Books and stuff - where old men come to read

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OrangeRakoon
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by OrangeRakoon » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:16 pm

I got a waterstones voucher for Christmas so I just bought The Man in the High Castle (Philip K. Dick), We'll Always Have Paris (Ray Bradbury), Metro 2034 (Dmitry Glukhovsky), and The Shape of Things to Come (H.G. Wells).

So that's me set for a while B)

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weakboson
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by weakboson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:02 am

Usagi wrote:Ahh, I watched Apocalypse Now the other day and now I really want to read Heart of Darkness. Would you recommend it on the whole??
Definitely. I guess I just found it a little hard to digest - getting the impression that it isn't perfectly constructed isn't a big deal overall. I haven't seen the film so I can't compare it to that. It's very short, anyway, less than a hundred pages, so not a massive commitment.

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K2.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by K2. » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:01 am

I can't see to find a comic/graphic novel thread, although admittedly I only half heartedly looked, so I'll stick this here for now but I just read Marvel's Civil War earlier this morning and I thought it was great, although given all the hype I have heard about it I found it painfully short sadly, although I've heard there are off spins of the main graphic novel which given how enjoyable I found I'll be interested into looking into for sure.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:22 pm

except for like one or two bits Naked Lunch was complete eton mess, seriously disappointed. i guess i'll be sticking to Burroughs less surrealist writing

in other news i got the last Elric trilogy and im excited to read it!!!!!!!!

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うさぎ
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by うさぎ » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:05 am

I've told myself I'll write a review of every book I read this year. I'll post this one here and see how it goes!

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We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
★★★★

It's worth noting, in the first place, how I found this book. A year or two ago, I was looking around my favourite bookshop, telling myself to buy something I wouldn't normally buy. We, the Drowned jumped out at me when I walked past it, and it's not hard to see why -- look at that cover! I bought it and, typically, it had been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust until about a month ago, when I finally decided to conquer it.

We, the Drowned is set in Marstal, a small town in Denmark with a centuries long history of seafaring. It spans about 100 years, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of World War II. It can be hard for the first few hundred pages to decipher what exactly the book is about, but it became clear to me that this was less the story of a few individuals in a small Danish town, and more the story of Denmark as a whole and the way it has been shaped by European history.

This book spends roughly half its time at sea and half its time in Marstal. When at sea, it's very much your typical seafaring adventure, and the tales of corrupt sailors, dangerous storms and incredible lands would be enough to excite anyone. Back home in Marstal, we see a lot of character development take place, and we also see the conflicts between tradition and modernity, and between the men who are desperate to sail and the women who are terrified to lose them.

Manhood is a central theme in We, the Drowned, and this is reflected very well in Jensen's writing style, which is dry and succinct, and translates incredibly well into English. This style is something really remarkable about the book, as it perfectly conveys the mentalities of the main characters. However, it does have some limitations: the female characters in the book can seem at times awkward and unrealistic, and their dialogue is often rather stilted. Compared to the heroes of the novel, Jensen seems to have difficulty making the women of the book likable or even particularly interesting.

On the whole, though, this is a very good book. At nearly 700 pages, it's an investment, but it is an enjoyable and rewarding novel that is held together by prose that is itself full of character. Definitely a great start to my year in terms of reading!
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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by slorp » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:31 am

After an annoyingly long time (I blame mocks) I have finished my first book of the year - The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro.
This was a weird one. The story unfolds in a very surreal and dreamlike manner and there are still lots of unanswered questions having finished it. I don't think I've ever really read something like it before (but I've heard it be compared to Kafka who I really should read something by) and I really liked its style (though I can imagine it being one of those books that's either really dull or really interesting depending on the reader). But yeah, really interesting book - one I'll be thinking about for a while.
Don't know if I'll explicitly say I'm going for 52 in 52 this year because that won't happen. 26 would be nice though.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by Mephisto » Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:55 pm

i've just started JG Ballard's High Rise (in time for the Ben Wheatley film that's due later this year). Never read any Ballard before but i'm really loving it so far. This will be the first book i've read in about 4 months, i'm so awful at keeping up with reading (for leisure) alongside University.

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:16 pm

The school library was getting rid of all their Everyman's Library hardbacks to the charity shop and i got first pickings at them before they're sent off. Got over 60 books, including tolstoy, proust, kafka, dostoyevsky, mann, updike, orwell, mishima, marquez, eco, chandler, montaigne, and lots more

Book challenge is going good this year, yay for novellas
1. Daughter of Dreams - Michael Moorcock
2. Death of a Naturalist - Seamus Heaney
3.The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
4. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5. Greed: From David Hume to Gordon Gekko - Stewart Sutherland
6. Legion - Brandon Sanderson
7. Destiny's Brother - Michael Moorcock

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by The False Guwuh » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:51 pm

been reading dubliners, pretty good
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K2.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by K2. » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:21 pm

This guy who does A2 Sociology as well as runs Sociology Club recommended Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to me, any of you read it before? /is it worth reading in your opinion?
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:59 pm

Not read that specifically but have read some Solzenitsyn before, he's good go for it

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by K2. » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:50 pm

I'll try and pick up a copy next time I can
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うさぎ
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by うさぎ » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:40 am

Gonna make a post here for my book challenge, thanks to masa. Because I have a super busy year, my challenge is 20 books for 2015.
Books read in 2015:
1. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (★★★★)
2. Hanging with the Elephant by Michael Harding (★½)
3. The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino (★★★½)
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (★★★★½)
5.
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20.
Edit: Added spoiler tag!
Last edited by うさぎ on Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by slorp » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:52 pm

I'm quite proud of myself. I've read two whole reasonably long books in a week. Admittedly book #1 is a bit of a cheat seeing as it was a reread of Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (in advance of the film coming out next week, so hyped) but I'm counting it anyway, especially because I enjoyed it so much more this time around. I still only have a fairly loose grasp of the plot, but I don't really think that's the point of the novel and anyway what really stuck with me on this read-through was how much I love the way Thomas Pynchon writes. I really want to read more stuff in his style right now, I think I'll reread The Crying Of Lot 49 soon (I expect I might reread a few of books I found kind of underwhelming first time round this year - not that I didn't think The Crying Of Lot 49 was incredible). Book #2 was This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein and was the first of potentially multiple non-fiction books this year. It's a book about climate change and the ways that we can combat the issue. Climate change is something I often think about briefly but soon forget about, so I'm glad I read this. It may even lead me to read books in a topic I've always avoided - economics.

Anyway, going to start a list now that I have more than one book under my belt.
1. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
3. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by SYF » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:13 pm

My yearly goodreads target is to read 26 books - a book a fortnight approximately. And I guess it works to make it my target here, too. My first book/play was The Importance of being Earnest, which was a nice and fairly easy to read - I finished it before the start of term. The writing is excellent as I had been promised, but it didn't quite appeal to me on a personal level. It doesn't seem like something that I would've really wanted to read on my own, and I don't find the context of the play that appealing to study, even if some of the themes are really important. Not that Wilde doesn't do a good job on commenting on themes in the play, because he does, and the play was quite funny at times (the cigarette case still makes me laugh).

As it's part of my coursework, it's put into context just how rich Shakespeare's writing really is (at least when compared to Wilde). There's so much to write about in Shakespeare's work. The exam board even seem to kind of acknowledge this by the fact that there's more questions offered with AYLI than TIOBE.
1. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde (1895)
2. From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia - Pankaj Mishra (2012)

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by lemmi » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:37 pm

SYF wrote:My yearly goodreads target is to read 26 books - a book a fortnight approximately. And I guess it works to make it my target here, too. My first book/play was The Importance of being Earnest, which was a nice and fairly easy to read - I finished it before the start of term. The writing is excellent as I had been promised, but it didn't quite appeal to me on a personal level. It doesn't seem like something that I would've really wanted to read on my own, and I don't find the context of the play that appealing to study, even if some of the themes are really important. Not that Wilde doesn't do a good job on commenting on themes in the play, because he does, and the play was quite funny at times (the cigarette case still makes me laugh).

As it's part of my coursework, it's put into context just how rich Shakespeare's writing really is (at least when compared to Wilde). There's so much to write about in Shakespeare's work. The exam board even seem to kind of acknowledge this by the fact that there's more questions offered with AYLI than TIOBE.
1. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde (1895)
2. From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia - Pankaj Mishra (2012)
Hey guys, how's it going?

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:54 pm

Elric: The Moonbeam Roads was fantastic. Daughter of Dreams was the best imo, but Son of the Wolf came close at points. now moved on to some Slavoj Zizek, and been hitting up some poetry as well.

anyone got any opinions on Cormac McCarthy? mostly interested in Outer Dark, The Border Trilogy, and Blood Meridian
1. Daughter of Dreams - Michael Moorcock
2. Death of a Naturalist - Seamus Heaney
3.The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
4. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5. Greed: From David Hume to Gordon Gekko - Stewart Sutherland
6. Legion - Brandon Sanderson
7. Destiny's Brother - Michael Moorcock
8. Imagining Alexandria - Louis de Berneires
9. Son of the Wolf - Michael Moorcock
10. Human Chain - Seamus Heaney

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by OmegaPit » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:39 pm

I finished A Feast for Crows, and have been reading The Long Mars whilst I wait for the final GoT book to arrive.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by slorp » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:57 pm

I read Beloved last week. Really, really good book. Probably my number one (of four...) of the year so far. Toni Morrison's writing is some of the best I've ever read. I will very likely check out some of her other stuff soon. Meanwhile I am currently reading The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay.
1. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
3. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
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うさぎ
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by うさぎ » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:36 am

Slorp, funny, both of those books are on my Amazon wishlist!

I started reading Notes From Underground this morning. It's taxing, to say the least.
Books read in 2015:
1. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (★★★★)
2. Hanging with the Elephant by Michael Harding (★½)
3. The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino (★★★½)
4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (★★★★½)
5. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche (★★★½)
6.
7.
8.
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10.
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14.
15.
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by The False Guwuh » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:11 pm

reading gilgamesh, every time it gets interesting the text stops because they haven't found the next part yet though
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masa
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:45 pm

legion skin deep was pretty good

first as tragedy, then as farce was interesting although i didn't understand about a good third of the book

faust volume 2 was great, particularly enjoyed magical girl risuka and grey-coloured diet coke

currently reading Blood Meridian, Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, and The Metatemporal Detective
1. Daughter of Dreams - Michael Moorcock
2. Death of a Naturalist - Seamus Heaney
3.The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
4. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5. Greed: From David Hume to Gordon Gekko - Stewart Sutherland
6. Legion - Brandon Sanderson
7. Destiny's Brother - Michael Moorcock
8. Imagining Alexandria - Louis de Berneires
9. Son of the Wolf - Michael Moorcock
10. Human Chain - Seamus Heaney
11. Legion: Skin Deep - Brandon Sanderson
12. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
13. Faust Volume 2 [anthology]

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slorp
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by slorp » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:03 pm

I finished reading Kavalier And Clay quite a while ago (it was very good), but then I kind of grew lazy and didn't read for about a week and a half. I started Sophie's Choice (because it's one of those things I always here referenced) but it didn't really click with me, I might give it another go later. Currently reading Something Happened by Joseph Heller and I love it, maybe even on par with Catch-22, although it can be difficult to read at times (that's stream of consciousness for you I guess).
EDIT: Something Happened was really good (maybe even better than Catch-22(!)), it really reminded me of American Psycho and right now I just want to read another book like it (horribly depressing though that might be)
1. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
3. This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
4. Beloved by Toni Morrison
5. The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay by Michael Chabon
6. Something Happened by Joseph Heller
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masa
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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by masa » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:42 pm

the metatemporal detective was cool, wanna go read more sexton blake

blood meridian was magnificent, i wrote a quick review nobody will ever read
To discuss Blood Meridian is to discuss violence. It is a mediation on humanity's compulsive obsession with conflict, in a setting so mythologised as to be nearly removed from reality: the Wild West. Through the eyes of the Kid we are shown a gruesome depiction of the West, evoked by McCarthy's sparse yet deeply beautiful prose in such a way that the stark landscapes reflect the barren and vicious souls of the novel's characters. A 1000 page epic condensed to 350, it is a reworking of the epic narrative which explores war and violence with deeper insight than many of its counterparts with a rare and profound immediacy.
reading Outer Dark, Treasure Island (which is gooseberry fool fab omg). got some books from the library, more McCarthy and Inherent Vice and Sappho
1. Daughter of Dreams - Michael Moorcock
2. Death of a Naturalist - Seamus Heaney
3.The Emperor's Soul - Brandon Sanderson
4. We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
5. Greed: From David Hume to Gordon Gekko - Stewart Sutherland
6. Legion - Brandon Sanderson
7. Destiny's Brother - Michael Moorcock
8. Imagining Alexandria - Louis de Berneires
9. Son of the Wolf - Michael Moorcock
10. Human Chain - Seamus Heaney
11. Legion: Skin Deep - Brandon Sanderson
12. First as Tragedy, Then as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
13. Faust Volume 2 [anthology]
14. The Metatemporal Detective - Michael Moorcock
15. Blood Meridian; or, The Evening Redness in the West - Cormac McCarthy

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Re: Literature Thread - But wait! There's more (books)!

Post by Mephisto » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:18 am

It's taken me two and a bit months but i've finished my first book of 2015.

High Rise by JG Ballard - it starts slowly but builds up and really flourishes in the final few chapters. Excellent and haunting work, hopefully the forthcoming adaptation does it justice. The whole work is very reminiscent of Bioshock, although obviously predates it by a number of decades, right down to the imagery of the masked, violent intellectuals and aristocrats as the high rise descends into anarchy. I'm going to try and work through some other Ballard books now, almost finished at uni so need to make the most of my free time!

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