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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 752032 times)

Ancient Otter

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5550 on: 27 December, 2015, 08:12:55 PM »
Evan Wright's Generation Kill. Fascinating read. I figure it can't have been an easy book to write. I felt quite bad for most people involved, and for the others worse.

Remembered alot of scenes from the tv series, especially the one where a girl is shot after her father didn't stop the car he was driving.

Brutal stuff. I really recommend it.

+1. The lieutenant of that unit wrote a book as well, One Bullet Away, so I'd curious to see he thought of it all.

Theblazeuk

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5551 on: 30 December, 2015, 12:07:47 PM »
Courtship of Princess Leia is terrible  :-\

Other opinions are of course available :)

I would say the only Star Wars books that are truly great are the X-Wing series by Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston. Rogue is a great series. Wraith is even better. I, Jedi is a good enough footnote but falls into Mary Sue territory as the super capable Corran Horn character from Rogue Squadron becomes a wizard too. The Young Han Solo books are actually a lot of fun and don't ever go too far with an established character too. And Timothy Zahn's books are good.

Lots of absolutely brilliant Star Wars comics, including the best realisation of The Clone Wars to boot. Muddy warfare on a planet of perpetual rain, Jedi falling like flies whilst the planets forces wonder when reinforcements from the clones will ever break through.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5552 on: 30 December, 2015, 01:56:19 PM »
Thanks, Blaze - I'll add them to my list!

Currently enjoying Ursula  Le Guin's The Dispossessed as recommended by Tordelback. Thanks, Tordels - half way through Chapter 3 and loving it so far.
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Zarjazzer

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5553 on: 08 January, 2016, 08:08:19 PM »
Star Wars the force awakens-I can't be bothered to go to the movies so I'm a reading the novel of the trailer of the sequel of the movie.

Stuff happens in this book you know. Star Wars stuff.


it's by Alan Dean Foster. Kinda odd description wise but it's rocketing along like a Corellian freighter.
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5554 on: 12 January, 2016, 01:12:00 PM »
Finished Le Guin's The Dispossessed. Like all the best books it goes beyond entertainment and makes you think. As it is concerned with topics of great interest to me (anarchism and such) it is, perhaps, a book I should have read long ago. If I had read it long ago, however, I don't think I'd have enjoyed it so much. It often strikes me how certain books seem to come to me at exactly the right time, and this one is no exception.
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The Dispossessed raises questions I have been pondering myself lately and, whilst it offers no definitive answers (not that it should), it has crystallised much in my mind and led me to begin to find my own answers and examine my own perspectives in that seemingly effortless way all great works do.
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Excellent. Thanks to Tordelback for recommending it - it's one of the very few books making onto my list of "must read again."
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Now on to Ender's Game, which another friend tells me is "well worth reading..."
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I, Cosh

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5555 on: 12 January, 2016, 01:19:56 PM »
Ender's Game is reasonably fun (as long as you're mature enough to get past the unfortunately named aliens) but has a rather different philosophical outlook to The Dispossessed. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, is a much better book.

You should probably read Left Hand of Darkness too. Maybe not quite as good (or relevant to your interests) as The Dispossessed but still excellent.
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Dandontdare

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5556 on: 12 January, 2016, 01:38:29 PM »
And there's a comic adaptation too!

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5557 on: 12 January, 2016, 01:39:07 PM »
Cool, thanks, Cosh - my reading list is starting to look like a novel in its own right! It's odd that the only other Le Guin books I've read are a Wizard of Earthsea one-book trilogy I used to have, which I loved to bits.
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So many books, so little time :(
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And comics, too! Thanks, DDD.
« Last Edit: 12 January, 2016, 01:41:08 PM by The Legendary Shark »
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Dandontdare

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5558 on: 12 January, 2016, 01:50:58 PM »
just to clarify, I meant there's a conic version of Ender's Game, not the LeGuin stuff. I didn't really rate it myself, but I've never been a huge fan of Orson Scott Card - don't really like military-style SF such as EG, and I find it hard to divorce his work from his frankly repellent political views (I don't think any artist should be dismissed or not enjoyed due to politics, or else we'd lose so many great classics, but sometimes it's hard to separate them in your head)

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5559 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:09:22 PM »
That's why I tend not to be interested in the artists/writers themselves (I never read their biographies or have any interest in their private lives or opinions, or even interviews), only in their work. Imagine finding out that John Wagner enjoyed drowning kittens as a competitive sport or that Carlos Ezquerra worshipped a pebble shaped like Charlie Brown's winkie. That'd ruin everything for me!
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TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5560 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:23:36 PM »
Orson Scott Card has written some great stuff - his short fiction in particular.  But every time I see his books on my bookshelf I feel deeply uncomfortable, and know I'll never buy another.  And yet I can't bring myself to ditch'em.

Glad you enjoyed the LeGuin, Sharky - she's my all-time favourite author. If you can find some of the many collections of her short stories (e.g. The Birthday of the World) set in the roughly-same Ekumen/Hainish universe as The Dispossessed, they are almost all superb.  For example, 'Old Music and the Slave Women' is one of the best short stories I've ever read, perfect like something by Saki or de Maupassant (technically a follow-up to 'Four Ways to Forgiveness' but like almost all LeGuin functions just fine on its own).  And I'd echo Cosh's recommendation of Left Hand of Darkness, a story about gender and llve that at this far remove seems like it should be old hat, but actually isn't.

« Last Edit: 12 January, 2016, 02:25:41 PM by Tordelback »

Fungus

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5561 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:24:41 PM »
Since it's "reading" and not "read" I feel justified throwing this one up:

A Death In The Family - Knausgaard
Halfway through this, and it's glorious. Warts-and-all autobiographical fiction, it's every bit as good as the stellar reviews would have you believe. Feels very, very true. Sometimes a scene feels like it's building to some clever point, then - because it's true - things pan out in the way they would. Yet it remains engrossing. 5 books in the series after this  :) And only today did I make the obvious connection being made with the allusion in the series' title, 'My Struggle'. That would be Mein Kampf...

:

Never get as many books read as I'd like (who does?) but recent ones below, a mixed bag because I crave variety:

Foundation and Empire - Asimov
Hm, as old-fashioned and crumbly as Foundation. Struggling to remember what happened, it's not exactly Thrill-powered (I'm not judging!). Will read the final part of the trilogy in my hardback editio, just not for a while...

Think Like An Artist - Gompertz
I'm a fan of 'How To' books, especially art ones. This one interesting enough and does spur you on (by subverting the silly idea that art is for the odd few geniuses - it's really not, lots of reasons why).

The Outsider - Camus
A classic, wish I'd read it years ago. Tense and dense (with meaning) yet simply written (and wonderfully short).

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell
Fairly interesting, chin-stroking stuff. I don't know if I'd pick any more of his stuff up, it's briefly curious to think why some planes fall out of the sky (and others don't) and the nature of the 10,000-hour rule but it did feel like pub bore territory at times.

The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler
Read half and abandoned (a very very rare occurrence). A chore. Thought it might have more to offer but wow, is this dull. Life's too short.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5562 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:30:10 PM »
Thanks again, Tordels - I do like short stories and those sound perfect.
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The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5563 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:43:26 PM »
Good list, Fungus - I've bookmarked The Stranger to have a go at while I'm out. Got to love the interwebs!
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I, Cosh

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #5564 on: 12 January, 2016, 02:48:03 PM »
just to clarify, I meant there's a conic version of Ender's Game, not the LeGuin stuff. I didn't really rate it myself, but I've never been a huge fan of Orson Scott Card - don't really like military-style SF such as EG, and I find it hard to divorce his work from his frankly repellent political views (I don't think any artist should be dismissed or not enjoyed due to politics, or else we'd lose so many great classics, but sometimes it's hard to separate them in your head)
I almost wrote something in my last post about it being interesting that Card hasn't really been written out of history the way dudes like Edmund Cooper and Bob Shaw have. Was it Georges Perec that (roughly) said of Celine  "It's fascinating that he can write so beautifully while being such a horrible cunt."?

Haven't really read much of that style of military SF which has seemed to dominate things like the Hugos for thirty years or more but I'd think of Ender's Game as being a little more sophisticated than Honor Harrington or whatever.

Never read Card's short fiction but would unreservedly recommend le Guin's. Along with pretty much everything she's ever written. She is by some distance the best writer ever to have worked extensively in SF.
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