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Book thread: what are you reading?


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On 29/03/2023 at 22:44, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Tonight I have finished the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End. Another incredible novel. I am tempted to even say I preferred it to Pillars but that doesn't really mean much when both novels are so brilliant.

A Column of Fire next and I will have finished the Kingsbridge series, at least until the 5th novel is released later this year. 

And with A Column of Fire read I have now finished the series. The Kingsbridge series is truly mindblowing.

The detail of historical events, the genius of how fictional characters' lives are so perfectly weaved into the fabric of these events, the character building and depth of their stories that draw you so much into their lives. I've never cared or loved fictional characters as much as those in these stories to the point when you almost feel yourself falling in love with certain characters and punching the arm and letting out a cheer when you're reading about their lives. 

A masterpiece of fiction. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished Oliver Twist and moved on to two comedy books though I didn't know that when I started them

Andrew Doyle The New Puritans & Matthew goodwin's The New Elite

Both these had me rolling down the aisles I haven't laughed so much since I first read The Hitchhiker's Guide.

 

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2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:  Non-Political

 

 

 

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Just got into Fantasy novels read Joe Abercrombie and just finished  Mark Lawrence’s Thorns trilogy.

Can anybody more versed in this genre confirm that all fantasy is set in a post apocalyptic world with middle age technology?

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On 29/04/2023 at 01:58, Oxford said:

Finished Oliver Twist and moved on to two comedy books though I didn't know that when I started them

Andrew Doyle The New Puritans & Matthew goodwin's The New Elite

Both these had me rolling down the aisles I haven't laughed so much since I first read The Hitchhiker's Guide.

 

I came back to this because I thought it's always possible people didn't realise my tongue being well and truly in my cheek with these two tomes they are not comedy  except in the sense that although well researched to some extent they're full of complete nonsense and illogical thought. I wouldn't like to mislead anyone into buying them unless they love right wing argument and their ultimately silly conclusions. If cancel culture was really a thing instead of one of the dubious aspects of modern life they wouldn't even be printed. I also watched Matthew Goodwin being interviewed and although well argued he jumped from topic to topic to prove a particular point so that his answer was too complicated to respond to. One of his bits of evidence for the existence of the elite and cancel culture that he insists exists and he fundamentally disagrees with is that he found it hard to get his book published. Of course it couldn't possibly be just the publishers involved felt it was a rubbish read! Also the truth is more likely, given the evidence in UK political and media circles, that the two main political parties are not only becoming more and more aligned to  ideas like his but also starting to outdo each other in championing them.

 

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2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:  Non-Political

 

 

 

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Just read : A Party with Socialists in It: A History of the Labour Left Left for Dead?: The Strange Death and Rebirth of the Labour Party

Very much history mixed with fiction for the most part, both intriguing but altogether a story that exists in that twilight zone between yesterday's non-news items and extinction.

The dismantling of the idea of Labour unity as an entity is less interesting than a book about cake mixes and batter recipes when all's said and done.

 

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2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:  Non-Political

 

 

 

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On 29/04/2023 at 09:52, Bostik Bailey said:

Just got into Fantasy novels read Joe Abercrombie and just finished  Mark Lawrence’s Thorns trilogy.

Can anybody more versed in this genre confirm that all fantasy is set in a post apocalyptic world with middle age technology?

Not all - Tolkien being the most obvious instance - but you're right that post-apocalypse is very common trope. It often allows modern/futuristic technology to be stumbled upon in mysterious ruins and just about understood enough for the Good Guys to beat the Bad Guys.

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Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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20 hours ago, Futtocks said:

often allows modern/futuristic technology to be stumbled upon in mysterious ruins and just about understood enough for the Good Guys to beat the Bad Guys.

"for the Good Guys to beat the Bad Guys." Which, of course,  is the real reason they're called fantasy.

 

2 warning points:kolobok_dirol:  Non-Political

 

 

 

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On 27/10/2022 at 20:05, marklaspalmas said:

Keep going. This is my second run at this series. About 10 years ago I read the first three or four books then stopped. This time I've found them to be utterly engrossing even though the naval jargon sails (pun) over my head.

 

Aaaaaand done.

About 20 months after I started the series I finished the 20th and last Aubrey-Maturin novel last weekend. It feels like a bit of a landmark and I think I'm going to miss these stories. It's been a wonderful series.

I am sad that Blue at the Mizzen was obviously not intended to be the end of the series (O'Brian died months after its publication) and there are so many loose ends left to tie up. I will read the Final Unfinished Voyage but I doubt that will satisfy my curiosity.

I move on, and Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time has caught my eye, and I'm enjoying the first novel so far.

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1 hour ago, marklaspalmas said:

 

Aaaaaand done.

About 20 months after I started the series I finished the 20th and last Aubrey-Maturin novel last weekend. It feels like a bit of a landmark and I think I'm going to miss these stories. It's been a wonderful series.

I am sad that Blue at the Mizzen was obviously not intended to be the end of the series (O'Brian died months after its publication) and there are so many loose ends left to tie up. I will read the Final Unfinished Voyage but I doubt that will satisfy my curiosity.

I move on, and Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time has caught my eye, and I'm enjoying the first novel so far.

Well done mate! As you know I finished the series about a year ago and I too felt that it was a bit of a landmark in my reading life. These stories certainly enriched me as a person and opened up a whole new world of literature for me to indulge myself in. I do not plan on reading the unfinished novel because I feel that will leave even more loose ends than Blue at the Mizzen did. The Aubrey-Maturin series is by far my favourite series of all time. 

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1 hour ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Well done mate! As you know I finished the series about a year ago and I too felt that it was a bit of a landmark in my reading life. These stories certainly enriched me as a person and opened up a whole new world of literature for me to indulge myself in. I do not plan on reading the unfinished novel because I feel that will leave even more loose ends than Blue at the Mizzen did. The Aubrey-Maturin series is by far my favourite series of all time. 

Thank you HG! If I remember right, you may have started a tad after me, but soon left me behind. An amazing series of books. When I'm ready I will go through one or two of the companion guides.

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1 hour ago, marklaspalmas said:

Thank you HG! If I remember right, you may have started a tad after me, but soon left me behind. An amazing series of books. When I'm ready I will go through one or two of the companion guides.

Yeah, I need to go through the companion guide I've got to just remind me a bit of the individual stories because all 20 novels just merge into one long story in my head. One of the things I love the most about the series is just how smoothly it flows from one novel to the next. I can't remember exactly which one it was but I'm thinking maybe Desolation Island (they got shipwrecked if I remember rightly), where the novel started literally seconds after the previous one ended. Brilliant!

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47 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Yeah, I need to go through the companion guide I've got to just remind me a bit of the individual stories because all 20 novels just merge into one long story in my head. One of the things I love the most about the series is just how smoothly it flows from one novel to the next. I can't remember exactly which one it was but I'm thinking maybe Desolation Island (they got shipwrecked if I remember rightly), where the novel started literally seconds after the previous one ended. Brilliant!

Yes, the pick up and drop off between novels is often seamless. What a craftsman.

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I got through the post yesterday “All The Songs Sound The Same” it is co-edited by David Gedge(The Wedding Present) & Richard Houghton. It cost me £35 which i think is well worth it, but not so my family whom seem to think i have been robbed by Dick Turpin😆

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7 hours ago, Josef K said:

I got through the post yesterday “All The Songs Sound The Same” it is co-edited by David Gedge(The Wedding Present) & Richard Houghton. It cost me £35 which i think is well worth it, but not so my family whom seem to think i have been robbed by Dick Turpin😆

£35??!!!! You could get someone killed for that round here! Or at least get their legs broken anyway. Add the postage you paid and you probably could relieve them of their life! 

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Ooh-errr, Missus!

md31214541785.jpg

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Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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27 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Just wondering if anyone has read the Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent and what they thought of them? 

I've read a few but  it was a few years ago now and I could not give you much detail.I do know I found them a good read.

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Due out on 24/08/2023: Douglas Adams - 42.

A ton of stuff from DA's archive, edited by Kevin Jon Davies. Here's the blurb: "When Douglas Adams died in 2001, he left behind 60 boxes full of notebooks, letters, scripts, jokes, speeches and even poems. In 42, compiled by Douglas’s long-time collaborator Kevin Jon Davies, hundreds of these personal artefacts appear in print for the very first time.

Douglas was as much a thinker as he was a writer, and his artefacts reveal how his deep fascination with technology led to ideas which were far ahead of their time: a convention speech envisioning the modern smartphone, with all the information in the world living at our fingertips; sheets of notes predicting the advent of electronic books; journal entries from his forays into home computing – it is a matter of legend that Douglas bought the very first Mac in the UK; musings on how the internet would disrupt the CD-ROM industry, among others.

42 also features archival material charting Douglas’s school days through Cambridge, Footlights, collaborations with Graham Chapman, and early scribbles from the development of Doctor Who, Hitchhiker’s and Dirk Gently. Alongside details of his most celebrated works are projects that never came to fruition, including the pilot for radio programme They’ll Never Play That on the Radio and a space-inspired theme park ride.

Douglas’s personal papers prove that the greatest ideas come from the fleeting thoughts that collide in our own imagination, and offer a captivating insight into the mind of one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers and most enduring storytellers."

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 19/04/2023 at 23:11, The Hallucinating Goose said:

And with A Column of Fire read I have now finished the series. The Kingsbridge series is truly mindblowing.

The detail of historical events, the genius of how fictional characters' lives are so perfectly weaved into the fabric of these events, the character building and depth of their stories that draw you so much into their lives. I've never cared or loved fictional characters as much as those in these stories to the point when you almost feel yourself falling in love with certain characters and punching the arm and letting out a cheer when you're reading about their lives. 

A masterpiece of fiction. 

Just back from a week in Spain where I read the Pillars of the earth, as you say superb piece of historical fiction, also read William mcilvannys great work Docherty, l love the fact that there are loads of Scottish working class novels something that the north of England seems to lack,to be honest that book could have been based in any mining town accross the country, an absolute classic 

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I'm about halfway through Stuart Maconie's The Full English, which is based on J.B.Priestley's travels around the country. As enjoyable as usual from SM.

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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On 09/05/2023 at 18:51, marklaspalmas said:

Yes, the pick up and drop off between novels is often seamless. What a craftsman.

I bought the 1st one t'other day. I don't think I'll enjoy him, but will start with an open mind. 

Running the Rob Burrow marathon to raise money for the My Name'5 Doddie foundation:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-dyas

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  • 2 weeks later...

Robert W.Chambers - The King in Yellow. A collection of short stories that influenced (and eventually became a part of) the wider Cthulhu mythos based around H.P.Lovecraft's stories.
The first four stories revolve around a play, also called "The King in Yellow", whose first act is harmless, but intriguing enough that it encourages the reader to press on into act 2, which is so beautiful and strange that it completely and terminally absorbs their attention and sanity.
There are parallels with the Borges story "The Zahir".

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • 4 weeks later...

My reading list is getting longer each day,at minute trying to read 3 books and all excellent and totally different 

Redemption song - joe strummer bio

The devil in the white city - Erik Larson

And the land lay still - james robertson

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I'm reading "The Hangman's Tale - Memoirs of a Public Executioner" by Syd Dernley and David Newman.

At least the second time I've read it, just a little light reading...

                                                                  :kolobok_sad:   Hull FC....The Sons of God....  :kolobok_sad:
                                                                     (Well, we are about to be crucified on Good Friday)
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