What Book Did You Read Last Night??? (3 Viewers)

jonah

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This thread inspired me to do some counting and I realised I pretty much know what the next 18 fiction books i'm going to read are.

+ whatever comes up in my book club

+ whatever non-fiction i'm going to read.

+ a kind of children's fiction project that I don't really count

+ whatever extra stuff gets added


see y'all in 2020

Go on, share.
 

Positive Marlene

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Nah, i'll give an update in a while, when some are actually read, innit?


Preview: One of them is the Tattooist of Auschwitz because my mother bought it for me for Christmas and I have to be nice to her even though... well... even though just look at it, a love story in a death camp fucking hell.
 

jonah

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I've been feeling quite hermit like, and generally read pretty fast. I did start the Allende book before 2019!
 

travispickle

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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Patrick Süskind (1985)
I read this years ago and didn't like it. I'm constantly told I'm wrong and it's great so I decided to read it again before deciding on including it in the next bag of books to dropped into the second hand shop. It's grand, better than I remember but it sags in the middle and the descriptions of the scents are so one-dimensional considering how smelling is his world.


The Friendly Examiner: Episode I - Louis Marvick (2018)
A ridiculous story about a sceptical young man working for an encyclopedia publisher as a fact checker. The twist? He's arachnophobic and is sent to find out about a giant spider... Brilliant little book, can't wait for the second and third parts this year!


The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
Weirdly, I've never read any Sherlock Holmes (I had kids versions as a child and have seen millions of films/TV versions) so I started with the one I bought years ago and shelved. I will probably end up reading them all now.


From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds - Daniel C. Dennett (2017)
This is a serious piece of work as Dennett synthesises pretty much every book he's written on evolution and neuroscience. It's dense and there's a lot going on conceptually but he is excellent at helping you along and explaining things really clearly. It's taking me a while to read this (I'm about halfway through) but it is wonderful.


Flowers of the Sea by Reggie Oliver (2013)
Two novellas and a bunch of short stories. I'm about two stories from the end but I can safely say that this is fantastic. Tartarus have thankfully made some of their out of print hardbacks available as paperbacks and this is well worth checking out.
I agree on Under The Skin; the film was amazing and I read the book after, and was even more impressed with the film! Also I picked up Neil Young Journey's on DVD - Young drives from his old family home to Massey Hall and does a solo show; featuring loads of great tracks. Worth a punt if you haven't seen it.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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I agree on Under The Skin; the film was amazing and I read the book after, and was even more impressed with the film! Also I picked up Neil Young Journey's on DVD - Young drives from his old family home to Massey Hall and does a solo show; featuring loads of great tracks. Worth a punt if you haven't seen it.
Is that the solo electric show? If so, that’s a deadly one.
Has anyone read The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber? I've got it on my Audible app. Think I'll give it a whirl after Devil's Day
How’s Devil’s Day? I had mixed feelings about The Loney but I heard Hurley read a terrific short story during the summer and it made me reconsider my feelings about The Loney.
 

Bernie Lomax

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Is that the solo electric show? If so, that’s a deadly one.

How’s Devil’s Day? I had mixed feelings about The Loney but I heard Hurley read a terrific short story during the summer and it made me reconsider my feelings about The Loney.
It's very much along the same lines. Unreliable narrator, gruff northern characters bumping up against pompous southern ones, bleak landscapes and creepy, unexplained events. I'm enjoying it but the pace is a bit slow. It's taken half the book for the plot to emerge.
 

_Katie_

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A friend's mother has suddenly died. I would like to send her a book that can help her work through her feelings. She is Iranian and deeply artistic. I've looked for Iranian works but not much. Something fiction... Can anyone help?
 

_Katie_

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Books read since last May(!):

Why Science Needs Art - Richard Roche, Francesca Farina and Seán Commins (2018)
A brief but wonderful book about the relationships between artistic representation and the sciences, particularly neuroscience.


Cold Hand in Mine - Robert Aickman (1975)
Dark Entries - Robert Aickman (1964)
The Wine-Dark Sea - Robert Aickman (1988)
Collections of stories by the absolute master of the "strange tale". These are in a genre of their own, somewhere between a traditional ghost story and existential absurdism. But wittier. Aickman has been someone I've been meaning to check out further (I've come across him in anthologies) and I'm going to buy the rest of his collections this year. Highly recommended, especially Dark Entries.




Seven Gothic Tales - Isla Dinesen (Karen Blixen; 1934)
This was in the horror section in Hodges Figgis and sounded interesting. It wasn't. I found it to be a real slog. The writing is dense if you're into that sort of thing but my concentration kept drifting throughout it, even though the stories are not exactly massive.


The Corn Maiden and Other Nightmares - Joyce Carol Oates (2011)
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates (2018)
Two collections of horror/psychological terror that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Corn Maiden in particular is amazing, I had actual anxiety sweats in at least two of the stories.



Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome (1889)
Pleasant little book that is fairly dated but still funny. Not one I'm likely to read again but one to cross off my list of classics.


The Psychobiotic Revolution - Scott C. Anderson with John F. Cryan & Ted Dinan (2017)
An overview of research on how bacteria in your gut can impact on your brain. The basic science is fairly robust (I'm familiar with the UCC group that does it) but the American journalist who writes the book pushes the case too far in my opinion. It comes across as a bit self-helpy and I was a bit disappointed.


Room to Dream - David Lynch and Kristine McKenna (2018)
A mixture of memoirs and biography, this was a savage read. One of the most interesting books on film or art that I've read in a long time. (Full disclosure: I could read about Lynch all day so I'm biased.)


Living Together - Matt Thomas (2018)
The Unwish - Claire Dean (2017)
The Hook - Florence Sunnen (2018)
The Automaton - David Wheldon (2017)
Bremen - Claire Dean (2017)
Five chapbooks published by Nightjar Press in the UK. One short story in each, very much in the weird/uncanny end of things. Like the Aickman books, these aren't so much tales of the supernatural but of a bending in reality. Unfortunately they all appear to be out of print now but I'm definitely going to order more of these from Nightjar.





Sparks from the Fire - Rosalie Parker (2018)
Rosalie Parker runs Tartarus Press with her husband but also publishes her own ghost stories. These are very traditional, all the trappings of 19th century/early 20th century supernatural fiction is there but it is done rather well. I'd be surprised if it wasn't given that Tartarus Press is probably the best publisher of gothic fiction around.
You have excellent taste - thank you and keep em coming!
 

Cornu Ammonis

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A friend's mother has suddenly died. I would like to send her a book that can help her work through her feelings. She is Iranian and deeply artistic. I've looked for Iranian works but not much. Something fiction... Can anyone help?
This was recommended to our family after a sudden death a couple of years ago. I didn't read it so can't comment on it directly.
A Grief Observed - Wikipedia
 

jonah

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It might be great to give her a book that's complete escapism too, I find that the times I really love and cherish a book are those ones that give me a break and take me on a journey. It can be really difficult to get and take people's advice, especially when it comes to grief, in my experience. People are definitely very different and will handle it in their own way.

its a lovely thought, though, and of course you know the person and how they would react better.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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@Cornu Ammonis, give me your top 10 weird fiction/horror novels of the last 10 - 15 years. please and thanks!
I went back through what I've read across the past 7 or 8 years and it turns out I've read very little that fits your criteria. Here's a list of gothic and weird fiction from the past 12 years (not all novels, some are short story collections,in two cases the material inside is older, and some of these I've covered in the recent posts):
The Dummy & Other Uncanny Stories - Nicholas Royle (2018)
Genuinely one of the best collections of stories I've read ever. I only read it a few months ago (it's fairly new) and I actually want to read it again already. It's published by Swan River Press in Dublin so you'd be supporting a great publisher but it is pricier than your average book because it's a small press edition.

Sparks in the Fire - Rosalie Parker (2018)
See my previous posts.

The Devil’s Hoof – Jonathon Barry (2017)
Gothic novel set in south Dublin/north Wicklow, based around nefarious goings-on at the Hellfire Club. A British officer is sent out to investigate grisly murders and all sorts of divilment is afoot. It's grand, mainly interesting for its setting for me, but not amazing.

The House of Silence – Avalon Brantly (2017)
This is a very special book and not one to go in to lightly. It's a sequel to William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland (1908) which is basically the greatest work of weird fiction ever published. It is in a different league entirely to anything Lovecraft managed to conjure up (and Lovecraft cites Hodgson as an influence). So if you haven't read that, not only is this book wasted on you, you need to read it anyway because it's amazing. It is also worth reading Hodgson's last novel, The Night Land (1912), an expressionist romance based in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has retreated to giant glass pyramids because the world has been plunged into darkness and monsters are everywhere. It's a difficult but I think hugely underrated book that Brantley's The House of Silence is best appreciated in light of it. The only problem is that The House of Silence is currently only available as a very expensive limited edition that costs over a €200 new from the publisher. I got the less limited edition (which was still expensive at around €50-60) but that appears to be sold out. Not sure if it's available electronically but it is brilliant and worth all of the above effort.

The Moons at Your Door – Various, edited by David Tibet (2016)
Anthology of Tibet's favourite stories, most of them are old. Some are obscure so worth delving into to try new authors.

Muladona - Eric Stener Carlson (2016)
See my previous posts.

The Spectral Link – Thomas Ligotti (2014)
Short novel by Ligotti that I read when it came out and remember nothing about it apart from feeling underwhelmed by it.

The Loney - Andrew Michael Hurley (2014)
You've probably read this but it's one that most people seem to really dig. I liked it up to a point (the atmosphere is top notch) but felt it fizzled out at the end.

Flowers of the Sea - Reggie Oliver (2013)
See my previous posts.

Teatro Grottesco – Thomas Ligotti (2006)
A collection of Ligotti's best short stories and possibly the most important weird fiction since the days of Lovecraft/Hodgson/Ashton Smith/Machen. Essential.
 

_Katie_

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It might be great to give her a book that's complete escapism too, I find that the times I really love and cherish a book are those ones that give me a break and take me on a journey. It can be really difficult to get and take people's advice, especially when it comes to grief, in my experience. People are definitely very different and will handle it in their own way.

its a lovely thought, though, and of course you know the person and how they would react better.
Oh yes, not looking for a book about grief, more something that can facilitate feeling in a tender way!
 

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