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What are you reading at the moment?

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weirdboy
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#1241

Post by weirdboy »

I thought The Left Hand of Darkness did have others.

Yes, the set is called the Hainish Cycle.

They are not directly connected stories but they take place in the same universe, and share some references and whatnot.
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#1242

Post by weirdboy »

Also I agree that the womanizing prose is really stupid, but about 90% of that book is them walking around this huge spaceship. So if you can get past the crud at the start you will be fine.
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#1243

Post by Armoreska »

im reading Ursula LeGuin (Dispossessed) and looks like someone's been talking about it just earlier.

i also shortlisted a bunch of anarchist/socialist/postgender/transhumanist scifi and even got the texts for most of them. along with the shorts this should last me the lifetime
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#1244

Post by prodigalgodson »

Finished Oakley Hall's Warlock, one of the small handful of best books I've read.

About a third of the way into Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man now, and I totally get the hype.
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#1245

Post by burneyfan »

prodigalgodson wrote: November 26th, 2020, 8:40 pm Finished Oakley Hall's Warlock, one of the small handful of best books I've read.
I read Warlock a few years ago and loved it. It's one of a trilogy, though I don't think the novels are connected, except perhaps thematically. I have the second novel, The Bad Lands, sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. (The third novel is Apaches.) For other great western reads in a similar vein, I recommend:

The Land Breakers by John Ehle
Butcher's Crossing by John Edward Williams
Anything set in the west by Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian's my favorite so far, but they're all great)
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison (one of my favorites from the past 1-2 years)

Just my unsolicited follow-up recommendations. :cheers:
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#1246

Post by prodigalgodson »

burneyfan wrote: November 26th, 2020, 11:59 pm
prodigalgodson wrote: November 26th, 2020, 8:40 pm Finished Oakley Hall's Warlock, one of the small handful of best books I've read.
I read Warlock a few years ago and loved it. It's one of a trilogy, though I don't think the novels are connected, except perhaps thematically. I have the second novel, The Bad Lands, sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. (The third novel is Apaches.) For other great western reads in a similar vein, I recommend:

The Land Breakers by John Ehle
Butcher's Crossing by John Edward Williams
Anything set in the west by Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian's my favorite so far, but they're all great)
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison (one of my favorites from the past 1-2 years)

Just my unsolicited follow-up recommendations. :cheers:
Ayy thank you for the recs! I was hoping to read more from Hall, so I'll definitely have to seek out the rest of the trilogy.

Love Butcher's Crossing (as well as Stoner and Augustus, the latter of which is top 10 material for me), and Blood Meridian was my favorite book back in college (I think I'd give Suttree the edge from McCarthy now), but I haven't read the Border Trilogy, and neither the Ehle nor Narison titles ring a bell, so I greatly appreciate the pointers. I love Western fiction, but it's tough to find it really done well, so I'm thrilled to have more to look forward to. :cheers:
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#1247

Post by mightysparks »

Started reading House of Leaves last month and finally finished it last night. Didn't really like it that much tbh and I don't understand why it's so consistently listed as one of the 'scariest' books. It's incredibly dense and dry and boring. It's not scary, although there are a couple of scenes that are sort of creepy/cool. But they probably total 5 sentences in the whole book. The format is interesting and the effort the author put into it is insane, but it's just not enjoyable.
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#1248

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

Click to see the thread. Thought this might be of interest to many of you readers here

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#1249

Post by prodigalgodson »

I wish they assigned Moby Dick in K-12. I do have to agree on The Scarlet Letter though, that cornball shit did not age well. Then again I only finished a fraction of it, heh heh.

There are a lot, like The Great Gatsby, that might be great books but devoid of context and as assigned reading lose whatever glow they might have. The only assigned books from K-12 I was really feeling were To Kill a Mockingbird (me and everyone else and their grandma), Crime and Punishment, and The Plague. I still think it's pretty cool that our high school assigned Camus.
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#1250

Post by weirdboy »

I personally really liked Moby Dick, except for that chapter that was just a long list of whale names and specifications.
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#1251

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

My English teacher decided to do his favourite books instead of the classics. He's someone who thinks that Gran Turino is one of the greatest films ever made.

We had to read The Stone Angel. He said we have no taste in books if we didn't enjoy that one. Turns out it's complete garbage anyways. The type of plot where someone old becomes "woke" after smoking weed.
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#1252

Post by mightysparks »

Last year I made a list of 10 classics and 10 'sci-fi etc books I'm actually interested in' to read, but I didn't finish either of them. I'm hoping to actually hit my reading goal this year and finish off the lists. I've been going back and forth between them and I've been finding this quite enjoyable. My lists are currently looking like:
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Hamlet
  • Picture of Dorian Gray
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Invisible Man
  • Moby Dick
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Great Expectations
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Berserk (vol 1-4)
  • Rendezvous With Rama
  • Mistborn, The Final Empire
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Assassin's Apprentice
  • Consider Phlebas
  • The Mote in God's Eye
  • The Illustrated Man
  • House of Leaves
... yes I still haven't read Cuckoo's Nest. I bought it and started reading it when I was about 15 but a water bottle leaked in my bag and ruined the book so that put me off lol

I'm currently reading Picture of Dorian Gray. Not sure what I'm choosing next. I intend for Moby Dick to be my long read of the year, so I'll probably try and do that within the next month before I go back to uni.
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#1253

Post by sebby »

I would say Cuckoo's nest is very hard not to like, but then again i would have said the same about house of leaves.

i've recently finished Convenience Store Woman and it's probably better than anything i read in 2020 or 2019.
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#1254

Post by Armoreska »

It's more like looking at but this is listed as a novel (found while looking up socialist books to DL on IPFS)
Max Ernst - Une Semaine de Bonte
http://www.all-art.org/art_20th_century/ernst_Max1.html
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#1255

Post by Armoreska »

anyone using Firefox wanna try this extension to fetch books direct from goodreads? sounds like a dream
https://github.com/laxyapahuja/bunken
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currently working towards a vegan/free world + thru such film lists: GODARD, r/antinatalism recommends,..
the rest
ANARCHISTS, ANIMAL RIGHTS, Assisted suicide, Existential films, SOCIALIST CINEMA (an amalgamation of lists), Feminist lists, various GSSRM lists (aka LGBTQ+), 2010s bests, Visual Effects nominees, kid-related stuff, great animes (mini-serie or feature), very 80s movies, mah huge sci-fi list, ENVIRO, remarkable Silent Films and Pre-Code (exploring 1925 atm) and every shorts and docu list I'm aware of and
/forum.icmforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1434
and "Gordon" Liu Chia-Hui/Liu Chia-Liang and Yuen Woo-ping and "Sammo" Hung Kam-bo
imaginary awards | youtube channels | complaint lounge | explain how big a fan of slavery you are here, ..viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1535 and here: ..viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4484
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#1256

Post by mightysparks »

I came across a Reddit post last night about a couple wanting lighthearted books to read to each other at night and I thought it seemed like a nice idea. I brought it up with my boyfriend and he was interested so I bookmarked a bunch of recommendations in the thread but when we finally got ready to read tonight he decided he wanted a book of short stories :rolleyes: the only one I could think of was this 15 mega pack of Robert Sheckley stories that I had on my kindle.

We read the first story Watchbird—I had a turn, he had a turn, then I had a turn and he got comfy in bed and didn’t want to read again so I finished it off. After that he was too sleepy to continue and now he’s sleeping soundly lol.

Didn’t really feel like the right book for bedtime stories so I think we should try some kids books so we get used to reading aloud and stuff. I found it quite hard and weird, hard to pause or enunciate things correctly but also trying to just listen to him tell me the story and see it in my head. Had to close my eyes to properly listen. Was kinda fun though so hopefully we can continue this activity.
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#1257

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I just finished Hammett's Red Harvest. I was inspired to read it by the extensive discussion of the book in Travis Wilkerson's video essay An Injury to One, though my interest was also piqued by the many filmmakers influenced by Hammett, most notably the Coen Brothers. I can't say I found much good writing in the book. It reads like a pulp serial -- a lot of breakneck action, often repetitive. The enjoyment comes from some of the stylistic choices (plenty of delectable slang) and from an atmosphere so drenched in blood and corruption and cynicism that human society itself seems like an extended exercise in self-destruction. Still, among hard-boiled writers, I think I prefer Jim Thompson.
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#1258

Post by gunnar »

I'm about finished with The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons. This is a reread, but it's been 25-30 years since I read it the first time. I'm enjoying it just about as much as then. Maybe I'll even continue on and read Endymion.

I'm also reading Necropolis Rising by Tim Pratt, the second book in the Twilight Imperium series. It''s a fun little series so far.
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#1259

Post by matthewscott8 »

Pretentious Hipster wrote: December 2nd, 2020, 8:58 pm Click to see the thread. Thought this might be of interest to many of you readers here

I actually really enjoyed Moby Dick. The secret is more to be a self directed reader, if someone tells you that you have to read a book then chances are you won't like it. There are life lessons in the book that I regularly recall even though I read it 20 years ago.
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#1260

Post by matthewscott8 »

weirdboy wrote: December 8th, 2020, 12:39 pm I personally really liked Moby Dick, except for that chapter that was just a long list of whale names and specifications.
just need an illustrated edition and then even that is enjoyable
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#1261

Post by brokenface »

Antkind (l)

If you like Kaufman, particularly Synecdoche New York, you will like. Might be absurdism overload for some, but plenty of film-nerdery, someone's even compiled a list of all the film references: https://letterboxd.com/jack/list/films- ... nd/detail/
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#1262

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Natsume Soseki's "I Am a Cat", satire of early 20th century Japanese society through the eyes of a - you guessed it - cat. Has the humorous mood of "Botchan" along with the criticism of teachers, just not sure how long the gimmick can be stretched.
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#1263

Post by 3eyes »

Just read Alexander McCall Smith's updated retelling of Jane Austen's Emma (same title). Fun light reading if you like JA.

My heavier reading is mostly paleontology & stuff. Most recently Flying Dinosaurs by John Pickrell. (I wrote my 11th grade term paper on the evolution of the bird and discovered to my horror that I was the only kid in my class who believed in evolution.) Thinking on bird evolution has been revolutionized by discoveries in China 25 yrs ago. But I guess if I told my 3-year old grandson "there's a dinosaur in that tree", it would only confuse him.
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#1264

Post by mightysparks »

A while ago I signed up with a free trial of Audible and grabbed a few things for free but only recently started listening to some. I was a bit weirded out by audiobooks but I’ve enjoyed listening to the ones I have so far — The Importance of Being Earnest and A Study in Scarlet (grabbed the whole Sherlock collection for free with a credit so that was pretty nice). I found an app called Libby which lets you access the digital catalogues of libraries you’ve joined for free but there are only 3000 audiobooks on mine and I haven’t found any for the books I’ve searched for. I get all my Kindle books totally legally and free so Audible seems really pricey in comparison. $17 a month + the cost of each book on top of that? I think I’d probably just use the free credits instead of buying stuff but that’s a bit limiting. The usual sources for totally legal and free content is sadly pretty lacking in audiobooks :(

I’ve also started reading Invisible Woman: Data Bias in a World Designed For Men which has been both enlightening and frustrating so far. It’s funny coz i was sharing some of it with my boyfriend and he would respond very similarly to the way the book says men tend to respond to those things (and my bf is pretty open-minded and not douchey). One example is the lack of safety for women surrounding public transport and he said they should just put more CCTV up and the book literally said men think technological solutions are better than having a guard and women tend not to feel safer with CCTV. I’m only a couple of chapters in but I’d recommend it so far.
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#1265

Post by gunnar »

I started listening to audiobooks back in 2010 when I drove to Texas for a vacation. I did a lot of driving during the trip and didn't feel like listening to radio stations along the way. I ended up enjoying the audiobooks and once I got my iPhone in 2016, by audiobook listening increased so that is around 2/3 of the books I read these days.

I have an annual plan for Audible that gets me 24 credits per year. So far I've been able to use them all up on books I want, but if it becomes a problem, I'll probably reconsider the plan. There are a couple of other services available through my local library - OverDrive, which is being replaced by Libby, and Hoopla. I've found a number of movies, graphic novels, and books on Hoopla.

I'm currently listening to Wakers by Orson Scott Card, about a teenager with the ability to sidestep between timelines who wakes up in a coffin-like box in a facility and discovers an empty world. In hardcover, I'm reading A New Clan by David Weber and Jane Lindskold. It is the fourth book in the Star Kingdom science fiction series. I also started A Call to Insurrection by David Weber (and others) in hardcover. I've enjoyed many other books from both Orson Scott Card and David Weber. Science Fiction and Fantasy novels tend to dominate my reading lists.
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#1266

Post by mightysparks »

I noticed the 24 credits a year plan here works out at $22 a month vs $17 a month for 12 which seems like much better value. Idk why I’m scared of the price coz it’s not even an hour of work for one month subscription and I actually have an income now :/ I think I’ll just sign up.

Anyway, Wakers sounds pretty fun. Sci-fi and fantasy are my main things too but I’m trying to read more nonfiction now.
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#1267

Post by kongs_speech »

I'm halfway through Naked Lunch. It is immensely enjoyable to read Burrough's whacked-out, almost unfathomably obscene prose.
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#1268

Post by mightysparks »

Do you like the film? How do they compare? I'm keen to read it at some point.


Meanwhile I'm loving my Audible subscription. I decided to go with the monthly one for now just to see if I like it and I didn't realise how much free stuff is available in the Plus catalogue. Got enough to listen to for ages. I've been listening to books while working-- I work from home and it's fairly mindless/repetitive but I had to try a few different books before I found ones I had enough concentration for (could not focus on Moby Dick at all, for example). I've been listening to one of the 'Great Courses' on Culinary History and The Count of Monte Cristo. On nights that I've gone to bed and listened, I've gotten sleepy and fallen asleep within like 20 minutes. On nights I decide to watch true crime on Youtube I'm up until 4am so it's been better for my sleep too. I've got some health issues at the moment so it's really nice to just lay back with my eyes closed and have books pumped directly into me lol.
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#1269

Post by kongs_speech »

mightysparks wrote: July 8th, 2022, 5:42 am Do you like the film? How do they compare? I'm keen to read it at some point.
Yes, I rank it among my favorite Cronenbergs. The film is definitely more inspired by the novel, specifically Burroughs' time writing it, than any sort of straightforward adaptation. It's a literally unfilmable novel, not just because of things that can't be depicted for content reasons, but because the whole thing is one druggy, obscene ramble after another. The film and novel are quite different, but they're both awesome.
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#1270

Post by kongs_speech »

I finished Naked Lunch and Cat's Cradle. Both tremendous pieces of literature.
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#1271

Post by mightysparks »

Finished a few books recently. Two audiobooks: The Midnight Library was ok, a fun idea with a really dull MC and needed a little more subtlety but I still enjoyed the experience enough. And The Count of Monte Cristo which was a real drag. Too many dialogue heavy scenes and monologues about nothing. Boring characters and plots and just too long and pointless.

And Invisible Women which was enlightening and interesting though sometimes just a stats dump without much depth. Still a worthwhile read.

Now I’m listening to The Hunger Games which is ok so far, enjoying it more than the film but still a bit too YA.
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#1272

Post by 3eyes »

Problem with audiobooks is, they don't have subtitles.

I've been rereading some old Pogo comics - sharp political satire from an era before most of you were born, set in the Okefenokee Swamp. Laugh-out-loud funny once you get used to the dialect and past being annoyed by the continuity reiterations caused by it being a collection of daily strips.

Bad guys include Sample J Malarkey (a carnivore) and Wiley Katt and Sarcophagus McCabre (vulture), Deacon Mushrat (who speaks in Fraktur) and his spy ring, the Audible Boy Birdwatchers (3 bats named Bewitched, Bothered and Bemildred). And the good guys are always cooking up hairbrained schemes (like measuring the world during the G. O. Fizzikle year) with much resultant ado. Pogo (a possum) and his dour friend Porkypine are islands of sanity in the middle of all these goings-on.
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#1273

Post by kongs_speech »

mightysparks wrote: July 25th, 2022, 11:45 am Now I’m listening to The Hunger Games which is ok so far, enjoying it more than the film but still a bit too YA.
They're certainly not the pinnacle of literature or anything, but the book trilogy is massively better than the films. For one, there's no shaky camerawork to make me sick.
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#1274

Post by gunnar »

I finally finished Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. It's a pretty big book at 970 pages. I've had the hardcover in my library for 20 years or so. If you're unfamiliar with the book, it details the life of samurai/philosopher Miyamoto Musashi from 1600 when he fought at the battle of Sekigahara as a teen through his epic duel with Sasaki Kojiro in 1612. The book is fiction, but it draws upon real events from Musashi's life. I started the book last fall around the same time that I watched the Samurai trilogy with Toshiro Mifune, but eventually set it aside when I was around halfway through the book. I started reading it again last week and just finished. It's an excellent book, though Musashi wanders around so much during those 12 years (as do many of the supporting characters), that I think I appreciated it more reading it two sections than trying to fight through it to the end.
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#1275

Post by blocho »

It's been a while since I've posted here (last fall, after reading Red Harvest). Since then, I've read nine books, the best of which by far was an unpublished novel by my friend Eric. He's been working on that book for 15 years, and I read two earlier unfinished drafts, so it was immensely satisfying to read the finished product. I think it's a genuinely great novel, and I dearly hope that it will be published.

But in terms of books that others here might have heard of:

Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale. I was a bit disappointed with this. The language felt thorny at times -- abstruse, florid, and impenetrable. I found the plot details and world-building more interesting than the prose or characters.

Multiple authors, The God That Failed. This is one of the major anti-communist works of the twentieth century, featuring chapters by six different literary types about their involvement with and eventual departure from the Communist Party during the interwar period. I read Darkness at Noon several years ago, so it surprised me not at all that Arthur Koestler's chapter was the best, but the contributions of Ignazio Silone and Richard Wright were also impressive.

Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis. I have mixed feelings about this novel, which is really a compendium of two novellas and three short stories, with linked characters between each. The two novellas are the standouts, while the short stories are a bit disappointing. The overall message, about the failure of the sixties and the baby boomers, feels very trite. This is probably the worst book I've read by King, which is to say that it's still OK.
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#1276

Post by blueboybob »

Anyone want to follow each other on Goodreads? This is me, https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4735233-john
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