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What are you reading at the moment?

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I'm 140 odd pages through Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and am starting to slow down with it. My main problem is that not a lot has happened so far. Robert Jordan has turned up, looked at the bridge, met Maria and is currently on his way to meet some other general guy. Does the pace pick up ever? I'm guessing they won't get to the bridge until the last 100 pages or so.

 

I loved The Old Man and the Sea, my favourite book I read last year, but this one is full of really clunky speech, all the "thees" and "thys" and people obscenitying in other peoples' milk. Can anyone give me reasons to keep going? I struggled with The Handmaid's Tale for the first 200 pages too but I kept going and really enjoyed it in the end.

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Just finished the Thre Body Problem by Liu Cixin. Was going okay and then towards the end I just lost interest- seemed a bit poorly realised and  there wasn't an immediacy to it which drained it of tension for me. I know it's highly regarded but don't know if I could be bothered with the other two(?) in the series.

 

Existential Psychotherapy by Yalom for my curiousity purposes and  finishing Freakonomics(which isn't great and some of the chapters seem to discuss things which are self-evident IMO)  are next up.

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Doug Stanhope, Digging Up Mother. Lol's a plenty and stuff I can associate with being from that era of growing up. Astonishing stuff really.

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I'm currently making my way through Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford, which is a fantastic survivors' memoir of the 42nd Street grindhouse scene - the cinemas, the customers, the films and the filmmakers. A fair chunk of it is given to descriptions of the films, but this is fine as most of them are pretty obscure (and occasionally available on YouTube). It's an authentically seedy, sticky love letter to a lost world of hustlers, freaks and low-lives and I recommend it without reservation if you have any interest in the murkier corners of cinema.

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18 hours ago, OogyBoogy said:

I started a re-read of Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. This will take me a while.

 

Brave man, I may do it one day but considering my first time through took me over a year then I'm not in a rush.

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The Pineal Gland: The Eye of God by Manly P Hall

As a heavy shroomer in my teens and early twenties I love reading these Masonic Manly P Hall books.

The biggest secret in Masonry isn't the Illuminati/OTO, it's the fact it's a psychedelic drug cult.

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I finished the 4th book in the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths 'A Room Full of Bones' over the weekend. These are police procedurals set in East Anglia with two central characters; one a forensic archaeologist and one a police detective. 

 

I really like these books. They're nicely plotted and the two main characters work well together. The setting is Inspector Morse-lite with the University/academic setting always in the background. I get a laugh from the references to areas Alan Partridge would mention - Norwich and that. 

 

The stories will generally involve the discovery of some ancient bones or remains and this will then tie in with a contemporary crime. There will normally be some very slight super-natural elements as well.

 

Anyone who likes the Morse books or any UK procedural will enjoy this series.

 

 

I'm about 80% of the way through Ghettoside by Jill Levoy. This is an indepth look at a murder in South Central LA and an analysis of why so many black people are murdered and why so few of their murders are solved.

 

The author was a writer for the LA Times and wrote a blog on their website detailing every murder committed in LA. At the time papers were only reporting about 10% of murders there were so many happening.

 

This is very good but pretty depressing. So many people casually killed and the lives of their families destroyed. You also have an apathetic police force and a black population (understandably) not trusting the cops or engaging with them.

 

Recommended for anyone who liked David Simons book Homicide: A Year on The Streets or the podcast Serial.

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Im a little way into the final "Twilight" book "Breaking Dawn" i read the first 2 while i was on holiday a few years and caught the 3rd not long after but never got this last one til now. I enjoy them and theyre harmless enough for some light pre-bed reading.

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Halfway through Deadhouse Gates.

 

I think I'll incorporate all the side novels and novellas as well in this Malazen readathon, something I didn't do with my previous read-through.

 

 

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I'm about a third of the way through Graham Nortons first fiction book Holding. Set in his home county of Cork it's the story of the discovery of a body in a small town and how it affects the lives of the towns population. At the heart of the story are two lonely, middle aged women and the discovery of this body brings some past events into the present.

 

I wasn't sure what to expect from this but it reviewed well so I bought it on Saturday. It's really good. The characters are well written and it perfectly captures the atmosphere of small town Ireland and the way it can suck the life out of you. It also nails the slow-dawning regret of middle age. And the realisation that it might be too late to get your life started.

 

I assume Norton wrote this and it's not ghost-written. And I hope this isn't a one off and he writes a lot more in future. Definitely recommended.   
 

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I'm almost halfway through the 5th Dark Tower installment now. Starting to feel like I'll be pretty lost when I finish this series. Only 2 books left! At the same time, I'm looking forward to reading something else soon, something not written by King (as much as I love him, I do need some variety). 

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Michael Lewis - Flash Boys 

 

I knew some of what went on, but this is still mind boggling stuff. 

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12 hours ago, RB said:

Michael Lewis - Flash Boys 

 

I knew some of what went on, but this is still mind boggling stuff. 

 

Flash Boys is incredible. Even that first chapter about the fibre channel being built to connect two data centres blew my my mind. The Dark Pool stuff is insane. 

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13 minutes ago, Silent Runner said:

 

 

Flash Boys is incredible. Even that first chapter about the fibre channel being built to connect two data centres blew my my mind. The Dark Pool stuff is insane. 

 

Yeah properly fascinating stuff. 

 

I think my absolute favourite thing about the book though is Ronan. What a fucking guy. 

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I've had a bad run of books recently, nothing has really excited me and I've just been churning stuff to finish it. So I went back to James Ellroy, one of my favourite writers, whose books I could reread multiple times and always find something new. I blitzed The Black Dahlia over the weekend and it was a tight and original as I remembered. Great characters, story, pacing and some proper OMG plot twists. 

 

I'm about 85% into The Big Nowhere now. And just got past one of the legit, most shocking things I've ever read. I can remember reading it for the first time on the bus into work years ago and this bit made me say 'NOOO' out loud. Such a great read and my favourite book of his - until I start LA Confidential next week probably. 

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Michael Lewis - The Undoing Project 

 

I had no idea what it was about going in, but I'm three chapters deep and it's great so far. 

 

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22 hours ago, Silent Runner said:

I'm about 85% into The Big Nowhere now. And just got past one of the legit, most shocking things I've ever read. I can remember reading it for the first time on the bus into work years ago and this bit made me say 'NOOO' out loud. Such a great read and my favourite book of his - until I start LA Confidential next week probably. 

 

I think it's probably the only book that's made me jump out of my seat shouting "WHAT?!"

 

Have we heard anything about his next?

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21 hours ago, Froettmaning said:

 

I think it's probably the only book that's made me jump out of my seat shouting "WHAT?!"

 

Have we heard anything about his next?

 

It's a follow up to Perfidia, right? When that came out it was reviewed as the first part on another quartet. I wasn't crazy about it though and I felt it lapsed into James Ellroy fan-fiction at times. 

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Read "the Son" by Jo Nesbo,  basically a  pulp crime thriller that's pretty derivative, clichéd and obviously rubbish if you stop to think to hard about it but it's an easy read, cracks along and quite enjoyable . It's 600 or so pages long but has big writing so not too taxing or long. Despite the fact I  read it under (mild) protest it was a decent holiday  option so recommended with caveats.

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Just started 'Universal Harvester' by John Darnielle and really enjoying it. It's been an amiable little slice of a humdrum video store clerks life so far, set in the early 2000's and it's just starting to take a turn into Lynch-territory. Excited to see where it goes.

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Still chipping away at The Dark Tower book 5 along with @Illyria. Really glad I took the time to read some of King's other novels that are heavily referenced in this. T'is making for an even more enjoyable read.

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Anyone read Black Water Lillies by Michel Bussi?  He is the king of the big twist for sure.  This is a much better book than After the Crash, which was a bit "rich family bad, poor family good".  For one thing it's set in Giverny, the home of Claude Monet, so if nothing else you learn about his life.

 

Spoilers below do NOT reveal the twist but may still be worth avoiding if you plan to read this.  It's brilliantly done.

 

Spoiler

I think I realised toward the end that something was missing - that I didn't have enough information, and maybe pursuing that thought to its logical conclusion might have done the trick sooner. Tangible bits of knowledge which might help you work it out earlier below

 

Spoiler

Knowledge of motorbikes

Knowledge of French Canadian nicknames

 

 

 

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On 05/04/2017 at 18:49, Sie said:

Still chipping away at The Dark Tower book 5 along with @Illyria. Really glad I took the time to read some of King's other novels that are heavily referenced in this. T'is making for an even more enjoyable read.

 

I'm also working my way through The Dark Tower series for the first time. Just reaching the end of book 4, which is the best one yet I think. 

 

Which other novels are referenced? I've read a few of his others but maybe not the right ones. 

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'Salem's Lot' and 'Hearts in Atlantis'

...are the main ones I was instructed to read. And it's paying off. I understand there are others too but perhaps less important (although I really don't know tbh)?

 

Also worth pointing out, in case you're not aware, book 8 in the series (The Wind Through the Keyhole) is best read between book 4 and 5 if you want to follow the ka-tet's story chronologically.

 

And yeah, book 4 is brilliant. I wasn't sure on it at first but it became something special.

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Thanks. Have read Salem's Lot but some time ago so not picked up on any cross over stuff yet. 

 

Torn as to whether to book 8 or not next. Does it definitely not spoil anything for books 5-7?

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I wouldn't think it does as it takes place before those books. If anything, it'll probably add clarity to things in later books but I can't be certain as I've not finished book 5 or read 6 and 7.

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As far as I understand it, book 8 is just a little interlude that occurs in between books 4 and 5. Not important to the story (obviously, as it was released afterwards), and it doesn't spoil anything. It's lovely though and I definitely recommend reading it next, @Bushtopher :)

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