What are YOU readin'?



Lithos - read Pratchett's GOING POSTAL last month. A quick holiday week read that filled me with fun & laughter. Sarcasm wins out.

JPOD - found this interesting when I read it a few years back. Lots of LOLs but overall, not as good as I thought it would be!

Last week I fianlly finished Stephenson's REAMDE, switching back to the hardback for the last 100 pages. Odd thing, hitting 90% on the Kindle and not knowing exactly how many 'pages' are left to go! Anyways, a good, sprawling tale, albiet on one timeline. Interesting characters fighting out a good vs evil modern day reality + virtual reality. It worked for me and I can't wait for his next novel ...as there could surely be follow ups / spin offs from said story :-))
In between books, kind of. Read my e-copy of Infinite Jest sort of lackadaisically while we were travelling, I don't know how much I really like that one on the iPad/Phone. Then banged through Uberdog's Harper Voyager open portal submission doing a quick proof Friday and Saturday. I liked it, I hope they do, too.

I have several books half-read on my nightstand, but think I will be tucking into either REAMDE or 1Q84 soon, since the weather's turned. It's time for a great big book.

Also got the Humble Bundle, but not sure when I'll get to those. I've only read Zoo City on paper.

Also ordered that Punk book that WG contributed to, and the DT Max DF Wallace bio. Because why not add a bunch more books I'll have neither time to read nor a place to store.
I'm about halfway through Total Recall, Schwarzenegger's autobiography. Now that we've moved out of his bodybuilding career and into his movies and his relationship with Maria Shriver I've lost a little steam. Probably slow even further down once we get to politics, but these are just my personal prejudices.
Finally into book 3 of IQ84. God I want to have Murakami's babies. He just always seems to deliver what *I* enjoy reading.

Having gone through a period of just not knowing what to read, and feeling blue because of it, since getting my kindle my "to read" list seems to cover the next 18 months! I know they've not the smell or tactility of books, but for someone with fucked arms and hands (and I get cramp holding my kindle, so imagine how painful I find books) they are my dream. I love my kindle! But I do wish you could buy a physical book, and get a code for the e version with it - some books I simply want the paper version of, but want to be able to read it on my kindle. I broke down with the latest Jasper Fforde and bought hardback AND kindle version, but it stung.
More Pratchett - Snuff.

It's a Vimes book, but definitely not the best. I don't like Henpecked Vimes; it's boring. It doesn't help that one of Pratchett's failings is writing women characters, so having Sybil form such a large part is a bit of a waste, especially when she has about as much depth as a sheet of paper.

It descends into boring, sitcom-married-couple farce, with a bit of class warfare thrown into boot, but Vimes never acts on this, and nothing ever comes of it, really. Well, it hasn't yet.

Rather than being an arse-kicking, slightly knurd, very cynical, copper's copper with a hardwired sense of justice, he just sits there going "Yes, dear". A rather hackneyed premise.
Read McAuley's The Quiet War which was reasonably paced space opera with a bit of hard science on the planetary side, followed up with his Gardens of the Sun, which was a bit slow and seemed like space opera for the sake of space opera.

Now reading The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. After a few months of space opera this came as a bit of a shock.
quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
Now reading The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. After a few months of space opera this came as a bit of a shock.


in what sense? it is one of those books i really keep meaning to pick up.

i grabbed an easy, pocket sized, book for the weekend since i was going to spend most of it out and about. "embers" by laura bickle, urban fantasy set in detroit, the main character a fire elemental and fire investigator. she balances her day job of investigating suspicious fires, with the more paranormal people she knows trying to drag her into the world of ghost hunting. but of course, the latest arson attacks look suspisciously paranormal in origin. decent enough page turner, probably half way through.
quote:
Originally posted by MrsK:
Finally into book 3 of IQ84. God I want to have Murakami's babies. He just always seems to deliver what *I* enjoy reading.

...I broke down with the latest Jasper Fforde and bought hardback AND kindle version, but it stung.


I know what you mean. I ripped through a few of his books over the last year - and although I have been taking a break (as recommended by some WGBers) so as not to exhaust my supply of candy - I find myself thinking fondly of how reading Murakami made me feel... it's like a fucking addiction!

I love my e-reader as well. It's waiting for me to return and read Norwegian Wood on it...

Is Fforde a worthwhile read? I've pondered his stuff but have yet to take the plunge.
Finished Rule 34.

I really liked the story, but I didn't like the POV; I think it interfered with the flow.

I was only slightly surprised to find out the Gnome's 'true' identity, as the revelation made lots of other pieces of the puzzle click.

I was pretty sure of what was in the suitcase from it's introduction, but the reveal was no less disturbing for knowing what was coming.
quote:
Originally posted by Gustave:
quote:
Originally posted by MrsK:
Finally into book 3 of IQ84. God I want to have Murakami's babies. He just always seems to deliver what *I* enjoy reading.

...I broke down with the latest Jasper Fforde and bought hardback AND kindle version, but it stung.


I know what you mean. I ripped through a few of his books over the last year - and although I have been taking a break (as recommended by some WGBers) so as not to exhaust my supply of candy - I find myself thinking fondly of how reading Murakami made me feel... it's like a fucking addiction!

I love my e-reader as well. It's waiting for me to return and read Norwegian Wood on it...

Is Fforde a worthwhile read? I've pondered his stuff but have yet to take the plunge.


My wife and I like Fforde quite a bit. His first novel, The Eyre Affair, took a while to really get going (lots of setup, but it's an interesting world, and still very funny). All of the Thursday Next (of which The Eyre Affair is the first) books are consistently entertaining. His Nursery Crime books are also very good. Shades of Grey is, I dare to say, his best so far.
So.... I started Jpod this weekend, and have been laughing about damn near everything in it.

Mr. Coupland is a deeply funny man.

Got a copy of Jack Womack's "Lets Put The Future Behind Us" at Half Price Books. This is the second time I've picked up one of his books for a dollar.

I think I should mail him some cash.
quote:
Originally posted by Hasa:
Started the Neon Court by Kate Griffin. Looks promising. I like her portrayal of London in an Urban Fantasy setting.


her next one is a non-swift book, but set in the same world. which is curious.
i have one of her other books sitting unread that i found in london last time i was down. under her own name - catherine webb. need to get round to that - the other one i read under that name was younger than her novels as griffin, but still a good read.
quote:
Originally posted by King Real:
in what sense? it is one of those books i really keep meaning to pick up.


In as much as it is so very not space opera. It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid and my mum bought me an Italo Calvino book for xmas. I'm only 4% from the end and I am still not 100% sure what is going on, but I'm definitely enjoying it. I picked up because it was recommended on the Google+ chat with Iain Banks, Peter Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds as non-English speaking, European sci-fi.
quote:
Originally posted by Kradlum:
quote:
Originally posted by King Real:
in what sense? it is one of those books i really keep meaning to pick up.


In as much as it is so very not space opera. It kind of reminded me of when I was a kid and my mum bought me an Italo Calvino book for xmas. I'm only 4% from the end and I am still not 100% sure what is going on, but I'm definitely enjoying it. I picked up because it was recommended on the Google+ chat with Iain Banks, Peter Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds as non-English speaking, European sci-fi.


your mum was buying you calvino as a kid? damn, cool.
though i guess my grandad give me a copy of dick's ubik when i was in primary school.

hannu has been mentioned here a number of times - i know wanderer was reading it when i was there earlier in the year, and i'm sure chris h also read it, off the top of my head. it got some really rave reviews and i've read some of his short stuff.

interesting to hear him described as non-English speaking. i guess it makes sense, and clearly much of his work is influenced by being finnish. but as far as i am aware he has lived in edinburgh for years and did his degree there. in 2005 he was included in a collection of scottish speculative fiction...

but then, my impression is that israeli writer lavie tidhar, who there is something of a buzz about these days, spends most of his time in london.
My great-grandad, the Pommy one who outlived all my tolerable relatives because the universe is a cunt, gave me a copy Joh Bjelke-Petersen's Don't You Worry About That when I was a kid.

When I got home, dad quietly took it off me and said "Yeah. I don't think you need to read that."
quote:
Originally posted by Gustave:
I know what you mean. I ripped through a few of his books over the last year - and although I have been taking a break (as recommended by some WGBers) so as not to exhaust my supply of candy - I find myself thinking fondly of how reading Murakami made me feel... it's like a fucking addiction!

I love my e-reader as well. It's waiting for me to return and read Norwegian Wood on it...


Same here...

I actually read Norwegian Wood on my eReader last year!
What ever happens, I will always love the WGB for introducing me to Murakami.

Re Fforde. I *loved* The Eyre Affair (hence we own them all in hardback, some signed. He is a nice, funny man and his reading / signing was a lovely evening). Some of the later ones were average, but the most recent showed some return to form.
Nursery Crimes are a bit meh. His teenage aimed, Last Dragon Slayer books are fun but light.
Shades of Grey was excellent. And a very good book group kind of book.
I've been saving the last couple of the Murakami stack I got from Minxilla last year. Once I finish those, 1Q84 is up.

About halfway through Jpod, and am finding it increasingly hilarious, which was unexpected and welcomed. So much absurd yet normal randomness...

Just got "Imperial Bedrooms" by Brett Ellis in the mail, so that's probably going to be after "Let's Put the Future Behind Us" but before my re-read of "Geek Love".

After all that, my head'll prolly asplode.
Just acquired (at the library):

Stephen King's "11:22:63" - which I have to read first 'cos it's a 1-week loan

Iain Banks' "Whit - Or, Isis Among The Unsaved" - which I'm looking forward to very much

Lauren Beukes' "Zoo City" - complete with fulsome blurbage from WG
Finished Erikson's Deadhouse Gates, the second book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It is much better than the first, having found his own voice and balance, a mix of RPG worldbuilding and Glen Cook's Black Company with a verbose twist.

Afterwards I am rereading two of my favorite books, Perdido Street Station and Revelation Space, just to write their reviews on Goodreads (and to enjoy the series, of course).
quote:
Originally posted by electricdragon/ madevilbeats:
RICH DAD POOR DAD - Hawaiian guy has two dads. I was hoping this would be about gay parenting but so far it's just useless shit like how to make your money work for you and why taxes are bad.

This. Plus he just filed for bankruptcy, so the money advice is shit too.
Yep, years ago. Apart from anything about the financial stuff, I was just kind of affronted by his 'fuck my real dad who raised me, he won't make me rich, I'll glom on to this random rich guy who is nice to me and decide he's my dad instead' approach.

Bespeaks bad character, to me.
I've finished reading it, took me two evenings basically. I never got the sense of 'fuck you poor dad' from it. The basic idea is about advice parents give their children so there has to be opposing perspectives. Since the emphasis of the book is on wealth creation, or the lack of, there has to be both viewpoints, and it naturally favors perspectives on wealth creation (probably not much market on How to Grow Poor).

The real value of this book is between the lines - all the stuff about investing is pretty much malarkey. It points out an obvious Truth, to put your money into things that make you more money while avoiding liabilities. The details behind actually doing this are all to be given in tapes, seminars and other books. Right there the book itself is telling you, hey you didn't actually learn jack shit; there's still a ton you need to know to actually find assets to buy and avoid owning liabilities. . .
finished "embers", it was readable urban fantasy. i've certainly seen worse. and hey, culture clash between detroit and babylon...

started "hunter's moon", by some bloke, more urban fantasy, but this one is more in the constantine mode, the running commentary of killing and fucking and i'm only a chapter in...

also with the recurrence of murakami talk, i've gone back to 1Q84 and started volume 2. though i think i'll keep this for house reading this time as it is just too bulky for carrying around. (hence the bastard book above...)

oh. and a moment to talk about a comic. Prophet. originally one of the mainstream image comics title. it stopped for years, and started back again recently with new creative team. not sure what the plot was before. but with this version there are 100s of john prophet clones, who have mostly been in hibernation since the end of the war. in the mean time, human kind have mostly gone, leaving 100s of types of aliens instead. i'm not sure i get everything that is going on, but its pretty damn awesome stuff. the 1st book collecting the 1st 6 issues is out, very much worth a read. i had read issue 25 same day i saw prometheus and this blew my mind while prometheus bored me.
Finished a Year in the Merde. I larfed out of the loud a few times. Amusing, fun read.

My longing for Murakami caused me the break my fast - but I opted for the audiobook edition of Dance, Dance, Dance - because I'm having to do a fuckload of driving lately and listening to speaking voices keeps me alert. The guy reading (Rupert Degas) is brilliant - I'm back in my comfy bathrobe, fingering the enchantingly disturbing objects someone has left in the pockets (was it me?)

Meanwhile I'm scanning the text trail of the first collection of Planetary written by mister Warren Ellis - as suggested by Aaron, local comic-book dude.
quote:
Originally posted by Bravus:
If I had an e-reader I'd be all over the Humble eBook Bundle.


Bought it yesterday. Really interested to see how reading of comics will be on a kindle. But a whole book of XKCD will keep me happy for hours I am sure.
finished "hunter's moon" by david devereux (i think). the 1st of two novels featuring a bastard combat magician. combat magician being the title ellis gives to gravel in his graphic novels. these novels are not new, number of years old at least, think they are out of print. i got this one when the borders closed here, which is a few years ago now. occult plot to assasinate the prime minister, send in bastard magician to take prisoners, torture and get results. in light of the laundry novels it feels like this should be a comedy, but i think it is taking itself pretty seriously. a page turner, but not necessarily a good one.

the tel aviv dossier, by lavie tidhar and nir yaniv. i picked this up on clearance in vancouver chapters. tidhar is currently a rising star in the science fiction field, israeli born, world travelled, i think now london resident. this is a biblical-lovecraftian end of days novella set in tel aviv. the text is made up of recordings, videos, recollections. so far at least. only just starting, curious where it is going.
I don't know what happened.

This past Friday I finished "Jpod" with the intent of starting "Let's Put The Future Behind Us", but this hippie burnout turned doped up detective tale "Inherent Vice" caught my eye, then the other, and won't let go.

This is easily the most coherent Pynchon voice to have coagulated from the ether, or wherever it is he snatches hie yarn from, and also the most contemporary. Something about the familiarity and ease with which Pynchon pours all manner of idiosyncrasies and personal experiences into his characters leaves me with the feeling that a lot of his characters share life experiences with him, in bulk.

So, I guess Womack and Ellis will have to take a back seat to Mr. Pynchon, who is driving us through a recently deceased lifestyle generator, whose corpse is still warm in a shallow grave near the pacific, and whose ghost can be heard at any time of day not moaning, but screaming.
I think of Lot 49, Vineland, and Inherent Vice as pretty explicitly linked, as California novels. Of course, all of Pynchon's novels are linked--but I think you could read those three with an eye toward seeing them as a thematic trilogy.

I wonder how Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Inherent Vice will turn out.

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