.

  17. #67
    Member Dave the Brave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levgan View Post
    Speaking of which, any fans of Elizabeth George on this board?
    Count me in on that. Not a mystery buff per se but she is a brilliant writer.

    D t B

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bails View Post
    Sounds like you're talking about the "Kidd" series, which I haven't read yet. (So many books, so little time!)
    I know you responded elsewhere, but I'll jump in anyways. For my post, I was referring to the latest in the Flowers series, Mad River. There's also one other I haven't read not tied in to the Minnesota triad titled Dead Watch.

    The Davenport Prey series is my first choice, but I have read all the Kidd and Flowers novels as well... That Fuckin' Flowers makes more for a good-humored, comedy relief type of read for me, and I thought the Prey books faltered a bit when the series featured a kinder, gentler domesticated Lucas (some might say pussywhipped). I prefer my Prey books darker, as in the days when Davenport was in the throes of his depression. Nowadays, he's more of a bit player tending to his herd, rather than the main focus vigilante I came to admire. The Kidd series was similarly dour (and that's the way I like 'em) via Kidd and LuEllen's coke-fueled escapades.

    Some don't care for the contrivance, but I do enjoy when Sandford's protagonists cross-pollinate the other two series.

    Sandford attempted to start up a fourth franchise that went nowhere after the first publication of The Night Crew, which I would've like to have seen continued.

    At present, Sandford and Elmore Leonard are my top two crime noir novelists. The flow of their books is such that, once I pick 'em up, I can't put 'em down til I've I read 'em front to back. I only wish the Sandford novels could make the jump to film or TV as successfully as Leonard's have over the years. (Get Shorty or Justified, anyone?)

    Douglas Preston and Lee Child are another two that I'm starting to dig into. I had a chance to meet and speak with Preston when he stopped in to my ASU magazine writing class for a Q&A, and he was extremely affable and forthcoming.
    Last edited by -=RTFR666=-; 11-13-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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  19. #69
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    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Glenday View Post



    I've never read Rankin - don't even know what his style is like. Any insights..?
    Duncan - the only thing I'd add to the previous recommendations is that the books are very rooted in Edinburgh - almost to the extent that the City becomes a caracter in its own right. Rankin has always made it clear that the whole Jekyll & Hyde/Deacon Brodie double life strain that runs through Edinburgh is his real interest (I had never consciously recognised that the Jean Brodie of Muriel Spark infamy is supposed to be descended from the good/bad Deacon).

    The first 3 or 4 in the series are good enough - but he really taps a rich seam from the Black Book on through to Dead Souls - since when they've tailed off ever so slightly.

  21. #71
    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    Duncan - the only thing I'd add to the previous recommendations is that the books are very rooted in Edinburgh - almost to the extent that the City becomes a caracter in its own right. Rankin has always made it clear that the whole Jekyll & Hyde/Deacon Brodie double life strain that runs through Edinburgh is his real interest (I had never consciously recognised that the Jean Brodie of Muriel Spark infamy is supposed to be descended from the good/bad Deacon).

    The first 3 or 4 in the series are good enough - but he really taps a rich seam from the Black Book on through to Dead Souls - since when they've tailed off ever so slightly.
    Thanks - that actually increases the appeal for me, and I'm familiar with Edinburgh.

    Speaking of "the books are very rooted in Edinburgh - almost to the extent that the City becomes a caracter in its own right" - has anyone tried the "44 Scotland Street" series? Gentle little character studies, easy reading time-fillers, but quite pleasant - and again, the city itself takes something of a leading role.
    Regards,

    Duncan

  22. #72
    Member helicase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    I suspect you may be enjoying both, greatly
    Best of Myles started out with some very funny pieces, but the ones I'm reading now towards the middle of the book are a bit boring. So it's a bit of a mixed bag to be honest.
    The Thomas Pynchon was very enjoyable. I think I'm going to try Gravity's Rainbow next (The Crying of Lot 49's fairly short, so I thought I'd read it as a kind of taster), which I'm told is a very difficult read, so wish me luck

  23. #73
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    I'm currently reading Deke Leonard's 'Rhinos Winos & Lunatics: the Legend Of Man', which is hilariously and quite brilliantly written. One of the best rock books I've ever read, along with Ian Hunter's 'Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star' and Lemmy's autobiography.

    You honestly don't need to know a note of Man's music to enjoy Leonard's book - you'll still laugh out loud.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
    Great writer, and yes, that is the correct spelling. Don't think I'd call him "new" though, his first book Sarum, came out late 80s, about 25 years ago!!!
    Yeah! I loved Sarum...and I've always had a soft spot for Michener, although my heart belongs to Gary Jennings and The Journeyer.
    Cargo of diamonds as you are: nothing more valuable, nothing more tough. - A. M. Beal

  25. #75
    The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole
    Cargo of diamonds as you are: nothing more valuable, nothing more tough. - A. M. Beal

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