What Are You Reading Now.

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

  1. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

    Essential. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll do it all in deep POV.

    Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham

    Not as essential as the other one (or as The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley, that I already listed a few entries above), but it goes deep into what a scene is and how to write one. Probably does more too, I haven't got that far yet. Something about structure I guess?
     
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  2. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "Flowers for Algernon" by Daniel Keyes
    I've read that first one, I think. Is that the one that's like 80 pages long?

    I might have read the second. I don't remember. Those books in that series all look the same. They are good though. My favorite is the one by Ron Rozelle.
     
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  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Yeah, it's very short. I finished it last night. Lol, I had stopped at a point I assumed was about halfway through (kindle version) and when I picked it up I turned the page and there were only like 2 more sentences~! I had no idea it was almost over already. But it's good solid info.
     
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  4. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Conspicuously Conventional Contributor

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    Finished three books and gave up on another.

    Gardens of the Moon, Steven Erikson. 80 pages of this was all I could stand to suffer through. Rating: DNF

    (1) The Grey Bastards, Jonathan French. Not bad. A grimdark biker gang fantasy story, only it swaps out humans and motorcycles for half-orcs and riding hogs. Think Tolkien meets Sons of Anarchy. Rating: 3.5 stars

    (2) The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells. Having recently read Lovecraft, this story reminded me of him — albeit Wells is more accessible. I wonder if Wells was one of his influences? Anyway, this book has really nice pacing, tension, and atmosphere, as well as a thought-provoking premise. Rating: 4 stars

    (3) Dead Man’s Walk, Larry McMurtry. The best of the bunch. This book is chock-full of western genre goodness. The dialogue is fantastic — which is huge for me — and every character (of which there are many) has a distinct voice and personality. Gus, Call, Bigfoot, Colonel Cobb, Matilda, Buffalo Hump… All tremendous characters. Rating: 4.5 stars

    Currently reading: Vision Quest, Terry Davis.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    9D8E8F62-69FB-421C-B02E-7D8A8E2F8E3C.jpeg
     
  6. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    Heat 2: Electric Boogaloo
     
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    @Bone2pick this is consistent with my experience in recommending the Malazan books (which I like quite a bit) to people. The responses are get are divided between “Wow, I love this” to “I couldn’t even get through it.” There’s not a lot of middle ground. :D
     
  8. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Samhain Contributor

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    The Ballad of Tom Dooley. Sharyn McCrumb
     
  9. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Conspicuously Conventional Contributor

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    Finished two books.

    (1) Vision Quest, Terry Davis. I was introduced to the movie shortly after joining my high school’s wrestling team. Back then (1996/97) Vision Quest was the equivalent for wrestlers as Hoosiers was for rural school basketball players. By that I mean it was far and away the best representation of the sport in story form. It might still be.

    Anyway, I finally decided to read the book. Having done so I have mixed feelings: I definitely prefer the novel’s ending, as well as Louden’s introspection about growing up which the movie largely omits; but I prefer the tighter wrestling focus the film uses to build towards Louden and Shute’s final match. Rating: 3.5 stars

    (2) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers. I’ve never read or watched a story that better explores our deep need for companionship. Exceptional prose. Masterful characterizations. Worthy of its highly regarded place in American literature. Rating: 4.5 stars

    Currently reading: Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield.
     
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  10. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Treasure Island. I read it when I was young, many moons ago. It's very powerfully written, though most of it seems (so far anyway, I just started) to be narration and dialogue. First person, presented as a story written after the events occurred. In fact the first paragraph explains that some of his friends had asked him to write it up.

    The fact that it's written in hindsight from the perspctive of on older wiser narrator allows it to be semi-omniscient, even though it's in first person, because over time he learned many things that give him a privileged understanding. Meaning he can at times narrate about things happening where he can't see them.

    I'm trying to understand why it's so powerful, being mostly narration and dialogue. The dialogue itself is colorful and carries much of the power. I think a lot of the showing so far has been done mostly in the dialogue. A little now and then in the narration, which works because the narration is his rememberances, and occasionally he includes some of those all-important details that make a scene vivid. Must pay close attention to how this works.
     
  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Part of it is that these salty old pirates narrate their own actions, and those of people around them, as they speak. Something like "Yes, that's it Jim lad, bring me the cup, and tilt it while I drink. Ah yes, that's hit the spot! But ye shrink away! Do ye fear me boy?"

    Another part is that the characters are so vividly drawn. Especially the pirates as they show up one by one at the inn where the boy works. This is the beginning of adventure starting to sweep in to his life, character by character. It's sort of like when the dwarves showed up in small groups at Bilbo's house to kick off The Hobbit, or when C3Po and R2D2 brought the war into Luke's life. Weird characters that reek of faraway lands and strange dangerous adventure. And as they accumulate, the ordinary place becomes gradually transformed and his life gets knocked on its ear.

    Also, there is action (scene), but so far it's done in brief sentences almost lost in between dialogue and narration. Plus it's all done in character voice, so the action is also narration in a way. Sometimes the two are so merged it's impossible to tell them apart.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2022
  12. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Ex-Patriot Supporter Contributor

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    Telemachus Sneezed
    Ah, Matthew Modine goes from a high school boy daring enough to drop his undies to make weight to scrubbing shitters with a tootbrush two years later in Full Metal Jacket. Such a sweet kid he was.
     
  13. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Samhain Contributor

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    Speaking of salt... I started Mutiny on the Bounty day before yesterday. How have I missed this book all these years?
     
  14. P.D.Blake

    P.D.Blake Member

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    Just finished Do androids dream of electric sheep?

    Nevermind the androids, I want a mood organ :D
     
  15. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Conspicuously Conventional Contributor

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    Finished two books.

    The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells. Shortly after finishing The Island of Dr. Moreau, I got a serious hankern’ for another classic story from Wells; so I nabbed this from my public library. It hit the spot. In comparison, this one didn’t build towards quite as strong an ending as Dr. Moreau, and its themes were slightly less worthy of discussion, but it was satisfying all the same. Rating: 3.5 stars

    Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield. An historical fiction novel about the Battle of Thermopylae and the events leading up to it. I was surprised to discover the actual battles in this book were my least favorite parts. Pressfield uses a distant POV for those scenes, and I felt it was too often divorced from emotion, as well as overly explanatory. However, the historical detail, the quiet character moments, the messaging, and the resolution after the final battle were all very good. Rating: 4 stars

    Currently reading: Traitor’s Blade, Sebastien De Castell
     
  16. Catriona Grace

    Catriona Grace Samhain Contributor

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    A Caribbean Mystery. Agatha Christie
     
  17. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Contributor Contributor

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    I finally finished my first Discworld book today, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I've been told it's not the strongest of the series, and while the ending left me feeling a bit underwhelmed, it was still such a neatly told tale.

    Currently reading the newest Green Rider book, Winterlight, by Kristen Britain. I wanted the paperback edition, and I got it, but it's massive compared to the other books in the series. Taller and wider. Oh well! It's paperback and that's the important thing.
     
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  18. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    I like the ones about Death and his apprentice and his regular human daughter.
     
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  19. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Ex-Patriot Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    Telemachus Sneezed
    Anything with Vimes and the Watch. Rincewind is kinda boring IMO.
     
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  20. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Contributor Contributor

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    Finished this, now I'm going to work my way through Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
     
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  21. ps102

    ps102 Active Member

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    I read "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" and I was blown away. I picked it up on a whim at the beginning of the summer and so I didn't think that I'll actually like it, but then I started reading it yesterday and I was lost in the pages and their vivid imagery. The world around me had actually disappeared. It's been sometime since that's happened, and I didn't expect that this kind of book would do it.

    It had a bit of a bizarre ending though, it didn't end on what you'd call a good note. But it was alright...
     
  22. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Thought I’d read The Ink Black Heart after all the chatter about it. Never read anything by Rowling except the very first Potter way back when it came out. I’m almost done. There are a couple good points but I feel the novel is hamstrung by some of the bad points, not the least of which is its length, which could easily have been reduced to result in a better, tighter bit of crime fiction.
     
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  23. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Conspicuously Conventional Contributor

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    I’m reading Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson and I’m bummed because I’m losing interest. I was fully enthralled (on track for 4.5 stars) with roughly the first 200 pages. The parts with Daniel befriending and studying under characters such as John Wilkins, Robert Hooke, and a young Isaac Newton. But as the timeline advanced and Daniel moved up the ranks of the Royal Society, the story became less personal and more big picture/political. Unless something changes soon I doubt I’ll finish the book.
     
  24. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    The Art of Creative Writing: The Classic Guide to Writing Fiction by Lajos Egri.

    Written in the 1920s, so the language and phrasing are dated to the point of weirdness, but very interesting, especially for the metaphors and examples he uses to describe his ideas.
     
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  25. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Ok, I thought I had this one, but what I have is his The Art of Dramatic Writing, which is really about play writing.
     

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