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What are you Reading Now?

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

  1. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    I'm about two-thirds of the way through Ben-Hur, which I hadn't read since I was a teen. Despite being extraordinarily long-winded, it's any easy read. But so much relies on unlikely coincidences!
     
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  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    Haven't read that in forever. I am currently reading The Unspoken Name. Which involves a very rare thing for fantasy. An orc heroine, of sorts. Well, Assassin and bruiser among other things and quite well learned. Been quite good so far.
     
  3. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    I must say I am finding Ben-Hur, despite the preposterous coincidences that drive the plot, a textbook on story structure.
     
  4. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    I am now reading Ian Watson's Space Marine. The first published story involving the everloving grim darkness of the far future of only war. It is, well, it is something for certain. From a Marine named Biff to very verbose language that suddenly slams into stunted pidgen and course word use. And you kind of get used to the marines being spoken of almost lovingly in their buff musculature and the main trio's brotherhood that borders on the homoerotic when in their heads. It's good in it's own way and definitely worth a read for an early look into the slightly more colorful grim darkness.

    On the other hand, there's still Stunty's in it and a lot of fighting, as per the course of the universe.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I like a lot of Abnett’s work in WH40K.

    Getting ready to start The Waves, by Virginia Woolf. We will see how that one goes.
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I've been working my way through James Joyce's Ulysses.

    Happily, I think I'm on the last sentence.

    *groan*
     
  7. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    While waiting for "Pawn of Prophecy" I'm reading "The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar" by Kim Rendfeld.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I have it on audio book but haven’t gotten through it yet.
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I can't imagine how one would read it aloud, still listen listen to it. He has so much word play, so many references, switches in language. Then there's an entire section done as a play script. And that endless last "sentence" with no punctuation at all, not even on the contractions. How does one capture that on an audio book?

    I've often wondered how his editor managed not to go insane. And Ulysses is the easier one. Finnegan's Wake is nearly unreadable, or so I've heard.
     
  10. Adela

    Adela Scribe

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    Well, that sounds fun.

    Currently reading Stein on Writing and the guy's pretty pretentious. Keeps name dropping people I've never heard of. Also been skipping the non-fiction parts. Should I skip the non-fiction parts? Been asking myself why I bought this.

    Also, don't yell at me, but, Return of the King for the first time. Slow going.
     
  11. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >Keeps name dropping people I've never heard of.
    He's not really name-dropping, he's quoting so he gives attribution to the author. That you (or I) have not heard of most of them isn't really important to the point he's making Sure skip over the non-fiction parts. Skip over any bits that don't seem relevant.

    Which connects to why you bought this. Don't worry about it. A book on writing is filled with advice, presented as a static whole. But an author is an evolving story. We change over time. A bit of advice at one point may seem irrelevant or painfully obvious or needlessly obscure. At another time, though, that same advice will ring like a bronze bell. For myself, advice books--the good ones--have proved valuable but only sporadically, spread out over years. Sometimes the value lies in practical advice, sometimes in inspiration, and sometimes simply in providing an example that finally rings true.

    And, this may vary with others, but I find the physical books to be more useful. Those are the ones I'll pull off a shelf in a moment of idlenss (or frustration) and just flip through randomly. That's hard to do with an e-book. Over these past fifteen years or so, the books (fiction and non-fiction alike) that are on my physical bookshelves are the ones that have really earned the spot. The e-books are the ones I just haven't bothered to delete yet.
     
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  12. Kathy Cyr

    Kathy Cyr Acolyte

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    I just started Bad Mermaids by Sibéal Pounder. I loved her Witch Wars series so much and figured I give her other books a try. :)
     
  13. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

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    I'm reading Michael Tolliver Lives. It is set in San Francisco around 2007 and follows the lives of half a dozen characters. This is number 7 in a 9 book series. The characters are middle-aged now; one is an octogenarian. The writing is fluid, and the story arc is well handled. The first book in the series is Tales of the City; the author is Armistead Maupin. This is not speculative fiction but is straight up contemporary fiction.
     
  14. Snowpoint

    Snowpoint Sage

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    Just finished Hyperion by Dan Simmons, and its sequel. Had no idea what to expect going in. It really surprised me. Some of the characters endure such uniquely Sci-fi horrors, and still feel like very human stories.
     
  15. Riaan

    Riaan Acolyte

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    Finally found a thread where I can talk about a great novel I've been reading, and hoping that it becomes a series in the future.

    Only I can level up(Solo Leveling) written by Chu-Gong. It is a South Korean web novel published by D&C Media under their Papyrus label. Solo levelings a fantasy/system with a part of game in it.
    It's about a young boy who became a hunter to pay for his mother's hospital bills and his sisters school fees. He is considered the weakest hunter by everyone. On one of his dungeon hunts his raid team encounters a duel dungeon. Which is an extremely rare sceneand decides to enter it without consulting the hunters association. (Skipping forward)
    Many people lost their lives in the dungeon only a few survived and he was left behind. By the the others and lost a leg. After that incident he woke up in a hospital totally unharmed. He then found a system notification pop up in front of him. Which he keeps a secret from everyone he encounter. This is helps him grow stronger as he starts to increase his strength slowly becoming the stingers hunter.

    Im going to stop here not to spoil it any further. But it is a great book and hope people enjoy it as much as I do.
     
  16. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Last night I finished reading the novel of Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke. I've never actually watched the movie but I'd heard it was very good so when I saw the book on Amazon I had to try it out. (I'm generally more of a book person than a movie person.) So while I can't compare it to the original version, I truly enjoyed the book. I imagine Funke was the perfect author to collaborate with on this as her prose is excellent at walking the line between the cruel real world and the magical imaginary world. I would highly recommend it to fans of fairy tales and magical realism.
     
  17. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

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    One of the aspects of this series is that the author writes a new trilogy from time to time, with the same characters. So they age and go through trials and tribulations, and by The Days of Anna Madrigal (last book in the series) the characters are mostly in their 60's - 90's and have significant health concerns. I really enjoyed this series. Some characters are straight, some gay. The one I liked best was Mary Ann Singleton, who has ambition to burn. Most of the characters are satisfied with little, but she wants to go to the top, and hell yes go for it!
     
  18. neodoering

    neodoering Minstrel

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    For non-fiction I am currently reading Islamic Empires, which is an examination of Islam over 15 centuries. The author, Justin Marozzi, picks one city per century and shows how it is a powerhouse of Islam leadership and military might. The chapter on Jerusalem is to depressing that I could hardly read it through; the Christians and the Muslims go back and forth in bloody massacres. Overall, though, I am refreshed at learning about these different cities and the development of Islam through the ages.
     
  19. AMObst

    AMObst Dreamer

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    I'm in the middle of NK Jemisin's The City We Became. All I can say so far is - WOW!
     
  20. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I felt the need to come here and gush about a book. This is such a rare thing for me.

    Jo Walton has been on my list of authors to read. Mostly for Among Others, which was the only one of her books I had actually heard of. But while looking through her works on Amazon I saw that The Just City was on sale. (Not anymore, unfortunately.) The description hooked me immediately.

    Basically, 300 individuals from across 2000+ years of history have all prayed to Athena that they might be able to live in the city described in Plato's Republic. This includes people like Plotinus and Cicero and Marsilio Ficino and many others either real or made up. Athena gathers these people and proposes to help them set up the city as an experiment. She chooses the island that will one day be called Thera and then later on Santorini. They gather 10,000+ slave children from throughout history around the Mediterranean to bring there to conduct the experiment on. They try to follow Plato's instructions as much as possible, but they also have divine help and also robots that Athena has brought from the future. Also, Apollo gets wind of the experiment and decides to incarnate and experience it all from beginning to end as a human because there are things he wants to learn that he thinks he can learn there. After the city had got up and running Athena also brings Socrates there, against his will, and he's not going to just sit around and take it.

    The beauty of this book is that 99% of the conflict is entirely philosophical. There is debate over how to set up the city, but it is all discussed and solved logically. There is a boy who refuses to accept the fact that he was brought and kept there against his will, even if the life he leads there is very good, but it is only explored through socratic dialogue. Apollo struggles to learn about volition and equal significance between men and women and between gods and humans. But he is open to learning and does so through philosophical debate. And finally, Socrates is determined to question everything about the City, why it was made, should it have been made, is it a good thing, and also do the "Worker" robots have the potential for free will and intelligence? The big climax is a public debate between Athena and Socrates and it is glorious.

    If you have any interest at all in Ancient Greek philosophy then I can't recommend this highly enough. I'm reading the second book now of the trilogy and I am so happy to have found it. It's the smartest fantasy I've read in so long I could weep.
     
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