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  1. #461
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    I just finished book two of ASOIAF, and I think I need a break from those characters. Not sure what to read next, but the shortlist is:

    Some Lovecraft
    Some Richard Matheson shorts (inspired by some recent Twilight Zone bingeing)
    The latest Murakami
    The latest David Mitchell

  2. #462
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    I thought Thunderbolt Kid was one of his funniest, actually. I probably should re-read his travel ones though, I read Down Under and A Walk in the Woods recently-ish, but the Europe, Britain and America books were a good six years ago. And I still haven't read A Short History of Nearly Everything.

    Edit 'cause I just saw Jams's post:
    (my emphasis)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    I just finished book two of ASOIAF, and I think I need a break from those characters. Not sure what to read next, but the shortlist is:

    Some Lovecraft
    Some Richard Matheson shorts (inspired by some recent Twilight Zone bingeing)
    The latest Murakami
    The latest David Mitchell
    If you mean 1Q84, go for it. I've nearly finished book one of three, and I'm really enjoying it. It took a while before I started to care about the two main characters - one of them seemed much less interesting than the other - but now their plots are starting to link up it's become harder to put down. My biggest criticism would be that it's got a milder version of the ASoIaF problem - the sex scenes tend to have slightly more detail than I really wanted or needed to read. It's nowhere near as bad as some moments in AGoT though.
    Last edited by westyfield; 13-01-2012 at 10:07 AM.

  3. #463
    Network Hub MD!'s Avatar
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    Taking a break from Proust while waiting for the fourth volume to come in the mail, I've just finished The Toaster Project by Thomas Thwaites. As the subtitle says, it chronicles A Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch. Good fun, and also raises some questions regarding environment and economy that most of us are probably aware of, but tend to ignore.

    Also reading a few of Primo Levi's short stories, and dipping into The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russel.

  4. #464
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    I am looking for some recommendations in the high fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres.

    I've read Metro 2033 and Roadside Picnic both which fantastic, well, Metro 2033 seemed good but the atrocious translation deterred me from finishing it. I am looking for more post-apo novels like these two, those with an oppressive atmosphere that evokes feelings of desolation and futility. Edit: No zombies, please.

    As for high fantasy, I have a strong dislike anything that has a good vs evil thing going on and prefer stuff like Martin's ASOIAF and Sapkowski's The Witcher books which have morally ambiguous characters just trying to be.


    Finished with China Mieville's oeuvre a while back, that the baldy has potential, is obvious, it's just that he falls short every damn time. All his stories seem a bit too deliberate like how in Perdido Street Station he went out of his way to give a twist ending which felt cringe-worthy and nonsensical. Despite the fact that he devotes an obscene amount of space to world building, it ends up feeling artificial and pretentious because of the great lengths the baldy goes to make everything seem bizarre and surreal (and original, I guess) for the sake of it.

    Also, is it just me, or does the obtuse verbosity of Perdid Street Station end abruptly after the fifty or so pages after which he resorts to using English that is actually comprehensible?

    Anyway, I would still recommend his books to interested readers, they may not be as great as they could be but they sure as hell try. Amongst my favorites would be The Iron Council and The Kraken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire - Arundhati Roy
    You should read The God of Small Things.
    Last edited by Shane; 14-01-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  5. #465
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    Shane - Check out R. Scott Bakker and his Prince of Nothing series, to be honest it's not exactly not my cup of tea but the books were engaging enough that I read all three in the series. Otherwise malazan books of the fallen by Steven Erikson are a top tip, one of the best fantasy series I've read.

  6. #466
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    Finished my JG Ballard binge (Complete Short Stories, Atrocity Exhibition, Empire of the Sun, Kindness of Women) and I now reading Murakami's Kafka on the Shore.

  7. #467
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    You should read The God of Small Things.
    It's on the bookshelf. I'm currently reading the Bhagavad Gita, of all things.

  8. #468
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbick View Post
    Finished my JG Ballard binge (Complete Short Stories, Atrocity Exhibition, Empire of the Sun, Kindness of Women) and I now reading Murakami's Kafka on the Shore.
    Ballard is probably my favourite author. High Rise makes me think of reality tv in the way it's characterised, his later books like super cannes are like an upper class nightmare world.
    Last edited by Jockie; 15-01-2012 at 01:28 AM. Reason: apostrophe
    I write about them video games at these locations

    And on Twitter

  9. #469
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Currently reading "Money Laundering" by Ms Tachibana Akira, a financial thriller from Japan (again, I read Chinese translated version) about the kinda financial activity as title suggested. I finished Chapter 1 out of 3 chapters. A Japanese freelance financial advisor in Hong Kong was doing business of helping Japaneses to, through Hong Kong, to set up financial arrangements to rearrange capital from Japan to evade tax. One day he was approached by a beautiful Japanese woman who want to transfer a sum of 500 million yen (Currently 1USD is to 77.1 Yen) to a legal entity in some tax evasion heaven. Months later he was approached by some Japanese gangsters, who warned him to trace back that 5 billion yen (yes, the woman tricked the protagonist) the woman had stolen. The protagonist therefore was back to Japan, the country he tried to abandon years ago, to find that woman, or his life would be in danger.

    Ms Tachibana tried to illustrate some tax evasion techniques, which were usable in Japan. The story is about early 2000s, after the 911 attack. In her opinion, measures against money laundering wasn't becoming harsher after the incident, at least not against Japanese. Contrary to common belief, tax evasion is not universally viewed as criminal. Of course, money laundering for other criminal activities like terrorism and other usual gangster businesses would be another issue. Take note that the exchange between USD and JPY in book is 1USD to 120JPY, which was for the time when the book was written.

    Edit: The author maintains this website about investment: http://www.alt-invest.com
    Last edited by squirrel; 15-01-2012 at 09:42 AM.

  10. #470
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jockie View Post
    Ballard is probably my favourite author. High Rise makes me think of reality tv in the way it's characterised, his later books like super cannes are like an upper class nightmare world.
    I'd say he was mine too. The Complete Story collection was fascinating as a whole. You could see the themes and ideas in a short story that he brought through and expanded on in his later novels.

  11. #471
    Network Hub MD!'s Avatar
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    Read Kingsley Amis's Dear Illusion yesterday. I'm not entirely sure what I think of it, but it was worth reading, and might prompt me to crack open Lucky Jim sooner rather than later. Next up is Henry James' The Beast in the Jungle. I'm loving Penguin's 'Mini Modern Classics' series -- I get the satisfaction of 'finishing a book' so much more frequently than usual! Good selection, too, and just the right price and length for impulse-buying while waiting for a class or a bus.

  12. #472
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    I just started Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea yesterday. I'm loving it so far. I've been on sort of a classic kick lately.

  13. #473
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    I remember that one, was alright. You should look up Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, 'tis my favorite of the lot.

  14. #474
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    I remember that one, was alright. You should look up Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, 'tis my favorite of the lot.
    I just might do that. I can probably get it for free on my Nook, as I did with 20K Leagues.

  15. #475
    Lesser Hivemind Node squareking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post

    I've read Metro 2033 and Roadside Picnic both which fantastic, well, Metro 2033 seemed good but the atrocious translation deterred me from finishing it. I am looking for more post-apo novels like these two, those with an oppressive atmosphere that evokes feelings of desolation and futility. Edit: No zombies, please.
    A Canticle for Leibowitz comes to mind, if you haven't read it already. Or, keeping with the Russian theme, I enjoyed We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
    steam


  16. #476
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I picked it up because the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer are making a movie based on it. I enjoy the writing and the different tone of each narration. This movie's going to be really hard to pull off though. It'll either go down in flames or be spectacular, there's no middle option. I have faith, after all Tykwer made a movie based on Perfume!

  17. #477
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I picked it up because the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer are making a movie based on it. I enjoy the writing and the different tone of each narration. This movie's going to be really hard to pull off though. It'll either go down in flames or be spectacular, there's no middle option. I have faith, after all Tykwer made a movie based on Perfume!
    I absolutely love that book. His newest The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is great, too.

    As for me, I just devoured the whole ASOIAF series and I'm wishing there were more available now.

  18. #478
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    I've just started Perdido Street Station on recommendations from you guys and i'm really enjoying it so far, just a fascinating world he's created.

    Also since i seem incapable of not reading too many things at once i've started the Count of Monte Cristo.

  19. #479
    Network Hub Hanban's Avatar
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    Just started reading Consider Phlebas. Really enjoying it!
    BobHound - EVE Online

  20. #480
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    Currently about halfway into Feast for Crows and am enjoying it despite its reputation. It is a real change of pace from the previous books, and the newer characters are difficult to care about as much. I think a lot of the criticism thrown at it is a result of the long gap in publishing it after SoS.

    What is really beginning to grate though is a few of the repetitive phrases that GRRM uses ( "break his fast", "maiden flowered", "teats", "craven" etc) and Martin's constant list writing. I have found myself often reading pages and not really taking anything in.

    Having said that, i think the book features some of his strongest writing- the long section about "broken men" who leave their villages looking for glory and end up fighting for some unknown lord, with empty bellies and bare feet is Martin at the top of his game.

    I think i'll be taking a break before ADwD
    Last edited by corbain; 19-01-2012 at 08:40 AM.

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