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#451 Posted by Sombre (352 posts) -

@humanity said:

@sombre: I have not and I was actually really surprised to suddenly see it in stores a few days ago. It shouldn't be surprising that an author wrote another novel but somehow I heard nothing about this coming. 1Q84 was incredibly disappointing for me and his next novel Colorless Tsukuru.. failed to really engage me. This was kind of a shock because up until 1Q84 Murakami was an author that could do no wrong for me - I had read all of his full feature novels and really enjoyed them all in various degrees. After Dark is probably the one that was beginning to be a little too wishy washy with ambiguity but I still really liked the concept of it. In comparison 1Q84 was incredibly boring and spanning three entire novels didn't help that at all. Colorless.. was ironically just that - kinda flat, nothing stood out.

So I'm interested to read this new one after I'm finally done with the Witcher books, but I'm also a little anxious about it. The few reviews I read were very middle down the road.

That sucks dude. I fucking LOVE Kafka, probably in my top 3 books ever read. I also really liked 1Q84, even if I associate it with a bad time in my life. I think I'll check out Commendatore at some point, just for another Murakami masterclass in surrealism

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#452 Edited by 49th (3886 posts) -

I've just finished the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. The books are definitely written for young adults but the premise is unique and keeps me reading. I find that some of the plot points seem a little too convenient or undeserved but the overall story is good.

I'm looking forward to the movie next year as I think it could translate really well to the screen.

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#453 Posted by Creigz (235 posts) -

I've been reading a couple books, first one is Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames. It's part of a group of books based in a D&D like universe. The first book is my favorite of the two right now, but we'll see what else comes out. This one is quite good, don't get me wrong but I related to the characters more in the first book is all.

Also I'm reading The Hackers Playbook 3. It's pretty simplified so even a non-professional infosec person can grasp the concepts.

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#454 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1237 posts) -

@patoday: I read the first one earlier this year and thought it was fantastic, I'm planning on reading the next two books back-to-back soon.

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#455 Posted by PatODay (392 posts) -
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#456 Posted by Sombre (352 posts) -

@49th said:

I've just finished the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. The books are definitely written for young adults but the premise is unique and keeps me reading. I find that some of the plot points seem a little too convenient or undeserved but the overall story is good.

I'm looking forward to the movie next year as I think it could translate really well to the screen.

Is that the Knife of Never Letting go series? That was number 3 in my top things of 2015!

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#457 Edited by wollywoo (232 posts) -

@humanity: Finished Norwegian Wood. Pretty great. Here's my review.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

This is a story about sex, death, and mental illness, and how those three feed off of each other in strange combinations. I've heard his book called the Japanese Catcher in the Rye, but they have almost nothing in common, except that both Murakami and Salinger both have great ears for dialogue. My favorite characters were Reiko and Midori who are, respectively, fascinating and hilarious. Certain images - an abandoned well, Midori playing her guitar from a balcony while watching a building burn, Toru feeding cucumbers to a dying man - seem like they will stick in my memory for quite a while. The main flaw, to me, is that the main character is a bit of a blank slate - it seems like every girl he runs into instantly falls in love with him and either sleeps with him or tells him her most intimate secrets, so he must be something special, but I'm not sure exactly why. He's obviously a stand-in for the author, but maybe if there was more distance between the two he would be more interesting. I don't speak Japanese, but there are some strange word choices that make me wonder if the translation is a bit wonky in places.

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#458 Edited by SloppyDetective (1583 posts) -

I just started Cannery Row by Steinbeck, and while I'm a big fan of what I've previously read of his (Grapes, Pearl and Mice), I've found this to be a bit of a slog. There are interstitial pieces inserted between more traditional chapters where he is describing the atmosphere of areas in Cannery Row and the style and flow of these parts have been really unappealing. They are these pseudo-poetic descriptions that are full of back to back $10 dollar words that make it feel like I'm reading a college text book version of literary pros. I mean I'm a moron so I'm sure someone could evocatively explain to me why these are great writing, but on my own they are just tedious. The rest of the book has focused on the characters and why they reside in these places in Cannery Row, and those are as delightful as all the other writings of his I'm familiar with. He is talking about a different type of people in this book than the others I've read in that there is a seediness to their low status compared to the characters in Grapes and The Pearl. These are down and out people living in the skids but he cares about them just as much as any of his other characters, and that's something I really love about his writing.

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#459 Posted by Humanity (18580 posts) -

Just finished the Inverted World by Christopher Priest and it’s a fascinating read about a city on rails that is constantly moving. It’s an oldie but a real goodie with some amazing twists and turns along the way.

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#460 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7472 posts) -

I had started listening to is "The Long Earth Series" by British authors Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It is an interesting series, but I don't love it. I can see what teh authors were going for "what if" the westward expansion went on forever on parallel earths. But, truthfully, this was a situation where two great authors produce a really dreadful series of books. But, I gave the second book a go...and yeah, this one is not good either. So, a regrettable "Do Not Recommend" for me on "The Long Earth Series"

Before the holidays I listened to "Tau Zero" 1970, by Poul Anderson. This is a very 1970s science fiction book, like full bell-bottoms with paisley shirt 1970s book. It deals with the phenomenon of what happens when you are in a broken spaceship that keeps accelerating faster. A vehicle can never reach the speed of light, teh occupants and ship are alway chasing the last few fractions of the speed of light...99.898, 99.899, all the way up to 99.99998 and beyond. However, what does happen is time speeds-up so that years, centuries, and eons pass by outside as they accelerate. In teh final horus Billion-year cycles which pass as moments for the people in the ship as their ship. I won't give away what happens, but I will say the book is more about the people and how they cope as their journey puts them beyond all that they knew. So, this is a "Recommend if you like 1970s sci fi".

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#461 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1237 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I picked up Tau Zero during a sale late last year, and just listened to it over the past few days. It had the worst audiobook narration I've ever heard. The story itself was really interesting, though, even if the characters weren't written all that well. It's the first Poul Anderson that I've read. Have you read any more of his stuff?

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#462 Posted by Humanity (18580 posts) -

I've been reading Destination Void by Frank Herbert as it's supposed to be a sort of stand alone intro novel to his later trilogy. I loved the Dune novels Frank Herbert wrote and consider them some of the best sci-fi ever written. Game of Thrones is basically Dune but in a fantasy setting. Destination Void though.. I dunno. Halfway into it as I started struggling I went on to read some reviews if I was the only one and the general consensus is that this "intro" is less a novel and more a philosophical thought exercise with narrative mouth pieces arguing back and forth about the definition of consciousness. Although my biggest issue is with the tech-speak. Having read past Herbert work and being a big fan of William Gibson I'm no stranger to show-don't-tell type of organic world building. He picked up the Quaziloop and sealed it around his wrist seeing a stream of Xarqs flood his vision and giving him access to the console under his palm - you know that sort of stuff. Destination Void seems, to me anyway, 90% incomprehensible. Even more incomprehensible than the Light series by M. John Harrision and those were some techno-babble-ass books. Whats different is that Herbert strings entire sentences of this stuff together with nary a regular word in between.

I'll brave on through to the end which I hear starts to oscillate back to regular storytelling and has some interesting revelations, but so far it has not been a particularly fun read. Great concept though.

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#463 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7472 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I picked up Tau Zero during a sale late last year, and just listened to it over the past few days. It had the worst audiobook narration I've ever heard. The story itself was really interesting, though, even if the characters weren't written all that well. It's the first Poul Anderson that I've read. Have you read any more of his stuff?

I think I have only read his "Harvest of Star" books, but that was a solid 25 years ago or more. Mr Anderson is one of those authors you see on teh shelf that you never get around to reading.

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#464 Posted by SloppyDetective (1583 posts) -

I just finished 1984 by George Orwell. I have to say I was pretty bored through a lot of it. I like the two main characters quite a bit and was surprised at how romantic the story got at times, and how liberal with sexuality the author was. This book handily fulfilled one of my pet peeves though. Forcing the reader to read, for far too long, an in world book. This is a pivotal moment for the character but we have to trudge through way too many pages of blatant explanation for things we already contextually learned about the world; this really killed the pacing of the second half of the book. Still, I'm glad I read it and now know where all those references and ideas come from. This book has had such a wide influence on our culture and pop-culture that I think it is worth a read even if it feels uneven and drones on at times.

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#465 Posted by pappafost (214 posts) -

The Harry S Truman biography by McCollough. I'm listening to the audiobook while doing Monster Hunter World grinding. It's pretty fascinating stuff, and it makes what happened later in the 20th century make a lot more sense: Cold War, North Korea, Vietnam, Berlin wall, etc.

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#466 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7472 posts) -

I read soem Young Adult books from time to time - a book is a book is a book.

I just got into listening to an "offshoot" series the Honor Harrington series. This series illuminates the first discovery of "Treecats" by Harringtons. Treecats are a sentinet, thepathic species of 'cat analog' aliens which befriend certain humans in a futuristic space empire. A few Treecat character weave their way through the whole Honor Harrington series experiencing in space warfare and high adventure of thos pulp sci fi books. These YA books are a bit more 'tame', but are nicely written. Not as gooey or melodramatic as 'The Hunger Games', but there is some teen romance part to the stories.

I like the series, it lighthearted with some Nancy Drew type thrills and mysteries.

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#467 Edited by BrunoTheThird (824 posts) -

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#468 Posted by FrostyRyan (2898 posts) -

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I've never seen either movie adaptation. This is a real treat so far

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#470 Edited by sparky_buzzsaw (8817 posts) -

Been catching up on Kadrey's Sandman Slim novels. So far, they're terrific. A guy banished to hell by a circle of magician friends comes back for revenge when one of them kills his girlfriend, and by the end of the first novel, he becomes sort of a hitman for hire. It's a really unique blend of shlock, intelligence (the dialogue in particular is sharp and witty), and violence. Hugely recommended, particularly if you like big action novels with a bit of unique flavor.

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#471 Posted by Damenco (63 posts) -

I am currently reading metro 2033 and stalker. I love these books

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#472 Posted by billmcneal (1202 posts) -

I just finished two books. I read "The Apprentice" by Greg Miller about the influence of Russia in the 2016 USA presidential election. I also finished "Baseball Cop" by Eddie Dominguez about the dark side of Major League Baseball.

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#473 Posted by SloppyDetective (1583 posts) -

I finished the Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett. It was a very enjoyable read; quite humorous, and very lyrical prose. I felt some plot points came and went too quickly and some of the jokes didn't land, but it made me curious about other books in the series. I may skip around and read some of the more highly regarded books: I doubt I will read all 40+.

I'm currently reading The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. I like it quite a bit (not as much as Our Man in Havana) but I can see why this is widely considered his greatest work. The subject matter is dark, he brings a huge amount of humanity to the characters and he's dealing in big philosophical questions. I'm sure my interpretation of it now is much different than what it was in the 20th century when released.

I also started reading Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris today by reading a few of the first essays. I think Sedaris is very funny, but my god I can never match my dad's love of him. I think the opening essay about his European dentistry experiences has been the strongest one so far. I do kind of wish I got the audio book as he's such a fantastic narrator, but I have such a hard time focusing on audio books they feel like a waste and I never finish them.

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#474 Posted by Sombre (352 posts) -

I work in a school, and I Was looking at the school library for a book to read on my week off. I found Gaiman's "Stardust". Being a big fan of the film, I picked it up for a bit of quiet reading time with the kids. 30 minutes FLEW by. The teacher I work with asked me to read it over half term and give a review to the class when I get back, but theres a pretty graphic sex scene first 20 pages.

Wew