What Are You Reading Now.

Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by Writing Forums Staff, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Michael Crichton has a lot of crap, but definitely some absolute gold. Congo, The Andromeda Strain, the Jurassic Park series are his best I think. The Lost World (part two of the series) is just awesome, though Jurassic Park itself is a non-stop action book. Way different than the films and far and away more brutal. The man can do intensity if he has his heart set on it.
     
  2. Night Herald

    Night Herald Malfunctioning clockwork person Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "The Shadow of the Gods" by John Gwynne
    Finished Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne. A good book, not necessarily great, with a somewhat refreshing take on Medieval European Fantasy and the Norse myths. There were parts I really liked, some aspects I enjoyed less, but overall a positive experience. My personal best moment in the entire book was when an old Norwegian folk tale—one I heard many a time upon my grandfather's knee as a wee bairn—was retold here, (allegedly) happening within the universe of the story itself. I deeply admire and appreciate this inclusion. It's awesome when old and fairly obscure stories are given a new platform and a chance to reach a wider audience. One of my favorite things about this book is that Gwynne clearly knows about this stuff, and writes of them with authentic passion.

    A good job was done of setting up the sequel, and so I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

    [​IMG]

    And I do mean different. I've had my fill, for now, of swords and knights and Viking marauders and dragons.

    Enter Jade City by Fonda Lee.

    Set in a secondary world echoing mid-20th century Asia, this is a novel about superpowered kung fu mobsters. Okay, sold!

    I'm really liking the flavorful writing. The setting feels fresh. The characters are pretty good and steadily getting better, and they feel very much grounded in their world. I don't know if it's the setting, the style, the superhuman martial artists, or the heady combination, but this gives me a certain anime vibe; to the point that the visuals I produce are oftentimes rendered as such. I consider this a boon. Said visuals are crisp and energetic, stemming from detailed and effective descriptive work. I find this more immersive and interesting than most other books I've read lately.

    In short, I'm a fan! I will definitely pick up the second volume after burning through this one, and it seems the third one is set to release later this year. Wonderful timing.

    Oh, and someone was kind enough to drop off the first three books in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series at my house. That's probably next for me. I'm honestly not terribly keen on these, but a deal was struck, and I will strive to honor it. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
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  3. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Active Member

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    My intellectual capacity slips distressingly low on hot summer Sundays, while my enjoyment quotient rises. I am reading my way through Elizabeth Peters' Jacqueline Kirby novels.
     
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  4. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Alright, I knocked out book two. I finished Sense and Sensibility tonight. It was certainly not my favorite.

    Yes, yes, it is exceedingly well-written and great deal logical, as all Austen works are. The characters are as natural in temperament and speech as any actual person of the day, making an almost picture perfect window into the comings and goings, familial deals and slights, for audiences to clearly understand for generations. By all means it is a very perfectly organized novel, in the proper English manner.

    But my God, is it simply just boring to me.

    Where Northanger Abbey was chipper in its mannerisms and general witticisms in its characters and constructs, Sense and Sensibility was very rigid in its display of the comparison of its two title schools of thought in women. Of course good sense would triumph over the agitations and naivety of sensibility, but do we really need hours upon hours of gently outlining this fairly obvious fact? Okay, maybe they did, and Austen sure did comparatively bring a solid air of realism to a stage that had been dominated by the fantastical nature of the Gothic. But still. This book made me tired, and if I hadn't had the pleasure of listening to Rosamund Pike reading it over an audiobook, it would have been a serious chore. She's fantastic.

    And I must mention the wretchedness of everybody's state throughout the entire novel. Everybody is miserable, outwardly or inwardly, for such an extended period of time that it simply beats you down as a reader. If not for the hilarity of Mrs. Jennings often incorrect assumptions, I may have just given it up entirely. I hate all the men here by the way. They are all quite miserable, though Colonel Brandon is mildly tolerable though annoying with his doting over someone who is by all means an idiot. But still, one can admire that Austen writes each character as entirely their own person. I believe each and every one of them, except around the end which just kind of resolves everything a little awkwardly and calls it a day.

    If you're an Austen fan, good on you. This is a good one for you. For everyone else, I would recommend starting with something a little more light like Northanger Abbey or...not Austen. An alright novel for sure, but clearly not in my wheel-house.
     
  5. escorial

    escorial Active Member

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    A Room of One's Own..by V...Woolf...an essay on why women found it difficult to write and publish...makes one think about the working class talent and the books that were never written in the same time period....
     
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  6. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is actually excellent and sets a lot of early feminist literature points very clearly to see. Shakespeare's Sister and subversive textual practices of the Brontes versus Eliot versus Austen being among the most interesting constructs. It's a long essay, but worth the effort if you're into that sort of thing.
     
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  7. escorial

    escorial Active Member

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    Odd after reading...Lighthouse and Dalloway how she can conform and break out from the norm for her female characters.... Now it all seems matter of fact but when you consider the times they were written it's so related to the self and awareness that was being discussed then.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 10:07 AM
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  8. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    I finished Winter in Sokcho last week and really enjoyed it.

    Also have 30mins left on my audio for Smoke Gets In Your Eye by Caitlin Doughty.

    So ive now moved on to Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen
    And the audiobook for Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
     
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  9. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    Working in the Childrens' room today. Read this book. Its now my new favorite book:D
    Its adorable

    16233484368966474779776341148858.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 9:05 PM
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  10. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oryx and Crake is an interesting study of consumer culture.
     
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  11. escorial

    escorial Active Member

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    The Benn Diaries 1940 - 1990....One of those born wealthy Englishmen who enjoy other peoples deprivation and poverty while having a fine old time at their expense....
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021 at 8:00 AM
  12. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    I am rereading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I read it many many years ago after watching the movie by Truffaut--a friend made me watch it. I was curious about the book, at what the book was saying. I must admit that at the time I found both boring . . . I can't remember what in the movie persuaded me in reading the book. But now that I am rereading it, I particularly enjoy the writing--the opening is great.
     
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  13. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    Oryx and Crake was my favorite of the trilogy, but all three are just fantastic. What a series. You know, for someone who vocally hates science fiction, Margaret Atwood gives damn good sci-fi.
     
  14. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    Let's see. I haven't checked in in a while. I audiobooked *Bridge to Terabithia* and cried through the whole thing. I finished *The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes*. Worth a read if you enjoyed *The Hunger Games*, but not up to par with the original trilogy. (What prequel about a villain could ever measure up to that series?) I discovered that *The Halloween Tree* is officially my least favorite Ray Bradbury novel. I finally got around to *The Rum Diary* by Hunter S. Thompson. Decent, but not stellar. Honestly, I haven't come across a five star book this year, but I have high hopes for the audio adaptation of *The Sandman* I started last night written and narrated by Neil Gaiman.
     
  15. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Smooth like butter Contributor

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    Theres a trilogy?
     
  16. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    that book absolutely scarred me as a child. I don't know if I could even handle re-reading it.
     
  17. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I happen to have just discovered recently that when he was a boy Ray Bradbury loved comic books, and at some point he got made fun of for it by the older kids, so he piled them all up in the yard and burned the whole collection, in order to regain some cred among his peers.

    I wonder if that's when he discovered the ignition temperature of paper? And did he become a living comic book? Maybe he saw the peer pressure as a sort of tyranny?

    Hmmm... :superthink:
     
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  18. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Contributor Contributor

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    were comic books not in during the 20s and 30s?
     
  19. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I guess not. I mean, in the 60's when I was young if you were seen carrying a comic book or a fantasy or sci-fi book around school under your arm you'd get made fun of relentlessly. Not by everybody, but there by certain bullies or jerks, and a lot of people would join in.

    Edit—In fact, I find that the more practical-minded people, who dislike flights of fancy and claim they don't dream etc, really are contemptuous of comics and fanstasy/sci fi.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021 at 2:47 AM
  20. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't either. The closest I got was a four and half star book this year, but nothing that blew my hair back. Mainly a few great scenes rather than good novels.
     
  21. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    The truth behind Fahrenheit 451:


    I feel somewhat disappointed, although still fascinated. I like more your version of the events behind the inspiration of the novel :p
     
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  22. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    A lot more goes into the inspiration behind our creations than can be told in a brief interview. I doubt it's even possible that, while writing about book burnings, he didn't remember that incident. It was a perfect microcosm of the book burnings done by a totalitarian state, which are really symbolic of the history and knowledge that's being burned out of the thoughts of the people by the politically correct (rather than factually correct) propaganda.
     
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  23. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    I would imagine that with time, the way he found inspiration for the book has become a story itself--like anything, when one tells a story over and over to hungry people, it has to have affected Bradbury's retelling, even if he aimed at diminishing the excitement.
    I like the thought of him finding himself burning everything out of feeling pressured/repressed, and then suddenly come up with a story to find relief from his own reaction&action to that event. Of course, that alone cannot be the sole inspiration, rather it can be a spark. But since I also start from personal experience, although the story then takes its own shape, often differing completely from the original motivation.
     
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  24. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Couldn't have said it better myself! :supercool:

    And of course, a story is far more powerful if you can find some similar event in your own life to relate it to, even if it's a smaller version of a much bigger atrocity.
     
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  25. ruskaya

    ruskaya Senior Member

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    my thought is that Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 depicting a world where TV screens would dominate the home and hijack the human mind to promote happiness. That didn't happen, but social media happened instead. Now we have a scenario in which it is social media with its global outreach to both promise success/happiness and doom the world with consumerism, bullying, acts of terrorism, etc. Is there any novel that explores or anticipates this vision of social media?
     

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