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  1. #2051
    WOM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post
    How was or is it? Do I need to be sending you the money for it as promised?
    Ah. I got knocked off course by Tom Wolfe dying and read The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby, and then Mrs WOM bought me a true-crime book about Iceland called Out of Thin Air so I read that and then something else (looks around pile...) and now I'm into Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (which is excellent), and then I'll get back on course. Oh, the book about John Fairfax rowing solo across the Atlantic, which was interesting...but it went pretty smoothly, all things considered, so not terribly exciting.

  2. #2052
    Patrick Thistle's Avatar
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    I've started reading Sabriel. It's years since I've read it.

  3. #2053
    Just finished "1983 the world at the brink " by Taylor Downing, one of the scariest books I've ever read. In 1983 a series of misjudgements by the West accompanied by growing paranoia among the elderly Soviet politburo meant that the world came closer to Armageddon than at any other time before or since, I was 19 in 1983 and the thought of what could've happened gives me cold sweats even now

  4. #2054

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    Bought four books relating to Norse myths yesterday (on the basis that I watched Thor on Monday night). Started with The Penguin Guide to Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland, have Neil Gaiman's recent book Norse Mythology as well as The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda. Gone a bit overboard really.
    Recently finished Ian Kershaw's History of Europe from 1914-1949, whereupon I realised I had read it two years ago. Really should hand it back to my dad, anyway it's a good read. Read Reservoir 13 too, which has got an awful lot of praise but I found it tiresome, trite and a complete bore. It reminded me of having to listen to The Archers omnibus.

  5. #2055

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    Recent reading that I've enjoyed:

    Hannu Rajaniemi, Summerland - I guess scifi, but it's set in the late 1930s in a world where the British Empire colonised the afterlife and the Soviets turned to computers. British and Soviet spies duel in the living world and the afterlife over the fate of Spain, Stalin and possibly the world. Le Carre meets ectopunk.

    Todd McAulty, The Robots of Gotham - entertaining scifi action. Unlikely hero businessman faces off against rogue AIs and a nascent pandemic in a war-torn US occupied by South American soldiers in a world semi-ruled by AIs.

    C Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust - similar vein. Sort-of western where a mortally wounded scavenging robot seeks salvation in a ruined world after a robot uprising wiped out humanity.

    Alma Katsu, The Hunger - dramatised account of the Donner Party (the wagon train to California that ended in starvation, murder and cannibalism). Real characters fleshed out with fictional details, and some added supernatural horror. A bit clunky in places, but compelling.

    Peng Shepherd, The Book of M - currently working through this; the story of a man and wife separated in a post-apocalyptic America where a global pandemic resulted first in people losing their shadows, then their memories, but gaining weird powers as a result (e.g. a character forgets that wolves can't talk, so they can). Less silly than it sounds.

  6. #2056
    WOM's Avatar
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    Jesus man, did you lose a bet?

  7. #2057

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    Ho ho. No, I've been on a non-fiction binge so having something fluffier to read was a nice break.

  8. #2058
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobW View Post
    ...have Neil Gaiman's recent book Norse Mythology as well ...
    Spotted this on Mrs WOM's night table this week. I was like "Hey....someone else I know is reading this...<stares off into middle distance>...".

  9. #2059
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusoe View Post
    Ho ho. No, I've been on a non-fiction binge so having something fluffier to read was a nice break.
    The Road would make a nice palate cleanser...

  10. #2060

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    Hmm. I guess there is a bit of a post-apocalyptic theme going on.

  11. #2061
    I’ve just finished Eleanor Oliphant, the current bestseller, list topper etc. Was almost put off by it being bestselling chicklit but it’s fantastic. Clever, funny and painful. A bit triggering for me, as I had an awful mother who still stalks my dreams, although not as bad as Eleanor’s.

    The funny bits are really, really funny.

  12. #2062

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    Recently finished 'The Goldfinch' which was nice an' all, but I am slightly surprised by how lauded it was. Back reading non-fiction for the moment and started Simon Sebag Montefiore's tome on the Romanovs. Might take me a while to get through it too.

  13. #2063
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    Last week I went to the Jack London State Historic Park. I'd never read any Jack London, and didn't know anything about him, but this magnificent place changed all that - I can only urge you to go if you happen to be in northern California. I bought 'The Star Rover', because it looked a bit different from everything else he'd written. And it's the kind of book that makes you wonder how you've never heard of it - either it's wholly under-rated (it wasn't that well received by the critics when it was published, and didn't sell as well as his adventure stories), or it flew under my radar my whole life long. Apparently he didn't even like writing - viewed it as a chore so that he could be a farmer from the royalties, getting up at 5.30am every morning (which must have been tough given he was an alcoholic) to write his word quota. He'd write letters to his publisher requesting larger advances because he'd just brought several thousand eucalyptus trees, or was planning to build a palace for his pigs. Must try that sometime.

    Edit: a quick OTF search reveals that Amor de Cosmos has it on his list of Books to Read in your Lifetime at number 118. Good man!
    Last edited by imp; 18-10-2018 at 13:34.

  14. #2064
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    Eh?

    Oh, right! I know it as The Jacket which, I'm guessing, was it's British title. JL was a fascinating character, the kind of person who makes you think you've just been kicking your heels for seventy years.

  15. #2065
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
    I've started reading Sabriel. It's years since I've read it.
    I got stuck on this so gave up. I find it hard to read something I read before which I really enjoyed but now realise isn't that good.

    A while back I picked up a set of Iain Banks books at a charity fair. I started reading A Song of Stone last night and really enjoyed the first two chapters. So that's my current reading now.

    Re Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology. I was a bit disappointed with that. I'm not sure why it disappointed me, perhaps because I wanted something more detailed. He wrote very sparse versions of the myths. However, I subsequently read the 500 page extended version of American Gods, which is much better imo.

    However, an absolutely brilliant modern rendering of the Norse myths is Raganarok by A.S. Byatt. Utterly compelling and a chilling application to our current situation on the brink of global destruction. And quite possibly another reason why I didn't go a bundle on the Gaiman book.

  16. #2066
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    Just finished "Contact" by Carl Sagan, of the same movie.

    Book is very different, and better by a factor of infinity. I absolutely loved it, and fittingly, finished it in a cafe just as the sun came up.

  17. #2067
    Sharon Rooney, anyone?

  18. #2068
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    Don't you mean Sally Rooney?

  19. #2069

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    My mum just sent me a copy of her book. I'll give it a read in the next week or two and let you know what I think.

    Right now I'm finally reading Sideways, which is much less well written than the movie, but still quite entertaining.

  20. #2070
    I do mean Sally Rooney, yes. Sorry, Perou. Inspired by the review in the LRB of the latest I bought “Conversation with Friends“ Imagine being able to write like that at twenty five.

    Here she is on the abortion Referendum


    I was born in 1991, the same year a Virgin Megastore in Dublin was raided for selling condoms without a pharmacist present. Two years before the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Four years before the legalisation of divorce. Twenty-seven years, I can only hope, before the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
    Last edited by Nefertiti2; 26-10-2018 at 18:19.

  21. #2071
    I've finally got around to reading Bring Up the Bodies, to try and get it in before the last of Mantell's Cromwell trilogy is published (currently due next year). My non-revelation is that it's very good. Actually, I'm finding it a much easier read than I did Wolf Hall.

  22. #2072
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    I've just finished “Exterminate All the Brutes” and for such a short book, written in sub page length chapters, it does meander more than I was expecting. But it knows where it is heading and it's worth it.

  23. #2073
    I read it- astonishing.

  24. #2074
    Pérou Flaquettes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
    I do mean Sally Rooney, yes. Sorry, Perou. Inspired by the review in the LRB of the latest I bought “Conversation with Friends“ Imagine being able to write like that at twenty five.

    Here she is on the abortion Referendum
    She’s on my to-read list, possibly straight after the novel I’ve just started, Jonathan Coe’s The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, an intelligent Millennial I know heartily recommended it to me last month. So far (60 pages in), very pleasant and quietly thought-provoking. I like the character of Maxwell Sim more than the way his story is told (a little plodding IMO) but it does manage to grab you.

    Good text on the abortion ref (the NYT on Savita Halappanavar).

    I remember Ireland in the late 1980s as I used to go there a lot (had friends in Dublin, Donegal and County Kildare and also NI) and yeah, it was pretty religious. Many of my non-churchy 18-24 y-old friends outside of Dublin were made to go to Sunday morning mass while I had a kip (I declined the invitation to accompany them). In another thread, I remember telling Lang Spoon that one of them was renting a nice and reasonably spacious bedsit in Dublin 6 for £10 a week. However, he worked in a shoe shop near Halfpenny Bridge for the summer holidays for £1 an hour (no hourly minimum wage in Ireland then, like in England). In other words, a very different planet from today.

    I haven’t read anything from Sally Rooney but I think I’ll start with Conversations with Friends (Her debut Conversations With Friends saw her hailed as ‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation’).

  25. #2075
    Quote Originally Posted by Pérou Flaquettes View Post
    She’s on my to-read list, possibly straight after the novel I’ve just started, Jonathan Coe’s The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, an intelligent Millennial I know heartily recommended it to me last month. So far (60 pages in), very pleasant and quietly thought-provoking. I like the character of Maxwell Sim more than the way his story is told (a little plodding IMO) but it does manage to grab you.

    Good text on the abortion ref (the NYT on Savita Halappanavar).

    I remember Ireland in the late 1980s as I used to go there a lot (had friends in Dublin, Donegal and County Kildare and also NI) and yeah, it was pretty religious. Many of my non-churchy 18-24 y-old friends outside of Dublin were made to go to Sunday morning mass while I had a kip (I declined the invitation to accompany them). In another thread, I remember telling Lang Spoon that one of them was renting a nice and reasonably spacious bedsit in Dublin 6 for £10 a week. However, he worked in a shoe shop near Halfpenny Bridge for the summer holidays for £1 an hour (no hourly minimum wage in Ireland then, like in England). In other words, a very different planet from today.

    I haven’t read anything from Sally Rooney but I think I’ll start with Conversations with Friends (Her debut Conversations With Friends saw her hailed as ‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation’).
    She's better than that.

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