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  1. #1081
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    I'm reading The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (him wot wrote The English Patient). It's about an eleven-year-old boy emigrating to the UK from Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in the '50s. It's alright, I'm about a quarter of the way into it, I'm enjoying it but am not particularly enthralled. It's told in lots of little snippets from the journey and as the character (not sure if it's meant to be autobiographical or not; the main character is called Michael and the author did travel by boat to the UK around that time) looks back on the voyage now he's older. This makes it very easy to pick up and put down, as most of the chapters are only a few pages long. The downside is that it's hard to really get into the book, so I would only tentatively recommend it right now.

    Side note: the cover is gorgeous. Reminds me of David Frankland's cover illustrations for the Biggles and Mortal Engines series.


  2. #1082
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    I'm reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and really enjoying it. I just love the bleak landscapes he portrays and the harsh people that inhabit them. Definitely not a very easy read though and his vocabulary is stunning i'm having to stop frequently to look up words but hopefully that means i'm learning at least

  3. #1083
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    I'm reading third book of Game Of Thrones .

  4. #1084
    Obscure Node Kilometrik's Avatar
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    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, babeeeh. It's a funny and interesting book to say the least. BUt so far i haven't found the source of it's "Classic" status. Although i've just begun reading part II.

  5. #1085
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Mr. China by Mr. Tim Clissold. Mr. Clissold adopted a Chinese name 祈立天, an English banker working in Beijing, who currently specialises in clean energy technology investment.

    This book is a memoir of Mr. Clissold, who teamed up with another banker from Wall Street, Pat; and an ex-Red Guard (funny, whoever youth here lived through the 1960s wasn't a Red Guard?), to raise 400M dollars to invest in Mainland China more than 2 decades ago. The dream team was formed in Hongkong, back then Hongkong was still a British colony. I just read Chapter 2 of the book. Mr. Clissold introduced his book as a true story of how businessmen from the world with the most sophisticated business system in the world being "outfoxed" by some underdog peasants. I guess when he considered those Chinese peasants as David in David vs Goliath, he must have forgotten the home team advantage.

  6. #1086
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable View Post
    I'm reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and really enjoying it. I just love the bleak landscapes he portrays and the harsh people that inhabit them. Definitely not a very easy read though and his vocabulary is stunning i'm having to stop frequently to look up words but hopefully that means i'm learning at least

    I'm also reading this but my experience is very different. I'm really struggling with it, and i've not come this close to abandoning a book part way through with anything else.

    I find the lack of a clear set of characters very alienating.. it seemed initially that the Kid would be our central character, but he has now just blended into the gang and pretty much dropped off the radar.

    I've also found the obscure vocab hard to deal with, i'm having to look up approx one word every page or 2. (and i say this as somone who's read Infinite Jest!) The almost total lack of punctuation is quite disheartening, it becomes difficult to really follow what little dialogue there is.

    I'm going to push on because i've heard it does get easier to read in the last third.

  7. #1087
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Finished The Scar - Have to say it has some impressive set pieces in it and very interesting characters but I do think that the choice of main character did make the book of long streches where the character knew nothing and you really wanted the characters that actually were doing something interesting as the main one. It was a very addictive read and i think Mieville is just the king of making really detailed worlds you can get lost in which I love.

  8. #1088
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    Yea, Mieville's worlds are awesome whether it's Bas Lag, the Two Cities, or The Kraken's London. Even his characters and their motivations seem realistic despite being presented in surreal settings. Still, the characters themselves usually seem uninteresting and static, and disjointed from their environment.

    Borrowed my friend's Glimpses of World History by Nehru, will go ahead with it today.
    Last edited by Shane; 27-06-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  9. #1089
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    A collection of Philip K. Dick short stories. Short Dick doesn't fit. The novels are far superior.

  10. #1090
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_bullet View Post
    A collection of Philip K. Dick short stories. Short Dick doesn't fit. The novels are far superior.
    Really? I feel the complete opposite.
    I think short stories tend to convey the idea behind them much better than the novels, where they end up being somewhat diluted.

  11. #1091
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Borrowed my friend's Glimpses of World History by Nehru, will go ahead with it today.
    According to the book, the Greece and Rome of antiquity were actually quite overrated and the real pinnacle of ancient civilization was achieved in India and China. He seems to consider the Chinese civilization especially, both the ancient and the modern, with an almost dreamy eyed admiration.

    It's a good book, he offers a new perspective to the world history which was put forward by Westen scholars of that time.
    Last edited by Shane; 08-07-2012 at 07:34 PM.

  12. #1092
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Wow, I had no idea that Nehru had written anything like this, least of all for Indira. Ordered!

  13. #1093
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Really? I feel the complete opposite.
    I think short stories tend to convey the idea behind them much better than the novels, where they end up being somewhat diluted.
    Yeah, PKDick wasn't terribly good at extending good ideas to a full-length novel. Hard to keep an LSD high that long.

    Currently reading The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Muhammad.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  14. #1094
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Yeah, PKDick wasn't terribly good at extending good ideas to a full-length novel. Hard to keep an LSD high that long.
    I don't agree. He wrote a lot of books and not all of them were particularly good, but he still produced a selection of excellent novels.

  15. #1095
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I don't agree. He wrote a lot of books and not all of them were particularly good, but he still produced a selection of excellent novels.
    I'm not saying he wasn't a good writer overall, but you can certainly see how a lot of his novels started out strong and just... petered out in the end.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  16. #1096
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    "Compiler Design in C" by Allen I. Holub. Quite interesting and insightful book for those who are interested in how compilers work.

    On a lighter side, also going through "History's Worst Decisions and the People Who Made Them" by Stephen Weir. I'm a sucker for disasters in history, it can't be helped.

  17. #1097
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    I just finished the Hunger Games trilogy. The second book seemed completely unnecessary but the ending was quite good!

  18. #1098
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ChainsawHands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Yeah, PKDick wasn't terribly good at extending good ideas to a full-length novel. Hard to keep an LSD high that long.
    PKD wrote his books on speed, not acid.

  19. #1099
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    The Pirates! Books from Gideon Defoe.. they we're recommended from Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island) some While ago :)

  20. #1100
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    Just finished The Long Earth by Pratchett + Baxter. The latter definitely benefits from someone who can write interesting characters (complete with eccentricities and quirks that may go a little beyond the norm, but only a little) and the former benefits massively from the other's vision for the fantastical but relatively plausible. Not sure where this will go for the 'trilogy' - in fact I'm a little dubious about planned trilogies in this area, bit sick of the formula now - but I will be checking it out for sure. Only a few elements of the whole 'stepping' idea aren't consistent throughout but only in very minor cases, from what I noticed.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book and since I listened to the last few chapters via audiobook, I can also heartily recommend the audiobook. Michael Fenton Stevens is a great reader who accomplishes imitations and character specific voices without it all slipping into farce.


    Also just finished my non-fiction read for the past few weeks. McMafia by misha glenny. Definitely an interesting book though obviously due to its very nature can't fully explore the shadow economy that supports and is in turn supported by speculative markets around the world. If believed - and I see no reason why most of this book isn't entirely plausible and believable - the fragile nature of the world economy is tied closely to the turbulence of criminal enterprise and its parasitic relationship with the 'real' world.

    Will not go down well with anyone who stubbornly clings to the idea that the war on drugs has any benefit to anyone other than the criminal groups themselves.

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