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Khadaji
12-31-2008, 04:57 PM
Happy New Years all! May your year be filled with good food, good fortune and good reads!

I have not picked out my next book yet, so I have nothing to report, but I'm sure I'll get one going soon.

Link (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=495324&page=4#post10636029) to last year's last thread.

Dung Beetle
12-31-2008, 05:05 PM
I’ve gone back to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008/21st annual collection, edited by Ellen Datlow, which I was forced to lay aside for a while to catch up with library deadlines on other stuff. As always, when it is good, it is very very good, and when it is bad it is horrid. I am skipping over some stories without a smidge of guilt (ha ha, Joyce Carol Oates!), but the one I read last night was wonderful: The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, by Ted Chiang.

Frostillicus
12-31-2008, 11:03 PM
Traitor to His Class by HW Brands, a biography of FDR that is especially interesting considering the current times in which we live.

Elendil's Heir
12-31-2008, 11:27 PM
Just finished John Scalzi's Old Man's War, a military scifi novel that I highly recommend. I started a thread about it (open spoilers): http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=499776

carnivorousplant
12-31-2008, 11:44 PM
Flashman and the Tiger, inspired to read the George McDonald Fraser series again from a post on the 'Dope.

schnuckiputzi
01-01-2009, 01:34 PM
Does post-Christmas count? My MIL gave me the first seven books of Sookie Stackhouse novels, and I devoured them greedily. Then I just finished The Sunne in Splendour. Ack. Please tell me, are all her novels so depressing? I spent the first few chapters trying to peel my brain out of George R. R. Martin's Sword of Fire and Ice books and get it in the real world. Does anyone else think Ned in both books is the same character???

SuntanTigerTamer
01-01-2009, 02:39 PM
I am currently reading The Proffessor and The Madman by Simon Winchester. Great book, but it seems like the author really had to reach to explain/justify Dr Minor's mania.

I have Notes on Blood Meridian, Knockemstiff, and To Say Nothing Of The Dog on deck. Can't wait...

uncle squeegee
01-01-2009, 03:08 PM
Started Godel, Escher, Bach (http://www.amazon.com/Godel-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0394745027/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228185409&sr=1-2) by Douglas Hofstader, like I'd hoped to do when I posted last month.
(Infinite Jest (http://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Jest-David-Foster-Wallace/dp/0316066524/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228185363&sr=1-1) is setting on the nightstand, waiting to be cracked) and working my way through Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Corrigan-Smartest-Kid-Earth/dp/0224063979/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230840232&sr=1-1) by Chris Ware.

Just finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Up-Bird-Chronicle-Novel/dp/0679775439/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230840019&sr=8-1) by Haruki Murakami and Stumbling on Happiness (http://www.amazon.com/Stumbling-Happiness-Daniel-Gilbert/dp/1400077427/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230840125&sr=1-1) by Daniel Gilbert (the latter was for my book club).

nivlac
01-01-2009, 03:09 PM
Is This a Great Game, or What? by Tim Kurkjian. It was a gift since people know I'm a big baseball nut. I would rate the book above average, but not as good as I had expected. I guess there aren't too many George Wills out there who know baseball and can also write.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-01-2009, 03:10 PM
Does post-Christmas count? My MIL gave me the first seven books of Sookie Stackhouse novels, and I devoured them greedily. Then I just finished The Sunne in Splendour. Ack. Please tell me, are all her novels so depressing? I spent the first few chapters trying to peel my brain out of George R. R. Martin's Sword of Fire and Ice books and get it in the real world. Does anyone else think Ned in both books is the same character???If you think Sunne was depressing, you should try her Welsh trilogy. It all seems so futile when you know that the English are going to win in the end. Although on her website Penn says that Here Be Dragons, the first in that series, is her favorite of her own books because there are actually some characters left alive at the end.

And A Game of Thrones clearly borrows from the story of Edward IV and Richard III.

Just Some Guy
01-01-2009, 04:25 PM
I am slowly working my way through Little, Big mainly hindered by the dense prose and the fact that I've had to run around any take care of everyone else for the past week. So far it's cute but it hasn't hooked me.

Next books in my pile are Nifft the Lean and The Dragon Waiting both of which sounded fairly interesting to me so I've got high hopes.

susan_foster
01-01-2009, 05:22 PM
I'm trying to work my way through my massive collection of unread books. Right now I'm reading a compilation of Frankenstein/Dracula/Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. On Frankenstein right now, and am enjoying it.

wonky
01-01-2009, 08:33 PM
Today I finished Dissolution by CJ Sansom, a mystery set during the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries in England. Very good.

I also just finished Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak. That was a hard book to pin down, but it eventually turned into something well worth reading. I picked it up as part of the around the world reading challenge.

I just started Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco. I asked on Goodreads for a book that might be scary without being gross. Other suggestions always welcome.

And am still reading Help the Poor Struggler in my quest to reread all of the Martha Grimes I have before setting off to finish the Jury series.

On deck is The Eight and The Far Pavilions.

Catamount
01-01-2009, 09:10 PM
I'm rereading Children of Dune and The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. I've got The Baker's Boy by J.V. Jones out in my car, but it's dark out there and bears have been seen in the area so there it shall sit. I'm forcing myself to finish How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents as well. Yeah, that one's not returning to the bookshelf.

Alpine
01-01-2009, 10:29 PM
Started The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell today. She makes history fun and interesting to me. I've either read, or listened to her read, her previous books.

I'm planning to reread the short stories & novelette in Connie Willis' The Winds of Marble Arch this weekend.

wonky
01-01-2009, 11:13 PM
Started The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell today.

I just put that on hold. I've been meaning to read it.

I've also put all these books on hold at my library:

All the President's Men

Dark Fire, by CJ Sansom

The devil you know, by Mike Carey

The mill on the Floss, by George Eliot

The pillars of the earth, by Ken Follett

The years of rice and salt, Kim Stanley Robinson

Roderick Femm
01-01-2009, 11:23 PM
I recently started re-reading The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo (it's been over 30 years since the last time). I swear the man must have been paid by the word.

But I still love it, once it gets going. The title character is a man who has been surgically altered when a child to become someone's jester or something, by a heartless band of "comprachicos", so that he always has a wide grin on his face (think Jack Nicholson as the Joker, but the face always looks genuinely amused). Unlike the Joker, this boy becomes a man of character and heart. I remember the climactic scene as heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. I hope I'm right.


Roddy

valleyofthedolls
01-02-2009, 03:07 AM
I'm reading 2666 by Roberto Bolano. Once that's done, I want to read:

The Ten Cent Plague by David Hajdu
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Netherland by Joseph O'Neil.

And I'm stoked because I just read that the transation of Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littel is coming out in March.

Hunter Hawk
01-02-2009, 03:18 AM
I just started Martian Quest: The Early Brackett (http://www.haffnerpress.com/1893887111.html).

Dung Beetle
01-02-2009, 07:58 AM
I'm also re-reading Stephen King's The Shining for a book discussion at Goodreads. The Shining is my all-time favorite of his and I wanted to read it again anyway because I may get to visit the Stanley Hotel next month.

Dunderman
01-02-2009, 08:02 AM
This morning I finished Neil Gaiman's Stardust. The next book on hold is Robert Sawyer's Humans. I enjoyed the preceding book in the series, Hominids.

Caprese
01-02-2009, 08:06 AM
Just finished Shantaram, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shantaram_(novel)) the semi-autobiographical novel by Gregory Roberts. It's the first "whoa" book I've read since Ishmael Beah's Long Way Gone. Shantaram was a wonderful character study, with Bombay being one of the characters, and quite a sojourn, very wrenching at times.

Next up: The Widow Cliquot (Story of a Champagne Empire) (http://www.amazon.com/Widow-Clicquot-Story-Champagne-Empire/dp/006128856X)

mobo85
01-02-2009, 08:30 AM
Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis. Entertaining new account of the creation and development of the famous educational series, filled with amusing and intriguing anecdotes.

The Routledge Atlas of the Second World War by Sir Martin Gilbert. Not really a book you can "read," but entertaining to look at nonetheless. As he does in his other atlases, Gilbert is effectively able to map out events using only black and white- including a number of occurences I had never heard about.

yanceylebeef
01-02-2009, 10:29 AM
I just finished nick Harkaway's The Gone Away World. Wow. Just wow. This was an amazing book. Ninjas, mimes, post apocalyptic adventure, Kung Fu, Monsters, Killer Bees, this book has everything. And it is an amazing, rollicking read. I actually found myself slowing down towards the end, because I didn't want it to end.

I just started rereading The Screwtape Letters, and up next is the The Philosopher's Apprentice by James Morrow, which should bring me right up to the February release of his latest, Shambling Towards Hiroshima (http://www.amazon.com/Shambling-Towards-Hiroshima-James-Morrow/dp/1892391848/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230910044&sr=8-1).

Zjestika
01-02-2009, 11:19 AM
Last night I started The Knife of Never Letting Go (http://www.amazon.com/Knife-Never-Letting-Go-Walking/dp/0763639311/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230912836&sr=8-1) by Patrick Ness and read 120 pages before falling asleep with it in my hands. That's the sign of an entertaining book, when I just can't bring myself to turn off the lights and tuck in.

I just finished Only Forward (http://www.amazon.com/Only-Forward-Michael-Marshall-Smith/dp/0553579703/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230913025&sr=1-1) but Michael Marshall Smith, which I really loved until about the last 40 pages. I still intend to read other stuff by Smith, but the ending really tapered off to meh for me.

Ephemera
01-02-2009, 12:24 PM
One of my friends loaned me his trade paperback copy of Alan Moore's Watchmen and I'm currently on the second issue. It's pretty good so far.

Elendil's Heir
01-02-2009, 01:27 PM
One of my friends loaned me his trade paperback copy of Alan Moore's Watchmen and I'm currently on the second issue. It's pretty good so far.

I'll bet you'll love it. The movie should be out on March 6, if all goes well!

When you've finished it, have a look at this. I got it from the library recently, and it's 'way cool: http://www.amazon.com/Watching-Watchmen-Definitive-Companion-Ultimate/dp/1848560419/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230920812&sr=1-1

Ephemera
01-02-2009, 02:05 PM
The movie was why we were discussing it, and why he loaned it to me. We're both comic nerds, but I'm a much more casual reader and haven't read a lot of the seminal works.

Thank you for the link. I'll see if my local branch has a copy.

Suse
01-02-2009, 05:55 PM
Reading for the 7th (or 10th) time, The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court. I love this book and when I can't seem to concentrate on any other book, I pick this one up. I'm not a lawyer or in the legal profession at all, but the discussions about cases just fascinate me.

Dolores Reborn
01-02-2009, 06:00 PM
I've started A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

I'm also re-reading Rose Madder by King.

Invisible Chimp
01-02-2009, 06:29 PM
I am reading Spaceman Blues: A Love Song by Brian Francis Slattery. After that, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore is waiting for me at the library.

Elendil's Heir
01-02-2009, 10:15 PM
Reading for the 7th (or 10th) time, The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court. I love this book and when I can't seem to concentrate on any other book, I pick this one up. I'm not a lawyer or in the legal profession at all, but the discussions about cases just fascinate me.

The Brethren is a classic, but permit me to recommend its more recent equivalent, The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin. An excellent and very readable mix of law, politics, history and gossip. Very, very good.

The Tofu Kitty
01-02-2009, 10:27 PM
I just finished Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes (and it was awesome for a book about death).

Currently reading a compilation of A Study in Scarlet/The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Next up? I dunno. I got several books I'm excited about over the holidays, but I can't decide. Either A Mercy (Toni Morrison), Atmospheric Disturbances (Rivka Galchen) or maybe *finally* starting The Man Without Qualities (Robert Musil).

schnuckiputzi
01-03-2009, 06:55 PM
I just finished "Land Of A Hundred Wonders" and I'm still not sure what I feel about the book. I really had to push myself to finish it, which is unusual for me. I don't think I'll be looking for Lesley Kagan's other books.
On the other hand, I'm in the middle of "Some Danger Involved" by Will Thomas, and the Sherlockian language...or would that be Watsonian? is enchanting. I like his descriptions, without going so in-depth as a true writer of the period would do. In teaching junior high English, that's one thing that the kids always complain about in Dickens and the like -- paragraphs of endless descriptions.

discodancer
01-03-2009, 08:16 PM
Guns, Germs, and Steel.

wonky
01-03-2009, 08:36 PM
I started The Far Pavilions. That thing is huge. I might finish in time for Whatcha reading Jan. (10). :D

elfkin477
01-03-2009, 08:56 PM
Then I just finished The Sunne in Splendour. Ack. Please tell me, are all her novels so depressing? I love Penman, and own several of her books. I don't really find them depressing, though, just plausable. Things weren't all puppies and sunshine back in the day, so I don't expect much cheer in a tale about Richard the Third, Henry the 8th, or the last Welsh nobility.

I'm experiencing short attention span issues this month, so these are the books I've picked up and read parts of since New Years:

The Outlaw Demon Wails (Rachel Morgan #6) by Kim Harrison
Dead Connection by Charlie Price
Lady Knight (Protector Of The Small #4) by Tamora Pierce
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3) by Charlaine Harris
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Hopefully I'll finish at least one of them soon!

Momofgirls
01-03-2009, 09:42 PM
I finished Here's the Story by Maureen McCormick a couple days ago. Now I'm reading Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran by Andy Taylor.

delphica
01-03-2009, 09:58 PM
I finished The Hidden Land by Pamela Dean. jsgoddess mentioned in last month's book thread that she often doesn't know what Dean is talking about ... I feel the same way, but that's all part of the fantasy for me: my ideal fantasy alter ego can quote Shakespeare endlessly and make puns in Latin. ;)

I read Songs for the Missing, by Stewart O'Nan. Can a book be too realistic? This is about a teenager girl who goes missing (like one of those "missing white girl" stories) focusing on the effects on her friends and family. I was so worried about her being missing that it was giving me an anxiety attack.

I just started The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington which (I think) Sigmagirl recommended in another thread.

wonky
01-03-2009, 10:03 PM
I finished The Hidden Land by Pamela Dean. jsgoddess mentioned in last month's book thread that she often doesn't know what Dean is talking about ... I feel the same way, but that's all part of the fantasy for me

Ooh, then you'll love Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary. :D

I adore her writing, even when I'm baffled.

delphica
01-03-2009, 10:12 PM
Ooh, then you'll love Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary. :D



Ha, when I read that, the whole time I was thinking "this book is too hard for me!" I think I was 32 years old at the time -- maybe I'll grow into it.

Enterprise
01-04-2009, 07:27 AM
I've got quite a bunch of books cracked open and am reading them as the mood strikes:

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion
I've had that for a while in the German edition, which is okay but not great. Part of the appeal is the flow of the language, which the translation just doesn't seem to be able to get right. The English one is fun, though.

David H. Donald: Lincoln
Brillantly interesting biography of the most fascinating U.S. president. I'm up to the Lincoln-Douglas debates now.

Richard B. Sewall: The Life of Emily Dickinson
Tough going, but really interesting as well. I'm in need of this for my finals in the spring, and it's certainly much more enjoyable than many, many other books I've read for school.

R.W. Franklin, ed.: The Poems of Emily Dickinson
Reading edition of the three volume variorum edition. Dickinson's just a brillant poet, what can I say.

William Dean Howells: The Rise of Silas Lapham
Two chapters in, and so far so good. It's much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, as, indeed, were most of the realism & naturalism authors I've had to read in the last few months. The sole exception was Upton Sinclair.

and finally,

Joseph Heller, Catch-22
That's a re-read, but it's still as great as it was when I first read it. Maybe a bit more, since you know the characters better.

nashiitashii
01-04-2009, 09:39 AM
I'm currently reading Melusine by Sarah Monette. I'm finding that it has touches of the "fantasy and political intrigue" flavors that I loved in the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, so I'm really enjoying it so far. It's nice to have semi-intelligent popcorn novels to read, and I've got the other two in the series lined up for when I finish this one.

I finished reading The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer at the end of December. It's a self-help book that deals with spirituality and is based upon the poem Invitation, which deals with enjoying the subtler aspects of everyday life, being more enriched in your understanding of yourself and not becoming entrenched in "baggage" and "drama". It was okay, but I generally am not a fan of self-help books and have a hard time taking new age types seriously. It did, however, help me think about some of the things I need to do for myself these days.

wonky
01-04-2009, 10:08 AM
I'm currently reading Melusine by Sarah Monette. I'm finding that it has touches of the "fantasy and political intrigue" flavors that I loved in the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, so I'm really enjoying it so far. It's nice to have semi-intelligent popcorn novels to read, and I've got the other two in the series lined up for when I finish this one.

That book made me really angry. I ended up feeling the author wanted me to be titillated by what happened to Felix.

Siam Sam
01-04-2009, 10:25 AM
Back in Bangkok and while gone I finished Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson. An excellent read. Short vignettes of the good folks in a small Midwestern town around the turn of the 20th century, with many of them trusting their stories to the young reporter George Willard, who leaves for the big city at the end.

Have started The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford. Deception and sexual intrigue in Edwardian times, although set mostly on the continent.

TheMerchandise
01-04-2009, 11:18 AM
I'm reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I'm a sucker for a good vampire story, but I'm 200 pages in and so far there hasn't actually been a vampire.

I'm also reading The Botany of Desire, but not enjoying it nearly as much as The Omnivore's Dilemma. I'll finish it, though, because I'm a white urban liberal and this is one of my people's holy books.

AuntiePam
01-04-2009, 11:32 AM
I tossed Child 44 last night. Stupid, stupid plot twist and a totally unbelievable HEA ending. It wouldn't surprise me if M. Night Shamalyan (sp?) does the movie.

Started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which sounds twee but I've been assured there's some meat to the book. It's about the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII, and it's epistolary. I like epistolary novels.

Shirley Ujest
01-04-2009, 11:43 AM
Silverfin (http://www.amazon.com/Young-Bond-Book-One-Silverfin/dp/0786838663/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231086996&sr=8-2) an young James Bond book, first in the series. Fast paced, well written. Enjoying it.

Population: 485. Meeting your neighbors one siren at a time. (http://www.amazon.com/Population-485-P-S-Michael-Perry/dp/0061363502/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231087084&sr=1-1). This was recommended to me by another doper when I was looking for books (fiction and non) set in small towns.

This book is part Garrison Keillor with interesting real life people and anecdotes; part heart break as this writer, a real life EMT tells the tales of what he has witnessed and worked on (lots of medical and fire fighter jargon without being asphixiating.) ; Part history of town and parts of the world and part meditation. His writing is hypnotic to me. He nails small town Anywhere beautifully.

I am planning on buying copies of this book for friends.

Shirley Ujest
01-04-2009, 11:45 AM
Started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which sounds twee but I've been assured there's some meat to the book. It's about the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII, and it's epistolary. I like epistolary novels.



This book has been recommended to me on so many different levels and I know I want to read it.

Lavender Falcon
01-04-2009, 11:49 AM
I'm a third of the way through re-reading A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. I've also just started Glass Soup by Jonathan Carroll.

Shirley Ujest
01-04-2009, 11:50 AM
I also have on the docket:

[b]Three Men and a Boat ( To say nothing of the dog.) (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Men-Boat-Nothing-Editions/dp/0486451100/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231087649&sr=8-2) by Jerome K. Jerome. I didn't finish it (not from lack of interest, but Life Intruded.) so, I thought I would return to something that I really was enjoying and have to see how it all pans out.

The Man Who Was Thursday (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Was-Thursday-Nightmare/dp/0375757910/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3UPT97JJJMJSD&colid=327JHLGM8SLFZ) by CK Chesterton. Recommended by a Doper when I was looking for Conspiracy Book Reading.

Larry Borgia
01-04-2009, 11:50 AM
I like the book I'm reading enough to just copy my post from the December thread:

I'm now reading Metaplanetary by Tony Daniel. Really really good modern space opera. Evil villains, dubious science, a fantastic world, plenty of action, and sypathetic characters you really care about. There are scenes in a concentration camp (sort of) that are heart-breaking. It's very well written. My only complaint is that he over-explains his absurd science, which doesn't do anything but make it seem more absurd. After I get further in it, I might start a thread about it. It's a shame it's out of print. I haven't been this entertained by a fantastic fiction author since Mieville or Stephenson.

Elendil's Heir
01-04-2009, 11:59 AM
...
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion
I've had that for a while in the German edition, which is okay but not great. Part of the appeal is the flow of the language, which the translation just doesn't seem to be able to get right. The English one is fun, though.

David H. Donald: Lincoln
Brillantly interesting biography of the most fascinating U.S. president. I'm up to the Lincoln-Douglas debates now....


Both are, in their way, simply excellent books. Much as I love Tolkien (whose birthday was yesterday, by the way), it took me three readings to really appreciate Silmarillion. The first time I was baffled by all the names; the second time I began to understand its structure and how everything fit together; the third time it all clicked for me and I was totally caught up in it. It's probably time I re-read it again, come to think of it.

David Herbert Donald's Lincoln is the best one-volume bio of the 16th President I've ever read: well-researched, thoughtful, very readable. This is Lincoln's bicentennial year, so I hope Donald's book gets a lot more attention. If you like it, you might want to have a look at Garry Wills's Lincoln at Gettysburg or Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, both of which are also terrific.

FWIW, one of my best friends read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and loved it; my wife read it and thought it was just OK.

delphica
01-04-2009, 01:12 PM
Started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which sounds twee but I've been assured there's some meat to the book. It's about the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII, and it's epistolary. I like epistolary novels.

I thought it was definitely twee, but in a sincere way that made me like it.

Surok
01-04-2009, 01:36 PM
Just re-read Jake's Thing (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jake%27s+thing&x=0&y=0) by Kingsley Amis and halfway through re-reading Wonder Boys (http://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Boys-Novel-Michael-Chabon/dp/0812979214/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231093865&sr=8-2) by Michael Chabon. Damn, Chabon is good, although I do find him a bit cold.

Next up is Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (http://www.amazon.com/Dry-Storeroom-No-Natural-History/dp/0307263622/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231093950&sr=1-1) by Richard Fortey, as he's doing a reading at the local bookstore in April. Also the excerpts from letters between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell in one of the poetry magazines a friend sent me - if I like them, I will blow my Christmas money on the full collection, Words in Air (http://www.amazon.com/Words-Air-Complete-Correspondence-Elizabeth/dp/0374185433/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231094174&sr=1-1).

koeeoaddi
01-04-2009, 04:06 PM
I just started Don't Stop the Carnival, by Herman Wouk, prompted by this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=497473&highlight=carnival).

It better be good, Mr Bus Guy! ;)

Albrecht Durer
01-04-2009, 04:23 PM
I'm currently reading The First Crusade: The Roots of Conflict between Christianity and Islam by Thomas Asbridge and Making your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges by Justice Scalia and Bryan Garner. The Crusade book is definitely not the best book about the Crusade(s) I've read, but I like the authors digressing writing style and his willingness to include conflicting historical interpretations and accounts. Making your Case is pretty good, but not the best book about legal arguing I've read. It's well-written though and includes quite a bit of Scalia's great sense of humor.

Next on the docket, so to speak, is Billy Collin's The Trouble with Poetry and maybe I'll FINALLY get around to reading The Federalist Papers, just to see why so many judges/justices quote them.

wonderlust
01-04-2009, 07:53 PM
I finished Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz. What a wonderful story that was! Warm and touching, horrifying and suspenseful, I loved the POV voice. While I've heard that the following books are not as good, I will be reading them, even if they capture a portion of the charm that this book had.

Next up: The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi.

It was fun spending a little time with Scalzi and Paolo Bacigalupi together at the Pyr party at Worldcon last fall, along with the rest of Pyr's writers and friends. They're both really clever individually, but together, even more fun. Photo:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wW-svV80RYM/SKHkqdMo3uI/AAAAAAAABOw/YN7nG78lRAA/s1600-h/PaoloBacigalupiYanniKuzniaJohnScalzi.JPG

salinqmind
01-04-2009, 08:05 PM
The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British by Sarah Lyall. Non-fiction, comprehensive, amusing/horrifying observations about the English by an American journalist who married a Brit. I can't put it down! Two things I learned: 1) The English are very heavy drinkers. I used to be skeptical watching Eastenders in TV, whose live simply revolved around that pub. No more! 2) Read about the (male) members of Parliament and what they get up to and how they have reacted to women joining up. "Drunken 12 year olds" about covers it.

Elendil's Heir
01-04-2009, 08:11 PM
...Next up: The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi....

Hey, I just read Old Man's War and now have The Ghost Brigades on my bedside table. Can't wait to start it!

Dung Beetle
01-05-2009, 07:57 AM
Over the weekend, I read The Inimitable Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse. It was really adorable and humorous and I liked it, but I donít feel any urge to go round up the rest of the series.

Now Iíve started on Two for The Road: our love affair with American food, by Jane and Michael Stern. Itís about the journey of these two food writers through all fifty states, and theyíre eating at downscale mom and pop type places. Itís pretty amusing, and at first the food descriptions were appetizing, but I felt nauseated as I read the part where they describe a typical day in which they eat twelve meals! (I flipped the book around looking for the authorsí picture after that, but none was to be found.)

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-05-2009, 09:38 AM
Over the weekend, I read The Inimitable Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse. It was really adorable and humorous and I liked it, but I donít feel any urge to go round up the rest of the series.I like Wodehouse best in small doses.


I just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and enjoyed it immensely. I'm going to breeze through another Georgette Heyer book to relax, and then I think I'm going to try Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep. It's the January read for one of the sci-fi groups on Goodreads. I've never read Vinge before.

Hrududu
01-05-2009, 10:26 AM
I just finished The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster and am now moving on to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

schnuckiputzi
01-05-2009, 10:38 AM
What's NOT on my list:
My eldest dd's boyfriend brought me a bagful of 'bodice rippers' from his grandma. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I doubt I'll read them. He's a good kid, but in his eyes, a book is a book...and since he knows I read incessantly, he was so happy that he was bringing me books! I thanked him, of course, but they're really not up my alley.

Gulo gulo
01-05-2009, 11:12 AM
Still reading (and enjoying) The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction by David Quammen

Also reading The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman. (Decided to give one of his novels a shot after reading about his death.) It's ok, just not my style. I don't think I'll continue with the series.

I was going to avoid any book-related goals this year but I'm thinking more and more of taking on the Tolkein tomes. I've never read any of this other books than the usual Hobbit and LoTR so it may be time to try it.

Catamount
01-05-2009, 12:32 PM
(I flipped the book around looking for the authorsí picture after that, but none was to be found.)

NY Times ran a picture (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/31/books/q4sterns.html) with an article about the book.

Gangster Octopus
01-05-2009, 01:02 PM
blindness by Jose Saramago with The Road by Cormac McCarthy up next.

Dung Beetle
01-05-2009, 01:31 PM
NY Times ran a picture (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/31/books/q4sterns.html) with an article about the book.

Hmmm...not as big as I'd have thought!

What's NOT on my list:
My eldest dd's boyfriend brought me a bagful of 'bodice rippers' from his grandma. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I doubt I'll read them. He's a good kid, but in his eyes, a book is a book...and since he knows I read incessantly, he was so happy that he was bringing me books! I thanked him, of course, but they're really not up my alley.My grandma has approximately one jabillion Harlequin romance novels. When I was a kid, it occurred to me that if I could learn to like them, Iíd be set for lifeÖsadly, it was not to be. :)

lilflower
01-05-2009, 01:46 PM
blindness by Jose Saramago with The Road by Cormac McCarthy up next.

I finished blindness a couple of months ago. I loved the writing style but I'm still not quite sure what I was supposed to learn from the book. Perhaps you can post your thoughts on it when you are done.

I also read The Road - not much to say on that one except that I read that the end is supposedly a happy ending (for McCarthy, at least!).

lilflower
01-05-2009, 02:01 PM
I'm reading 2666 by Roberto Bolano.

I thought about this one but got the feeling I should read The Savage Detectives first (which I just bought). Have you read that one?

Saltire
01-05-2009, 02:47 PM
Dies The Fire by S. M. Stirling. It's about the aftermath of the day in 1998 when all high-power technologies stopped working. Electricity failed worldwide, gunpowder burns too slowly to fire a gun, internal combustion engines don't work at all.

I just started it last night, so haven't gotten too much into it. There are two theaters of action early on: a pilot and a wealthy family who were in the air over the Idaho Rockies when the plane engines quit, and a group of Wiccans with SCA experience in Corvalis, Oregon who've headed for the hills with a few horsedrawn wagons as the cities dissolve into chaos.

I was lead to it by a short story from that universe Stirling included in his anthology Ice, Iron and Gold, which I read last month. The story takes place years after the Change, and involves a low-tech Scotland Yard investigation of a murder.

Rhiannon8404
01-05-2009, 02:52 PM
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy for my classic.

The City of Ember series for my lfiction.

I haven't picked a non-fiction, just yet.

I try to spread my reading out amoung those categories.

rocking chair
01-05-2009, 07:48 PM
What's NOT on my list:
My eldest dd's boyfriend brought me a bagful of 'bodice rippers' from his grandma. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I doubt I'll read them. He's a good kid, but in his eyes, a book is a book...and since he knows I read incessantly, he was so happy that he was bringing me books! I thanked him, of course, but they're really not up my alley.

throw us some titles, there maybe a gem or two in there.

i'm finally getting to my books to read boxes. i'm reading "survival of the sickest" by sharon moalem. it is an arc from when i worked in a bookstore. due to be published feb. 2007, better late than never, eh?

it is really interesting so far. the author got interested in his field due to his grandfather's problems with iron, and how giving blood made him feel better.

i'm on chapter 3 and hooked.

Siam Sam
01-05-2009, 10:59 PM
What's NOT on my list:
My eldest dd's boyfriend brought me a bagful of 'bodice rippers' from his grandma. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I doubt I'll read them. He's a good kid, but in his eyes, a book is a book...and since he knows I read incessantly, he was so happy that he was bringing me books! I thanked him, of course, but they're really not up my alley.

throw us some titles, there maybe a gem or two in there.

Maybe this (http://www.worldoflongmire.com/features/romance_novels/index.htm) will get you in the mood. :D

Also reading The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman. (Decided to give one of his novels a shot after reading about his death.) It's ok, just not my style. I don't think I'll continue with the series.

I would urge you to read at least the next one, too, to get into the swing of it. I loved the entire series.

Little Nemo
01-05-2009, 11:09 PM
13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks - pretty interesting.

AuntiePam
01-08-2009, 10:28 PM
The Guernsey Potato book was just fine. Like Delphica said, the sincerity saved it from tweeness. It's the lightest book I've read in ages and I liked it, so I read a collection by Bailey White, Momma Makes Up Her Mind. Also light, and sincere, and I laughed out loud a few times.

Currently reading Echoes from the Dead by somebody Theorin. It's Scandinavian, but it's a bit warmer than other Scandinavian books I've read. From Amazon:

"Set predominantly on the Baltic island of ÷land, Theorin's deeply disturbing debut will remind many of Henning Mankell both in its thematic intensity and dark tone. Two decades after the unsolved disappearance of a young boy, Jens Davidsson, who vanished one foggy autumn afternoon in 1972 and was presumed to have drowned, Jens's grandfather, Gerlof, a retired sea captain, receives one of Jens's sandals in the mail. Gerlof enlists his alcoholic daughter, Julia, who's still struggling to come to grips with the loss of her only child, to help solve the mystery. All leads point to infamous thug Nils Kant, who was rumored to have killed numerous people. But Kant allegedly died years before the fateful day that Jens disappeared, so who could've killed the boy? And why? Further investigation leads the unlikely sleuths to some startling revelations about their isolated island community and its much-storied history."

I like Theorin's style -- not too flowery, just enough description, realistic-sounding dialogue.

Kythereia
01-08-2009, 10:38 PM
I also have on the docket:

[b]Three Men and a Boat ( To say nothing of the dog.) (http://www.amazon.com/Three-Men-Boat-Nothing-Editions/dp/0486451100/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231087649&sr=8-2) by Jerome K. Jerome. I didn't finish it (not from lack of interest, but Life Intruded.) so, I thought I would return to something that I really was enjoying and have to see how it all pans out.

I just ran in here to mention that. Are you me? *checks mirror nervously* (It's really funny--almost P.G. Wodehouse-esque. And The Man Who Would Be Thursday takes a bit of mental re-adjustment to get into it, but it's great.)

I just finished off Three Men in a Boat, as mentioned above. Before that I read Affinity and The Night Watch by Sarah Waters: both were kind of hard to follow--I couldn't quite get the thread of Selina's story in the former, which interweaves with the main plot, and the latter was written backwards ŗ la Memento, which was tough. But they've got some really sad and really sweet moments in equal measure, and they're definitely worth re-reading again.

And then there was Lindsey Davies's The Accusers, and anybody who isn't reading the Marcus Didius Falco series needs to stop reading this post, go out to the store, and buy all the books right now.

Momofgirls
01-09-2009, 01:42 AM
Just finished Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran by Andy Taylor. Enjoyed it very much, but had Duran Duran songs in a constant loop in my brain the whole time I read it (especially Rio).

I'm now reading Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid by Denis Leary. I started it today and I'm almost done. It's pretty funny, and I'm reading it with Denis Leary's voice in my brain.

thirdwarning
01-09-2009, 02:33 AM
I got C. S. Lewis' Perelandra Trilogy for Christmas, so I'm reading those for the second time. The first was probably thirty years ago.

Then I'm not sure where I'll go. I think likely back to Duel, by Thomas Fleming, about Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. I started it a while back, but the holidays got in the way and I looked for some lighter things. Now I think I'm ready to stay with it.

Enterprise
01-09-2009, 04:45 AM
David Herbert Donald's Lincoln is the best one-volume bio of the 16th President I've ever read: well-researched, thoughtful, very readable. This is Lincoln's bicentennial year, so I hope Donald's book gets a lot more attention. If you like it, you might want to have a look at Garry Wills's Lincoln at Gettysburg or Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, both of which are also terrific.

I'll put them on my list. I read part of Garry Wills's Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence for an article I wrote, and have heard only good things about Goodwin's book (plus seen her on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report -- if she writes like she chats, the book is bound to be enjoyable). But I confess I was, probably because of high expectations, slightly underwhelmed by Donald's book. I think part of the reason is that, having read extensively in the Civil War, Donald can't add much new to what many standard histories have already established. Most of the relevant quotes from Lincoln on the various things done during the war, for example, I already knew by heart. Donald added, for me, a lot of interesting detail on the machinations behind the actions, and on the ups and downs of Lincoln's popularity, and of course I had not much of a clue of his pre-Presidential life, exceed for the Lincoln-Douglas debates. I suppose I would still recommend it as a biography, but ask what the reader wanted to discover first: if he wanted to know more about Lincoln as a war president, I might caution him a little. But still, it was 15$ well spent.

Replacing Lincoln in my lineup is Lieutenant Hornblower. In my personal ranking of Napoleonic sea tales, Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin novels are still way up ahead of Forester's Hornblower, and sadly, I find Alexander Kent's Bolitho can't steer a barge to the two others' men-of-war...

YoudNeverGuess
01-09-2009, 05:17 AM
Nearly finished David Copperfield (Dickens). I'd forgotten how great a writer he is. There's a pithy, funny quotable quote on every second page. Still, it's long though. Think I'll make my next read a 'short and snappy'.

Also started reading Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait (Orlova). I think it might be out of print now but managed to source a copy on the internet after reading the SD column on his death last week. Interesting so far.

And dipping into Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966-1996 (Sťamus Heaney). What a brilliant poet he is. You can really smell and feel the scenes he portrays. Beautiful.

Khadaji
01-09-2009, 08:34 AM
Just finished New Tricks by John Levitt. This is the second in an urban fantasy series. Mason is both a jazz musician and a "practitioner." He is a former/part-timer enforcer. Someone is trying to change bodies with practitioners, leaving them brain-dead.

The writing is functional and the characters are likable enough, but the plotting was clumsy. I guessed the culprit almost immediately and in the end the author is nearly punching you in the face with it. How anyone in the story didn't see it, especially the protagonist, defies reality more than the magic.

I can't say that I won't read his future books, but I also can't recommend that you do.

wonky
01-09-2009, 09:34 AM
I just finished Dark Fire by CJ Sansom, the followup to Dissolution. The topic wasn't as compelling as Dissolution, but the story and characters are really top-notch.

I don't remember which Martha Grimes book I was reading when I last commented, but I'm up to I am the Only Running Footman, now. The last book kinda irritated me, so we'll see.

I just started All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein. I really don't know much about Watergate, so this will be a revelation to me.

Still reading The Far Pavilions.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-09-2009, 09:36 AM
And then there was Lindsey Davies's The Accusers, and anybody who isn't reading the Marcus Didius Falco series needs to stop reading this post, go out to the store, and buy all the books right now.I have the first of those on my list - is the series consistently that good? I really enjoyed the first few of Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa books, but the later ones seem poorly written.

I'm a couple hundred pages into A Fire Upon the Deep. So far it's okay. Not sure I'm buying the "zones of thought" thing.

TheMerchandise
01-09-2009, 10:33 AM
I just finished Botany of Desire. The first chapter, on apples and the legacy of John Chapman, didn't really appeal to me, but Polan's chapters on marijuana and potatoes were insightful and interesting. I definitely saw the seeds of ideas that came to full fruition in Omnivore's Dilemma.

I'm reading Jim Butcher's Acedem's Fury right now. Mostly because I know I'll read it quickly and I haven't picked out any other book that I REALLY want to read. I like this series so far, but not nearly as much as the Dresden Files.

AuntiePam
01-09-2009, 10:39 AM
I just finished Dark Fire by CJ Sansom, the followup to Dissolution. The topic wasn't as compelling as Dissolution, but the story and characters are really top-notch.

I like these books too. I was thinking about getting his new book, Revelation, but some Amazon readers are saying it's bloated. Maybe I'll wait for a cheap used copy.

Sigmagirl
01-09-2009, 11:01 AM
Over the weekend, I read The Inimitable Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse. It was really adorable and humorous and I liked it, but I donít feel any urge to go round up the rest of the series.

Now Iíve started on Two for The Road: our love affair with American food, by Jane and Michael Stern. Itís about the journey of these two food writers through all fifty states, and theyíre eating at downscale mom and pop type places. Itís pretty amusing, and at first the food descriptions were appetizing, but I felt nauseated as I read the part where they describe a typical day in which they eat twelve meals! (I flipped the book around looking for the authorsí picture after that, but none was to be found.)

Dung Beetle, they don't eat the whole meals. Don't want to spoil things, but there is a very funny part later where Jane describes how she tries to dispose of some food without detection. (She fails.) And Michael is a runner, so he works off some of the calories that way. Jane has been very heavy, and last time I saw her was using a cane, but I think has lost some weight. They really don't eat all the food, they just order and taste.

I'm going to start American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White: The Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century by Paula Uruburu.

Gulo gulo
01-09-2009, 01:14 PM
Just started:

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella ~ liking it so far.

Papillon by Henri Charriere ~ one of my 'comfort food' books. Looks like I'll need to replace my copy too.


I would urge you to read at least the next one, too, to get into the swing of it. I loved the entire series.

Consider my arm twisted. I'll give it a shot.

wonderlust
01-09-2009, 03:02 PM
Reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food propelled me into reading The South Beach Diet Super Charged, an eating and exercise lifestyle plan based upon the Mediterranean Diet, which seems most able to accommodate the primarily vegetarian, whole food approach Pollan describes.

Elendil's Heir
01-09-2009, 03:13 PM
...I just started All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein. I really don't know much about Watergate, so this will be a revelation to me....

The Redford/Hoffman movie is worth a look once you're done, although obviously a lot gets left out. Then you might want to see Frost/Nixon, now playing in a theater near you. It's a funny, witty look at Nixon's yearning for rehabilitation and Frost's yearning for a TV career boost. Great acting all around (Frank Langella should get an Oscar for his Nixon).

Elyanna
01-09-2009, 04:46 PM
Just finished Mort, by Pratchett, which I enjoyed, and Heart, You Bully, You Punk, by Cohen, which I didn't.

Also recently reread Under the Banner of Heaven, by Krakauer, and read Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian, by Scott Douglas, and Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History , Le Couteur, all of which I loved.

Currently in the middle of Making Money (Pratchett again), and slowly going through Songs of the Gorilla Nation (Dawn Prince-Hughes), because I keep putting it down for other books.

Malthus
01-09-2009, 06:15 PM
The Man Who Was Thursday (http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Was-Thursday-Nightmare/dp/0375757910/ref=wl_it_dp?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3UPT97JJJMJSD&colid=327JHLGM8SLFZ) by CK Chesterton. Recommended by a Doper when I was looking for Conspiracy Book Reading.

One of my favourites. :D

Unix Geek
01-09-2009, 11:40 PM
Just finished, in the middle of, or about to start:

Coyote Frontier by Allen Steele

The third in the "Coyote" series. Sci-Fi Frontier novels

Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

New book situated between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson

The world if the 14th century Black Death killed 99% of Europe instead of 1/3

The Scourge of God by S.M. Stirling

5th book of the "Dies the Fire" universe. Guilty pleasure. Love the references to Tolkien's elves

Deciding the Next Decider, The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme by Calvin Trillin

Ya got to read it out loud. Find an audience and make them laugh

Khadaji
01-10-2009, 09:12 AM
Just started The Testament of Gideon Mack. It is slow starting, but came highly recommended from a friend. It has the feel of something that I may like, but may take a while to finish. But it does me good to read more "meatier" reads, I should do it more often.

schnuckiputzi
01-11-2009, 02:05 PM
throw us some titles, there maybe a gem or two in there.

Okay, don't blame me. And several of these are definitely candidates for that parody site.
"When The Duke Returns" by Eloisa James
"The Pride of Hannah Wade" Janet Dailey
"Blackthorne's Bride" Shana Galen
"Dangerous to Know" Barbara Taylor Bradford (who I've at least heard of)
and several by a Lisa Scottoline.
I've already tossed a few that were so Fabio-enhanced that I couldn't even take them seriously enough to skim them. ack.

Elendil's Heir
01-11-2009, 02:31 PM
Just read Dave Gibbons's big, beautiful, very informative, lavishly-illustrated Watching the Watchmen (Titan 2008), which I highly recommend for any fans of the graphic novel. Lots of cool details on its creation, alternate history, draft layout pages, dropped concepts, costume evolution, etc. Very cool.

Declan
01-11-2009, 03:44 PM
Happy New Years all! May your year be filled with good food, good fortune and good reads!

First some old business from december

As a counterpoint while I found Ender's Game to be a decent SF novel, Speaker for the Dead was absolutely horrible.

(I'm 90% sure we've gone back and forth on that before so I won't rehash it; I'm just providing a counterpoint.)

I totally missed this post , so my apologies.

Card in my opinion is a fast food writer better suited to young adult or teen audiences, I thought speaker was a better novel , only because of the concept of someone doing a eulogy that actually represented the disesased and telling it like it was.

Such and such died , in life he was a drunk , he abused his wife and kids and stuff like that. He makes up a nice tile in the mosaic of the sf world, but thats about it.

Now , on to 09

Finished Storm of Shadows by David Weber

Heavy on politics and is setting the stage for Harringtons retirement to the background, as well as a forewarning by the author that some of the material will be seen in future books as seen from other eyes.

Quite frankly I am hoping he (Weber) is training a new author to take over writing the series , as this one could quite frankly go another ten years before the saga is complete. With Jordan passing before he could complete his series , I am thinking this should be on Baen books future topics to bring up with DW.


declan

Just Some Guy
01-11-2009, 05:16 PM
First some old business from december



I totally missed this post , so my apologies.

Card in my opinion is a fast food writer better suited to young adult or teen audiences, I thought speaker was a better novel , only because of the concept of someone doing a eulogy that actually represented the disesased and telling it like it was.

Such and such died , in life he was a drunk , he abused his wife and kids and stuff like that. He makes up a nice tile in the mosaic of the sf world, but thats about it.


It's one thing to a eulogy to just be the truth; it's another to claim that spouting the truth somehow heals all wounds even when he's announcing the dirty secrets of those still living.

This thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=499612) was created to deal with that fork in the conversation if you want more details from all sides.

Dung Beetle
01-12-2009, 08:26 AM
Just read a children’s book, The Sign of the Sinister Sorcerer, by Brad Strickland, who is carrying on with John Bellair’s characters. It adhered faithfully to the old formula, but somehow didn’t seem up to par.

Next up was Summer Morning, Summer Night, a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories (and scraps, some were only three or four sentences long). There wasn’t anything special here, and some of them I’d read before, but it all had that Ray flavor I was looking for. If he wants to go on publishing, I’ll go on reading.

Currently reading The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard. Really wonderful pulp horror (and western, and adventure) tales. The illustrations by Greg Staples are just marvelous.

Siam Sam
01-12-2009, 11:20 PM
Finished The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford. Very good. Sexual intrigue among an American and a British couple, set largely in Germany in the Edwardian era.

Next up: The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe.

Momofgirls
01-13-2009, 12:26 AM
I finished Why We Suck by Denis Leary and loved it. I also finished Party Monster (originally titled Disco Bloodbath) by James St. James, about Michael Alig and the "Club Kids" of the late 80s/early 90s. I've seen the movie with Macauley Culkin and Seth Green, which is a lot better than you'd think. I enjoyed the book as well.

Just started Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates this morning. I want to read it before I see the movie (if I see the movie).

No. 1 Magnolia Fan
01-13-2009, 01:23 AM
I recently finished Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and it is definitely geared towards the teenage female. I can summarize the first 80% of the book for those who can't be bothered to read it or watch the movie:

Bella: Edward is so good looking, so handsome, so perfect. *swoon* Why does he hate me?

Edward: I am too dangerous for you Bella, but I cannot resist you, but resist you I must.

Repeat until you can't take it anymore... and then repeat for another 200 pages.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-13-2009, 09:44 AM
I liked A Fire Upon the Deep, but I wasn't amazed by it. The aliens with pack minds were fascinating and the "zones of thought" concept grew on me, but the story didn't have much of an emotional impact. Not sure if I'll read more Vinge.

I'm in the middle of Dark Fire, the second in C. J. Sansom's Tudor mystery series.

Huh, I just noticed that's two "Fire" books in a row.

Ian D. Bergkamp
01-13-2009, 10:13 AM
I recently finished Katherine Neville's novel The Eight, after a recommendation from a Doper in another thread. It flips between the 1970s and the 1790s in a global chase for Charlemagne's mystical chess set. Definitely entertaining, though there were a few moments where the plot's twist and turns seemed a bit too contrived, even for the genre.

I'm now wrapping up The Barrytown Trilogy, by Roddy Doyle. Already finished The Commitments and The Snapper and am close to finishing The Van. Doyle has a real ear for dialogue and makes even the most mundane scenes entertaining. Highly recommended. O' course, tha' book make me want to eat chips, drink pints o' Guinness and speak with a Dublin brogue, so tha's an added benefit, yeah. : )

Next up: Once In a Lifetime: The Incredible Story of the New York Cosmos by Gavin Newsham.

AuntiePam
01-13-2009, 10:52 AM
Finished Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin and heartily recommend it if you like dark twisty mysteries with realistic characters. It was a pleasant surprise.

Back to a re-read of A Game of Thrones.

SaharaTea
01-13-2009, 12:26 PM
I'm reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I'm a sucker for a good vampire story, but I'm 200 pages in and so far there hasn't actually been a vampire.
Good luck with this one. I made it about 100 pages before giving up. Someone spoiled the ending for me, which didn't help.

I'm reading Erik Larson's Devil in the White City and really enjoying it.

Hazle Weatherfield
01-13-2009, 01:11 PM
Just finished reading "Dewey" the library cat and am working (and I mean Working) on "Wesley." These books are proof that no matter how cute or moving a story is, it still needs to be written by someone who can effing write! I loved the stories these books had to tell, but the writing is so bad that it's hard to get through.

Khadaji
01-18-2009, 07:24 AM
Let me try again. (My thanks to AuntiePam View Post who caught me posting this in the Watcha Watchin thread.)

After months of trying to finish it, I finally put down Un Lun Dun. Maybe it was aimed at too young of a crowd. Maybe it is a British/American humor thing - maybe if you liked Monty Python you would like this. I dunno, but it was never mildly humorous and seemed to me the author was just making up odd things because he was trying to make it silly for the kids. The final straw was when


he introduced a character who had a bird-cage for a head - and the bird whistles instead of him talking. There seemed to be no reason for him having a bird cage for a head, other than the protagonist needed to catch a bird.


I just don't care what happens.

wonky
01-18-2009, 11:49 AM
Let me try again. (My thanks to AuntiePam View Post who caught me posting this in the Watcha Watchin thread.)

After months of trying to finish it, I finally put down Un Lun Dun. Maybe it was aimed at too young of a crowd. Maybe it is a British/American humor thing - maybe if you liked Monty Python you would like this.

I like Monty Python and found Un Lun Dun unreadable and grotesque.

Catamount
01-18-2009, 11:57 AM
I finished Charles de Lint's The Onion Girl yesterday. It's one of his better ones, but my GOD he put Jilly through hell. I would not want to be a heroine in one of his novels. You've got to earn the happy ending in his books.

I'm not too thrilled with the ending, though. I thought that the sister didn't get what she deserved. Yeah, yeah, forgiveness and letting go of the past and all, but she really should have been punished a bit more for all the crap she did.

The current book pile looks like this:
The Pesthouse, Jim Crace
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Emma, Jane Austen (this is Austen's last chance with me)
Children of Dune, Frank Herbert
The Baker's Boy, J.V. Jones

AuntiePam
01-18-2009, 12:04 PM
The current book pile looks like this:
The Pesthouse, Jim Crace

I really liked The Pesthouse. It went in an unexpected direction, and was very satisfying.

I'm finally reading Silverlock by John Myers Myers (probably recommended by a Doper). I like it a lot, even though I'm not getting all the literary references. It's sort of a road trip/adventure tale, and it's lots of fun.

LavenderBlue
01-18-2009, 02:41 PM
I just finished American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. The book was highly recommended by many reviewers. It is supposedly based on Laura Bush's life.

My take? Very well written fiction but she should have either written a biography of Laura Bush or just plain fiction. As a hybrid of the two the book is interesting but disjointed and a bit frustrating. The last hundred pages could have been done away with entirely.

anu-la1979
01-18-2009, 03:35 PM
I like Monty Python and found Un Lun Dun unreadable and grotesque.

I also abandoned Un Lun Dun but mostly because I found it to be boring and a weak copy of Gaiman's Neverwhere.

I Have Hippos In My Garden
01-18-2009, 03:39 PM
I'm halfway through Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, the last book in the Twilight saga.

I have to say i'm very much enjoying it!

Dung Beetle
01-20-2009, 08:47 AM
I just got done with Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. He seems a dependable non-fiction writer; I’ve liked all his books so far.

AuntiePam
01-20-2009, 10:25 AM
I'm on my second attempt at The Marriage of Sticks by Jonathan Carroll. This one is from a woman's point of view, and I think he's doing a good job with it.

Catamount
01-20-2009, 10:48 AM
I made the mistake of going to Messrs. Barnes et Nobťl yesterday. They finally had a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2. Said copy has left the store and is now residing in my closet to-read pile.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-20-2009, 11:39 AM
I'm halfway through Lonesome Dove. I think I like it, but I'm not sure. Sometimes at the halfway point I'm in love with a book and only a truly rotten ending could spoil it, but this is one of those novels that could easily go either way for me.

Just Some Guy
01-20-2009, 07:00 PM
Typically I only check in at the beginning of the month with these threads and usually mainly due to my bad luck I'm reading or about to read something absolutely terrible. However I have just read an absolutely brilliant book, one so good that I felt the need to rush out and share it with people. After years of it being on my "I should read that sometime" list I finally got to the often recommended Bridge of Birds and it was everything that it was promised to be. It was witty, charming, more clever than it had any right to be, sorrowful, and touching. It's magnificent and I could not put it down.

So there you go, I do read great books occasionally. :)

And continuing that theme I'm about to read the last two volumes in the Lone Wolf and Cub graphic novel series but that may deserve a thread of its own when I finally finish it. For prose novels my next one is Mythago Woods.

Khadaji
01-20-2009, 08:06 PM
I've had Bridge Of Birds in my Amazon queue more than once, but for some reason never buy it.

Maybe it is time I did.

Just Some Guy
01-20-2009, 09:30 PM
I've had Bridge Of Birds in my Amazon queue more than once, but for some reason never buy it.

Maybe it is time I did.

I'm not given to hyperbole when it comes to my opinion on entertainment (if anything I'm often told that I'm far too critical), but Bridge of Birds is the rare book that makes me gush. To go into detail on why I found it to be such a delight would spoil the sheer joy of uncovering it bit by bit for yourself.

(For those who do need a rough plot outline, in 600AD China there is a village of dying children and a strong but good hearted villager hires an ancient sage to help them. Between the two of them they engage in comic misadventures and mystery solving while dealing with the problem. And really anything else I say would ruin the fun.)

Khadaji
01-21-2009, 01:06 PM
Finished Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand. A quick easy urban fantasy. It introduced a little more magic. Wasn't bad.

koeeoaddi
01-21-2009, 05:48 PM
I'm reading Supreme Courtship, by Christopher Buckley. It's light as a lemon meringue pie, but I'm laughing my butt off.

Momofgirls
01-21-2009, 11:43 PM
I finished Revolutionary Road, and really liked it. But I'll probably wait for the movie to come out on DVD.

I also just read Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher. Very well-written, funny in parts but also depressing. Not one I'd need to read again.

I'm currently reading Be Happy or I'll Scream: My Deranged Quest for the Perfect Husband, Family and Life by Sheri Lynch. Not laugh-out-loud funny, but amusing and a good break from the more somber reading material I've chosen lately.

kitemaker_chuck
01-22-2009, 02:11 AM
I'm reading a very interesting book about ships:

What Ship Is That?
Second Edition
A Field Guide to Boats and Ships
Author: Bobby L. Basnight

Dung Beetle
01-22-2009, 08:11 AM
I read a big chunk of Three Bags Full: a sheep detective story by Leonie Swann, but I couldn’t really seem to lock on to the story. I liked the sheep, though. (Also, my daughter is reading Watership Down on my recommendation and if she comes along and catches me reading a book about sheep, well, that’s just going to look weird.)

So I set that aside and started on Storm Front by Jim Butcher. It’s my first Dresden Files book (if not the first, my library catalog is always sketchy about what order the books of a series go in). Pretty good. I expect I’ll be getting some more of these.

TheMerchandise
01-22-2009, 09:25 AM
I just reread The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I read this book originally when I was in my teens and I was very, very impressed with it. Revisiting it now, I found myself totally bored. Maybe Iím more cynical or maybe my teenage self had more tolerance for ďon the noseĒ moralistic writing, but I thought Coehlo could have spent more time focused on the story and less time preaching and still had a good, popular book. The phrase ďpersonal legendĒ is currently triggering my gag reflex.

I'm reading Meg Cabot's Shadowland, the first in her Mediator series. Really fun. I like YA so much sometimes!

delphica
01-23-2009, 01:03 PM
The Newbery and Caldecott winners for this past year will be announced next Monday, so lately I have been trying to read as many of the eligible books as I can to see how I do predicting the winners.

So these are all kids/YA books:

I thought these were great:
Masterpiece by Elise Broach -- A beetle becomes an artist, it's really cute and a little reminiscent of Cricket in Times Square.
The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich -- Story of a Native American family in the mid-19th century, a little like the Little House books only from the native perspective.
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson -- AWESOME illustrations, decent-but-not-outstanding text.
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor -- Fairly grim story about child neglect but the main character is so enjoyable and resourceful that it's a satisfying rather than depressing book.

I thought these were so-so:
Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look -- A second grader has a lot of fears about every day situations.
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath -- Nice writing but the adventures were a bit of a snooze.
The Magic Half by Annie Barrows -- a little girl goes back in time and meets another girl.

Sigmagirl
01-23-2009, 01:37 PM
Rereading The Maltese Falcon as part of this year's The Big Read (http://www.neabigread.org/). Hiram College (http://www.hiram.edu/index.html)is the center for the events in my area. Next up is The Age of Innocence, which is based at the Massillon Museum.

AuntiePam
01-23-2009, 02:51 PM
I've finished The Marriage of Sticks. It was very weird but quite enjoyable. I couldn't put it down, even though I didn't much like the main character.

Tonight I'm starting Already Dead, Charlie Huston's first Joe Pitt book. I've only read one Huston, Shotgun Rule, and I think his dialogue is easily as good as Elmore Leonard's.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-23-2009, 03:01 PM
Tonight I'm starting Already Dead, Charlie Huston's first Joe Pitt book. I've only read one Huston, Shotgun Rule, and I think his dialogue is easily as good as Elmore Leonard's.I really liked Already Dead. Huston is altogether too dark for me, except that I absolutely love his dialogue so I clench my teeth and try to enjoy the ride. (I'll have to look up this Elmore Leonard you speak of.)

I ended up liking Lonesome Dove. I didn't fall in love with it, as many people have, and I don't think I'll become an aficionado of westerns, but I'm glad I read this one. The ending was strange: completely satisfying until the last few paragraphs.

I'm almost finished reading John Scalzi's Old Man's War, and with apologies to those who are fans, I am not enjoying it at all. There are some absurd plot points, but they wouldn't be a big deal if I liked the writing better. I enjoy this genre, but this book is doing nothing for me. If it weren't such a quick read I wouldn't finish it.

Catamount
01-24-2009, 10:36 PM
I have thrown the first book of 2009. This is the first book I've thrown in a couple of years, hence the announcement.

What book earned this dubious honor? A book I read because of a thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=466292) I ran across here last year. The Ladies of Missalonghi.

What pissed me off so much was not the fact that McCullough ripped off L.M. Montgomery. That is an unforgivable sin, true, especially since Montgomery is an actual writer who has style and doesn't need to resort to clumsy sexual allusions. No, what pissed me off must be revealed in a spoiler as it didn't show up until the end of the book.

Ghosts can't be Justices of the Peace!

I've been to pig pickin's that weren't so ham-handed as this book. I think I might burn it rather than return it to the used book store. Crap this bad should not be inflicted on the unsuspecting.

Momofgirls
01-25-2009, 12:25 AM
I'm currently reading Be Happy or I'll Scream: My Deranged Quest for the Perfect Husband, Family and Life by Sheri Lynch.

Finished this one; now I'm reading I Hope They Have Beer in Hell by Tucker Max. Some of his stories are hilarious; others very cringe-worthy/gross. Very different than women who write funny anecdotes about their lives!

TheVioletCreep
01-25-2009, 12:46 AM
I'm mid-way through "The Last Tycoon" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

By far a contender for my favorite book.

anu-la1979
01-25-2009, 01:58 AM
Just Picked Up:

Sunshine: Robin McKinley
The Magus: John Fowles
Passage: Connie Willis

Started:

World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It's good-I read the original essay in the 2005 Best Science and Nature Writing anthology (edited by Atul Gawande).

Last week I finished Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling & Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat.

statij
01-25-2009, 12:04 PM
Almost finished with Anathem and based on recommendations in this thread, recently started Gone Away World and Bridge of Birds. LOVING them both so far.

AuntiePam
01-25-2009, 12:30 PM
Finished Already Dead by Charlie Huston last night. I was expecting something like Bloodsucking Fiends, a lighthearted but semi-realistic look at the lives of modern vampires. Boy, was I wrong. I probably shouldn't have read the book after watching Miller's Crossing, because that and the book gave me some pretty good nightmares. Actually, Tom from the movie and Joe from the book are a bit alike -- they want to be independent but they don't have enough power.

I'm quite taken with Joe Pitt so I'll be getting the rest of these books.

Next up is The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard.

Hunter Hawk
01-25-2009, 02:24 PM
I finally got to the often recommended Bridge of Birds and it was everything that it was promised to be.
If you like that book, you might want to check out the Kai Lung stories by Ernest Bramah.

I just finished reading A Deepness in the Sky. As with the other Vinge novels I've read, I thought it had a few nifty ideas smothered by an overly-long, overly-pedestrian storyline. I got bored about two-thirds of the way through it and only finished the book out of cussedness. At this rate, I'm pretty dubious about whether I'd be willing to tackle any more of his novels.

Enterprise
01-26-2009, 05:19 AM
I've got quite a bunch of books cracked open and am reading them as the mood strikes:

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion
I've had that for a while in the German edition, which is okay but not great. Part of the appeal is the flow of the language, which the translation just doesn't seem to be able to get right. The English one is fun, though.

I'm through with this -- it was very interesting indeed! I'll have to get a well-bound hardcover, I'm afraid, and an atlas. The constant going to the appendices for the names and relationsships hurt this cheap paperback edition.
I read The Book of Lost Tales I right after this, which was incredibly fascinating as a glimpse into the process of Tolkien's creation. Other things to read will prevent me from getting on with the History of Middle-Earth, but I'm looking forward to that continuation!

David H. Donald: Lincoln
Brillantly interesting biography of the most fascinating U.S. president. I'm up to the Lincoln-Douglas debates now.

And it was interesting, too, but I'm still left a bit disappointed. I suppose I'd call it a Lincoln biography for absolute beginners, for while the chapters on Lincoln's pre-Presidential life were new and intriguing, the Civil War bits (about which I knew a good deal already) offered very little new insight.

William Dean Howells: The Rise of Silas Lapham
Two chapters in, and so far so good. It's much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, as, indeed, were most of the realism & naturalism authors I've had to read in the last few months. The sole exception was Upton Sinclair.

I'm almost through with this, and it is getting better and better -- I quite like this book.

A couple of new ones cracked open right now:


Tad Williams, Otherland: River of Blue Fire. I got the whole four volumes for Christmas, and have been going through them at night, ever so slowly. This is getting better as well. It took me a hundred pages of the first volume to get interested, but now it's going along, and things are starting to get revealed that make the whole story much less confusing. I suppose that won't last, with some 2000 pages in two and a half volumes still to go.
Douglas Wolk, Reading Comics. Interesting thing as well. I have Eisner's volumes and Scott McCloud's as well, and this is the first that tries to explain comics in prose, rather than in, well, comics. He's already contradicting Eisner and getting onto a different track than McCloud, so I'm looking forward to his thesis.
Richard Henry Dana, Two Years Before the Mast. This may end up getting dropped until I can find the time to situate it more properly within its context. As a read, it's slow, it may be more interesting as a cultural phenomenon.

MrDibble
01-26-2009, 08:14 AM
Grass, by Tepper.

Dung Beetle
01-26-2009, 08:48 AM
Finished Storm Front by Jim Butcher, and just got done putting all the other Dresden Files on hold at the library. Iím embarrassed to say that although Iíve seen the books recommended a lot, I avoided them because the word Dresden made me think it had something to do with Nazis. For anyone else who may not know, they are light mystery novels starring a wizard detective. A point in their favor: they have dignified titles and covers. If that had been the same book, but titled Wizardly Doings, with a picture of a demon on the front, Iíd never have read it.

Next up, The Magician's Book : a skeptic's adventures in Narnia, by Laura Miller. Iím about two pages in, and feeling pretty smart because the author confessed she read the books over and over as a kid without catching the symbolism. I read them repeatedly as well, but caught the symbolism (on about my twentieth try)! :o

Car audio book: On Writing, by Stephen King. Read it before, still like it.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-26-2009, 10:18 AM
Finished Already Dead by Charlie Huston last night. I was expecting something like Bloodsucking Fiends, a lighthearted but semi-realistic look at the lives of modern vampires. Boy, was I wrong. I probably shouldn't have read the book after watching Miller's Crossing, because that and the book gave me some pretty good nightmares. Actually, Tom from the movie and Joe from the book are a bit alike -- they want to be independent but they don't have enough power.

I'm quite taken with Joe Pitt so I'll be getting the rest of these books. I've recently read his Hank Thompson trilogy, which makes the Joe Pitt books look positively cheerful. They're good, though.

Finished Storm Front by Jim Butcher, and just got done putting all the other Dresden Files on hold at the library.They get better over the next few books, too.

Dung Beetle
01-26-2009, 01:56 PM
They get better over the next few books, too.

Woot! Hopefully it's not important to read them in order because it doesn't look like that's how they'll come.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-26-2009, 02:30 PM
Woot! Hopefully it's not important to read them in order because it doesn't look like that's how they'll come.The order becomes more important in the later books, because there's an ongoing story arch. For the first few I think you'll be okay. There's a big reveal about a certain character in book 6, but it will be spoiled if you read almost anything online about the series.

Dung Beetle
01-26-2009, 02:34 PM
Well, that’s exactly what I needed to know, Eleanor. Thanks! I’ll be sure to read them in order then.

wonderlust
01-26-2009, 09:52 PM
I just finished The Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi's second in the series that began with the fun Old Man's War. It was good, but I prefer the first one so far. Reading this one makes me eager to read Zoe's Tale, a retelling from the daughter's point of view.

There are a few books I'm curious whether anyone here has read. Most or all of them were recommended by NPR and they sound wonderful:
The Gargoyle (http://www.amazon.com/Gargoyle-Andrew-Davidson/dp/0385524943/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024423&sr=8-1), Andrew Davidson
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Dragon-Tattoo-Stieg-Larsson/dp/0307269752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024460&sr=1-1), Stieg Larsson
In the Woods (http://www.amazon.com/Woods-Tana-French/dp/0143113496/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024493&sr=1-2). Tana French
The Likeness (http://www.amazon.com/Likeness-Novel-Tana-French/dp/0670018864/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b), Tana French

I've just started In the Woods, and the language is lovely!!! For anyone interested, I found these all in ebook on the Sony Reader website too.

Catamount
01-27-2009, 08:35 PM
I tried to read The Turn of the Screw but there were too many words covering up the story. To replace it I checked out Lucky You by Carl Hiassen. A friend of mine recommended him to me last night while we were talking about Dave Barry. So far it's pretty good.

Ian D. Bergkamp
01-27-2009, 08:44 PM
There are a few books I'm curious whether anyone here has read. Most or all of them were recommended by NPR and they sound wonderful:
The Gargoyle (http://www.amazon.com/Gargoyle-Andrew-Davidson/dp/0385524943/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024423&sr=8-1), Andrew Davidson
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Dragon-Tattoo-Stieg-Larsson/dp/0307269752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024460&sr=1-1), Stieg Larsson
In the Woods (http://www.amazon.com/Woods-Tana-French/dp/0143113496/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233024493&sr=1-2). Tana French
The Likeness (http://www.amazon.com/Likeness-Novel-Tana-French/dp/0670018864/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b), Tana French

I haven't read it yet, but I just got The Gargoyle last week as a gift. From skimming the first few pages, it certainly looks interesting.

Spice Weasel
01-27-2009, 09:11 PM
I am reading Volume I of the original Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga, which I received for Christmas. I found it confusing at first, until I realized I was supposed to be reading the panels right to left as well as the pages.:smack: Now that I'm reading everything in the correct order it makes a lot more sense... and is totally engrossing.

Nausicaa is my favorite Miyazaki movie; I am completely in love with the strength of the heroine and of her love for bugs (I love bugs too.) The manga goes into greater depth with her character and with her relationship to the Ohmu. Ohmu look like this (http://www.northarc.com/images/nausicaa/nausic03.jpg), and one of life's great tragedies is that I will never have one of my own.

Khadaji
01-28-2009, 07:34 AM
Just finished Mean Streets. Four short stories from urban fantasists Jim Butcher, Simon Greene, Kat Richardson and Thomas Sniegoski.

I was familiar with the source work of the first 3 of the four. Of those they were fair representations of their work and fans won't be too disappointed by them. The fourth was new to me and I enjoyed it enough that I will look into Sniegoski's work.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-28-2009, 10:06 AM
I just finished Robert J. Sawyer's Hominids. It was an intriguing look at an alternate universe where Neanderthals became the dominant species instead of homo sapiens. Worth reading for the concepts, but I wasn't impressed with Sawyer's writing. His characterization was particularly bad.

I'm halfway through C.J Sansom's Tudor mystery Sovereign.

AuntiePam
01-28-2009, 11:00 AM
I'm about 50 pages into The Gone-Away World (http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Away-World-Nick-Harkaway/dp/0307268861/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233158226&sr=1-1) by Nick Harkaway. Recommended by a Doper who called it a "ridiculously good" novel and so far, I have to agree.

Eleanor, how are you liking Sovereign? I liked Dissolution and Dark Fire but I heard the third novel suffered from bloat, so I was reluctant to buy it.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-28-2009, 12:14 PM
Eleanor, how are you liking Sovereign? I liked Dissolution and Dark Fire but I heard the third novel suffered from bloat, so I was reluctant to buy it.I'm liking it pretty well, but it is long-winded.

To me, these books suffer from star-studdedness and it's getting worse: in this one we have not only appearances by Cranmer, Henry VIII and Catherine Howard, but also Lady Rochford, Thomas Culpepper, Francis Dereham, and Robert Aske's skeleton. And those are just the people I instantly recognize.

Probably other people are fine with this, but I'm annoyed when a fictional character coincidentally encounters a bunch of famous historical figures. Steven Saylor is pretty bad about this, too.

AuntiePam
01-28-2009, 12:33 PM
Probably other people are fine with this, but I'm annoyed when a fictional character coincidentally encounters a bunch of famous historical figures. Steven Saylor is pretty bad about this, too.

Shardlake's not high enough to be meeting all those people. I'd be annoyed too. Maybe I'll skip this one.

I prefer historical fiction without famous historical figures anyway. :)

Catamount
01-29-2009, 09:17 PM
I have officially given up on Jane Austen. I read one of her books, I get interested in it enough to turn the pages, but the whole time I'm wishing I'm reading something else. I just don't care. It's all 500 pages of I don't care.

I'm officially a Bronte girl. Hell with you, Jane Austen. Try having something happen in your books once in a while.

levi1820
01-30-2009, 02:30 AM
I'm a third of the way through re-reading A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. I've also just started Glass Soup by Jonathan Carroll.


Just an interesting aside:



I graduated from high school at the American International School in Vienna in 1997. Johnathon Carroll was my creative writing teacher. He was very witty but scared the 18 year old me to death!

schnuckiputzi
01-30-2009, 12:22 PM
I'm doing some re-reading. I picked up Stardoc and Beyond Varallan at our local used bookstore and thought they were okay. But now, having been edumacated on this board, while I was reading through them, my brain kept screaming,"Mary Sue! Mary Sue!" Sheesh.
And I, too, am re-reading A Game of Thrones, but I find myself muttering, "He's gonna die. Yep, he's gonna die. She won't make it long." Are there more than two or three characters in the whole book that survive the series?

delphica
01-30-2009, 01:19 PM
I have officially given up on Jane Austen. I read one of her books, I get interested in it enough to turn the pages, but the whole time I'm wishing I'm reading something else. I just don't care. It's all 500 pages of I don't care.

I'm officially a Bronte girl. Hell with you, Jane Austen. Try having something happen in your books once in a while.

I just saw this Jane Austen (http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/store,books/products_id,7847/title,Pride-and-Prejudice-and-Zombies/) and was both shocked and intrigued. Maybe it would be good for people who find her books too dull. :p

Momofgirls
01-31-2009, 02:16 AM
Finished this one; now I'm reading I Hope They Have Beer in Hell by Tucker Max. Some of his stories are hilarious; others very cringe-worthy/gross. Very different than women who write funny anecdotes about their lives!

Finished that one, thankfully. Amusing at times, but his schtick wore thin. He's a jerk. I hadn't heard of him before I picked up the book, or I probably would've just skipped it.

Now reading The Ladies' Lending Library. I'm a few chapters in, and it's OK, but not reeling me in. I'll give it another couple chapters before I bail on it.

Khadaji
01-31-2009, 02:50 PM
Link (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=10768244#post10768244) to February thread.

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