The books we are reading


#1

So, what books are you reading right now? Why did you pick these up? Would you recommend these for other readers?

Just tell us what you are reading and maybe why you are reading it, if you enjoy it, if it is helpful or whatever you want to talk about. No need to write a secondary book about the primary book, keep it short ^^

Just started reading “Born a crime” by Trevor Noah, wanted to read it for a while now since I really like how he managed to fill Jon Stewarts massively oversized shoes at the Daily Show. It is all I could expect, funny, personal, insightful and entertaining. Recommended.


#2

I mostly involve myself in reading non-fiction, and poetry, although I haven’t found another good new one to pick up for a while.

I’m still making my way through “Naked Lunch” by William S Burroughs. My god what a filthy piece of shit book that is. It’s quite incredible.

Otherwise I’m on my like, 7th read of “Last Night of the Earth Poems” from Bukowski and still carving through the Selected Poems of Lorca.


#3

I’m halfway through the Martian by Andy weir

Thanks to oly ghyt I know that finnegans wake exists,

I also read this stupid psychobabble book le comte de maldoror it was some garbage

The play glengarry glen Ross was good and also a streetcar named desire I have yet to get around to Brett Easton Ellis’s less than zero and the rules of attraction


#4

Cool thread idea. :slight_smile: I am currently reading through Heretics of Dune by Frank Herbert. The whole Dune series is really good, I highly recommend it. the first 6 books, those written by Frank himself, are considered required reading for sci-fi buffs. The rest were written by other authors, not sure if I am going to like them or not.

Similarly, the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov is really great, finished those a while back. Easy books to get into. Also the Dorsai! series by Gordon Dickson. Those would be my 3 recommendations for binge sci-fi reading.


#5

Very interesting list! Wanted to read something by Bukowski since forever, at least since reading the illuminatus stuff by RA Wilson mentioning 23 Skidoo IIRC… have to do that at some point for sure! Would you recommend the “Last Night of the Earth” as a good first date?


#6

Only know some of the titles here by name without having read the books, but sounds like you are getting a good read in regularly, which is awesome! Finnegans Wake is on my list, too…


#7

Don’t know Dorsai!, but absolutely love the other two series, especially Dune, which is so beautifully constructed. I also enjoyed the later Butlerian Jihad prequel series by these other authors, a solid Sci-Fi story and nice extension of the universe, but it doesn’t really compare to the originals.

Foundation is great, too - I think both Dune and Foundation really are among the most epic stories ever written in terms of scale and imagination.


#8

Just re-read ‘Do the Work’ by Pressfield again. Always a nice and easy kick in the ass whenever I start feeling like I’m hitting the wall or the Resistance starts rearing its ugly head. Probably going to re-read ‘War of Art’ again too, while I’m at it.

Just started reading ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Brene Brown. The wife brought up her TED talk recently, so it reminded me I wanted to read it a while ago. No comments yet as I’m only a few pages in.

The last fiction that I read was ‘1Q84’ by Haruki Murakami. I really loved the first 2/3 of it, but was a little disappointed by the ending. I guess I was expecting more of a twist and at least for some things to be explained. But it just kind of fizzled out with a seemingly happy ending. Still, pretty awesome.


#9

If that is the case than Dorsai is right up your alley. Another good set of books are the berserker novels by Fred Saberhagen, though not all of the books are equally good. both uplift trilogies by David Brin are very good as well. or anything by Larry Niven, esp the ringworld and integral trees books. Just my short answer though. I could go on for days about sci-fi books.


#10

Awesome man, I don’t know any of these, I’m sure if I live long enough I will find time to read through all of that hehe!

@InDefianceOfGravity 1Q84 sounds interesting, gonna put that on my list, too!

@all: anybody here read through the complete Dark Tower series? I was never a fan of King, but I adored the first two Dark Tower books when younger, but stopped reading after the forth book that I did not like nearly as much as the previous ones. Also read another King book at the time that I completely stopped reading since it was just not interesting at all. But the Dark Tower story was always inside of me, never finished or resolved, and recently I watched the Dark Tower movie (yeah, that one every fan of the books hates) and I loved it, just for getting back into that atmosphere (and Idris Elba is a effing nice Roland in my book) even though I missed like 99% of the story lol.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming Amazon series and hope they do the complete thing this time. But still, I kinda want to get back into the book series. So, my question to everyone who read all the books: Did it get better after the 4th? Did it get as good as the first two again? Was it worth it or were you disappointed over the last few books?


#11

I guess I should provide some kind of a synopsis for anyone interested. In the beginning, you have 2 seemingly unrelated stories happening in parallel, where each chapter switches between the 2 main characters. And it takes almost until the middle of the book to start seeing that there’s any connection between them. The book takes place in 1984, except by some mysterious reason, the 2 main characters enter some kind of a parallel reality where everything is almost the same as their own 1984, except they start noticing differences ranging from very mundane to eventually really fantastic. One of the characters dubs this new reality 1Q84.


#12

Dhalgren

It’s fucking my head up in the neatest of ways.


#13

I’m a Heinlein guy myself, haven’t explored much scifi beyond his work (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is great BTW). I’ve heard the Asimov stuff is good, haven’t gotten around to it yet, in fact trying to take a bit of a break from scifi for a bit. I’m doing Moby Dick right now, which is really just alright for the most part IMO, and then I have Uncle Tom’s Cabin ready to go because I haven’t read that since middle school (I needed a ton of reading credits fast and my teacher couldn’t believe I pulled it off).

Moby Dick just takes forever to get going, I think it’s almost halfway into the book before you get to the first whale. It gets real good when Ahab starts to lose it, though. I’m 90% of the way through and his descent is something to behold.


#14

Heinlein is ok, but his dirty old man schtick kinda got to me after a while. I have read, I dunno, a dozen of his books now, and most of them were pretty good. Asimov is imho better, if perhaps not quite as colorful. Same for Larry Niven. Absolute classic authors in the genre.

Greg Bear is another name to check out, as well as Stephen Baxter, if you like hard sci-fi. Also Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote a fantastic series about Mars (red mars, green mars, blue mars).
K, I will stop now. :slight_smile:


#15

I read most of The Past Through Tomorrow because of a recommendation, but for whatever reason I could’t really get warm with it and completely lost interest. Doesn’t happen that often and obviously doesn’t say anything about these books, I just didn’t click with it.

I know Baxter only from the Long Earth series which he wrote together with Pratchett, but I enjoyed reading these. It was very different from Pratchetts usual works, much less a consistent constructed painting-type thing and less funny, less developments and more exploration, with open storylines and ideas somehow not coming to a closure in contrast to other works by Pratchett, but had some really interesting ideas, characters and nice moments. It has an epic scope, but still felt to me as if it somehow didn’t fully reach its potential.


#16

I’m always interested in people’s takes on this stuff, because they’re often so different from mine. I absolutely fucking hated every goddamn word of Robinson’s Mars books, and I recommend people buy them and burn them without reading them to take them out of the world. Absolutely driest most terrible writing ever. Horrid. I can’t say bad enough things. But lots of people like it, so what do I know?

I’ll double up with you about Baxter, though. It’s a little stodgy in places emphasizing The Science over character depth, especially in his early work, but the ideas are so damn cool that it’s hard to worry about it. All the Xeelee stuff rocks my socks.

Alaister Reynolds is another one to read if you like Baxter. Very hard sci-fi, scientifically consistent, with big, cool ideas. Revelation Space universe is great.

Greg Bear has written some of the best sci-fi ever - Blood Music was the first one I read, followed by Eon. It’s a shame that City at the End of Time was such a long, confusing mess.

I’m on the fence about Asimov. On the one hand, he was an awful writer from a technical standpoint to the point of being painful for me to read in places, and his characterization was almost non-existent in some cases, but his ideas and influence is undeniable. There’s a lot of it that I appreciate, even if I don’t really enjoy it.

I’ve got a running joke with some friends that Moby Dick would be the world’s most perfect novel if it was 150 pages long. No one ever cared that much about the details of sailing and whaling the way he belabors it. It’s like Anne Rice for the ocean. But the good parts are really good.


#17

I have not read Blood music yet…pretty sure I read Eon. Raft and Ring were fantastic imo.

As for The Long Earth book, I read those too (I have read and own everything Pratchett put out, at least to my knowledge) and I agree, Pratchett’s disease seemed to be really catching up with him in the end…the first book was really interesting, the 2nd was ok, and the 3rd was also ok I guess. I was sad it was not better.
Any of you all read Red Rising by Pierce Brown? Relatively new author. Great trilogy.
Also, thanks for the tip on Alaister Reynolds, will have to check him out.


#18

While we’re on sci-fi, I’ll heartily recommend The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. It’s seminal 50s without being dated and helped birth modern science fiction. Very cool and often overlooked work of the genre. It’s also like 250 pages, so it’s not a massive undertaking.


#19

I always kinda wanted to believe that it was Baxters (bad :wink: ) influence without knowing anything else by Baxter, since Snuff and Raising Steam, the two books Pratchett probably wrote around the time the first Long Earth thing was made, were darker than usual, but still great imho. But you are probably closer to the truth.

One of my favs by Pratchett is the non-Discworld work Nation, btw.


#20

Finished Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, really enjoyed it, partly hilariously funny, partly very intense when he is writing about some of his family history. Now finishing A slip of the Keyboard, short essays and other non-fiction stuff by Terry Pratchett, stopped reading that I think one or two years ago since it is one of the last books by him that are new to me. It’s funny, of course it doesn’t really compare to his fictional works, but always nice to read Pratchett.