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What are you reading at the moment?

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I kicked started getting back into reading by finding two books in a second hand bookstore on the weekend.

 

A Darker State by David Young, part of the Karin Muller series, was consumed in three days and satisfied my detective habit (big fan of all things Michael Connolly) plus a bit of cold-war thrown in. Was nice to read a well formed female lead in this genre too.

 

In the Shadow of Papillon by Frank Kane is an interesting read of life in a Venezuelan prison. But I'm finding the auto-biography aspect reminds me of a certain banned poster.

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On 04/10/2019 at 18:08, little che said:

Finished Atwoods The Testaments.  Thoroughly enjoyed it and in many respects I enjoyed it more than the Handmaid.   Also finished second sleep by Robert Harris which had some similar themes to the testaments, and was equally readable.  

I very much recommend both. 

 

I found the ending quite abrupt. It was a good read but nowhere near top tier Atwood. I loved the Aunt Lydia sections. 

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Started the new Le Carre novel,  The Agent Running in the Field.  It definitely feels like B-tier stuff from him, it's nowhere near the level of the his best work but I've never read one of his books in the month it was released before so this seemed pretty tempting and frankly I'm astonished he's still working at 88 years of age. He seems pretty pissed off about Brexit in this one, it's almost worth it just for the anti Brexit, anti Trump, anti Putin soapbox moments even if the spy stuff is a bit by the numbers. 

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

I just loved this, Harry is endlessly entertaining. Definitely gonna read it again.

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I've been reading Terminator 2: Infiltrator for the past few days, it's really good if you're into Terminator. It follows the aftermath of T2, and features the characters that were the basis of the T800.

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So I'm onto book 7 of the Expanse series and I'm not sure how I feel about it after a couple of chapters, mainly because

it's set 30 years after the sixth book. Now while I wouldn't rule out some time travel shenanigans going on given the curveballs the series has thrown at me I just can't reconcile that much time between them. It seems like something of a cop out, and I'm not sure why that is.



I'm obviously going to plough on because the series hasn't been anything less than great, and sometimes it's been absolutely fantastic.

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It feels like a cop out because it feels like, apart from a bit of grey in their hair, all the characters have remained in stasis for three decades and it was only done so they could make the new bad guys' appearance even vaguely plausible.[/spoiler ]

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The Night Circus by Emily Morgenstern.

 

It's absolutely wonderful. I get a whole lot of Neil Gaiman vibes in the writing. 

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I'm currently reading the Field Series by Simon Winstanley. It's a story about a comet that's going to hit the Earth and the attempts made to stop it. All very bog standard sci-fi and not worth it generally but...

 

The story is told with rapid time jumps back and forward in time to different points in the story with initially what seems like no pattern. Then the second book starts telling a number of parts of the story already covered in the first book but fills in a number of blanks you probably didn't notice were there and gradually over the books things get odder and odder and insanely weird and complicated as the story goes back and forth over itself. It's really very very good.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Field-One-Simon-Winstanley-ebook/dp/B0196VK0W6/

 

All life extinct in 64 years: The data couldn’t lie
Archive’s conclusion was simple: To escape, make Time.
Their solution was complex: 7 billion people must never know.

Their solution is failing.

The future lies with a high-functioning sociopath,
a child genius fascinated by time,
an officially retired space program,
and Field One...

Field One is the first book in the enthralling Field Series.

 

There's four books in the main series (I'm on book four now) and apparently the fifth book is a side story that takes place at the same times.

 

 

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On 23/12/2019 at 21:54, Harsin said:

 

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It feels like a cop out because it feels like, apart from a bit of grey in their hair, all the characters have remained in stasis for three decades and it was only done so they could make the new bad guys' appearance even vaguely plausible.[/spoiler ]

 

Yeah, it absolutely is that. However overall I thought it was excellent. I don't think I've read a series of books that are as consistently great as these are. Looking forward to nine, which should be this year if Google is correct.

 

12 hours ago, Flub said:

I'm currently reading the Field Series by Simon Winstanley. It's a story about a comet that's going to hit the Earth and the attempts made to stop it. All very bog standard sci-fi and not worth it generally but...

 

The story is told with rapid time jumps back and forward in time to different points in the story with initially what seems like no pattern. Then the second book starts telling a number of parts of the story already covered in the first book but fills in a number of blanks you probably didn't notice were there and gradually over the books things get odder and odder and insanely weird and complicated as the story goes back and forth over itself. It's really very very good.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Field-One-Simon-Winstanley-ebook/dp/B0196VK0W6/

 

All life extinct in 64 years: The data couldn’t lie
Archive’s conclusion was simple: To escape, make Time.
Their solution was complex: 7 billion people must never know.

Their solution is failing.

The future lies with a high-functioning sociopath,
a child genius fascinated by time,
an officially retired space program,
and Field One...

Field One is the first book in the enthralling Field Series.

 

There's four books in the main series (I'm on book four now) and apparently the fifth book is a side story that takes place at the same times.

 

 


This sounds like that TV series Salvation.

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On 21/11/2019 at 00:21, Timmo said:

The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

I just loved this, Harry is endlessly entertaining. Definitely gonna read it again.

 

Just read this too. It's fantastic.  

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The Sellout by Paul Beatty.  First American Booker Prize winner and I'm not sure what to make of it.  I'm probably still a session or two away from finishing it but at the moment I think I like it even though I've got next to nothing in common with the protagonist other than a sympathetic nature.  First and foremost it's just funny, Beatty is a very charismatic writer and his personality comes across in the prose, it's made me smile to myself a lot and there have been a couple of times where I've genuinely laughed out loud. There's a ton of stuff going on about race and racism, and as the white guy in a mixed race family I'm always going to be drawn to this kind of stuff but the identity politics and race relations don't seem to dominate life where I live in the English West Midlands as much as they do in L.A. (and I'm thankful for that) but I feel the stuff about history, culture, moving on and bringing stuff back are probably going to require multiple readings to fully understand. Some of it is just beyond me because I'm not from SoCal and don't get the references but the heavy handed stuff (at one point the guy practically draws a chalk outline around the neighbourhood he grew up in) allows dummies like me to appreciate some of the books undertones.  It's definitely interesting, it's definitely funny but I don't know if I love it. 

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For The Good times by David Keenan.

Wow, just wow.  The basic premise is a group of friends who join the IRA.  It's not written in the vernacular like Trainspotting or Huckleberry Finn but it's similar in style and the phrasing for a non-Irish person is a bit difficult to grasp but once it does, it flows beautifully. It's brutal as hell with a narrative voice that's really unique and distinctive.  I'd recommend it. I am planning on a book a month and 2/3rds the way through already for this, my February book.

This could be my book of the year.

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I've finally started Leviathan Wakes - I know there's a dedicated thread about The Expanse but I dont want to spoil anything so I'm avoiding it!

 

It's really good - I'm flying through it. Not seen any of the TV series yet but I hope it's a worthy adaptation. 

 

Already bought books 2 and 3.

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On 11/02/2020 at 13:44, Boothjan said:

I've finally started Leviathan Wakes - I know there's a dedicated thread about The Expanse but I dont want to spoil anything so I'm avoiding it!

 

It's really good - I'm flying through it. Not seen any of the TV series yet but I hope it's a worthy adaptation. 

 

Already bought books 2 and 3.

 

It is! I'd read a few more books before starting it though.

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I generally avoid reading books because I have this little problem of not going to sleep until I've finished them. But I feel like I'm missing so much so I've started on the Witcher series. Really enjoying the first book - it being made up of short stories really helps with the addiction problem.

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2 hours ago, Ryan said:

I generally avoid reading books because I have this little problem of not going to sleep until I've finished them. But I feel like I'm missing so much so I've started on the Witcher series. Really enjoying the first book - it being made up of short stories really helps with the addiction problem.


Spooky. I just loaded this thread up for the first time in months to say that I’ve just started tucking into The Last Wish (First of the Witcher books) and saw your message. I’m also really enjoying it.

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On 14/11/2019 at 01:46, Naysonymous said:

Started the new Le Carre novel,  The Agent Running in the Field.  It definitely feels like B-tier stuff from him, it's nowhere near the level of the his best work but I've never read one of his books in the month it was released before so this seemed pretty tempting and frankly I'm astonished he's still working at 88 years of age. He seems pretty pissed off about Brexit in this one, it's almost worth it just for the anti Brexit, anti Trump, anti Putin soapbox moments even if the spy stuff is a bit by the numbers. 


I listened to a Radio 4 interview with Le Carre in October 2019 about that book. Here is a segment of the interview. You say you 'started' reading the book! Did you finish it?!

 

I am reading The 120 Days of Sodom by The Marquis de Sade.

 

rYVkfGO.jpg

 

France has declared the manuscript of it as a 'national treasure'.

 

Sade himself described it as 'the most impure tale that has ever been told since the world began', which I wouldn't disagree with.

 

It is disgusting, but meant to be, but (IMO) so intelligently written and interesting.

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Ive just finished reading 2 Peter F Hamilton books, Pandora's Star and its sequel Judas Unchained.

 

I had never read any of his stuff before, and after exhausting all my Iain M Banks books and anything set in The Polity by Neal Asher i thought i would try the well recommended Hamilton.

 

It has been said elsewhere, this man needs an editor. I remember wanting to absord every little nuance about the culture of Azad in Banks's Player of Games, but reading Hamiltons stuff i found myself skipping chapters of dross.

 

Anything containing bits about

MorningLightMountain, wormholes, the Silfen paths, FTL, superweapons, Ozzie Isacs

was brilliant and had me eating up pages, but

the detective story with Paula Myo, or the political wranglings left me numb so i skipped them.

It felt in some places like a mum who never read scifi trying to write scifi for their kid who is obsessed with that luke skyflyer from those space wars movies. E-butler, hyperglider and other such language just felt like he was grasping for futuristic concepts or like those victorian books about what the year 2020 will be like.

 

The books contained some phenomenal world buildings, but there were just too many segues to bits i didnt enjoy.

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