What are you reading these days? #7
What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it.
Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6
Currently reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I've read The Diamond Age by him before and this one is shaping up to be just as good. Cyberpunk meets future capitalism meets anarchy.
Just finished Fahrenheit 451, it seems amazingly relevant to today's society. The idea of people losing interest in books & critical thinking is scary. Everyone with earbuds in all day not listening to the world.
I think Snow Crash is even more relevant. Spoiler-ish, but the book is basically about viral ideas taking over a post-rational society.
And if people enjoy Stephenson's Snow Crash they should definitely check out the Sprawl Trilogy by William Gibson as well. Gibson is basically the father of modern Cyberpunk (with Philip K. Dick perhaps being the grandfather).
I have before me on my desk: Çeviri: Dillerin Dili "Translation: the Language of Languages" by Akşit Göktürk, and King by Onur Akyıl. Haven't started reading either.
The first is a treatise on translation. The author is a renowned translator in Turkish. I've decided to try my luck with translation, starting to e-mail some publishers, so I though I should also read a bit more on theory. I already had some lessons on translation during my bachelor's course, so I'm no alien to theory, but still. This is one of the most recommended books on the topic in the Turkish language (if you know any others, in English too, I'd be glad to hear).
The second one is a collection of poems. It seems to me that they're on a common theme, and are apparently linked with an allegory of a card game popular in Turkey, called "king". I've always liked "poetic projects" of this sort, building a narrative of sorts around certain themes, with continuous style, vocabulary, themes or topoi throughout a collection of poetry. One such book I read was Ossi di Seppia by Montale. This author is definitely a lesser-known one, I found this book while browsing in a book store (a very good way to discover new stuff). It is a short book, but I haven't rushed to read it. That's because I don't know the game of "king", I want to learn it first.
I'm continuing reading An Introduction to Language by Fromkin, this is simply one of the best introductory books I've read. Such a great work of teaching.
As of yesterday, I have started reading the seventh novel in the "Rivers of London" series, called "Lies Sleeping". The Series is best described as "What if Harry Potter joined the Metropolitan Police after graduating from Hogwarts?" It's an urban fantasy crime series in modern London, following Peter Grant, a Constable who investigates magic-related crime (murder, usually) while being an apprentice wizard himself. However, the magic isn't the kind of "A wizard did it, case closed" magic (in fact, that attitude is made a joke at several points). It has strict rules, organisational structures, and Peter spends a good portion of his time figuring out (or trying to) what "Magic" actually is and how it works. I've been reading the series since the first entry in 2011, and can only recommend it to anyone who likes magic, crime stories, British humor or any combination of those three.
I read The Rapture of the Nerds last week. A phenomenal setting lacking only a coherent story. It was basically a rehash of Stross' earlier works, especially Accelerando, Glasshouse, and Singularity Sky, sans a plot with depth beyond the showcasing of its world, and with a hefty overdose of late 2000's internet meme culture that managed to make it feel more dated than its predecessors.
I still plan on reading Walkaway since it is so up my alley, but Rapture of the Nerds makes me a little hesitant to spend money on it. Might just see if the local library has a copy, though I rather doubt it.
The last book I finished was The Remains of the Day. It was my first time reading Ishiguro and I'm considering moving on to Never Let Me Go or The Buried Giant but the science fiction/fantasy element deters me. In the meantime I'm starting Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, about the author's Japanese/Canadian grandparents and World War II.
I have "When We Were Orphans" by Ishiguro on my shelf, which I'm looking forward to read since months, but for some reason I end up reading some other book all the time. I've read that it's probably the least well received work of the author. Have you read it? If yes, how did you like it?
That's interesting, quoting from the Goodreads link. Is that some sort of labour camp that they were sent? Some measures on peoples w/ Japanese origins during the war? I'm fairly unfamiliar with US' or Japan's history.
Thanks for sharing, BTW, Forgiveness especially seems to be a great book!
That was in Canada, and yes people were sent to labour camps.
Thanks! And sorry, I've missed the reference to Canada in the original comment.
Yes, you can read more about Japanese internment in Canada here if you're interested. It was a shameful episode in our history. Obasan is another good book dealing with this subject. (I read it years ago and found it very moving. Since then I've read it another couple of times and enjoyed it less each time, for some reason. There's also a sequel, Itsuka, which I didn't like at all.)
I haven't read anything else by Ishiguro yet, but I'm open to it!
I've been going through Scott Hawkin's "The Library at Mount Char" for a re-read. It's good, but it's not as good the second time as it was the first. I've been reading a lot of sci-fi and fantasy this year so I'll probably switch it up and read some non-fiction after I'm done this one.
I just finished Washington Square, and I haven't started another novel, yet. I've been gradually reading The Wound of Knowledge by Rowan Williams. It's short, but his writing is very dense.
Aha, inspiration for my reading list! I'm going to request Washington Square from the library. Did you enjoy it?
Very much. I can't think of anybody else who writes quite like Henry James. It's easy to think that he's superficial or frivolous, but that's only because he uses subtext so eloquently to give his characters depth. I got most of the way through Portrait of a Lady before I realized how good it was.
I just finished Ball Lightning by Liu cixin. Apparently it's 210 000 words, but it took me less than a week to finish, and felt short for a novel. Plot summary: a person obsessed with science meets a person obsessed with weapons; mass destruction is created. A lot of quantum physics concepts are involved, which is interesting to read about.
I liked the book, but I have to say, Liu's prose is not the best. His characters are flat, his main female character in this book is Mary Sueish, and the actual story is not very interesting. What keeps me reading are the scientific ideas. They are really mindblowing. He seems to think of ideas first, then make up a story as a device to tell his idea.
Hopefully this will serve as a warm up to the three body problem. I found the book too dull on my first try, maybe my opinion will change this time.
I finished the first book of John Carter of Mars! I'm about to start the next book since I got the series for 99 cents on the kindle lol. But I really enjoyed the first book and though some of his adventure is a little ridiculous, it was a good read and is a quick read. I'm looking forward to finding out what happened to him in the next book!
I was reading a collection of W. K. Clifford’s essays, in a book called The Scientific Basis of Morals, basically the first essay is as the title and explains Clifford’s evolutionary view, the second one is about right and wrong and is sort of a generalisation of everything Clifford says in the previous and next, the third is what inspired the aeon.co article about how believing without evidence is wrong and the last is about religion but I haven’t read it yet.