Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 48815 times)

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #600 on: February 12, 2019, 03:39:57 PM »
I don't want to sound like a cunt but please could people start specific threads rather than dumping so much in this one?

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #601 on: February 12, 2019, 04:41:52 PM »
Whoever's reading the Compleet Molesworth (looks like there are a few) - have you also read 1066 And All That, which gives similar insights into life as a mid-20th Century Schoolboy but in a completely different way?

I like to consult my copy whenever anything to do with British history crops up on TV or film (eg straight after seeing The Favourite).

And to answer the question, I am having another attempt at reading fucking Ulysses. Don't ask me why.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #602 on: February 12, 2019, 05:41:36 PM »
Whoever's reading the Compleet Molesworth (looks like there are a few) - have you also read 1066 And All That, which gives similar insights into life as a mid-20th Century Schoolboy but in a completely different way?

I like to consult my copy whenever anything to do with British history crops up on TV or film (eg straight after seeing The Favourite).

That would be me, and no I’ve never read 1066, though it is on my kindle recs now. If and when I finish my current pile, I’ll give it a go.

I don't want to sound like a cunt but please could people start specific threads rather than dumping so much in this one?

I reckon the volume of traffic in here is ok. Is it just the request for suggestions you’d like in a new thread? I think that’s a fair point but I’m not sure if anyone would post in them. People use these threads for recommendations (I know I do) so it seems fair enough to ask for specific recommendations in here where there is a bit more life. I think as long as everyone is respectful and doesn’t fill the thread up (which I think everyone does a good job of), it’s reasonable.

Just my opinion though, I may well be in the minority.

Utter Shit

  • Snotty Bumstead
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #603 on: February 12, 2019, 05:49:18 PM »
I would have thought it self-indulgent of me and generally not worthwhile to create a new thread asking for recommendations, and figured this was the sort of catch-all thread where my request would be better placed. I still think that to be honest, although as I'm not a regular to this sub-forum I'm happy to be told otherwise.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #604 on: February 12, 2019, 05:50:04 PM »


I reckon the volume of traffic in here is ok. Is it just the request for suggestions you’d like in a new thread? I think that’s a fair point but I’m not sure if anyone would post in them. People use these threads for recommendations (I know I do) so it seems fair enough to ask for specific recommendations in here where there is a bit more life. I think as long as everyone is respectful and doesn’t fill the thread up (which I think everyone does a good job of), it’s reasonable.

Just my opinion though, I may well be in the minority.

I don't think you're in the minority, I'm pretty sure I am. I think the post I responded to would have made a really good thread, as would many of the specific books or types of books that have been discussed in here. I've tried to split the threads before by starting a 'recent fiction' thread but no-one contributes and just puts stuff in this glorified list thread instead. It's really frustrating and I don't really look on here half as much, which is such a shame particularly what with the 'Serge was here' tag. He'd have been filling this place with new threads, bless him.

Anyway, I'm not sure why you're here anyway. Your days of having the time to read are long gone matey boy.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #605 on: February 12, 2019, 05:53:06 PM »
I would have thought it self-indulgent of me and generally not worthwhile to create a new thread asking for recommendations, and figured this was the sort of catch-all thread where my request would be better placed. I still think that to be honest, although as I'm not a regular to this sub-forum I'm happy to be told otherwise.

I'm in no position to tell you anything but I certainly don't think it would have been self indulgent of you. Niche threads are often the most interesting and especially with a books sub forum, it would have been welcomed by me at least. Try it! If it was a type of music or film then I think you'd have started a specific thread in their sub forum counterparts?

Utter Shit

  • Snotty Bumstead
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #606 on: February 12, 2019, 05:59:47 PM »
I'm in no position to tell you anything but I certainly don't think it would have been self indulgent of you. Niche threads are often the most interesting and especially with a books sub forum, it would have been welcomed by me at least. Try it! If it was a type of music or film then I think you'd have started a specific thread in their sub forum counterparts?

Probably not to be honest, but I'd at least feel more entitled to because I post more often in those forums and would feel at least partly like I've given something in the past to justify taking with a self-indulgent thread. I think I probably have about twenty posts in this forum ever, possibly even less, and making a thread about it when it's such a vague and uninteresting question (basically "does anyone know any interesting books").

I dunno...like I said, it seemed self-indulgent. I had a more specific question about something I was really passionate about (books about 90s culture) a while ago and thought it was worth a thread, but this just didn't seem like anything that would spark much discussion.

Like I said though I am new to this sub-forum and how the mini-community works, if people prefer new threads and big threads sticking  to the topic at hand that's fine by me!

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #607 on: February 12, 2019, 05:59:55 PM »
@UtterShit I think that’s about right. This forum is a bit quieter which is a shame, but this thread seems to function as a catch-all. It’s be great if there was more volume - you could try starting a new thread and seeing how that goes? Not sure really.

Anyway, I'm not sure why you're here anyway. Your days of having the time to read are long gone matey boy.

Au contraire!

Ferris Jr only sleeps if he’s on my chest, which means I have to stay up until 4am (and sleep 5am-9am). That means I have hours to fill up, and he has to lie somewhere quiet and still so I can’t fill that time with pottery or bikram yoga. That means I’m reading a lot more than usual, which is quite nice.

I’m going to stop responding and derailing this thread, apologies all.

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #608 on: February 12, 2019, 06:42:52 PM »
I don't want to sound like a cunt but please could people start specific threads rather than dumping so much in this one?

Ah, is that why you said "Start a sci-fi thread" a while back? I kind of assumed you were just a sci-fi snob

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #609 on: February 12, 2019, 07:21:32 PM »
1066 And All That is marvellous. Used to read it at my dad's.

Do not write on both sides of the page at once.

Going to look up this Molesworth business.


Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #610 on: February 12, 2019, 07:59:56 PM »
Ah, is that why you said "Start a sci-fi thread" a while back? I kind of assumed you were just a sci-fi snob

 A sci-fi thread would be great. I've never read any (I don't think so anyway, apart from H'sGTTG et al) so it could be an interesting read.

JesusAndYourBush

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #611 on: February 13, 2019, 02:17:37 AM »
I read some Sherlock Holmes stories for the first time this week and I'm massively disappointed.  I get that they were groundbreaking when they were published but I've seen so many crime dramas on tv, some with quite convoluted plots (some dealing with forensic evidence etc), that Sherlock Holmes comes across as quite pedestrian in comparison.

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #612 on: February 14, 2019, 04:42:48 PM »
The Abode of Fancy by Sam Coll is an intimidating-looking book. It's big (500 pages) and chunky. If you hit a Tory in the face with it you could cause a 3 on the Justifiable Injury Rating Scale. So I was a little apprehensive about it, especially when it started with about 5 pages of doggerel verse. After that things picked up though, and it turned out to be easy on the brain. Coll has thrown his all in to the writing, which blends from prose to poetry to prose again; full of alliteration and rhyme, it bounces along and keeps the attention.

And what is it about? Well, what is it about? It concerns some middle to old-age men in Ireland, an epic poet, a retired weather man, a tenor, a randy bookseller, all at the lower end of social functioning. It also concerns a group of pretentious Trinity students, literary wannabes. And a half-unded Mad Monk, two Banshees, a puck, a pooka and other spirits. Who all connect in some ways at various times, but not in a way that particularly means anything. Which would be fine because of the lyricism employed to mark out the events, except - pay attention, authors - if you are going to venture beyond 400 pages then it really is encumbent on you to make those pages worth reading. In this case, anything after about 320 I could quite have done without. I forgot who was whom, how they related to other characters, and I stopped caring.

A bold effort but debatable whether it's worth your time, depending on how much you have to spare.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #613 on: February 18, 2019, 10:15:19 AM »
Truman Capote's In Cold Blood for the first time – and not the last.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #614 on: February 18, 2019, 02:54:20 PM »

buttgammon

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #615 on: February 18, 2019, 07:46:06 PM »
After meaning to do so for years, I've finally got round to reading Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon. It's a lot of fun, a sort of cyberpunk noir comedy that goes through all sorts of weird twists and turns with real pace.

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #616 on: February 23, 2019, 02:20:30 PM »
Decided I'm too happy go lucky lately so it is finally time to dive into The Road

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #617 on: February 23, 2019, 09:23:49 PM »

Currently reading Luke Haines autobiographies. Always quite fascinated with him as we grew up in the same town.  Tore through the first one in a couple of hours today; he’d be the first to admit he’s a preening twat I think and overestimates his talents, but you have to admire his attitude and take on the music scene he was part of. Some of what he has to say hilarious, especially about Brett Anderson, and gate crashing Hoddle’s resignation was marvellous, but the second book is harder going and more obtuse.

purlieu

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #618 on: February 23, 2019, 11:04:59 PM »
Back into Kate Atkinson after a couple of Murakamis. Just started Emotionally Weird for, I think, the fourth time. It's my all-time favourite book. I can never quite express why I love it so much: maybe the fact that the bulk of the story - for all its freezing cold mid-'70s Dundee student housing and angst about the future - feels strangely welcoming and cosy to me; maybe it's the oddly layered structure (four narratives, each signified by a different font); maybe it's Kate Atkinson's brilliant writing that has me in laughter from the first page. Either way, it's a relentlessly re-readable book for me, despite being probably her least acclaimed book.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #619 on: February 23, 2019, 11:17:12 PM »
Decided I'm too happy go lucky lately so it is finally time to dive into The Road

It's a brilliant book, savour every word.  Wish i could go back and read it for the first time again.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #620 on: February 23, 2019, 11:50:19 PM »
It's a brilliant book, savour every word.  Wish i could go back and read it for the first time again.

One of those books that stuck with me for a long time after I read it. Great stuff.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #621 on: February 25, 2019, 09:30:22 PM »
Just finished Confederacy of Dunces, a comedy masterwork up there with Catch 22 as the funniest novels I've read. What a disappointment that we never got the Harold Ramis version of it with John Belushi and Richard Pryor.

Based on recent posts on this thread I think I'm going to give The Road a read, been meaning to read it for years but now seems an appropriate time with the summer season starting in February.

Twit 2

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #622 on: February 26, 2019, 07:27:56 PM »
It’s amazing, but All the Pretty Horses is even better, IMHO.

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #623 on: February 27, 2019, 12:13:04 PM »
I've read everything else McCarthy except for Outer Dark and can't quite get into Suttree. I'm enjoying the Road so far. It's already, a few chapters in, fucking foreboding.

I was gonna wait til I'm a father to fully fuck my head up with The Road but why wait on the never-never?? Naw. Good bleak fun. 'Fun'

Pingers

  • I can produce 3,500 water voles a year if required
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #624 on: February 27, 2019, 09:09:53 PM »
Just finished The Last Holiday, Gil Scott Heron's memoir. It's good. The best bits are about his family, in particular his relationships with his mother and grandmother, both of whom seemed like exceptional people and with whom he had exceptionally strong bonds. Reading it, it becomes unsurprising that he stood out as an adult. This is covered in super-compressed form in the two spoken word bookend tracks on his last album I'm New Here, called On Coming From a Broken Home parts 1 and 2 which get me right there every time I listen to them.

By the end it's a bit rambling and doesn't really stick together, but overall it was good, no doubt helped that I was hearing his voice in my head as I read it. If only he'd done an audio book.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #625 on: March 05, 2019, 05:19:26 AM »
Just finished The Great God Pan, I quite enjoyed it. Had a Frankenstein vibe a little bit. I love the premise and the merging of science and occultism.

Artie Fufkin

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #626 on: March 05, 2019, 12:08:40 PM »
Just finished The Great God Pan, I quite enjoyed it. Had a Frankenstein vibe a little bit. I love the premise and the merging of science and occultism.

Love that book so much

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #627 on: March 06, 2019, 05:21:38 PM »
I posted it in the general thread, but I think I can just about justify posting my review for The Uninhabitable Earth here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uninhabitable-Earth-Story-Future/dp/0241355214

To speak bluntly and potentially irritatingly, anyone who reads this book and doesn't immediately stop taking holidays by aeroplane and eating meat/drinking milk, is capable of a level of cognitive dissonance and denial that my brain isn't capable of achieving (perhaps due to having OCD and likely being on the spectrum, which the wonderful Greta Thunberg attributes, in part, to her trailblazing climate activism). I'm not even a particularly good person! I just don't think, having read this book, I can turn that awareness off, even if I wanted to.

What I appreciated most about Wallace-Walls's work here, apart from the shear breadth of study research, is the fact that he repeatedly establishes that climate change isn't a binary 'YES/ NO' crisis happening somewhere off in there future. It is a matter of humanity choosing between a very tough future with lots of suffering, yet survivable through deep adaptation, massive structural changes to agriculture, travel, energy and the economy, including fast-paced technological advances... and the utter collapse of civilisation and extinction of the human race. AND IT IS HAPPENING NOW. The choices we collectively make today help alleviate this suffering (not future suffering; suffering that is occurring already *right now* through much of the globe) and the potential for future life to continue.

I don't and am not planning on having children and don't even like humans all that very much... so I can't even imagine how I'd feel if I had kids, let alone grandchildren. I don't think I'd be able to sti still for a moment.

Basically, indigenous peoples, vegans and even damn hippies have long been right - we are not magically *outside of* nature and the animal kingdom and the world's elements, minerals and metals aren't just resources for our exploitation. You don't even need to anthropomorphise Earth as Gaia or God to understand this to be true. Aptly or ironically, we desperately need to shed ourselves of our anthropocentrism in order to save human life!

Because, make no mistake about it, the planet itself will survive, even as a husk. We won't if we don't take fast substantive action. Venus still exists, burning away. Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years. Many, many, many more animal species are going to be effectively exterminated by ourselves over the coming few decades. But even if we manage to kill ourselves off, cockroaches and tardigrades will likely continue and flourish.

However, cockroaches and tardigrades cannot produce 'Ode to Joy', pyramids, the Sistene Chapel, Sanshō Dayū etc. etc. etc.

If you think any of these things are worth preserving, then I warmly encourage and advice you to get involved in local environmental activism **sooner** rather than later. Like, when you've finished reading this review, literally go and look up where your local 'Extinction Rebellion' (https://rebellion.earth/get-active/) chapter is. Encourage your children to go on the Friday school strikes. Quickly phase meat out of your diets and go on holiday somewhere local instead of abroad.

I won't lie - reading 'The Uninhabitable Earth' made me feel more convinced that it's over for us. That we aren't going to pull ourselves our of this one. Conversely, it has also made me MORE determined to fight.

Because, //even if it is all hopeless//, to quote Mary Heglar: "You don’t fight something like that because you think you will win. You fight it because you have to. Because surrendering dooms so much more than yourself, but everything that comes after you."

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #628 on: March 06, 2019, 10:10:05 PM »
Michael J Dolan - The Taint

a novella from my favourite comedian. Dark and horrible.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #629 on: March 07, 2019, 10:07:17 AM »
On the final straight of a Jonathan Rendall binge: This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own (boxing), Twelve Grand (betting), Garden Hopping (adoption) and now Scream: The Tyson Tapes (boxing again). He was a magnificent writer, but each of the first three books chronicle (directly or not) the gradual disintegration of his life, which ended far too early.