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Read any good books?
  • NinielNiniel January 2007
    Posts: 652
    Did a bit of searching and either I'm going blind and senile (a definite possibility) or we don't have a recent reading tread.

    Feel free to merge this if it does exist.

    But...books.

    I just finished "The Plucker". Nice, creepy, children-story style illustrated book by Brom. Me liked. Me now wants a warrior Jack-in-the-box.

    What are the rest of you reading?
  • MichaelMichael January 2007
    Posts: 640
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Pretty self-explanatory title, and incredibly fascinating at that.
  • January 2007
    Posts: 0
    For me, the best book I've read recently (in the past six months, that is), either Choke or Survivor. Both by Chuck Palahniuk.

    Another interesting book is Haunted, again, by Chuck Palahniuk. It's got a creepy sort of Real World-meets-Saw feel to it.

    I've been reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series also, but I got sidetracked with class work and only got about halfway through the first book.
  • EugeneEugene January 2007
    Posts: 1,684
    I've been addicted to Steven Brust. He is an unbelievably talented. He switches writing styles from book to book, sometimes subtely, sometimes drastically, and reading every book is always fun... he writes very enjoyably. Sometimes you read some book and feel guilty for liking it because while the story is great, the writing is awful (looking at you, Dan Brown), hence "guilty pleasure." Brust is the opposite... very enjoyable, light style but clearly a master of the craft.
  • DerrickDerrick January 2007
    Posts: 599
    Maddox - The Alphabet of Manliness
  • GaerlanGaerlan January 2007
    Posts: 1,263

    Niniel:

    Did a bit of searching and either I'm going blind and senile (a definite possibility) or we don't have a recent reading tread.

    The 2006 thread was moved to the 2006 archive. It was originally branded as a Spam topic, so I do not know if you all would prefer me to move this current thread into the Spam forum or if we will just leave it be here.
  • The+Auth0rThe Auth0r January 2007
    Posts: 2,212
    Well, as long as we're giving feedback/suggestions about books, I think we're all good. If we start falling into "Author - Book" format, then back to spam with this.

    I've just been finishing/continuing series lately. The last three books I've read were Auragole and the Last Battle by Shirley Latessa, And Follow Darkness Like a Dream... by Simon R. Green (yes, I'm still not calling it Hell To Pay), and I'm working through William Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties.

    The Auragole books were strong conceptually, had characters I rather liked, but I felt like the end was a little anti-climactic and she had no bloody clue how to format a book, structurally or stylisticly. There were extended flashbacks in italics, but no thoughts got italicized, for example. That and the last book just didn't really fit as well as it could with the others.

    Darkness is Green's newest Nightside book, and I doubt I would have enjoyed it as much if I hadn't read Green before. The more Green books you've read, likely the better this is, since there are references aplenty. BUt I gotta say, Green's wit was pretty on and I think each Nightside book has been (for the most part) better than the last.

    I'm only 1/3 of the way through Parties so I dunno what my overall impression is. It's interesting seeing the threads of the last two books come together, but I'll have to see where they go to know if I'm satisfied. As always, though, Gibson is doing a good job of portraying a fairly realiitic near-feature and talking about concepts that are driving us toward that space.
  • EugeneEugene January 2007
    Posts: 1,684
    I need to read some William Gibson... I keep seeing him described in a context that makes it sound like I would highly enjoy it.
  • raging+drunk+ladraging drunk lad January 2007
    Posts: 6,459
    I think you ought to start with Neuromancer.

    But that just might be me.
  • starfalconstarfalcon January 2007
    Posts: 1,376

    raging drunk lad:

    Neuromancer.


    Excellent book!
  • NinielNiniel January 2007
    Posts: 652
    I have to get around to reading Neuromancer.

    I liked Pattern Recognition and Burning Chrome.

    Is Idoru any good? I was thinking of picking up that one.
  • EugeneEugene January 2007
    Posts: 1,684

    raging drunk lad:

    I think you ought to start with Neuromancer.

    But that just might be me.

    I didn't know where to start, so thanks. :D Will grab that sometime.
  • MichaelMichael January 2007
    Posts: 640
    I started reading Survivor but stopped once it felt like all of Palahniuk's books were essentially the same thing.

    I read the first Dark Tower book and liked it immensely. It's quite different from Stephen King's other novels. I've meant to get some of the series but haven't gotten around to it yet.
  • The+Auth0rThe Auth0r January 2007
    Posts: 2,212
    From what I understand, Neuromancer is the most common starting point for Gibson.

    And Idoru was good in my mind, Nins, but I'd suggest seeing if you can find Virtual Light first. You can get into Idoru without it, but they share characters and some of the events in Virtual Light set up things in Idoru. All Tomorrow's Parties is the third part of that trilogy, by the way.
  • GeneratorGenerator January 2007
    Posts: 162
    George RR Martins writing, and especially his Song of Ice and Fire series are exceptional.

    Also held in my personal high regard is Dan Simmons Hyperion series (as well as ilium, and olympos) but thats more towards sci fi. I dig his mix of sci fi, philosophy, and physics, among other good stuff.

    And of course, cryptonomicon by neal stephenson.
  • January 2007
    Posts: 0
    All of Palahniuk's books pretty much have the same tone and feel to them, but the stories are all different. He's not a master of writing and can't use different styles (really, it wouldn't be Palahniuk if he did) and I wouldn't say he's a master of writing. I do, however, think he's a genius for some of the things he comes up with (Fight Club, anyone?) and he is the best at what style he does use.

    But on the other hand of the stories being different, for instance, Survivor is a book that satirizes celebritization. Choke on the other hand is just an episodic story that follows the two main characters through a certain point of their lives.
  • EugeneEugene January 2007
    Posts: 1,684
    I'm torn with Palahniuk. On one hand, Fight Club is a fucking awesome movie. I'd go as far as to say it's one of the few movies that is better than the source it was based on. But the book is good, too. However, I've tried reading several OTHER books of his and, yeah, it's like, the same fucking thing. Soooo... good writer? Not in my opinion. Is Fight Club awesome? Hell yeah.
  • MichaelMichael January 2007
    Posts: 640

    Eugene:

    I'm torn with Palahniuk. On one hand, Fight Club is a fucking awesome movie. I'd go as far as to say it's one of the few movies that is better than the source it was based on. But the book is good, too. However, I've tried reading several OTHER books of his and, yeah, it's like, the same fucking thing. Soooo... good writer? Not in my opinion. Is Fight Club awesome? Hell yeah.


    That's basically how I feel. I enjoyed Fight Club (I mean the book here, but the movie also) immensely, but when I tried to read some of his other stuff, it felt like I was simply reading Fight Club again in different clothing.

    Maybe I passed judgment too soon, I dunno.
  • EugeneEugene January 2007
    Posts: 1,684
    I know others who feel the same way. I'm just undecided on whether we like Fight Club more because it just so happens to be the first of his books we read (because of the movie) and if we would have liked our first Palahniuk book regardless of which one... or if Fight Club is his only original idea.

    Also... I was told I should mention Neil Gaiman's American Gods here. It was quite good.
  • ElsewiseElsewise January 2007
    Posts: 740
    Mysterious Skin by Steve Heim. It broaches challenging subject matter in a way that is beautiful, characteristic, and I think quiet.

    Anything by Michael Cunningham. The Hours, A Home at the End of the World... I think I'm in love with him.

    Geek Love by Katherine Dunn was engrossing and unique.

    I wonder if everyone's read Life of Pi by Yan Martel? Narrative style and story was interesting, but I think the tongue-in-cheek playfulness came off a bit too posh, too built for me.

    White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Very British, very bright, working class comedy. Smith's strength is addressing nearly every issue possible to address in modern society (man vs. woman, race vs. race, teen vs. adult, generation x vs. generation y, immigrant vs. indigenous, highbrow vs. lowbrow, middle-class vs. working-class, etc. etc etc.) with quickness, wit, and warmth I've never seen before. Haven't laughed out loud reading in a long time, and she does it to me. Her other work I've only read one example of, and I don't think it quite compares to her debut novel. I love it, but that's just because it resounds so wonderfully inside me.

    Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton is the book you might have read in English AP if you ever took it. I had to read it and it was enlightening. I mean it has been the most beautiful book I have read since... since anything. The prose is poetry, the subject touching, the theme universal. You could live by it, you could. Careful: The overarching religious themes may upset the stomaches of some. If reading about people practicing Anglicanism bothers you, then ta for you laddie.

    edit: I've read these all recently, btw. :D I read a lot. A lot less than I used to as a kid (novel a week when I was 11) but I like to eat one a month if I can and that's being lazy/busy.
  • The+Auth0rThe Auth0r January 2007
    Posts: 2,212

    Elsewise:

    I wonder if everyone's read Life of Pi by Yan Martel? Narrative style and story was interesting, but I think the tongue-in-cheek playfulness came off a bit too posh, too built for me.


    That was about my take on it when I had to read it in college. It didn't help that it was also in a class with a Prof who was essentially trying to brainwash us into thinking like he thought Camus wanted (honestly, I haven't experienced Camus outside of that context, so I don't know if it's reflective or not). We were supposed to take all that constructed tongue-in-cheek and interpret it as Pi coping with trauma and going on accepting (and even liking) the fact that his life was hopeless.

    I hated that class.

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