What are you reading?

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dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@Fuzzy I had never read any of her stuff either, Finally read "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" maybe 2-3 years ago....phew, kinda want that time back Wink ... was another fine example of classic must read literature not usually what it's cracked up to be.

I'm not usually big on reading collected post-death works but Vonnegut being one of my favorites, I couldn't resist

"We Are What We Pretend to Be: First and Last Works" pretty great actually.

See, @dzd, I feel the same way about Vonnegut as you feel about Austen. I've read a few of his novels and I still don't understand the hype.
To each his own, I guess. Smile

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@Fuzzy yup, he's definitely not for everyone, crazy old man even when he was a young man hah, Cats Cradle and Sirens of Titan, Timequake, are some good ones. Slaughterhouse Five, pretty overrated drivel of an old man working through some PTSD just because it got banned from schools here people think that's his pinnacle work. I might appreciate some of Austens less praised stuff.

A work in Progress by Chick Corea.

Picked up "The City We Became" by N.K. Jemisin. I'm hooked. If you like urban fantasy, really lovely prose, or NYC (in all it's grime and glory), then I highly recommend it.

It's the story of a newly born living New York City trying to survive an attack my some mysterious other dimensional eldritch horror with the help of the human embodiments of its boroughs. It's WAY better than I'm describing it though.

@mike skliar I love the Hamil-Tome. I like opening to random pages and reading sections out of order. I also love reading the side notes on the lyrics pages. I saw the show with the 2nd cast. Can you believe all my friends were telling me to go see it when it was still at the Public, and I ignored them? Now they could tell me to go see a show about carpet lint and I would listen. I'll never ignore them again.

Also, I can't wait to get my hands on the book about Hadestown. It was supposed to come out in April but has been delayed until Oct. I loved that show so much! I can't wait for Broadway to re-open so I can see that show again.

In the middle of "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs.
He's the guy who wrote "Running With Scissors".
This one's a "memoir" about his recovery from alcoholism.
Kind of interesting, if you like semi-humorous confessionals.
Strangely, it's kind of a light read for a book about addiction recovery.

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@katpiercemusic I will check that out! Thanks! I read her series that won a Hugo, I adored all three of those "Broken Earth" I tend to love sci-fi and usually check most of those winners out....it's not as biased as most awards, usually! Didn't know she had anything new out! I'm woefully behind in my reading and have no excuse now Wink

Just finished "Jesus Invades George" by Luke Rhinehart ......a great one about Jesus possessing G.W. and him being treated as a terrorist when he started spewing all that insurance for all and no troops overseas nonsense hahah , still waiting on his sequel to "Invasion" I also highly recommend, hopefully gets finished he's probably in his 90s by now.

'Grow Your Own' and 'Kitchen Garden' magazines, and also Charles Dowding's 'Growing Vegetables in Winter'. Charles Dowding is a proponent of the no dig way of gardening.
I am big into growing my own fruit and veg, as well as music of course Smile

I'm about half way through Jeff Vandermeer's challenging science fiction novel "Dead Astronauts".
I'm reading this one cos I saw that our friend @headfirstonly recommended it somewhere, and HFO reads the best books. Smile
This is a really strange one, very unlike a "traditional" SF book.
Do you know Clarke's Third Law?
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Yeah, this is like that.
It reads like an experimental dystopian fantasy novel.
I'm enjoying it immensely.

@dzd I just finished it and am now starting Broken Earth. In love with The City We Became.

Reading Days Of Fire a bit every night. It's a good account of the Bush presidency, detailed and well written enough not to lose you. It shows what the administration had to deal with at the time and focuses on the dynamics between Bush and Cheney. It's pretty straight forward.

The last book I read was Lives Of John Lennon which had massive bias but was still a good read. It was the type of book you can't stop reading. In a way it was good to show beyond the idealized image of Lennon as a saint and it tried to show who he really was and why. Sometimes however the author wrote with such venom, especially about Yoko, and he made a few big claims with no sources or evidence. I didn't like when he interjected with his opinions either. He didn't seek to downplay or discredit The Beatles and Lennon's contributions to the group though. It was an interesting book overall and quite long.

Donna- I'll have to look for "The Wonder of Birds" as an EBook from the library Smile

Currently reading "Circe" by Madelyn Miller

Not so much what I *am* reading, but what I *will be* reading as soon as it arrives - just found out my favourite author has a new novel out "Utopia Avenue" by David Mitchell (Ghostwritten, Cloud Atlas). It appears it's about a fictional 60s rock band, so combined with Mitchell's normal imaginative twists and turns it should be interesting.

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@atitlan that does sound good! I really enjoyed "Cloud Atlas" also just found out David Wong has a new one due in October pre-ordered it, a sequel to "Futuristic Violence and Fancy Pants"
This one "Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick" should be great as well!

@dzd, David Wong is hilarious.

I recently finished "A Short History of Progress" by Ronald Wright.
It's a survey of the decline and fall of various cultures throughout history; the Assyrians, Easter Island, the Inca, etc., with an emphasis on the abuse of the environment by each of these cultures.
Wright also draws direct parallels between those civilizations and our own present direction.
Things aren't looking good for us at all, folks.

Now I've started "Billy Budd, Foretopman" by Herman Melville, written in 1891.
I really enjoyed "Moby Dick" when I read that a few years ago, and I'm enjoying this, as well.
Good thing I know a lot of early 19th century Royal Navy jargon or I'd be totally lost (thank you, Patrick O'Brian!).

Irina Némirovsky.... Suite Française

Just finished reading Little Golden America by Ilf and Petrov which I hotly recommend as an amazing documentary on America in the late thirties. They travelled from ny to the west coast and back through the south meeting a lot of important people like hemmingway, Ford, etc. With great and deep observations on American life and all. So much relevant stuff, I don't know where to start!

"Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis" by Anne Rice - Catching up on my Vampire Chronicles reading....

Just reading 'Thesaurus of the Senses: a tool for writers, teachers, students, and word lovers' (by Linda Hart).
As the title implies, it's a comprehensive compilation of words (and their synonyms) associated with each of the five senses.

I already see it's going to be a useful resource for my lyric writing.

I'm also reading 'A Poetry Handbook: A prose guide to understanding and writing poetry' (by Mary Oliver). This marvellous (sadly deceased) American poet (Pulitzer Prize winner) offers unique insights and tips that are of value to writers of lyrics as well.

I was reading a biography on Marlene Dietrich but it started to feel like a text book so I'm taking a break with "Delores Claiborne".

Just finished The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again by M John Harrison - a novel where little of consequence happens but you are just suffused by the subtle strangeness of both the world of the book and the world we live in (which may or may not be the same).

Currently reading Comet Weather by Liz Williams and The Best Of Jeffrey Ford, by Jeff Ford - both are also excellent.

@Fuzzy I met Delany here in Glasgow a couple of years ago and he was every bit as cool and lovely as you'd expect.

Another reader here of "The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again." A delicious confection of New Weird that riffs on conspiracy theories, Kingsley's "The Water Babies" and strange websites. Been a fan of Mike's since reading his "Viriconium" books which are full-on SF, but "The Sunken Land..." is a different beast entirely.

@ayeahmur, Delany writes like a fancypants intellectual (although I still love him). Good to know he's just regular folks like us. Smile

@ayeahmur, @Fuzzy I follow Delany on Facebook and he's quite a character. I love the fact that the floor of his apartment is covered in model railway tracks!

I did not know that he was on Facebook.
Time to find a new "friend"!

@headfirstonly Yep, Sunken Land is more like Harrison's contemporary short stories. So odd and offbeat, and utterly sublime.

@Fuzzy@headfirstonly He's definitely a character. He's also a lovely, super generous person.

I started posting in another thread about what I am reading then remembered this thread where I posted my then status. Since I have
Re-read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and The Replacements Waxed Up Hair and Painted Shoes.
Finished Neil Young - Heavy Peace
Am currently reading Complicated Shadows - life and times of Elvis Costello, and Natalie Goldberg - Old Friend From Far Away.

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

Finished Smoke by Dan Vyleta, great story, a little too much emphasis on endless descriptions for my tastes, I do have my own imagination Wink , but I slogged through speed read style for the sake of the story that had me hooked, started the 2nd in the series Soot, but may not make it......its worse.... chapter 4 or so and nothing has happened that I care about, too much world building 4-5 pages to describe someone walking, etc.........but it is such a great story idea I'll probably still try to finish.

There's so many great novels out there I haven't read yet that I usually won't waste my time with something I'm not entirely enjoying, but yeah it's a great story I'd highly recommend at least the first one so far.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

I’m halfway through and in awe. Journalism is cool. I miss this feeling — feeling informed. It reads like a novel, sort of.

It's been a slow 50-90 this year, but I'm glad the thread is still going. I post and use it each year in order to add to my list of 'good books to read'. Wink

After finally getting to the end of Stephen King's 'excellent The Stand' - although in my opinion, it kind of fizzles out - I'm currently reading an excellent psychological thriller, 'Finders, Keepers' by Sabine Durrant. Well written, intriguing, well-fleshed out characters, and good dialogue.

I'm also reading/referring to 'Thesaurus of the Senses' by Linda Hart. It's described as being 'a tool for writers, teachers, students, and word lovers'. And indeed, it's all of that. Really handy for lyric writers.

I enjoyed Leonard and Hungry Paul by the Irish writer Ronan Hession.

@Donna Devine, thanks for the tip; I just bought 'Thesaurus of the Senses' by Linda Hart for my Kindle!

While shopping I also grabbed the following by Valerie Howard for $.99 each!
- Strong Verbs for Fiction Writers (Indie Author Resources Book 2)[Kindle Edition]
- Helpful Adjectives for Fiction Writers (Indie Author Resources Book 3)[Kindle Edition]
- Character Reactions from Head to Toe (Indie Author Resources Book 1)[Kindle Edition]

I agree with you about The Stand; it is an excellent book by my favorite author (SK) but he sometimes seems to be unable to finish a book properly!

Depends if it's his first (but published second) version of The Stand or the one that got edited down for the original publication.
The edited version is long, but the second published version is endless.

@Fuzzy I have read the original, shorter version (which is still quite long) several times. I am currently about 1/4 of the way through the longer version. SK is my favorite writer but I am sometimes disappointed with his endings. Under The Dome is a great example!

So many to read, so little time! In July I finished Faulkner's "Absolom, Absolom!" (a hard read, but excellent). Currently reading "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley/Malcolm X.

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@tjeff Faulkner is another one of those that you must be feeling a bit masochist to put yourself through, but well worth it in the end haha......similar to Dostoevsky(sp?) to me in that regard.

@johnstaples @Fuzzy I've read both versions of The Stand over the years, but was so far apart in between I couldn't say what the difference was other than one was thicker and tied a little more into the Dark Tower Biggrin I've read most all his work, barring a few of the more recent ones I haven't gotten to, Under the Dome is one I skipped based on a recommendation from a friend I share pretty identical reading taste with, she told me I wouldn't be missing much Biggrin

@Donna Devine same here, at least with the fawm one, first 50-90..... even if I never get to a lot of them. There's at least 4 or 5 just in this thread alone I probably wouldn't of heard of otherwise that I'm sure I'll really enjoy.

Yeah, "Under the Dome" is not worth the read.
It's still better than that horrid TV series they made of it, though.

@Fuzzy, I'd disagree mainly because I love his writing so much! Under The Dome had his usual deep character development with good guys and bad guys and was a delightful read even with the corny ending! To me, SK's worst books are better than most others' best!

@dzd I keep looking for differences but a quarter of the way through and I can't notice any!

@johnstaples and @dzd; the difference between the two versions of "The Stand" is mostly in the details.
I actually did a side-by-side reading for about ten or fifteen pages a while back; the edited version cuts out words here or there, mostly just tightening up the prose.
I think the edited version deletes a couple of minor characters, as well (I didn't miss em, considering there are like a billion characters in the novel already).

I'm currently reading "The Cheese Monkeys" by Chipp Kidd.
It's an introductory course in Graphic Design disguised as an irreverent novel about college life in 1957.
It's kind of interesting.

King fans might enjoy "The Only Good Indians" by Stephen Graham Jones, which I just finished. It has a lot of similarities characterisation-wise to SK, which I enjoyed, especially the details of modern Native American culture. And it's a decent and pretty unique horror story too.

dzd's picture
winnerdzd

@ayeahmur sounds like I'd like it, I'll have to add that to the list

@Fuzzy but will I learn anything? if so, I might be highly adverse to reading it! hahahah actually does sound pretty interesting.

Keep those titles coming, folks! Wink

@ayeahmur, thanks for mention of 'The Only Good Indians'. It's sitting on my iPad (Kindle) at the moment.

@Fuzzy, I now have 'Dead Astronauts'. Wink

@johnstaples, thanks for that list.
I have a few other thesauri on my shelves. Just beginning 'The Urban Setting Thesaurus'.
Others are:
The Negative Trait Thesaurus
The Positive Trait Thesaurus
The Rural Setting Thesaurus
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus
The Emotion Thesaurus

All of these are by the same authors: Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, who clearly felt they were on to a good thing. Smile

I imagine the books might be used mostly by writers of short stories or novels (or creative journalism), but there's plenty for lyricists to benefit from as well.

UPDATE: John, I've checked out that list, but was turned off by the many very negative reviews. However, I've found a recent book by Ackerman & Puglisi called 'Emotion Amplifiers' (intended as a companion for 'The Emotion Thesaurus'), and it got great reviews. It's available at the moment only as a Kindle version. I paid €1,84 but I believe it's free in the US.

@Fuzzy Good to hear you're enjoying Dead Astronauts. I'm a couple behind on VanderMeer's prodigious output but he never fails to blow my mind, so I'll be getting it soon.

@Donna Devine not sure what books you are referring to as having "many very negative reviews"! The ones I suggested all have 4+ stars and a good number of ratings. Plus I tend to use the Look Inside feature and trust my judgement of worth rather than review comments! Biggrin

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