What books are you currently reading?


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The Exchange

Abyssal Lord wrote:


The first story got my interest in checking out the movie....

You should. It's a very faithful adaptation and just a good movie in general. It captures the gloomy feel, and the unique combination of slasher and social horror that the story is composed of.

Sadly, they decided to change the ending. It's not that the movie ending is bad, exactly, it's just that I don't like it very much.


Finally finished the pirates book. Was alright. Kinda disjointed, chapters arranged thematically instead of narratively. Probably not much new for the really-into-Skull-&-Shackles crowd, but plenty of neat stuff for the neophytes (like myself).

Back to Oz where I left Dorothy, where else?, whacked out of her gourd on poppy pollen.

[bubble bubble bubble]


Character that I'd forgotten from Spellsinger. Should get comrade Doodlebug interested if no one else :P

Falmazeer the Marxist dragon, who does spark an uprising against the oppressors

Liberty's Edge

Failed States by Noam Chomsky.


Brak the Barbarian: The Sorceress by John Jakes, in which Brak spends most of his time getting beaten unconscious with spear-butts. Not really up to Gardner F. Fox's standards and definitely sub-Thongor.

And a Dictionary of Surrealism, by Jose Pierre (his Investigating Sex also sounds interesting). Not bad, but he feels obliged to have a pop at the French CP every couple of pages; unsure what his own political position was, as I can't find out very much about him...


Still working my way through authors in Appendix N. The first few Witch World books at the moment.
They're ... okay. Solid workmanship, some neat ideas, but nothing special. Maybe they would have hit me differently back in the day.

Unlike REH, which still shines despite being dated. The man could both plot and turn a phrase. Just read some of his El Borak Afghanistan stuff, which shows off the casual racism (or really We Need a White Guy), but still manages to make good adventure stories.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Just finished A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.

Just started The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.


thejeff wrote:

The first few Witch World books at the moment.

They're ... okay. Solid workmanship, some neat ideas, but nothing special.

Love WW I-V for the ideas. The writing I found wooden, impenetrable, and outright annoying at times.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Re-reading Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson). I loved it the first time but it seems a bit... dreary... this time around. I don't think I'll bother re-reading the next two :-)

Also reading JollyDoc's Age of Worms Story Hour on enworld - MUCH more tempo in that slaughterfest!


Tinkergoth wrote:

Character that I'd forgotten from Spellsinger. Should get comrade Doodlebug interested if no one else :P

Falmazeer the Marxist dragon, who does spark an uprising against the oppressors

[Adds to list]

----

Surrealists--well, I don't know Pierre, but Andre Breton flirted with 5th Columnistism and I think retreated to anarchism, where, I believe, most of the surrealists ended up.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Just started Nnendi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker—YA with a hybrid sci fi/fantasy setting inspired by Nigerian culture and mythology. Enjoying it so far, but it definitely helps to read it with the internets close at hand for cultural background!


Worked my way through the Spellsinger books.

Now going through my collection of Christopher Brookmyre novels again. Crime fiction (for the most part anyway, Pandaemonium was a weird departure from that), with plenty of black humour, bizarre situations and engaging characters... they're also aggressively Scottish, to the point that they're sometimes referred to as being a sub-genre called Tartan Noir.

I'd recommend the following novels of his:

Quite Ugly One Morning - first of the Jack Parlabane, Investigative Journalist novels
Boiling A Frog - Jack goes to prison
Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks - Jack goes up against the TV psychics
Be My Enemy: Or, Bugger This For A Game Of Soldiers - Jack vs paramilitary nutcases with a vendetta.

A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away; The Sacred Art of Stealing; A Snowball's Chance in Hell - these ones form a sort of trilogy featuring DI Angelique De Xavia, Zal Innez the Magician/Bank Robber, and an international terrorist for hire/wannabe rockstar known as the Black Spirit

All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye - A weapons researcher is kidnapped, and his mother is recruited by the team sent to retrieve him

One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night - A class reunion on a half built floating resort is invaded by a paramilitary unit.


Good lord!

Continuing the Jeeves saga (between other reading projects), I finished "Code of the Woosters", "Joy In the Morning", and "The Mating Season". Zeugma had implied, earlier in this thread, that Wodehouse's later stuff showed the author running out of steam. I figured that by the time he started work on "The Mating Season", Wodehouse's experiences getting imprisoned by the Germans, accused of treason, and investigated for it probably would have put a damper on his sense of humor. Maybe THIS was when his writing started to decline?

When I started "The Mating Season", I grew bored with it. I was on the verge of dropping the book, when I read that line about...

The Mating Season:
...the dog bite being divine retribution.
I laughed and laughed.

As I proceeded, the novel made me laugh again and again. And then...

The Mating Season:
...on the very last page, Bertie surprised me by announcing his intention to "pull an Esmond Haddock on Aunt Agatha. And if things look like becoming too sticky, I can always borrow that cosh of yours, what?"

BWAH HAH HAH!!!

For the first time since I read the pearl story, I found a book that managed to rival it for sheer hilarity.

I did a bit of searching on the web, and as far as I can tell, Aunt Agatha never appeared in the series after that. (I understand that "Jeeves and the Wedding Bells" mentions the threat of her impending visit, but as Wodehouse didn't write that book, I might not regard that volume as canon, if I ever get around to reading it.) Could someone please tell me if Aunt Agatha is ever mentioned again? Because if she is...

The Mating Season:
...that might kind of ruin the ending. As it is, I can imagine a confrontation similar to that of the pearl story. (I just can't stop bringing that one up, can I?) That is, I'd like to think that Bertie managed to take control without resorting to physical violence.

Well, on second thought, maybe it might not ruin the ending. Wooster's spine growths may be temporary. The first one was.

And since I brought up the cosh, it's funny that I earlier, in discussing "Very Good, Jeeves", mentioned the butler's rarely seen yet formidable fighting ability. Now he's gone and assaulted a POLICE OFFICER, and done so with such force that the cop really DID take it as divine retribution!

BWAH HAH HAH!!!

I'd like to ask something else, too. When do you think the series started to decline? Because it surely hadn't done so by THIS point!

As soon as I finished "The Mating Season", I read the first chapter of "Ring for Jeeves". At first, I was afraid that the absence of Wooster could be a problem. It made me think of when I read the first few chapters of "Something New" (the first "Blandings Castle" book). The lack of a central character left me confused about which characters I was supposed to care about. In any case, I didn't care about any of them. Would "Ring for Jeeves" suffer the same problem? But if this book is heading in the direction I think it is, the author just may pull it off.


Knocked out a bunch of lesser-known Edgar Allan Poe stories and a little pamphlet with the grandiose title of The Rise and the Fall of the Communist International by some Britishiznoid Trotskyist dude.


John Julius Norwich, The Normans in the South


Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of the Four and, as an added bonus, I found a copy his The Lost World published by Puffin for a dollar at the Goodwill.

Huzzah!


Puffins are bargains.

In keeping with my recent kiddie book theme, I started Barrie's Peter Pan and was delighted by the vivid, brilliant, dizzying writing. Why have I not read this before!?

Shadow Lodge

Just finished the first four books in the Tears of Rage series by M. Todd Gallowglas. Moving on to Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series while waiting for the end of May to come so I can get my hands on Skin Game by Jim Butcher.


The Tritonian Ring, by L. Sprague de Camp, which I liked very much (Bronze Age S&S... Eeexcellent....) and Behind The Myths, a book about the origins of various major religions that I bought off Socialist Appeal's bookstall. Seems to owe a bit of a debt to Unearthing the Bible so far, since they're still on Judaism, but interesting nonetheless.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Kinda makes me want to stop taking it slow (for the sake of savouring) with Steles of the sky and move on to In the Shadow of the Sword about the rise of early Islam and the struggles of Christianity and Zoroastrianism in the face therof.


Still attempting to complete The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.
However, I just got Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David from the library so that has taken priority in my attempt to finish it before it's due.
And I'm listening to A Feast of Crows by George R.R. Martin (I think some of the new episodes of the show may be spoiling this book for me so I want to get through it before watching any more of the current season.)

And I'm also reading the blogs attached to The Myth Prosaic by Georgia Z. I've mentioned it before.
Knowing the author, (my lady, *wink*) I've already read the whole story which is otherwise being presented in serial-form online, but her blogs are new to me at each update. And kind of brilliant too; though I might be biased regarding her generally, I don't think I am about that. :)
But anyone who plays fantasy RPG's can easily recognize something familiar in the story and might enjoy it. Chapter 3 just launched earlier this week.


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The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Excellent inspiration for running rogues in a fantasy setting.


So, I remembered the Mormon baddies from A Study in Scarlet but I must not have ever gotten around to The Sign of the Four because I certainly don't ever remember reading about the Sepoy Mutiny in a Sherlock Holmes story before.

By some kinda synergistic weirdiosity, I was listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the car before work as I finished up.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

I sped through Nnendi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker, which is fairly lighthearted YA, then moved on to one of her adult books, Who Fears Death. It's an excellent book, but grim; themes include genocide, sexual violence (esp. as a tactic for genocide), institutionalized racism and misogyny, female genital mutilation, and how living with any or all of these things warps people and cultures.

Spoiler:
At the end, it's revealed that the setting is Sudan, but in a post-apocalyptic future with sorcery (this is probably not so mysterious if you keep up with the news).

Silver Crusade

I have been absent from this thread, but that doesn't mean I wasn't reading!

Since I thoroughly enjoyed Cloud Atlas in the Fall, I read The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet during the winter.

Also, reread To Kill a Mockingbird, read a non-fiction book about opera, and returned to my buddy Fitzgerald with Tender is the Night, and have now started reading The Rum Diary for some good old Hunter S. Thompson debauchery.

Silver Crusade

SeeDarkly_X wrote:

Still attempting to complete The Witching Hour by Anne Rice.

I tried to read that book at least 4 times. Each time, I can only get to page 80 or so before I just can't bring myself to keep turning pages. Eventually I gave up.

I enjoyed Interview with a Vampire and kind of enjoyed The Vampire Lestat, although by the end of the latter the characters had grown so tiresome I decided against continuing with the series beyond those two.

My favorite Rice novel is Cry to Heaven, but then I'm an opera geek.


Celestial Healer wrote:
I enjoyed Interview with a Vampire and kind of enjoyed The Vampire Lestat, although by the end of the latter the characters had grown so tiresome I decided against continuing with the series beyond those two.

Question for those who read Queen of the Damned:

Spoiler:
How irritating did you find it that she set up Akasha as this incredible bad-ass only to whack her in like three-quarters of a page?


Celestial Healer wrote:
I have been absent from this thread, but that doesn't mean I wasn't reading!

Huzzah!

---

Some more lesser known Edgar Allan Poe.

Morphine, mesmerists, sphinxes, fey, ancient Greece, all kindsa weird shiznit.

Goes pretty well with the Doyle, too.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

Some more lesser known Edgar Allan Poe.

Morphine, mesmerists, sphinxes, fey, ancient Greece, all kindsa weird shiznit.

For example.

Have been rooting through some boxes and the possibilities for what to read next are endless! I don't know what to do.


Limeylongears wrote:
and Behind The Myths, a book about the origins of various major religions that I bought off Socialist Appeal's bookstall. Seems to owe a bit of a debt to Unearthing the Bible so far, since they're still on Judaism, but interesting nonetheless.

Synergistic weirdiosity: I was just reading some polemics against our $15 Now! campaign in Seattle on a sectarian leftie website I had never seen before, which led to a Books page with that on it. Never heard of it before, nor any of the other books on the page for that matter.

As for myself, had enough of Poe for a while. Just read a ten-page story of his describing landscapes in which not a single thing happened.

Before I could stop myself I found myself diving into a collection of Eugene D. Genovese essays, In Red and Black: Marxian Explorations in Southern and Afro-American History. I just googled that for a cool link and found an entirely different sectarian leftie website I had never seen before! Huzzah!


The second essay in Genovese was a discussion of the exciting work (in 1968) that was being done on studying slavery and race relations hemispherically; and lots of discussion of polemics between the "idealists" and the "vulgar economic determinists." Lots of names I don't know, and footnotes, and, I swear, it's like reading back issues of Past and Present. Luckily, I did upper-level undergraduate course work in history, otherwise I'd be like, wtf?

Gilberto Freyre
Frank Tannenbaum (who's page I'm glad I looked up because none of that history came through in the discussion of his Slave and Citizen
Marvin Harris (who similarly looks pretty interesting despite being the target of Genovese's polemic)

Anyway, book is a collection of essays. I finished the first section, put the book down and decided it was time to finish the second volume of Theodore Draper's history of the Communist Party of the United States of America from its roots to 1929.

Contemporary review by James P. Cannon

The Exchange

Judy Bauer wrote:

I sped through Nnendi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker, which is fairly lighthearted YA, then moved on to one of her adult books, Who Fears Death. It's an excellent book, but grim; themes include genocide, sexual violence (esp. as a tactic for genocide), institutionalized racism and misogyny, female genital mutilation, and how living with any or all of these things warps people and cultures.

** spoiler omitted **

How does the book present sexual violence as a tactic for genocide? try as I might, I can't seem to find a way to connect the two...

Shadow Lodge

Almost done with Mistborn and working on moving on to Well of Ascension during my lunch breaks.

At night I'm back on the October Daye series, and just started Ashes of Honor. I also have book two of the Powder Mage series, The Crimson Campaign, waiting for when I finish that batch.


Wizard of Storms, by Dave Van Arnam. Very enjoyable, and even better for having a former owner's laundry list written on the flyleaf.

Namely:

7 shirts
2 hand towels
1 bath towel (all brown)
8 pr. socks
8 pr. briefs
6 underpants

Of the shirts, 2 are maroon, 1 is purple, 1 is brown and white, 1 is white with red spots and 1 is navy blue. That makes 6... What about the missing shirt?!


Droll Stories by Balzac. I wanted to buy The Wolves of Willoughby Chase but it was either not availble for sale in the US or it was $9.99 for the download. Holy cow!


I recently finished a re-read of the Dresden Files series in preparation for the release of Skin Game later this month. I'm now almost finished Brian McClellan's Promise of Blood. It's been on my shelves for a while, but I was reminded of it by reading chatter about the recent release of the sequel. Promise of Blood is the author's first published work and is really enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend it, especially to anyone who enjoys Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series, as it has a similar feel to me in some ways.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My bed table book pile:

Rereading "The Eye of the World", by R. Jordan and "El Plan Infinito", by Isabel Allende, translated to Portuguese, cause my Castillan sucks...

Reading "Cloud Atlas", D. Mitchell. I am really stuck in the second part of the second period... I have been enjoying the book so far, but that part just lost me...

T. Pratchet's "The World of Poo" is just delicious... And that is just something awkward to say...

Finally, trying to finnish "A Dance with Dragons", by G. R. R. Martin for ages... I really like a song of ice and fire, but this book made me mad on the last chapters... Not going into the spoiler zone, but I think some characters had enough already.... Give them some rest and move on with the story, Martin!...

Oh, and Pathfinder Tales "Skinwalkers" on my tablet.


I'm reworking my way through some of the Pathfinder Tales novels so I can possibly review them for my blog. Already done Skinwalkers and The Redemption Engine, thinking Pirate's Honor next... that or one of the ones with an upcoming sequel, like Nightglass and City of the Fallen Sky.


I finished Brian McClellan's Promise of Blood this morning, and have started R. S Belcher's The Six-Gun Tarot. It's a western that includes "pirates, Armageddon, fallen angels, talking coyotes and two entirely ancient cults", according to the dust jacket. So far, it's looking pretty good.


currently just finished words of radiance part storm light archive by brandon sanderson trying to work up the time to reread the wheel of time so can read the last book in that series, and waiting on the delivery of inner sea gods


Treppa wrote:
Balzac

[Giggles]


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Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Treppa wrote:
Balzac
[Giggles]

BALLLLZAC!


Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Nevin about a comet hitting the Earth. Overall I like it, especially given the 1970s setting from technological, scientific and political perspectives.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Lord Snow wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:

I sped through Nnendi Okorafor's Zahrah the Windseeker, which is fairly lighthearted YA, then moved on to one of her adult books, Who Fears Death. It's an excellent book, but grim; themes include genocide, sexual violence (esp. as a tactic for genocide), institutionalized racism and misogyny, female genital mutilation, and how living with any or all of these things warps people and cultures.

** spoiler omitted **

How does the book present sexual violence as a tactic for genocide? try as I might, I can't seem to find a way to connect the two...

Spoiler:
In the book (and in real life) genocide, many women are raped to death. Mass sexual violence is also used as a way of breaking communities in places where there's a lot of stigma against victims of sexual violence and their children. I don't have time at work for a deep search, but this is a decent place to start reading.

Spoiler:
Balzac.

The Exchange

just pulling the beginning of blake's seven from memory as fiction:

The way back

"I did as you instructed, now what message do you have from my family?" Rodj looked about nervously at the passers-by who seemed suddenly attentive of this huddle of conversation in a public place. Rodj felt alienated from the inquiring eyes as citizen after citizen filed past in search of some freedom more than their destination. His companion seemed nervous to even be standing near him.
"Not here. I dont know anything, but I will take you to someone who does. Quickly, before security decides we have loitered too long and detain us. This way." the small woman paused for a moment until a space opened and then slipped across the hall to the dark service stairs descending to sublevel fourty three of the London city-dome. Rodj followed the woman into the darkness.
"Tell me who we are going to meet." She remained silent as they descended the steel staircase, every step a clatter and scrape beneath their shoes. For people who needed privacy, they were making a lot of noise. Rodj felt uncertain now. Was she leading him down into the bowls of the city to be murdered? Rodj had spent the last six years of his life working on the aquitar project. Matter transmission would usher in a new era of travel. Space craft would no longer need to make planet-fall. Passengers would teleport between planet and space. The energy savings would be huge. Less polution.
Still, some of the research came with a security clearance so...was she going to kill him for his security clearance? Rodj looked up the stairs. They were a long way from the public spaces and the security systems that kept watch over them. No one would come. Still, this small woman couldnt possibly pose a threat.
"Pssst!" they were no longer alone.
It was a young man. Her lover and co-conspiritor in this ambush? Rodj was aprehensive now. The two of them could mean him harm.
"who are you? Are you the one with the message from my family?" Rodj attempted to get an answer to the question that seemed oddly difficult to answer. The man spoke now without answering either of the questions.
"We are going outside." the young woman embraced her lover before allowing him to focus his attention on the security systems and the very large metre thick radiation shielded door that were all that stood between the trio and the lawlessness of outside.
"Outside? You mean outside outside, like outside the city?" Rodj was now about to break the law. It carried a substantial fine and a permanent mark on an otherwise unblemished record.
"Even talking about committing a crime carries a penalty under the code of good conduct laws." Rodj was actually breaking the law.
"I should report you for even suggesting it." Rodj was frantic now and they could hear it in his voice.
"Precisely. You just being here with us will condem you in the eyes of the law. Thats why we are going to meet with Foster." Who the hell was Foster? Rodj was now two questions further from the message from his family that it was now dificult for him to breath. Rodj turned to stare accusingly at the young woman and pointed at her lover in terrible realization of the trap that had ensnared him so easily into conspiracy.
"He's a terrorist!" more accusation than question.
There. Rodj had said the word and waited. she didnt answer, she didnt even flinch at the suggestion, but her lover he had dismissed as irrelevant to the accusation and still overcomming the intricacies of the security system on the door gave him the answer he was grasping for. The door mechanism released and began to open.
"Thats right."
The young couple stepped through the door to the outside and Rodj, despondant at how a decision to trust this woman had just condemed him beyond all his worst fears, followed them. Every footfall was the footfall of lawlessness. He was now three questions from the message from his family and he hadnt enjoyed the answer to that third question at all.

Been ages since i've seen it but I could likely write it as a short story from memory.


Speaking of Blake, (and speaking of Blake over on WPZO), Anarchism and William Blake's Idea of Jesus

Now I can find out who Urizen is without actually reading Blake's epics. Huzzah!


Meanwhile, got to the exciting conclusion of the debacle over the split with John Fitzpatrick, the scuttling of the Farmer Labor Party and the throwdown with Robert La Follette, when the branch decided that we were all going to read Reform or Revolution by dear, dear Rosa.

Also, read some of the third volume of The Unwritten.


Oh yeah, since I decided I was done with Poe for now, I rooted around in the trunk of my car for the second collection of lecture tapes on American literature that I found for free at the Nashua Public Library a whiles back. The next dude, I noticed was Hawthorne, and then, after that, four lectures of Moby-Dick. I'm not re-reading that anytime soon, so I listened to them. Moby-Dick sure is deep, huh?

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