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 What book are you currently reading?

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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:52 pm

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all-time favorite books Very Happy Even if it is a bit wordy. I like 'em detailed, as long as the subject is interesting.

I quit Watership Down in favor of Cleopatra, which I'm already finding insanely interesting. If anyone has any other biographies/histories I would love to hear them. I'm fascinated by them.
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:57 am

Just finished This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. Bleurgh, some YA is good, but most is ... ahhh.

Debating whether or not to start "Unwind" or "The Night Circus". What do you say, LC?
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:13 am

Jane wrote:
The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all-time favorite books Very Happy Even if it is a bit wordy. I like 'em detailed, as long as the subject is interesting.

I quit Watership Down in favor of Cleopatra, which I'm already finding insanely interesting. If anyone has any other biographies/histories I would love to hear them. I'm fascinated by them.

I don't know of any specific book (though I'm sure they must be out there) that covers her life, but Eleanor of Aquitaine has always fascinated me. She held her own against a strong-willed husband and several contentious sons. Hmmm, I think I hear the bookstore calling me... book1

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:20 pm

I am trudging ever so slowly through the Pynchon novel. It is one of those books that, while I am reading it, I enjoy it, but once I put it down I feel no overriding urge to pick it up again.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:43 am

I feel like I've been so busy that I haven't been able to read for my own personal enjoyment until now. It's the only month that I really can do so. So I went through my closet and I found Timeline by Michael Crichton. So I'm going to start there. It's pretty good so far.
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:40 pm

Zara Mikazuki wrote:
I feel like I've been so busy that I haven't been able to read for my own personal enjoyment until now. It's the only month that I really can do so. So I went through my closet and I found Timeline by Michael Crichton. So I'm going to start there. It's pretty good so far.

I read Timeline a few years back. I admit, I'm a sucker for time-travel stories. I did enjoy it.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:16 pm

Decisions, Decisions - I just received The Third Reich by Roberto Bolano today, It's his newest novel published posthumously since 2666. From what I can gather, it’s about a young man who goes on holiday with his girlfriend and gets involved in a deadly war-game. But I also fancy reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, I’ve had the book for a year now but I borrowed it out to someone and have only just got it back. Apparently it has a Dickens and Marquez feel to it; a kind of Bildungsroman with magic realism elements to it, so that too has me interested. Maybe I’ll toss a coin! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:44 pm

Paul wrote:
From one huge book to another...

I have started Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon. It is 1085 pages long. I am not sure how to classify it. It seems to be a combination of alternate reality/fantasy/adventure/whatsis. It is too early to tell if I am going to like it or not.

I have heard of Pynchon, but this the first work of his that I have picked up. He gets stellar reviews from the critics. The
Wall Street Journal
actually said this novel "...is a major work of art and, like all creations of surpassing greatness, something to be studied". Well, let's just go for reading it for entertainment first. Whenever I see a review like that I have to wonder if the book is in actuality a great big steaming pile of pretentiousness. I suppose I'll find out.

And I have put Against the Day aside. The prose seems to veer from brilliant to maddeningly abstract. Characters are introduced and just as quickly whisked away. There seems to be no plot to speak of, though this is probably the intention. I have read about 200 pages, and it was like walking through waist-deep snow. And there are over 1000 pages? No thanks. Maybe another time, if I get abysmally bored.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:52 am

I just borrowed Les Miserables and I don't even know why since I'll obviously not be able to read it due to lack of rest and relaxation. My arms hurt from lugging this book home.

I really want to read it though. sniff
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:16 am

I also tried Pride and Prejudice again. I don't know, I just can't feel this book. Elizabeth annoys me and Darcy is meh. Jane Austen's writing style is hard to get into as well. Ugh. I'll just finish this since this has been on my "to read" list for months.
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:26 pm

Louisa wrote:
I also tried Pride and Prejudice again. I don't know, I just can't feel this book. Elizabeth annoys me and Darcy is meh. Jane Austen's writing style is hard to get into as well. Ugh. I'll just finish this since this has been on my "to read" list for months.

I've never been in the least bit tempted to read Pride and Prejudice, it just doesn't appeal to me. I've always fancied reading Les Miserables though, maybe I'll check it out sometime soon. I'm sure it’s available on Kindle, but then again, I have been neglecting my weight training this past year, so if the book is as big and heavy as you say, maybe I can use it to rebuild my biceps! Laughing

Paul wrote:
And I have put Against the Day aside. The prose seems to veer from brilliant to maddeningly abstract. Characters are introduced and just as quickly whisked away. There seems to be no plot to speak of, though this is probably the intention. I have read about 200 pages, and it was like walking through waist-deep snow. And there are over 1000 pages? No thanks. Maybe another time, if I get abysmally bored.

It does sound like a monster of a novel to get through. I've been reading a few reviews about it and one said that the plot was shapeless. However it does sound interesting should I ever have an itch for the Avant-garde, I'll bear this book in mind Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:07 pm

I have started a novel that was very notorious for its time: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. It was first published in France in 1934 but was banned in the US until 1961. Miller's writing is interesting, if a bit loose, and I can already see he doesn't shy away from strong language, imagery, and scenes.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:46 am

I read Clisson and Eugenie the other day. It's a love story written by none other than Napoléon Bonaparte. It was only about 30 pages long, but it was a good read. According to the forward Napoléon wrote it at the age of 26 to entertain himself and make life in the barracks more bearable. It was based loosely on a platonic love affair he had with Desirée Eugénie Clary; A relationship that existed mainly in letters to one another. The story is more a tragedy than anything else, but it isn't something you can't read from a hundred other authors. The fact that it was written by a man like Napoléon is its chief (and possibly only) distinction.

How is Tropic of Cancer going, Paul?
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:54 pm

Ben wrote:
I read Clisson and Eugenie the other day. It's a love story written by none other than Napoléon Bonaparte. It was only about 30 pages long, but it was a good read. According to the forward Napoléon wrote it at the age of 26 to entertain himself and make life in the barracks more bearable. It was based loosely on a platonic love affair he had with Desirée Eugénie Clary; A relationship that existed mainly in letters to one another. The story is more a tragedy than anything else, but it isn't something you can't read from a hundred other authors. The fact that it was written by a man like Napoléon is its chief (and possibly only) distinction.

How is Tropic of Cancer going, Paul?

I'll have to check out that Napoleon story.

Tropic of Cancer is getting a bit better for me. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like it. It is basically an autobiographical account of Miller's debauchery-filled life in 1930's Paris, and the odd cast of characters he gets to know there. Miller can write some excellent prose, but he also goes off on some meandering tangents.

It doesn't help that I have been very busy lately, and that my reading time has suffered. I need a nice, quiet day to catch up! book1

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:46 am

Louisa wrote:
I also tried Pride and Prejudice again. I don't know, I just can't feel this book. Elizabeth annoys me and Darcy is meh. Jane Austen's writing style is hard to get into as well. Ugh. I'll just finish this since this has been on my "to read" list for months.


I know Pride and Prejudice is not for everyone, but I wish you DID like, it Louisa, because I love discussing that book. Oh well.
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:50 pm

I haven't read anything in a while, unless you count The Gruffalo's Child which I read to my niece the other day. I've been devoting my time to writing, which is going quite well -- well, reasonably well.

I did download Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy for my Kindle, Albeit, by mistake. I meant to download a sample and downloaded the whole thing instead. It was only £4.99 so it didn't break the bank.

Anyone reading anything interesting?

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:28 pm

I've started reading On Writing by Stephen King again. I have read that book over and over, god knows how many times. I borrowed this book a few years ago, and although I always had an interest in writing, it was not until reading this book that I began to take writing seriously.

It is basically a no-nonsense guide to writing. There is a lot of good stuff in there. My favourite bit of advice that he gives is that we learn more from reading bad literature than we do from reading good literature. It is so true and also knowing that you can write better than someone who is already published is great encouragement.

He doesn't go into much detail on the planning side of writing though. Stephen King is a pantser-plotter (He writes whatever comes to his mind at that very moment of writing) so plotting is something that he simply does not do. I am a die-hard plotter, so it was a shame that he is not. I would have loved to have read how he forms plots and creates characters.

All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to take writing seriously, even if you don't agree with anything he says, there are still lots of tips about time management and integrating writing into your life; basically, it becomes your life, and there is no way around it.

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:50 pm

I've read On Writing a couple of times also. I remember King also saying that a newspaper editor taught him more about writing than any number of classes on the subject. A newspaper editor gets rid of all unnecessary words in a story. Whether the writer agrees or not.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:38 pm

Just finished Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest. Good read, and a rare treat since I don't get in much non-academic reading these days. Will post a review if anyone is interested.
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:20 pm

Lillian wrote:
Just finished Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest. Good read, and a rare treat since I don't get in much non-academic reading these days. Will post a review if anyone is interested.

Go for it! Very Happy

I just realized that I have A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin sitting here, waiting patiently for the past few months for me to get to it. And here I am still slogging through the sometimes brilliant, sometimes pretentious, and sometimes downright nasty Tropic of Cancer. It's high time to finish that book and get to the good stuff.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:36 am

Oh wow! I really want a recommendation: Should I go for a Feast for Crows? I finished ASoS last year and have been hesitant as everyone says the fourth book is awful. Maybe I can get a summary?
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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:05 pm

Lillian wrote:
Oh wow! I really want a recommendation: Should I go for a Feast for Crows? I finished ASoS last year and have been hesitant as everyone says the fourth book is awful. Maybe I can get a summary?

Feast for Crows is a good book, but it is maddening in that Martin writes about only half the characters he introduced us to, including the main ones. It's been a few years, but I think character favorites such as Tyrion and Daenarys do not appear in FFC, but will (they'd better!) appear in DWD.

I've been hitting Wikipedia to read summaries for the past books before I tackle DWD. Here is the link for FFC:

http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7k3oejlPdwUASORXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTBybnZlZnRlBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkAw--/SIG=1223aqkob/EXP=1329195880/**http%3a//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Feast_for_Crows

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:58 pm

I have finished Tropic of Cancer and will post a review shortly.

For now, despite what I have said about Dance with Dragons, I have cracked open a Steve Berry thriller titled The Emperor's Tomb. I need a little mind candy right now.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:01 am

I can't wait to read your review of Tropic of Cancer, Paul. It sounds like you had a love/hate thing going on there Razz

I'd love to read your review on Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest too, Lillian. She seems like an interesting person. I checked out her wikipedia page. Apparently the first person she ever interviewed was Richey Edwards, a member of the Manic Street Preachers. I've always been a huge fan of the Manics. Very Happy

Currently reading: The Trial of Henry Kissinger by the late and very great Christopher Hitchens. It is a non-fiction book that is basically Hitchens' attempt to build a case against Kissinger for crimes against humanity. Its opening line says it all really:

It will become clear, and may as well be stated at the outset, that this book is written by a political opponent of Henry Kissinger. Nonetheless, I have found myself continually amazed at how much hostile and discreditable material I have felt compelled to omit. I am concerned only with those Kissingerian offenses that might or should form the basis of a legal prosecution: for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap and torture.

I've always found myself nodding along to Hitchens’ every word when he was being interviewed, so I thought I may as well read one of his books. This concept really got my interest. It is really fascinating so far, I do get lost when it comes to the copies of the bureaucratic reports and whatnot, but he soon clears it up and puts it in plain English.

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PostSubject: Re: What book are you currently reading?   Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:24 am

I'll try to get it done over the weekend, guys.

No Tyrion or Dany? What is with George Martin? Hopefully Jaime and Jon make an appearance.
Don't worry, Paul, we all need mind candy from time to time. This is a major problem with me, since all my reading is academic, when I do chill, it's mainly with something that doesn't need to much brainpower, which leads to ... TV. Don't get me wrong, there's good TV, it's just easier to chill with visuals. (And guns.)
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