11 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.

8 comments

  1. [2]
    JXM
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    I recently re-watched the movie From Hell for the first time since it came out and I decided to pick up a copy of the graphic novel to finally read it. I’m only about 20% of the way through (it’s...

    I recently re-watched the movie From Hell for the first time since it came out and I decided to pick up a copy of the graphic novel to finally read it.

    I’m only about 20% of the way through (it’s a long one) but I really like it so far. The pencil scribble art style is fantastic. I’ve always been fascinated by the wild theories about who Jack the Ripper really was, so this one was right up my alley.

    4 votes
  2. [2]
    Catholic
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    I am reading Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell. Campbell is attempting to answer the question as to why it seems the various themes found in many ancient religions appear to be innate, as...

    I am reading Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell. Campbell is attempting to answer the question as to why it seems the various themes found in many ancient religions appear to be innate, as they often can not simply be explained totally by psychological reasoning. Children across various cultures often come up with similar ideas about the mythological origins of the world, such as there being a big God that made everything at some point.

    The question Campbell is making me ask myself is, if we started an island with 100 people who were complete blank slates with no knowledge of language, culture, history, or anything else, we would assume that these people would eventually develop a religion. And that religion would likely have various similarities to other religions across the globe even though in this case this group of people has no connection or knowledge of other religions or cultures. So why is it that certain religious themes or mythological tropes are so innate within as us a species?

    3 votes
  3. ras
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    I finished How Lucky by Will Leitch over the weekend. It was an enjoyable short read. I needed a light snack after some of the heavy reading I've been doing recently. Now, I'm about halfway...

    I finished How Lucky by Will Leitch over the weekend. It was an enjoyable short read. I needed a light snack after some of the heavy reading I've been doing recently. Now, I'm about halfway through The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis. I'm a little behind the excitement for this one, but it's still been fun to read. Really doesn't feel like just a year ago that the future of the United States felt so uncertain. Here's hoping this isn't just a short respite from the weird.

    2 votes
  4. rmgr
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    I've started reading the Warhammer 40k Gaunt's Ghosts series. It's basically World War 2 in space and the Nazis worship Satan. I'm enjoying it, it's very Grimdark and over the top but it appeals...

    I've started reading the Warhammer 40k Gaunt's Ghosts series. It's basically World War 2 in space and the Nazis worship Satan. I'm enjoying it, it's very Grimdark and over the top but it appeals to my inner 16 year old boy.

    2 votes
  5. tomf
    (edited )
    Link
    Over the past few years Michael Connelly has sort of lost his edge with the Bosch series. He's splitting the books between Rachel Ballard and Bosch. They're fine -- but they're very much 'they did...

    Over the past few years Michael Connelly has sort of lost his edge with the Bosch series. He's splitting the books between Rachel Ballard and Bosch. They're fine -- but they're very much 'they did this, then that, then this.. and uh oh! danger!' -- the formula is a bit much. I like the other characters like Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Jack McEvoy (a reporter) and will always read everything he puts out.

    I try to rotate between non-fiction (psychology, meditation, business stuff), essays, fiction, and an autobiography. If I don't, I end up burning out on a genre and never want to go back.

    Ultimately, I want a series that is a little pulpy, well written, several books in the series, a good narrator for the audiobooks, and, more than anything, not boring.

    In my hunt for a good, long series, I started with the following:

    • Robert Crais - The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole #1)
    • Lee Child - The Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)
    • Brad Parks - Faces of the Gone (Carter Ross #1)
    • T. Jefferson Parker - Laguna Heat
    • Lawrence Block - The Sins of the Father (Matthew Scudder #1)

    Elvis Cole is annoying. There are two parts to this series, Joe Pike being the second. I think Joe Pike's stories will be a little colder. My main issue is that Crais tries to hard to make Cole a wise-cracking neo-noir-like private detective. A lot of references to Hollywood are heavy handed and don't land well. Crais did find his rhythm in the second half. I'll read a few more from this series to see if it balanced out. The worst part about this book, and this is a general criticism of all books, is that they seem to meet up with some random woman and within minutes they're banging.

    The Jack Reacher book was pretty good, although a little far fetched at times. Reacher is a wanderer who magically finds himself in situations that allow him to flex his skills as a former Major in the military police (the book says that this role requires him to have all the skills and more of the top military folks. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea.) I have a feeling this will be another 'man shows up to town, meets woman, makes sweet love with woman, solves/fixes everything, leaves woman' series, but we'll see.

    Brad Parks' Faces of the Gone launches the Carter Ross series. Carter Ross isn't too far off from Connelly's McEvoy, which is music to my ears! The book is great, even though its a little predictable. A good, mostly light read. I'm looking forward to this series.

    T. Jefferson Parker's Laguna Beach was good. Its a standalone novel, however. Major beef: Again, another random sexual encounter with a woman.. but this time they were banging in the ocean while treading water. Lucky he was able to get his foot on a rock... then the second they finish the woman says something along the lines of, 'this is a one time thing. later.' --- its a bit much and these stories can easily go without this sort of stuff.

    Lastly, Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder is great! He's a retired cop who is working as an unlicensed private detective. He's given 'gifts' of cash instead of strict payment. He's grizzled without being cliche. The tone of the books is dark but not heavy, which is a good balance. This is another series I'm looking forward to sticking with. Scudder is great. So far he isn't hooking up with random women. He seems to have an escort he meets up with -- which seems like a GFE. If the protagonist has to have sex with someone, at least let there be some sort of existing relationship or a way to justify the suddenness of the exchange.

    One thing I like about Connelly's writing is that his heroes don't hook up with strangers. It always feels so forced when authors write this in --- as if some publisher is saying, 'but what about the lonely housewives?' Its corny.

    if anybody has some suggestions that are similar to the good ones here, let me know! I'll read anything once. :)

    24 hours later...

    The first Pike book is great! Crais found the right tone for Cole in this one. Almost like Daniel Dreiberg / Nite Owl II from Watchmen --- a slightly dorky sense of humor without being too much. I hope he maintains this level with the other books.

    2 votes
  6. TemulentTeatotaler
    (edited )
    Link
    I've started Andy Weir's most recent book, Project Hail Mary. It's pretty good so far. The dialogue isn't the strongest but it's sort of like watching someone else try to solve a puzzle room or an...

    I've started Andy Weir's most recent book, Project Hail Mary. It's pretty good so far. The dialogue isn't the strongest but it's sort of like watching someone else try to solve a puzzle room or an adult version of Dora the Explorer, which I'm finding enjoyable.

    *Finished Project Hail Mary and moved on to Atul Gawande's Keep Sharp (good tour of the topic for a lay audience so far!)

    PHM was much better than The Martian in my opinion. Maybe a little less grounded in the hard sci-fi part of it, but the human element and the stakes were much more appealing. The dialogue/characterization I commented on ended up being necessary to tell the story he wanted to.

    1 vote