7 votes

What are you reading these days?

What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

10 comments

  1. [3]
    mihaitodor
    Link
    The Player of Games by Iain M Banks starts off as a very captivating tale about an expert in playing games, the best there is, in an idyllic future setting. I got through a few chapters and I...

    The Player of Games by Iain M Banks starts off as a very captivating tale about an expert in playing games, the best there is, in an idyllic future setting. I got through a few chapters and I really want to finish it when I have some free time. One part that fascinated me is the depiction of this character's mental state when he felt embarrassed. Banks did a great job there.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      mat
      Link Parent
      Iain M Banks is, in my humble opinion, the greatest sci-fi author of the 21st century (OK, OK, more than half the Culture books were published pre-2000 but he's spiritually and thematically a 21st...

      Iain M Banks is, in my humble opinion, the greatest sci-fi author of the 21st century (OK, OK, more than half the Culture books were published pre-2000 but he's spiritually and thematically a 21st century writer). It's not just that he writes the widest of the widescreen space opera, but it's that he writes it so well. Banks' prose just sparkles, it's such a joy to read. He clearly loves language and he loves using it to tell his stories (cf George RR Martin who apparently hates English so much he feels he needs to drag it through the mud behind sixteen different synonyms for 'horse'). If you haven't read the rest of the Culture books you're in for a big treat. They're one of the few things I re-read every few years.

      The only currently working sci-fi author I've found who possibly comes close to Banks in terms of their use of language and epic-scale scope would be Ann Leckie. Maybe Arkady Martine. (both of whom I'd also recommend highly). Banks' non-genre stuff is also excellent, although I would strongly recommend not eating while you read The Wasp Factory - for those that know the book I was eating rice when we find out what happened to Eric. Yeah. Ugh.

      I miss Banks so much. Almost as much as Pratchett.

      6 votes
      1. spctrvl
        Link Parent
        The Algebraist is also incredible, I'm terribly sad that we're never getting more than one book in that setting.

        The Algebraist is also incredible, I'm terribly sad that we're never getting more than one book in that setting.

        3 votes
  2. ntngps
    Link
    Second Place by Rachel Cusk was a little difficult to start, but it's turned into a beautifully written examination of severe insecurity and the quest for a calm mental state.

    Second Place by Rachel Cusk was a little difficult to start, but it's turned into a beautifully written examination of severe insecurity and the quest for a calm mental state.

    4 votes
  3. rogue_cricket
    Link
    I've been reading through I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I only just started reading again recently after years of neglect, and I feel like that's why I'm struggling a bit to...

    I've been reading through I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

    I only just started reading again recently after years of neglect, and I feel like that's why I'm struggling a bit to articulate my feelings on it. I might have to finish it, consume more books, and then come back to it with more of the cobwebs shook off. I can at least say there have been a couple passages that have stunned me into putting the book down and going for a walk.

    4 votes
  4. [2]
    mtset
    Link
    I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings. Somehow, every time I read it, I agree more with Tolkien's philosophy: that all we do now is simply a muted reflection of that which has gone before; that...

    I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings. Somehow, every time I read it, I agree more with Tolkien's philosophy: that all we do now is simply a muted reflection of that which has gone before; that every struggle is a pale echo of an older, deeper, more vital struggle, which has already been lost.

    The quote currently stuck in my craw is this. As the Fellowship leaves Moria after [a traumatic event], Aragorn laments:

    'Did I not say to you: if you pass the doors of Moria, beware? Alas that I spoke true! What hope have we without you?'

    Then, in the terrible silence that follows, he answers his own question:

    'We must do without hope,’ he said. ‘At least we may yet be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and weep no more! Come! We have a long road, and much to do.'

    4 votes
    1. FlippantGod
      Link Parent
      Another way to look at his philosophy, or what I took away from his lectures on Beowulf, is that humans can take on impossible situations if they only start from someplace smaller. I mean, in...

      Another way to look at his philosophy, or what I took away from his lectures on Beowulf, is that humans can take on impossible situations if they only start from someplace smaller. I mean, in examples this was limited to fictional humans, but I still think it fits.

      3 votes
  5. grahamiam
    Link
    I finally finished The Goldfinch - the second half was pretty stressful so read it pretty slowly. I don't think it's quite as good as The Secret History, but it was still really good. Hobie was...

    I finally finished The Goldfinch - the second half was pretty stressful so read it pretty slowly. I don't think it's quite as good as The Secret History, but it was still really good. Hobie was such a good character.

    I joined a Taiwanese literature in translation book club and the first book we're reading is Orphan of Asia. I'm 50 pages in and while it's a nice historical lesson it's really not fun to read. Some of that seems to be the translation, which is super stilted. For example, in listing jobs available to people in a region, the narrator says something like "farming, civil service, or pedagogy," which just takes me right out of the reading, and it happens a lot.

    3 votes
  6. mat
    Link
    I am quite enjoying Artifact Space by Miles Cameron. It's very straight military sci-fi, not a subgenre I usually enjoy all that much but it's fast paced and exciting and the main character is......

    I am quite enjoying Artifact Space by Miles Cameron. It's very straight military sci-fi, not a subgenre I usually enjoy all that much but it's fast paced and exciting and the main character is... well, she's just really engaging. I want good things to happen to her. It is so far pretty formulaic and predictable and there's very little going on below the surface but y'know. Sometimes that's OK. If this book were a movie it would be Fast and Furious 6. It's nothing you haven't seen before but it's got a lot of well executed action and a good amount of heart and not a lot more.

    3 votes
  7. streblo
    Link
    I’m still rereading WoT since the last time I checked into this thread in December. I’m halfway through book 4 now! Definitely not on track to finish in a year’s time haha.

    I’m still rereading WoT since the last time I checked into this thread in December. I’m halfway through book 4 now! Definitely not on track to finish in a year’s time haha.

    3 votes