What are you Reading Now?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythopoet, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Ban

    Ban Staff Article Team

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    I'm dipping back into fiction with a collection of Jack London's work and I'm finishing up SPQR by Mary Read. Perhaps I'll get to reading the Dragonbone Chair finally after having it stare at me for two years. It's about time I make myself read some fantasy, before you guys decide to collectively kick me out :p
     
  2. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    The Hound of the Baskervilles. I have a bunch of gothic mysteries to read this summer. Jekyll and Hyde again, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, The Italian, We have always Lived in the Castle.

    It will be a creepy summer :)
     
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  3. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    I'm going to try Good Omens again.
     
  4. Ban

    Ban Staff Article Team

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    Finished both and am now reading Peter Frankopan's silk roads and... finally... the Dragonbone Chair. Hopefully I'll get through it this time.
     
  5. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Lore Master

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    Tried the Dragonbone Chair a while back 150 pages in , I had nothing to complain about, but nothing to like either, so I dropped it.
     
  6. Ban

    Ban Staff Article Team

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    Yeah I had that as well a few years ago when I tried it. Ever since then it's just been sitting on the shelf and I feel guilty for not having read it fully.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  7. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Sooo let's see... since last time I've tried several different recently published books and none of them could capture my interest.

    I gave up on The Song of Achilles because I don't want to read descriptions of teenage sex. I just don't. I closed the book at the first euphemism for "penis". (And of course I already know the story of Achilles so there was no great pull on me to see what happens.) Why is it just the "done" thing these days to include sex scenes in everything but have no warning about it? I find it very uncomfortable and tiresome.

    I tried Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, a fantasy(?) book set in an Asian facsimile world. But I didn't like the main character and began to truly dislike her once I realized that the point of the book was not for her to resist temptation and become a heroine, but to submit to temptation and become a villain. Maybe if she were even the slightest bit of an interesting person it would have worked.

    The others I didn't give more than a few pages to before putting them down so they're not worth mentioning. It just felt like I couldn't feel any interest in anything, which was depressing. So I turned to some classics for relief.

    I reread A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay. It's an old book, written in 1920, so it has some issues with sexism, but not too much that I can't thoroughly enjoy the creative worldbuilding and philosophical plot. The ending is a bit frustrating in its openness, but I still find this book thoroughly entertaining. It ushered in new developments in the genre of SF so I feel it's an important book.

    I also picked up A True History by Lucian of Samosata after hearing about it from a classics student I follow on tumblr. This book is a wild and insane satire of the type of "travelogue" books that passed for non-fiction back in the classical period, even though they talked about ridiculous things like lands where people have no heads or where giant ants dig up and hoard gold. My favorite episode by far is the author and his crew getting caught up in a war between the moon people and the sun people over the colonization of Venus. Good stuff.

    My husband has been rereading the Gene Wolfe series The Book of the Long Sun (set in the same universe as the Book of the New Sun) and has insisted that I also read it so he can talk to me about it. So I've started book one, Nightside of the Long Sun. I'm only a very short way it, but so far I would describe it as "God sent me to save the rec center.... in space" which my husband says is pretty accurate.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    After a couple more fantasy books that failed to engage me, I went back to my To-Read list and finally settled on E.P. Thompsen's The Making of the English Working Class. It has been a long time since I read a history book just to read a history book. It's a pleasure to be reminded of how rewarding it is to read good history written by a master. Along with Eric Hobsbawm's The Dual Revolution, this is the classic work on the period when the world changed more fundamentally than in any other single lifespan (roughly, 1780 to 1830 or, if you prefer, 1848). It's great stuff.
     
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  9. kennyc

    kennyc Grandmaster

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  10. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Scribal Lord

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    Very sorry to hear that. While its a slow going its a very good fantasy story when it actually gets there. If you would find to much time on your hands, I would certainly recommend to pick it up again.
     
  11. Garren Jacobsen

    Garren Jacobsen Dark Lord

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    I'm reading the King of Torts. I got an urban fantasy legal thriller in my head and a regular one. Figured I'd read some legal thrillers to get the structure down for those books.
     
  12. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Dark Lord

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    Eh, for me it was the last book that broke me. I just couldn't muster enough interest to finish it. So I flipped ahead and from what I saw I don't really think I was missing out on anything.
     
  13. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Scribal Lord

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    Very sorry to hear that. I kind of liked the ending though.
     
  14. TheCrystallineEntity

    TheCrystallineEntity Dark Lord

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    I read The Ocean At The End of The Lane [by Neil Gaiman] again for what is probably the seventh time. It is by far my favourite of his [along with Good Omens].
     
  15. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

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    I added another history book to my currently reading--G.K. Chesterton's sort-of biography of St Thomas Aquinas. Father Brown's Omnibus is standing in line behind it; a book I've not read since middle school. I'm guessing I get more out of it this time!

    I have yet to find a fantasy book I can sink my teeth into (teeth-sinking being much more difficult to do with ebooks).
     
  16. Ireth

    Ireth Mythic Scribe

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    Bought myself Beren and Luthien the other day. I love the different versions of the tale, and the bits of both poetry and prose. ^_^
     
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  17. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    I have the Father Brown mysteries on my shelf; that reminded me.
     
  18. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    So i just finished The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells and I don't really know how to articulate how I felt. It was good, but it fell short in ways I don't fully understand. Maybe it's just that I spent my gift card on it.

    There were very lovely descriptions of the environments so that I got a very clear idea of the settings, but other things were woefully under-described. I never got a great idea of what the evil beings called Fell were or looked like; maybe humanoid dragons, by the scales and leathery wings? Also there isn't any map. There are a LOT of races but I don't really have any idea of how many or if there are any large kingdoms or countries or anything, or if it's all just small tribes. I'm still a bit confused about what the main character's race looks like past having some scales, wings, a tail, and frills/spikes on their heads...but also hair? or no? The writing style was just...dull. I wasn't into the writing at all.

    Also the first 100 pages I did not care about anyone and I had to force myself through. Very boring, probably due to sparse character development. It got better though.

    The race the main character belonged to seemed very like the Pernese dragons in that they had biological castes including smaller infertile ones, fertile males, and fertile females called "queens" who were the most powerful of all. Also similar was the fact that years were called "turns," creatures vaguely named "herdbeasts" and certain aspects of the society such as the fairly relaxed customs surrounding sexuality. It was actually not misogynistic though, so yay. Actually I liked the way it played with gender roles.

    This author was the worst at naming. Flower? Sand?? Salt? Knife?? Gift? Dream? They are all one word names and such fairly common words that you wonder at how they don't run out. It didn't help that Flower was also attended by Petal, Blossom, and Floret. How am I supposed to keep those straight?

    I have some thoughts on the distinctions between young adult and adult novels. So far as I can tell, sexuality is handled differently, but not in the sense of how graphic or detailed the descriptions, but in the significance it has for the characters. YA usually focuses on characters having their first or early/exploratory sexual experiences and relationships while adult novels have them in established relationships. I guess this all depends on the ages of the main characters. YA actually tends to focus on it a lot more and have sex likely to be an important plot point.
     
  19. DragonOfTheAerie

    DragonOfTheAerie Valar Lord

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    I don't know what I will read next. I need a new bookmark.
     
  20. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Valar Lord

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    Just finished reading Fatherland by Richard Harris. Read it years ago and had forgotten most of it. Nice and bleak! Different worlds but with the same basic mise en scene [NAZIs won] as Man in the High Castle. I think they work well together. Thinking of going non-fiction next...
     
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