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What Are You Reading Now?


#1

I belong to another forum that has this as an off-topic thread and I must confess that it’s one of my favorites. I am currently reading two books - The first is Caesar’s Gallic Wars in Latin (I decided to refresh my abysmal Latin and am wading through the strategically chosen simple text at a snail’s pace…assuming the snail had first been given a powerful sedative; “Gallia est omnes divisa in partes tres…” my foot). The second book is Harry Turtledove’s The End of the Beginning which is an alternate history in which Japan invaded and occupied the Hawaiian Islands in World War II. I’m only a few chapters into it but I’m hooked. So, what are you reading right now? :slight_smile:


Let's have us a book club?
Poorly described plots (seven words or fewer)
#2

Wow, you’re reading a book in Latin, that’s pretty damned impressive.
For myself I am reading the Hitch-hikers guide quadrilogy (is that a word?) to my son as his bedtime story and American Gods as mine :smile:


#3

I’m about halfway through Clandestine - an early Ellroy that is currently separating me from the final Malazan book.

Whilst I love Ellroy’s plotting, I’m finding it harder and harder to see past the “thats what it was like” bigotry and language that flow through his work and I’m thinking I might just have to put him aside for good.


#4

A Dance of Dragons by George R. R. Martin. I started re-reading the A Song Of Ice And Fire series over the summer. The pace dropped off a bit after I went back to work after my vacation, but I’m hoping I’ll be finished in time for The Winds of Winter’s release.


#5
I'm about halfway through Clandestine - an early Ellroy that is currently separating me from the final Malazan book.

Whilst I love Ellroy’s plotting, I’m finding it harder and harder to see past the “thats what it was like” bigotry and language that flow through his work and I’m thinking I might just have to put him aside for good.

I’m a big fan of the American Tabloid series but found I loved them despite his clipped, rat-tat-tat delivery, not because of it, since I could only take it in small doses (the J. Edgar Hoover transcripts were worth it though!) James Ellroy is nevertheless a fascinating, psychologically damaged real life character.


#6
I'm a big fan of the American Tabloid series but found I loved them despite his clipped, rat-tat-tat delivery, not because of it since I could only take it in small doses (the J. Edgar Hoover transcripts were worth it though!) James Ellroy is nevertheless a fascinating, psychologically damaged real life character.

It’s the LA Quartet for me. I only discovered Ellroy after LA Confidential hit the big screen, to find that he basically writes the style of interwoven narrative layers that I love to pile into RPGs. I’ve never found his prose style a problem (unlike, say, China Mieville, where I stopped after a page and refuse to go back), but as I’ve got older, wiser and more socially aware, the casual racism, homophobia and misogyny that mark his characters feel tired, played out and frankly something I am wondering whether is worth the reward.


#7
Wow, you're reading a book in Latin, that's pretty damned impressive. For myself I am reading the Hitch-hikers guide quadrilogy (is that a word?) to my son as his bedtime story and American Gods as mine :smile:

Slowly reading a book in Latin. Not quite as impressive. :wink:


#8

I’m continuing to feed my Dresden Files addiction with Blood Rites every evening, whilst reading Machiavelli’s The Prince on my phone whilst commuting as part of an ongoing Project Gutenberg binge. :3


#9

Starship Troopers. again.


#10

I’m currently reading “Red Seas under Red Skies” by Scott Lynch and “Laughing Gas” by P. G. Wodehouse.

..... separating me from the final Malazan book.

I’m also listening to the Malazan Book of the Fallen series on Audio Book. I do love the series, but damn it’s hard to keep track of the characters some times!

I'm continuing to feed my Dresden Files addiction with Blood Rites every evening, whilst reading Machiavelli's The Prince on my phone whilst commuting as part of an ongoing Project Gutenberg binge. :3

Seems I’m just one book ahead of you. I’m going through the Dresden Files on audio book (rotating between this and the Malazan books and John Connelly’s Charlie Parker series) and I’m enjoying James Marsters reading.


#11

I finished Ancillary Justice quite recently, and sort of loved it. I couldn’t decide if it was flawed, or just very, very clever at doing characterisation through odd writing. As a bit of a gender nerd, there was also something really pleasing in having pronoun assumptions being toyed with in a sensible, diegetic and interesting way.

I’m also rereading the Song of Ice and Fire, but decided I needed a break (and needed to read more scifi) so am debating whether to start Jeff Vandermeer’s Annhilation or wait for Bolano’s Third Reich (not SciFi, but as recommended in the comments of a recent SUSD post) which is currently in the post.


#12

Wow, people have the time for two books at once?! I just started reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World today. I want to make my way through sci-fi classics, so I picked up that and Herbert’s Dune. I also got A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick for my birthday. I’ve read Do Androids… already, and I’m about halfway through a collection of Dick’s short stories. A Scanner Darkly completes my collection of his works that became movies (incidentally there’s a particular scene in Do Androids… that I cannot for the life of me work out why it wasn’t in Blade Runner, it’s my favourite scene in the whole book!).

Anyway, this’ll be the first novel I’ve read in a long while (since my son was born over a year ago). I find it difficult to assign a regular slot to reading as tiredness sets in much sooner for my wife and I than pre-child, so we make the most of our evening together before bed. As well as this, my slight OCD makes me feel extremely anxious to begin something without knowing whether I’ll be able to continue and complete it within ‘good time’ i.e. before I feel like I’ll forget what was happening. I’ve also convinced myself that letting it get to a point where I forget what is going on is unacceptable, since I must attain the optimum experience with every book. And every comic book. And every video game. Consequently, experiencing anxiety and not doing anything when I do have free time occurs often. I’m working on changing that with this book.


#13

I just finished Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov. A rather odd book but very good. I need to find the second book, Penguin Lost. It’s basically about an author who lives in a post-soviet Ukraine making a living by writing obituaries for a newspaper. He lives in a small flat with his pet penguin Misha. It’s a dark comedy with a bit of surrealism. Hard to explain the charm but well worth a read if you enjoy a bit of charming darkness.

So now I’m going back to the Complete Sherlock Holmes. You can get it free on Google Play Books. As the name implies, it’s all the Sherlock Holmes books and stories in one massive collection. After I watched the new Sherlock Holmes BBC series, I realised that I only ever read Hound of the Baskerville. So I was very happy to find that you could get them all for free. That BBC series is a lot closer to the original than I first thought. The books has aged very well and they are well worth a read.

I also have The Necromicon sitting on a shelf. It’s a collection of Lovecraft and it’s a huge black book with gold letters and a picture of Cthulhu. It looks great but is a bit too large and heavy to read on the bus where I do most of my reading. So I’m only halfway through that. Doesn’t help that Lovecraft’s stories are rather repetetive after awhile. I think I’ll just do some googling to figure out which of his stories are the best and read them and skip the rest.


#14
(incidentally there's a particular scene in Do Androids... that I cannot for the life of me work out why it wasn't in Blade Runner, it's my favourite scene in the whole book!).

Phillip K. Dick is one of my favourite authors ever. You should also try some of his stuff that hasn’t (yet) been made into films. Now Wait for Last Year is a cool one about a drug that induces time travel, The Penultimate Truth is another awesome and bizarre tale. I most recently read Our Friends from Frolix 8 which was maybe not quite as good as the others but still managed to be very entertaining. May I ask what is this favourite section of Do Androids… of yours?

At the moment I’m reading 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote the incredible future history/sci-fi Mars trilogy, about the human settlement of Mars. Such good books, which so elegantly balance idealism with plausibility that, while reading them, you can’t help but be optimistic for humanity’s future. This book is kind of set in the same universe as the Mars books, with much of our solar system now settled by humanity, though so far it’s on a much smaller scale (a detective story) than the Mars trilogy’s sweeping epic tale of politics, economics, philosophy, psychology, and humanity. In case you can’t tell I really really love those Mars books.


#15

I’m currently reading through a short story collection of Kafka, separating the fifth Malazan book for me.

I’m also collecting the scifi masterworks collection from Gollanz. The paperback ones with the yellow spines. I recommend all of these books.


#16
(incidentally there's a particular scene in Do Androids... that I cannot for the life of me work out why it wasn't in Blade Runner, it's my favourite scene in the whole book!).
May I ask what is this favourite section of Do Androids... of yours?

I’ll try to do this without spoilers, but basically it’s the scene in the police station on the other side of town. The sense of paranoia and uncertainty at what is truth and what is not was amazing (and one of Dick’s common themes), so when I re-watched BR after I’d read it, I was surprised it wasn’t in there - it was such a good scene I just assumed it was in the movie and I’d forgotten!

Thanks for the recommendations on the Mars trilogy, I’ve added them to my wishlist :slight_smile:


#17
Wow, you're reading a book in Latin, that's pretty damned impressive. For myself I am reading the Hitch-hikers guide quadrilogy (is that a word?) to my son as his bedtime story and American Gods as mine :smile:

As I understand it (a) quadrilogy is a word, but also (b) Hitch-hikers is technically an ‘increasingly inaccurately named trilogy’.

@Andrew & @xFoxUK‌
I totally blagged doing my degree dissertation on Philip K Dick, and am still utterly fascinated by him. I recommend all the obvious ones, Man in the High Castle, Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Ubik, Flow my tears the policeman said, but also some of the weirder end ones (as he tried to process his breakdown/religious experience) VALIS and the Divine Invasion. There’s also some great biographies out there, the Laurence Sutin one for depth and accuracy, and ‘I am alive and you are dead’ for storytelling.

For a glimpse down the rabbit hole, I recommend dipping into this speech (which was never given, if I remember rightly): http://downlode.org/Etext/how_to_build.html


#18

Just started The Rhesus Chart (newest of Charles Stross’ Laundry Files), and have been picking through sporadic stories from the Joseph Mitchell collection Up In The Old Hotel for a while.


#19
I'm continuing to feed my Dresden Files addiction with Blood Rites every evening, whilst reading Machiavelli's The Prince on my phone whilst commuting as part of an ongoing Project Gutenberg binge. :3

Ol’ Niccolò gets a bad reputation for The Prince but people forget that was practically a satire under the prevailing political situation in Florence at the time. Discorsi, (The Discourses on Livy) gives a truer account of his political beliefs: the superiority of the republic over any form of absolute rule and his high esteem for political liberty. Considering who the power elites in Italy were then, it was better for him that it was published posthumously! :wink:


#20
Starship Troopers. again.

That is one of my top ten favorite books yet it took me several complete readings before it dawned on me that Juan Rico was from the Philippines (despite the ludicrously obvious clue towards the end). :\