What are you reading?

Literature and creative ramblings.

Re: What are you reading?

Post by tanglerat @ Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:13 pm

Funny old Churchill, attitudes towards him over here have been slowly changing in recent years. Apart from The Emergency years (when the rest of you had WWII and Churchill was right grumpy about us and our decision to do Neutrality), he apparently was quite the pro-Irish Englishman.
User avatar
tanglerat
Ruler of the Queen's Navee
 
Posts: 6670
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:49 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:42 am

I've just finished Us by David Nicholls. It's the story of a small family who undertake a grand cultural tour of Europe as their last holiday together before their son leaves home for university, and about how very difficult it is to be a middle-aged husband and dad - even with the best intentions. It was a wonderful book, packed with humour and thoughts that felt like very nicely-written versions of my own hopes and fears. Funny and honest and I found it really moving too and it brought tears to my eyes (gay!) on several occasions.

Slightly awkward, as I read it in three bites sitting amongst the other mums while my daughter had her gymnastics class.
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:32 am

I'll give that a go Dath. I don't dislike him as a writer and sounds like a quick and easy read.
User avatar
Tokyo Sexwale
 
Posts: 47399
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:14 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:37 am

I have recently finished Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey. It is about an old lady with Alzheimer's who is convinced that her equally elderly friend Elizabeth has been a victim of foul play, but struggles to untangle her suspicions and the clues because she can't remember her suspicions or the clues. I really didn't like it; it's very well written and so convincingly portrays the endless loop of forgetting and confusion that it was fcuking infuriating. And when the mystery finally reaches it's climactic reveal at the end of the book it was something that had seemed to me to be obvious from the beginning. Quite annoying. I wish I hadn't read it, frankly.

After that I read Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer, just finished it yesterday. It was excellent; again the story of someone with mental issues, in this case a young asperger's man who is studying to become an anatomist in order to pursue his desire to uncover what actually is the difference between living things and dead things, other than the obvious that dead things don't work any more. But his studies embroil him in further mysteries even more than they reveal the truth of the original mystery he sets out to explore. I loved it; it is wittily but sparingly written and feels very "truthful" if I can say that without accidentally sounding like a bellend. I couldn't wait to discover the revelations of the story, but equally I am genuinely disappointed to have finished it. I could quite happily carry on reading about asperger's Patrick for ever.

Now I have The Girl With All The Gifts by M R Carey, which I bought on a whim after I spotted it in Waterstone's:

Image

I don't know what it's about and don't want to find out before I read it. I haven't even read the back. All I know is this, from a review I saw on Amazon:
I walked into a bookshop and asked for the best book the assistant had read in AGES - they handed me this. I had no idea what it was about, I didn't even know what genre it fell into, all I knew was the cover looked interesting and the assistant said it was good. It was GREAT.


I'll keep you posted.
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:51 am

Oh, and after that I've got the Rob Delaney book we all jizzed over a few weeks ago. Then I've got a bumper pack of Gillian Flynn novels that my wife bought me because we'd watched Gone Girl together and this pack includes Gone Girl in book form. :shrug:
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Disastrous @ Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:53 am

Damien Thorn wrote:Oh, and after that I've got the Rob Delaney book we all jizzed over a few weeks ago. Then I've got a bumper pack of Gillian Flynn novels that my wife bought me because we'd watched Gone Girl together and this pack includes Gone Girl in book form. :shrug:



I wondered if anyone else had actually got/read the Rob Delaney book after my efforts.

I've not read anything good in ages. I quite like the sound of your autistic death-mystery though so may give that a go.
User avatar
Disastrous
Monkey Licker!
 
Posts: 36849
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:58 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Rod Rammage @ Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:34 pm

Tumescent Acorn wrote:I'm reading Ubik by Philip K Dick currently.



Ooh I just click on this thread for the first time in forever and this post popped up - I am also reading Ubik!
User avatar
Rod Rammage
 
Posts: 23513
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:05 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:57 am

I started on the Gillian Flynn first as it happens, and have almost finished Sharp Objects now - which has confounded my lowly expectations by being a decent if unspecial psychological thriller. TGWATG is going to be next, as mentioned above, but I really fancy this too after hearing Jon Ronson interviewed on the radio last night:

Image
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Rod Rammage @ Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:00 am

Rod Rammage wrote:
Tumescent Acorn wrote:I'm reading Ubik by Philip K Dick currently.



Ooh I just click on this thread for the first time in forever and this post popped up - I am also reading Ubik!


This started well and now it's boring as hell!

It's like wading through treacle. If it doesn't get better by page 150 I'm giving up.
User avatar
Rod Rammage
 
Posts: 23513
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:05 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:04 am

The trouble with PKD is that he tends to revisit the same (admittedly really interesting) ideas over and over again in different books. So if you've read The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldrich xxxx, UBIK will feel very familiar. He had about four big ideas and rewrote them all the time. I remember UBIK as being pretty arduous, but I was about fifteen when I read it, so moot.
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:24 am

The Girl With All The Gifts is excellent and not at all what I expected. The Ronson one is on my wishlist too - I've read a few excerpts and it looks really interesting.
User avatar
Clown Ice Skater #4
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:40 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Piquet @ Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:22 am

I recently read Stewart Lee's book - How I Escaped My Certain Fate - in which he gives some context to how he wrote three of his stand up sets from the noughties, and then gives transcripts of them with annotations. It sounds a bit shit when put like that, but I'm a comedy nerd so it was enough to entice me, and the book is just as excellent as I hoped. The footnotes are fascinating and really make you appreciate the skill that goes into writing and performing stand up comedy. He manages to control the audience in ways that I was completely unaware of, and it made me want to try stand up again.

I'm now reading his first novel, The Perfect Fool, which is a slightly surreal story about a handful of individuals who are in one way or another at odds with the world. They're all in different places but I'm promised that they will be united at some stage and things will make sense for them.
User avatar
Piquet
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:51 pm
Highscores: 1

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Doctor Congo @ Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:14 pm

Am reading The Girl with All the Gifts. Whoever recommended it here, thank you. So far I'm really enjoying it. Any further recommendations are welcome!
User avatar
Doctor Congo
 
Posts: 5256
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:04 pm

I've just finished David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. Like a lot of his other books, it's split into different chronologies but it also follows one central character, Holly, who's a runaway schoolgirl in the 1980s at the start. I've seen mixed reviews of it but I loved it. The multi-layeredness of his books really appeals so a thumbs up from me.
User avatar
Clown Ice Skater #4
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:40 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Doctor Congo @ Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:52 pm

Finished girl with all the gifts. V good but slightly strange ending....
User avatar
Doctor Congo
 
Posts: 5256
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by thekungfury @ Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:02 pm

Disastrous wrote:I wondered if anyone else had actually got/read the Rob Delaney book after my efforts.

I've not read anything good in ages.

I bought, read and enjoyed it last week. Got a bit morbid/shit midway through tbh but overall it was very funny. Enough to make me lol out loud rather than just smile.
User avatar
thekungfury
 
Posts: 31904
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:27 pm
Highscores: 1

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Disastrous @ Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:28 pm

thekungfury wrote:
Disastrous wrote:I wondered if anyone else had actually got/read the Rob Delaney book after my efforts.

I've not read anything good in ages.

I bought, read and enjoyed it last week. Got a bit morbid/shit midway through tbh but overall it was very funny. Enough to make me lol out loud rather than just smile.



Agreed. I tweeted him just before I read the shit bit and then felt a bit of a cnut for taking the piss but then thought 'fcuk him'. So.
User avatar
Disastrous
Monkey Licker!
 
Posts: 36849
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:58 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Damien Thorn @ Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:44 am

I'm halfway through TGWATG at the moment, and whilst it's definitely good I'm a bit disappointed now I've discovered what it's actually about. I think it's because it's turned out to be a story about something I've become pretty bored with recently, and that's a nuisance. I imagine I'll finish it on Saturday morning at gymnastics, so we'll see.
User avatar
Damien Thorn
Spamcop
Spamcop
 
Posts: 10885
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:24 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jorge Orwell @ Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:21 pm

Just started Pratchetts last book "The Shepherds Crown" Not bad so far, if a little sad

Image
User avatar
Jorge Orwell
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:48 pm
Location: Out of my very tiny mind

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:57 pm

I've just finished Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed. It's about people who have said something daft online and ended up being vilified for it. It also looks at the nature of shame and how it affects people. Definitely a good read, very engaging and interesting.
User avatar
Clown Ice Skater #4
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:40 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Deuteronomy @ Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:30 pm

Jorge Orwell wrote:Just started Pratchetts last book "The Shepherds Crown" Not bad so far, if a little sad

Image


I'll buy this - although I honestly haven't enjoyed his most recent stuff, I've got them all and this being the last it seems a shame not to.
User avatar
Deuteronomy
 
Posts: 14223
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by span @ Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:36 pm

There was an interview with Neil Gaiman in the Times a few days ago. He was talking about Terry Pratchett's last book and how because of the way he wrote - "like a jigsaw puzzle", starting with the edges and then going back and changing, working on, adding bits, unlike an author who writes from beginning to end - that it was possible that this unfinished book could still be published. He also said how the best bit of the book would have been the ending TP intended to write but didn't get to:

  • SPOILER: Mouse over to reveal
    • “This is still the saddest moment for me, when I talked to Terry about it there was one little beautiful twist that would have made people cry, but he never got to write it,” says Gaiman. “It was going to be that death had come for Granny Weatherwax and that we think that she is dead but that she had actually put her consciousness into You, the cat. And there was going to be the final scene when she said, ‘I am leaving on my own terms now’, and then Death turns up to take Granny Weatherwax for good.’ ” Gaiman looks out across the rooftops. “And it’s the scene that isn’t there that would have made the book — but he never got to write it.”


The article also had his last letter to Neil Gaiman
A couple of days before we meet, Gaiman was given a final letter from Pratchett. “There are not many people capable of making me cry. They had opened the safe and there was Terry’s goodbye note.” He gets out his phone to show me the image which he photographed. “It was incredibly short and to the point and incredibly Terry.”
It reads:
Dear Neil,
Herewith is a black hat to remember me by. I hope I was good. I think I could have been better.
Strive.
Terry
User avatar
span
 
Posts: 5660
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Käsemeister @ Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:46 am

Eric Brown's autobiography, "Wings on my Sleeve". Very easy and fascinating book, one of those you wish was double the length and twice the detail level.
User avatar
Käsemeister
 
Posts: 35488
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:24 pm
Location: Hanging on in quiet desperation.

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Doctor Congo @ Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:32 pm

Just finished The Martian. Very good read. Enjoyed enormously. 9/10
User avatar
Doctor Congo
 
Posts: 5256
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:39 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by CJ+ @ Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:23 pm

I have just finished the worst book I've ever read. I only finished it out of a sense of sheer bloodymindedness.

It is called Payback, and it is written by a semi-literate chimp called Kimberley Chambers. I got it because I occasionally get an email from Amazon saying "Hey, choose one of these free Kindle books" and I didn't fancy the alternatives, which were all historical romances and other such guff. What a fool I am!

The plot is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is set in a sitcom version of the East End, and the main characters are basically ripoffs of The Krays.

The writing is unbelievably bad. Those of you with long memories will recall that I and Ecks had some fun with the junior-school-level writing of Dan Brown, the utter banality of which is well documented on the internet.

This is worse. Much, much worse.

Samples, best read as if you're a six-year-old giving a speech at school:

"Whistling 'Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah', Trevor Thomas felt as happy as a pig in shit as he walked the mile-long journey from the pub to his mother's house. As a lad, Trevor had never truly appreciated the sights, smells, atmosphere, or community spirit of the East End of London. But after years of living in Yorkshire, he sure did now."

"Joanna could not help but smirk. She had seen the two women staring at Vinny earlier and instead of feeling jealous, she was proud. Vinny looked really handsome today in his dark suit and black sunglasses."

"Mrs Mills had certainly livened up the day. 'My Old Man's a Dustman', 'Any Old Iron', Underneath the Arches' and 'Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner' had already been sung loud and proud, but when 'I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts' blasted out of the speaks, Queenie and Viv both stood up to do their little party piece."

"'If you don't get in my car, I swear on my dear old mum's life I will fcuking kill you. And you know how much I love my dear old mum, don't you?'"

And so on, and so on. It's like a version of The Krays, written by someone whose only reference materials were Only Fools and Horses and EastEnders.
User avatar
CJ+
 
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Lave Orbital Station
Highscores: 1

Re: What are you reading?

Post by spast1kunt @ Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:33 pm

I tried to read Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding_Edge

It had quite a lot of positive reviews but I found it messy, boring, overcomplicated and in the end gave up within fifty pages of the end, which in itself says a lot about how much the book pissed me off.

Recently I've been reading a load of Jo Nesbo books. He's a Norwegian crime writer most of whose books feature his detective Harry Hole who is kind of predictably an alcoholic and a loner (which successful detective isn't?). Nesbo isn't quite up to the standard of Henning Mankell, the books are readable but not outstanding and ought to be read in order or you'll find out which of his colleagues and acquaintances get bumped off which could spoil the experience if that kind of thing bothers you.
User avatar
spast1kunt
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:10 pm

Re: What are you reading?

Post by CJ+ @ Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:35 pm

In case you think I'm exaggerating how shit Payback is, have a look yourself. It's got that "look inside" thing.
User avatar
CJ+
 
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Lave Orbital Station
Highscores: 1

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:36 am

Sounds not dissimilar to Martina Cole, ceej. I got given a load of those a few years ago, read about a third of one, then threw them all in the recycling so no-one else would have to read them.

'Shaz's cut lip trembled as she fixed her old man's tea. Despite her belly full of arms and legs, he'd given her a right pasting for looking at him funny when he tried to sing 'My Old Man Said Foller The Van'. 'Your fackin' kid better not be anuvver split-arse', he shouted as he kicked her in the back. But she couldn't leave. He was a bona fide east end bank robber so when he was flush he took her up the Roman and bought her a nice dress. And he loved his old mum.'
User avatar
Clown Ice Skater #4
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:40 am

Re: What are you reading?

Post by CJ+ @ Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:21 am

Clown Ice Skater #4 wrote:Sounds not dissimilar to Martina Cole, ceej. I got given a load of those a few years ago, read about a third of one, then threw them all in the recycling so no-one else would have to read them.

'Shaz's cut lip trembled as she fixed her old man's tea. Despite her belly full of arms and legs, he'd given her a right pasting for looking at him funny when he tried to sing 'My Old Man Said Foller The Van'. 'Your fackin' kid better not be anuvver split-arse', he shouted as he kicked her in the back. But she couldn't leave. He was a bona fide east end bank robber so when he was flush he took her up the Roman and bought her a nice dress. And he loved his old mum.'

That's actually considerably better than the turgid junior-school shit that Chambers churns out.

On her website, it says "Easily as good as Martina Cole."

Not "better than". "As good as".

fcuking hell. Thatcher's Britain, etc.
User avatar
CJ+
 
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:39 pm
Location: Lave Orbital Station
Highscores: 1

Re: What are you reading?

Post by Disastrous @ Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:40 am

I got one of those free Kindle things called 'The Mentor' and I'm now scared to start it.

I love bad writing-it amuses me greatly.
User avatar
Disastrous
Monkey Licker!
 
Posts: 36849
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Book Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

yt
  Enable youtube titles