What Book Did You Read Last Night??? (1 Viewer)

hiadudiad?

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.
Quite an enjoyable little fantasy thing

The Rifles by William Vollmann
Very enjoyable mixture of historical fiction about Franklin's lost expedition to find the north west passage and Vollmann's own (hopefully at least part-fantasy) fluting about in the arctic.

Now im reading the True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
 

Cormcolash

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The Rifles by William Vollmann
Very enjoyable mixture of historical fiction about Franklin's lost expedition to find the north west passage and Vollmann's own (hopefully at least part-fantasy) fluting about in the arctic.
Was just talking to my da about this earlier, cause this new tv show 'The Terror' started that looks like it's kind of based on that
 

chris d

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We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - bought this on a whim. Didn't fly through it like I expected. One of the first future dystopian style novels? Although H.G. Wells must have been doing similar stuff before this. A second reading might be more enjoyable now I know what to expect.

Riffs and Meaning: Manic Street Preachers and Know Your Enemy by Stephen Lee Naish. A short essay on the Manics sixth album. Really it only spends a couple of chapters on the album and Cuba gig. Mostly a short history of the band. Some opinions are not great, but an enjoyable read for a fan. Better than wasting a couple of hours on the phone anyway. Interesting to read thoughts of a fan who wasn't around for the Richie era.
 

Lili Marlene

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We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - bought this on a whim. Didn't fly through it like I expected. One of the first future dystopian style novels? Although H.G. Wells must have been doing similar stuff before this. A second reading might be more enjoyable now I know what to expect.
Bought that about a decade ago, still haven't read it. Someone once opined that I had great taste in books on the basis that I owned it. : /

Riffs and Meaning: Manic Street Preachers and Know Your Enemy by Stephen Lee Naish. A short essay on the Manics sixth album. Really it only spends a couple of chapters on the album and Cuba gig. Mostly a short history of the band. Some opinions are not great, but an enjoyable read for a fan. Better than wasting a couple of hours on the phone anyway. Interesting to read thoughts of a fan who wasn't around for the Richie era.
Bought that about six months ago, still haven't read it!
 

chris d

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Bought that about a decade ago, still haven't read it. Someone once opined that I had great taste in books on the basis that I owned it. : /

That's because the likes of us and @snakybus are pure legends.

The manics books is a very quick read. Do the likes of us have better, more informed opinions? Not for me to say. Yes. But if you are in a manics buzz it'll pass an evening.
 

David Kronenbourg

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Any good? I’ve never read any of his stuff but I love anything with that weird psychogeographic bent to it (like Arthur Machen or Alan Moore’s From Hell for a grisly take).
Yeah, not an easy read but good.

Also reading Fairy and folk tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B. Yeats and Her Body and Other Parties (short stories) by Carmen Maria Machado
 

snakybus

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More reading shenanigans.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert - They don't make them like this anymore. I was surprised how outright funny, as well as bitingly satirical, this was in places. Flaubert really didn't like the petit bourgeouisie. Quite beautiful. Glad I finally read it. I think I need to read it again, some day. It's that kind of book.

The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem - This is Jonathan Lethem's latest. It was grand, lots of fun, kind of cartoonish apocolyptica, out-there and absurd, but also realistic. My only issue with it was that the main character was a bit drippy. But pretty enjoyable read overall and very original.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu - I went into this with no expectations and was blown away by it. This guy really does handle the "big sci fi questions" thing with aplomb, and does it in a really easy to read way too (well, apart from the physics bits, which were a bit mind-stretchy but fine, not complete gobbledegook). Really can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem - I figured I'd give Lethem another go as I liked The Arrest, and this is one of his more well-known ones. Like the Arrest, incredible prose and masterclass storytelling but again I had a problem with the protagonist, who just felt a bit tiresome, especially towards the end. I'm being unfair though, as the first three quarters of this was just great.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells - After Motherless Brooklyn, I wasn't expecting another teen confessional from this, the first in the Murderbot series, so was surprised to find that. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Really engaging, sort of like Adrian Mole crossed with Robocop, in space. Looking forward to the next in the series.

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - getting into the whole teen-voice thing, I reread this. I remember the first time I had read it must have been the mid nineties because I remember thinking, "Oh, that's where Rollerskate Skinny got their name". Anyway, I wanted to see if I felt any less sympathetic to Holden Caulfield, and I didn't. It was just as good as I remembered it, if not better. Beautiful story.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver - What I realised reading this is that you have to read a bunch of Carver stories in a row for them to work. One on its own, especially the short shorts, can be confusing. I'd read a previous anthology of his shorts, back when I was a teenager I think. Anyway, pretty great. Weirdly he feels like Philip K Dick (or PK Dick feels like him) - but that may be simply because they were from the same-ish era. Great stuff.

Maus by Art Spiegelman - Thought I'd "dip in" to a graphic novel for a bit of fun, but this was really compelling and raw and brilliant. The whole depicting people as mice thing really worked. Plus his dad in it was hilarious.

Milkman by Anna Burns - This won the Man Booker there a couple of years back. I thought it was okay. The Belfast feel is great. The whimsical humour and teen voice is great. Only problem is I was in a constant state of tension reading it, not just because of the subject matter, but because the voice is constantly tongue-in-cheek and quite stream-of-consciousness. Plus there's a lot of repetition, which was a bit frustrating. But still very good.

The Player of Games by Iain Banks - Working my way through the Culture series. Consider Phlebas was good, but I absolutely loved this. Who said Banks wasn't that good a writer? I thought this was fantastic, and fun, and just utterly different and original. I think Banks is becoming one of my favourite writers.

Night Boat to Tangiers by Kevin Barry - this has gotten a lot of plaudits since it came out, and I can see why. There's a lot of emotion and it's a compelling read. I found it a bit uneven, and even annoying in places. Plus I felt there was just a lack of story. But the prose is incredible, plus you can't deny the raw emotion and pathos, and his way with a turn of phrase.

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler - Just half way through this now. Recommended by @hugh . So far so excellent. This is my first OEB book (have read some short stories previously). She writes really simply to the point where it almost feels like a kid's book, but this works really well as you get into the subject matter (black slavery in antebellum US) and it's anything but that.
 

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