Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 188683 times)

Chollis

  • Master of Codes
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1200 on: September 04, 2021, 03:50:16 PM »
Reading Dune for the first time, wanted to read it before the fillum came out. I like it, I think it's good.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1201 on: September 09, 2021, 10:14:07 PM »
Wittgenstein's notes on Culture and Value (first published in German as Vermischte Bemerkungen [Mixed Remarks] in 1977). I came across an entry which concurs with Alan Alda's/Lester's theory of comedy in Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). The entry at the botttom of the page:



Crimes and Misdemeanors - If it bends, it's funny...

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1202 on: September 18, 2021, 12:36:57 PM »
The Prince - Machiavelli
had a flick through- boring. Also, kept hearing ‘Buster he sold the heat’ in my head.

Also reading ‘Riding so High- the Beatles and drugs.’ Very interesting- so far, they’re in Hamburg and taking apart Vicks inhalers to get Benzedrine, which is fuelling their 7 days a week five/ six hour stage sets.

All Surrogate

  • Love is much less ethical than silence
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1203 on: September 18, 2021, 09:34:16 PM »
The christian bible (Revised Standard Version). I'm about a third of the way through, in the middle of the second book of Chronicles. It's very repetitious, mostly dull, occasionally repulsive. I've a feeling that the more interesting and beautiful parts are coming up, the poetry and songs and such. Here's hoping, anyway.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1204 on: September 26, 2021, 01:34:15 PM »
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton - Superb semi-autobiographical Australian novel about a young boy, his mute brother, ex-convict best friend and his heroin dealing mother and step-father, this is far, far lighter than that description suggests, and the fact that elements were genuinely true (the friendship with Slim, suddenly having to live with his book obsessed father, the red telephone) made it even more affecting. It's also an often very funny book, and a beautifully written mad old tale about a boy dealing with an unusual upbringing that I was hugely impressed by. 4.5/5

Johnboy

  • slam dance cosmopolis
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1205 on: September 29, 2021, 04:03:55 PM »
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Enjoying it - this is getting me back into fiction
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 04:28:30 PM by Johnboy »

Johnny Foreigner

  • Aspiring to be a true Restoration Man
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1206 on: September 30, 2021, 12:18:52 AM »
William Hickey, Memoirs of a Georgian Rake. This man led a truly extraordinary life. He had such a privileged upbringing; his father was a friend of Edmund Burke's, he went to Westminster School, was articled to a barrister, was given every opportunity in life, but all he ever did was squander every last penny and then embezzle money from the lawyers' firm. He was an officer in India, then sailed to China and subsequently unsuccessfully attempted to become a lawyer in Jamaica. I have now come to the bit where he is back in India, having finally obtained a position at the High Court.

I particularly enjoy the frank, matter-of-factish way in which he describes his encounters with his favourite whores and casual sexual partners, never feeling the need to conceal anything behind circumlocutory language. He was also a knowledgeable man on naval matters; it is truly fascinating to read how 18th-century people travelled the oceans before the age of steam, how they treated themselves for venereal disease and what everyday life was like in England and abroad. The bits about slaves on sugar plantations were quite interesting, too, if occasionally violent. It seems that, in the 1700s, everyone was constantly drinking themselves paralytic.

Mobius

  • he who hingeth aboot getteth hee haw
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1207 on: October 05, 2021, 12:24:07 AM »
I'm reading Henry VIII - King & Court, by Alison Weir. Really excellent, just a massively detailed description of Henry and those around him and day to day life. Really enjoying it, nice companion to Wolf Hall.

Also reading the latest latest Vince Flynn/Kyle Mills book in the Mitch Rapp series, Enemy At The Gates .. usual 24 ripoff type stuff, not sure why I bother with these but they're easily digested.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1208 on: October 06, 2021, 02:20:52 AM »
Just finished Crime and Punishment. Fucking hell Dostoyevsky knew how to deliver a literary gut punch, especially in the epilogue. The bit where Raskolnikov asks his mum if she’ll still love him no matter what made me cry.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1209 on: October 09, 2021, 05:29:50 PM »
"Raspberry Reich" by Wolf Mankowitz.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1210 on: October 10, 2021, 11:03:31 PM »
Confessions of a Ghost Writer - Andrew Crofts. Liked it. An autobiography about writing autobiographies, right up my street.

Just started Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley. Clearly a messed up human being, but he has a great turn of phrase.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1211 on: October 10, 2021, 11:50:51 PM »
Just started Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley. Clearly a messed up human being, but he has a great turn of phrase.

I enjoyed that a good deal, as you say he certainly had his issues but he's a strong writer and it's a shame this is the only work he created books wise.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1212 on: October 12, 2021, 08:50:13 AM »
Yes, he writes beautifully, and it's not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting the debauchery, but not the wit.

Oh bloody hell, just re-read your tense, didn't know he was dead! I find that quite sad. I think it changes things when you're reading an autobiography of someone deceased. When I read Wonderland Avenue, I felt sad as all the main characters died one by one. Jim Morrison, his girlfriend Pamela Courson, Sugerman's girlfriend- the only rather unlikely survivor being Iggy Pop, and of course Sugerman himself. Then I googled him and he was dead too! A book of ghosts.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1213 on: October 12, 2021, 10:10:08 AM »
Yes, he writes beautifully, and it's not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting the debauchery, but not the wit.

Oh bloody hell, just re-read your tense, didn't know he was dead! I find that quite sad. I think it changes things when you're reading an autobiography of someone deceased. When I read Wonderland Avenue, I felt sad as all the main characters died one by one. Jim Morrison, his girlfriend Pamela Courson, Sugerman's girlfriend- the only rather unlikely survivor being Iggy Pop, and of course Sugerman himself. Then I googled him and he was dead too! A book of ghosts.

Ah, sorry about that, I think my copy of the book was published posthumously and I forgot that not all were. It must have been an insane experience for those involved in staging the one man adaptation of the book at the Soho Theatre too given that he died the day it opened, and I really wish I'd known about Horsley then as I'd have loved to have seen it.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1214 on: October 12, 2021, 06:51:49 PM »
I’m reading Billy Summers by Stephen King. It is apparently a straight no-horror no-paranormal thriller? About an ex-US Marine sniper turned hitman. He pretends to be a meathead Jarhead but is actually well read and erudite. So far it’s good, building up nicely, but I can’t help but notice that it has the same sorts of characters that King’s novels always have.

Twit 2

  • Unutterable anguish
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1215 on: October 12, 2021, 07:09:24 PM »
William Hickey, Memoirs of a Georgian Rake. This man led a truly extraordinary life. He had such a privileged upbringing; his father was a friend of Edmund Burke's, he went to Westminster School, was articled to a barrister, was given every opportunity in life, but all he ever did was squander every last penny and then embezzle money from the lawyers' firm. He was an officer in India, then sailed to China and subsequently unsuccessfully attempted to become a lawyer in Jamaica. I have now come to the bit where he is back in India, having finally obtained a position at the High Court.

I particularly enjoy the frank, matter-of-factish way in which he describes his encounters with his favourite whores and casual sexual partners, never feeling the need to conceal anything behind circumlocutory language. He was also a knowledgeable man on naval matters; it is truly fascinating to read how 18th-century people travelled the oceans before the age of steam, how they treated themselves for venereal disease and what everyday life was like in England and abroad. The bits about slaves on sugar plantations were quite interesting, too, if occasionally violent. It seems that, in the 1700s, everyone was constantly drinking themselves paralytic.

Sounds great. Love this review from a prude on Amazon, might as well been written in the 18th century itself:

Quote
I approached these memoirs expecting to learn intriguing details about the seamier sides of life in 18th century London. Hickey (1749-1830) provides plenty of detail, but "intriguing" is about the last word I would apply to this narrative of debauchery. What we get instead is a series of misadventures and lucky escapes from follies mostly of his own contriving. While he exhibits much remorse, there is little improvement, as after each hangover he simply returns to his life of dissipation and foolishness. Rather amazing that he lived to the age of 81. Surprisingly (at least to me), it is the descriptions of his experiences abroad that are the most interesting, as he sailed to the Far East, the Caribbean, and many islands in between (including St. Helena, a generation before Napoleon arrived). South African wines, now so highly prized, come off rather badly. His first destination was India, where even before landing the climate was enough to carry off a healthy Englishman without any previous symptoms of illness at all. Upon arrival at their destination, they did not land at a port, as I naively expected, but rather put upon a beach with sand so hot it burned their feet. In his description, India is an abominable place filled with swarms of mosquitoes. Some of his companions soon die of apoplexy, others commit suicide. He takes the first opportunity to sail on to Canton, where at least the winter is sharp and cold. His descriptions of storms at sea are exciting, though the nautical terminology he uses goes largely unexplained in this edition. The most thrilling scenes involve a riot by "Musselmen" interrupting a trial in Calcutta. Alas, after each excursion abroad Hickey returns to London, where he resumes his life filled with petty jealousies, dissoluteness and drinking so excessive that it results in vomiting on the dinner table. He is saved from his utter lack of prudence only by his father's forbearance, his friends' influence, and undeserved good luck. Such descriptions are repeated over and over until I gave up on page 293 and regretted most of the time I had spent reading that far.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1216 on: October 12, 2021, 07:16:55 PM »
To be honest constant gratuitous grot or hedonism would bore me stiff as it's the 21st century and it's ubiquitous.

I can't imagine it's that bad though.

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1217 on: October 12, 2021, 07:21:55 PM »
I’m reading Billy Summers by Stephen King. It is apparently a straight no-horror no-paranormal thriller? About an ex-US Marine sniper turned hitman. He pretends to be a meathead Jarhead but is actually well read and erudite. So far it’s good, building up nicely, but I can’t help but notice that it has the same sorts of characters that King’s novels always have.
Let me guess: an interest in pop culture, a keen memory for old adverts and a love for old time rock'n'roll

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1218 on: October 12, 2021, 08:17:16 PM »
I was thinking alcoholic writer.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1219 on: October 12, 2021, 08:43:43 PM »

Memoirs of Philip Francis K.C.B.[1]

Following on from the posts about William Hickey: Looking at the history of local hangings led me to read the letters of this 18th century politician writing on a diplomatic mission to Portugal. I'll explain why starting halfway through. The title of this picture is 'A correct view of the scaffold, gibbet & manner of execution of Lawrence Shirley, late Earl of Ferrers at Tyeburn for the barbarous murder of Mr Johnson his lordships steward. Drawn from the spot at the time of his execution.'



New Zealand National Library holds an engraving of this on paper along with an incomplete newspaper clipping that has a section missing wich makes it read like a Blankety Blank statement:

Quote from: National Library of New Zealand item description
An attached newsclipping also refers to this incident - 'The moment poor Lord Ferrers was turned off (he was hanged for murder) our unfeeling City magistrates called for their hampers, drew their corks and cut their hams as if he hung there merely as a [section missing] to frighten the flies'

I found the missing words in the correspondence of Philip Francis pictured above and his father, Philip Francis, a translator among other things. The answer in a letter from the father is in the second paragraph from the end of page 38. The letters between the older Philip writing from London and the younger Philip (Phil) who had accompanied the Earl of Kinnoull to the court of Portugal made me take a while wondering why Philip Francis was writing to himself. Based on the matching description of the execution in the newspaper cutting and the correspondence, I would guess that it was this older Philip Francis who reported in the newspaper (perhaps the Gazette) the same thing that he told his son in the letter. As well as filling in the gap, the letter states that the magistrates 'eat' rather than 'cut' their ham, which might be the correct transcription of the newspaper clipping, as an old-fashioned past-tense verb (eat used instead of ate), or might have been misprinted in the correspondence, since cutting ham goes better with drawing corks, as acts in preparation for eating and drinking respectively. The father shares his description of the execution of Lord Ferrers with his son in response to his son having described the eating habits of the first nobility of Portugal at a diplomatic feast.





The execution of Lord Ferrers is also in Thomas Pynchon's Mason and Dixon in the scene where Mason meets Lady Florinda:





 1. KCB   Ketika Cinta Bertasbih (Indonesian film)
KCB   Key Colony Beach (Florida)
KCB   Kansas City Ballet (est. 1957; Kansas City, MO)
KCB   Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel (Dutch: Royal Conservatory of Brussels; Belgium)
KCB   Kulturni Centar Beograda (Serbian: Cultural Center of Belgrade; Belgrade, Serbia)
KCB   Knight Commander of the Bath (British Military Award)
KCB   Keep Coming Back
KCB   Khaleeji Commercial Bank (Bahrain)
KCB   Klezmer Conservatory Band (Somerville, MA)
KCB   Kyoto Convention Bureau (Kyoto, Japan)
KCB   Kansas City Board of Trade
KCB   Knoxville Community Band (Knoxville, TN)
KCB   Keihan City Bus (Japan)
KCB   Kirkland Concert Band (Kirkland, Quebec, Canada)
KCB   Kalamazoo Concert Band (Kalamazoo, MI)
KCB   Keep Charlotte Beautiful (Florida and North Carolina)
KCB   Kendal Concert Band (UK)
KCB   Kentwood Community Band (Kentwood, MI)
KCB   Keystone Concert Band
KCB   KEMS Concert Band (King Edward Musical Society; UK)
KCB   Kelowna City Band (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1220 on: October 12, 2021, 08:59:18 PM »
Let me guess: an interest in pop culture, a keen memory for old adverts and a love for old time rock'n'roll
Maybe not specifically those - yet - but that kind of thing, yes.
I was thinking alcoholic writer.
Nope. Well, not yet, anyway. Only a fifth of the way in.

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1221 on: October 12, 2021, 09:16:14 PM »
Joe entered the café. A waitress wearing a mud brown short sleeved T-Shirt and tight blue jeans waved a coffee pot in his direction. "You after a good cup of mud?" she drawled. The jeans were tight against her legs and an old advert flashed through Joe's mind: I wear my Wranglers as tight as they come. A Buddy Holly track was playing on the radio as Joe gave the thumbs up to the waitress, Jo-Beth her name badge said, and she poured the drink. Words of Love, Joe thought, I'm gonna enjoy it here. "How about a slice of your Mr Creemze Apple Pie?" he asked

Fr.Bigley

  • Shall I boil this kettle dry?
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1222 on: October 12, 2021, 09:32:20 PM »
Currently, the back of a shampoo bottle, as I do a real poo.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1223 on: October 12, 2021, 09:55:58 PM »
Joe entered the café. A waitress wearing a mud brown short sleeved T-Shirt and tight blue jeans waved a coffee pot in his direction. "You after a good cup of mud?" she drawled. The jeans were tight against her legs and an old advert flashed through Joe's mind: I wear my Wranglers as tight as they come. A Buddy Holly track was playing on the radio as Joe gave the thumbs up to the waitress, Jo-Beth her name badge said, and she poured the drink. Words of Love, Joe thought, I'm gonna enjoy it here. "How about a slice of your Mr Creemze Apple Pie?" he asked

Yes! This rather… folksy? … depiction of American life.

When I think of how much King I read when younger, it’s striking how little I’ve read of his stuff from the last fifteen to twenty years.

kalowski

  • Maclunkey
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1224 on: October 12, 2021, 10:01:27 PM »
Same here. Probably nothing after It or Misery (whichever is the later). Whilst I liked it as a kid I have no interest in his work anymore. I remember enjoying Misery, but read It a few years ago and thought it was fucking awful.

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1225 on: October 12, 2021, 10:04:04 PM »
The first few in the Dark Tower series I really enjoyed and I think all but one were written or published after Misery. So maybe some pleasant surprises for you.

Johnny Foreigner

  • Aspiring to be a true Restoration Man
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1226 on: October 12, 2021, 10:10:56 PM »
Sounds great. Love this review from a prude on Amazon, might as well been written in the 18th century itself:

It's certainly more captivating than Thomas Turner's Diary of a Georgian Shopkeeper. Dear me, that was a bit of a slog. He just sold things, went to church and played cricket. For ever and ever. The man was even a temperate drinker and never slept around. I don't really see the point of memoirs that contain no filth.

Johnny Foreigner

  • Aspiring to be a true Restoration Man
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1227 on: October 12, 2021, 10:16:29 PM »
Currently, the back of a shampoo bottle, as I do a real poo.

Bugger. I thought I was the only one who had come up with that.

Twit 2

  • Unutterable anguish
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1228 on: October 13, 2021, 07:52:22 PM »
Joe entered the café. A waitress wearing a mud brown short sleeved T-Shirt and tight blue jeans waved a coffee pot in his direction. "You after a good cup of mud?" she drawled. The jeans were tight against her legs and an old advert flashed through Joe's mind: I wear my Wranglers as tight as they come. A Buddy Holly track was playing on the radio as Joe gave the thumbs up to the waitress, Jo-Beth her name badge said, and she poured the drink. Words of Love, Joe thought, I'm gonna enjoy it here. "How about a slice of your Mr Creemze Apple Pie?" he asked

Do his male protagonists still wear blue jeans, a plaid shirt and loafers?

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #1229 on: October 13, 2021, 08:41:47 PM »
The first few in the Dark Tower series I really enjoyed and I think all but one were written or published after Misery. So maybe some pleasant surprises for you.

Bit annoyed about the Dark Tower series. I loved the first three; the mythology and world-building, the links to his other works, it was absolutely my kind of thing. Then there seemed to be a long gap (was that around the time of his accident?) and then there was the spin-off/prequel Wizard & Glass which I hated; I think I read maybe one more, the end was in sight (two more books I think?)… and then somebody spoiled said ending for me. So I never bothered continuing.

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