What are you reading these days? #17
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 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16
Dune was the second to last book I read, it instantly jumped up to one of my top 5 favorite books I've ever read. I can't believe I hadn't read it earlier. It's just amazing.
I just finished The Black Company last night. Also really liked this one, but not as much as Dune. The writing style was kinda jarring at times but overall I really enjoyed it. I thought the ending was really well done.
Not sure what I'm going to read next. Might start on a sequel of one of those two books or look for something new.
I'd recommend reading the rest of the Dune series. I think God Emperor of Dune was my favorite. And by "the rest" I mean the books written by Frank Herbert. I haven't read any of those by his son and the other guy but from what I've read online they are terrible bastardizations.
Ahhh, I love "Dune" so much. Going to echo the sentiment of the other comment - if you liked the first book of the Dune saga then you're in for a treat if you continue. The journey to and the highest point of the series "God Emperor of Dune" is definitely my #1 favorite.
Know all those times where people wish they could experience their favorite piece of art a second time? Well, I especially love how the series is written in a way that you get to have a significantly different experience on the second read. I would go as far to say that it pretty much requires a second read at some point.
Going to have to recommend you read the other 5 by Frank. Don't expect them all to be similar to Dune, but they are all good in their own ways. He does a good job of exploring different ideas in that universe and it's really cool. I'd have to say that God Emperor was my favourite, but it can be very divisive.
Lord of the Rings! I've read it before but it is a book that rewards multiple readings. I just started "Return of the King."
I have a number of books on hold but quite a few in my To-Read category.
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin,
Shroud of Eternity by Terry Goodkind,
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor,
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
All of A Song of Fire and Ice,
The Sky People by Terry Goodkind,
the Wax and Wayne trilogy by Brandon Sanderson,
Arcanum Unbound by Brandon Sanderson,
All of The Black Company by Glen Cook,
I'm behind by a lot. I need to make more time to read, but I choose not to. I don't even have a good reason why.
This was an unlucky week for me. I had little time to read something, and decided to read a Turkish translation of J'irai cracher sur vos tombes "I Spit on your Graves" by Boris Vian, which diverges from my usual taste, but still it was short and seemingly appreciated so I wanted to give it a try. But two horrible translation errors in the first two pages of text caused me to drop it, I just couldn't trust the translation. First, enterrer was translated as görmek "to see" to Turkish, instead of the correct gömmek "to bury". Such an error on the first page, literally in the opening paragraph was off-putting, but I could've still went on, if the second paragraph did not include an error, which I don't remember what it was exactly, but it was a translation error where the meaning of the sentence was completely changed. Apparently the translation was not edited and reviewed at all, and sloppy, so I just dropped it. A shame that it is a well known publisher here too.
Now I have two books on my desk, and little time to read them unfortunately. One is a translation of Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus by Azra Erhat, a translator who has took part in or wholly completed by herself translations of Ancient Greek texts including Homer's works, Hesiod's works, and many plays. I had bought this book a couple years ago when I had to write a little essay for my classes: my topic was the foundation myth of Byzantium (what later became Constantinople and later Istanbul's Old City of today) and foundation myths in general, and this play contains a passage where Prometheus, bound, is visited by Io who recounts her story which relates to the Byzantine foundation myth (Byzas, the mythical Megaran colonist-founder, son of the daughter of Io and Zeus, Keroessa, and Poseidon). Ever since the book has been sitting there on the shelf for books to be read. I do like reading plays, and enjoy Ancient Greek stuff, so I want to give this a read.
The second book is a short story collection titled Dost "Friend" by the Turkish author Vüs'at O. Bener. TBH I don't know much about this book, it's been a while since when I bought it. When I'll have read the play, I'll re-research this and read it. It is a well-appreciated book tho.
I'm smack in the middle of "Wool" by Hugh Howey. The first two short stories were fantastic, and I just finished the 3rd which was longer than it should have been. Partway through #4 and I prefer it thus far; short, bite-sized views into this world are preferable for me to the heavy character building that happened in #3.
fear and loathing on the campaign trail, '72 is my current vice because i don't want to try and digest the nuances of debt (Debt: The First 5,000 Years) or how fucked socioeconomic status and the american dream are for most people (Prisoners of the American Dream). it's quite manic.
just to expand on this a bit: to get a sense of how absolutely wild fear and loathing on the campaign trail, '72 is, something like a quarter of this book is literally thompson writing the shit in it hours before it was due to be faxed in for things like copyediting (thompson notoriously would sometimes have to literally piece together his writing over the phone to editors because of how disjointed it sometimes was), and sometimes this gets to the point where it basically just becomes notebook sketches and not prose because he literally doesn't have time to actually write anything out but what's in his notebook. it's very fitting, because the campaign trail for thompson that year was basically just an extended series of benders in which he took all sorts of wild shit, got drunk off his ass, and was just in general absolutely fucking miserable in watching mcgovern coast to a demolition at the hands of richard nixon (who i am obligated to point out he genuinely hated on an incredible level). no idea how he lived through it, honestly.
The Fractal Murders - by Mark Cohen; A typical detective novel where the narrator tries to find a link between the supposedly unrelated deaths of three mathematicians.
The Goldbug Variations - by Richard Powers . A Reference Librarian develops a relationship with two men, one of them a scientist. The setting is in the past, before Google. The prose is inventive, lyrical, and Bach's Goldberg Variations feature prominently;
Compass. - by Mathias Enard. A stream of consciousness recapitulation of the narrator's time spent in eastern Europe and the Middle East. Surprisingly engaging, mostly because of the writing.
I'm reading Look to Windward by Ian M. Banks. It's the 7th novel in the Culture series. I read Excession last month and loved it as much as I have the rest of the Culture books. I skipped the 6th one, Inversions because apparently it doesn't involve the culture very much despite being a culture novel. I might go back to it once I've read all the others if I'm still looking for more. If anyone's read it I'd love to hear some opinions. Also just read Mother Night (second read) and Jailbird by Vonnegut. I still love the guy even though a lot of people seem to think he's better for younger readers. I still laugh out load at so many of his lines. He's the best.
Last week, I finished When God Laughs by Jack London, a book that I thought was decent as a book of short stories, but also proposed to me a lot of conflict in how he portrays gender and race. Not that he always does it poorly, but that he oscillates between doing it in ways that are insightful and in ways I feel are painful.
This week I have started on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I started this book since I was in Ireland recently, and he seemed like an important literary figure, on par with James Joyce. So far, it's decent, but I'm early in the book.
I'm also in the middle of Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, which I can only highly recommend. I have been making my way through it slowly, but I have found every page to be both incredibly readable and insightful; a powerful combination.
White Fang by Jack London is one of the first, if not the first, proper novels I've read as a child (others I remember being Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Bach, The Little Prince, My Sweet Orange Tree by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos, and a lot of Jules Verne books). Made me nostalgic to see the author's name mentioned, thanks!
No problem! I've also read London's The Call of the Wild, but not White Fang. I might bump that one up on the list.
I also have very vivid memories of having 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne read to me as a child. I really enjoyed it. It's one of the earliest non-picture books I can remember, along with The Hobbit and some Andrew Clements books.
I've been looking forward to this one but I'm working my way through the Realms of the Elderings at the moment. I just finished the Tawny Man trilogy and have jumped in the Rain Wild Chronicles so I think i'll have to wait a little while longer before getting back into the Expanse.
After going through hundreds of fanfics, and dozens of millions of words, I am finally reading Worm.
Don Quixote, as translated by Tom Lathrop. I read this basic overview of Don Quixote English translations, and figured he knew what he was talking about.
Anyhow, the book itself is a treat. Kind of reads like a slapstick Will Ferrell movie. Reminds me of A Confederacy of Dunces, too. Though I couldn't stand Ignatius, I find Don Quixote a bit more forgivable in behavior. It's damn funny, so far!
Sidenote: I was Wikipedia-ing and apparently there's a genre that A Confederacy of Dunces and Don Quixote fit into, the picaresque novel. TIL.
Reading right now:
Mesopotamia (a book about the first cities of Sumer)
Titan (the biography of John D. Rockefeller)
Tao Te Ching (the Stephen Mitchell translation...I'll probably re-read another translation at some point)
Just finished The Best Place to Be: Expo '67 and its Time by John Lownsbrough. I had some vague ideas about Expo, but as a two-year-old didn't get to accompany my parents when they went to Montreal to see it. Now that I know more, I wish I could go back in time to experience the buildings and events. It had never occurred to me to wonder how long it lasted (six months) or whether people still live in the famous Habitat 67 apartment complex (yes!). I also didn't realize what a success Expo '67 was in the world's eyes, in comparison to similar world fairs of the time.
The author's writing style is a bit casual for my taste, and the selection of photos is disappointing. (Why waste a page on a photo of Jacqueline Kennedy through a car window? We all know what she looked like, and it doesn't show anything of the Expo site.) There are excellent photos and videos on the internet, though, and I even pulled out my ancient View-Master and looked at the slides my parents bought at Expo. That's as close as I can get to going back in time, I guess.
I'm reading all of the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy books. I'm currently on the last one and I think its really good so far. I've heard that a lot of people don't think that the last two books are good as the first couple, but I disagree. The plot is really good and its awesome to see how the characters react to it.
I'm deep into The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. I like it but I desperately need to wrap it up so I can start Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes.
I am currently reading Finders Keepers by Stephen King.
Last week my dad lent me The Outsider, also by King. I enjoy King on a lot of levels; I enjoy the titillation of decent horror, and I find the voice of his writing to feel very blue-collar-y and down to earth. In the process of finishing that book, I found out that this was a followup to a three book series that I had not read; I found out that I had Mr Mercedes on my shelf, and promptly read that. I'm now in the middle of the second book and anticipate enjoying the third.
At the moment I'm reading Thud!, the second to last novel in the Discworld Watch sub-series. I've blown through probably half of the books in the setting in the past six months, just because they're so well done and so damn easy to get into after you're acquainted with discworld, so I'm thinking of slowing it down and reading some other stuff to delay the inevitable end. I picked up 2312 and Neuromancer a little while back, and haven't really gotten into them, so those are probably next. I also never finished The Diamond Age in spite of being a big Neal Stephenson fan, so that's on the short list as well.
I've been reading Ancillary Sword, the sequel to Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice that I read a while ago. It's actually been so long that I had to read some synopses to remember what happened in the first book! The sequel's going well so far, it's a great world.
I’ve just started Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It’s book one in a duology.
I’m only two chapters in, but I’m already in love with her writing style.
I read Kitchen Confidential this week. It's a great read and highly entertaining.
I also started Kafka on the Shore after reading Norwegian Wood earlier this year.