What are you reading right now?

We've read at least one, and we'll prove it!
User avatar
Apocalyptus
Not what you were expecting
Posts: 5283
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:00 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Apocalyptus »

Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:Reading Dan Simmon's Hyperion now. Classic awesome sci-fi. Canterbury Tales in Space. But better.
I am a big big fan of that series. I especially liked the gender swapped typical opening into the private detective/noir/cyberpunk section of the book that I completely failed to pick up on the first time I read it (as a teenager) when rereading it last year.

I really need to get onto rereading the Olympos books by Dan Simmons too, as they are quite excellent too.
Kimra wrote:Next they'll be denying us the right to say "We'll rape your arse if you don't come to this fucken country."

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Apocalyptus wrote:
Liriodendron_fagotti wrote:Reading Dan Simmon's Hyperion now. Classic awesome sci-fi. Canterbury Tales in Space. But better.
I am a big big fan of that series. I especially liked the gender swapped typical opening into the private detective/noir/cyberpunk section of the book that I completely failed to pick up on the first time I read it (as a teenager) when rereading it last year.

I really need to get onto rereading the Olympos books by Dan Simmons too, as they are quite excellent too.
I'm trying to get a hold of the next book in the series but my uni doesn't have it :(. Yeah, Lamia Brawne is great. Lives up to her name. It was nice to read some sexy-scene material from a female perspective, which is rareish in sci-fi.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

I just read five Philip K. Dick novels in a row. I am beat. They were Martian Time Slip; Doctor Bloodmoney; Now Wait for Last Year; Flow my tears, the policeman said; and A Scanner Darkly. The first three were very similar, the fourth started to focus more on drugs, but I was not prepared for A Scanner Darkly. The author's note at the end made me cry in public. It's hardly science-fiction. It's like a better Fight Club in reverse.

Going to start on a collection of four more Dick novels.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Apocalyptus
Not what you were expecting
Posts: 5283
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:00 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Apocalyptus »

Yikes. I like Phillip K. Dick's books, but they sure are depressing reads. I don't know how you can read multiple books of his right after another. I generally need to space them out a bit.
Kimra wrote:Next they'll be denying us the right to say "We'll rape your arse if you don't come to this fucken country."

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

They were in one physical 'book' together, otherwise I wouldn't. And, I dunno, the ones about mental illness and supernatural abilities weren't so bad. The relationship in Now Wait For Last Year hurt though. It seemed like what my now-past* relationship would have been like in 20 years.

I broke up with her two weeks ago
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Kaharz
This Intentionally Left Blank
Posts: 1572
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Kaharz »

Yea, the note about why he wrote A Scanner Darkly is pretty rough, especially if you read that before the book.
Kaharz wrote:I don't need a title. I have no avatar or tagline either. I am unique in my lack of personal identifiers.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

I'm reading The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I picked it randomly off the shelf in my uni library's "New Releases" section. It's very, very good. Ishiguro is Japanese-British author and most of his books are set in Britain, as this one is. Time-wise, it's a few decades after Arthur, with some mild fantastical elements.

An elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, live in a village-warren dug into a hill. They, the other villagers, and the various characters they meet have little recollection of most of their lives, and even events from prior months or even days become fuzzy and lost. They decide to visit their son's village some days' travel away to reunite with him and hopefully reignite some memory of their past. Hijinks ensue!

It's written in a really minimalist style. I don't know if that's typical of Ishiguro or just an aspect of this book, but it works quite well.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Fantastic book: The Bees by Laline Paull. It's a story of life in a beehive from the perspective of a honeybee worker. It's not at all kitschy or childish; instead it's a novelization of what actually goes on in a hive. The author got scientific advice from like 6 different entomologists, including E.O. Wilson*. The only flaw is that you can pick out the ending about halfway through the book, especially if you skim the Wikipedia page on honeybees, but it's very gripping the whole way there. Her description of how honeybees communicate through pheromones and dancing is super well done. Paull is a playwright, but this is her first novel. The first review on the back is from Margaret Atwood, so I was set on checking it out from the library pretty instantly.

From the first pages I was hooked on it. It is a delightful read. I get a thrill every time I see a bee or wasp outside now.

*he is pretty much the most famous and highly-regarded living biologist
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Lethal Interjection
Death by Elocution
Posts: 8051
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:17 pm
Location: Behind your ear. It's magic!
Contact:

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Lethal Interjection »

Finally finished Life of Pi.
Ultimately I think I liked it, though not without caveats.
The book was pretty good. Maybe even great if you read it and the ending made the middle even better. Not sure if that was the case for me.
Really it was the first third of the book that really set me adrift. Which is not a positive thing despite what the pun might suggest.
It was really the reputation of the book that kept me from discarding it. The opening wasn't horrible, but under normal circumstance I would've said the book wasn't for me. But that it was well-respected and based on an "unreliable narrator" kept me going (the latter more than the former).
The middle was an intriguing bit of literature, regardless of beginning or ending.
The denouement was pretty good, I think? I mean I love the emphasis on perspective making the narrative, but I'm not sure the ending of Life of Pi hit that chord the way it might have done. Maybe they hit that nail too squarely? I would've preferred a more subtle approach to the novel's ending, I think. Something that made the interplay between truth and perception a little less 'on the nose'.

I'm really looking forward to watching the film adaption, as that's more my medium.

User avatar
smiley_cow
polite but murderous
Posts: 6514
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: The vast and desolate prairies

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by smiley_cow »

I think the ending was over-hyped to me when I read Life of Pi (admittedly this was like over ten years ago), because I remember getting to it and going 'that's it?'. I should probably reread it though. Give it a fairer chance.

Honestly though I think my favourite part of the book was all the details on how he survived being shipwrecked for so long. I really like survival tales.

(Minor spoiler, but spoiler-tagged just in case)
DonRetrasado wrote:Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Bitcoin.

User avatar
Lethal Interjection
Death by Elocution
Posts: 8051
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:17 pm
Location: Behind your ear. It's magic!
Contact:

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Lethal Interjection »

smiley_cow wrote: Honestly though I think my favourite part of the book was all the details on how he survived being shipwrecked for so long. I really like survival tales.
Pretty much how I felt. The survivalist portion was definitely my favourite bit.
It's funny that the reason I read it in the first place (unreliable narrator) ended up taking it down a peg in my esteem (too 'on the nose' as I said in the other post). I'm not sure my opinion would've been different if I'd read it without knowing it had an unreliable narrator.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Yeah. Some ambiguity with the ending would have been nicer. The middle portion I liked a lot. But I too read it well after all the hype, and I generally feel uncomfortable reading books where I have some sort of expectation for one thing or another.


I'm back to Philip K.; currently on The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, but it's going slowly with lots of end-of-the-semester work. Sahan can you do my physics for me? It's all online. I'll pay in internet points.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Ubik. Nice. Great Dick.

"Oh this is just more 'Hey, I'm in sp-Wooooooooooaaaaaaaaahhhh'"
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
Liriodendron_fagotti
(Eastern Bassoon Poplar)
Posts: 1227
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:34 pm
Location: :noitacoL

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I liked it a lot. All the great writing an imagery in 1Q84 with much less rapey ghost sex and not as predictable. I think that using spouses cheating as a means to elicit emotional response is a bit cheap though. It was done well, but come on. At least the main character didn't sleep with the 16-year old.

All the parts in Machuria/Manchukua got me on another Japanese war crimes during WWII binge. It's disturbing the difference in response to atrocities by the German/Austrian and Japanese people (or governments, at least). The past two mime prinisters of Japan have actively refuted the wide-scale rape of Chinese and Korean women by the army ("comfort women") and routinely pay visits to shrines honoring convicted war criminals. It's almost as bad that the US gave immunity to most of the people involved with Unit 731 in exchange for the medical data they obtained from human experimentation.


I'm making my 5th or 6th attempt to get through The Brothers Karamazov.
Continual disappointment is the spice of life.

User avatar
MeisterKleister
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 2:06 pm

Re: What are you reading right now?

Post by MeisterKleister »

Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
by Daniel L. Everett

Just finished it today and I quite enjoyed it. The linguistics stuff was all very fascinating, but at some points I wished he'd tell even more stories about the adventures he had living with the tribe, and go into even more detail about his spiritual journey.
"Men educated in [the critical habit of thought] … are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain." -William Graham Sumner

My Goodreads bookshelf

Post Reply