The Literature Thread

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Preezy
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Preezy » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:44 pm

SugarDave wrote:It's a broad question but does anyone have any recommendations for history books? I'm not looking for anything in particular, I'm more interested for the sake of learning in general so if you have a favourite, throw it out there and I'll take a look. Wars, the rise and fall of empires, various eras, I don't mind.

Preezy wrote:I'm currently about 1/2 way through An Utterly Impartial History of Britain (or 2,000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge) by John O'Farrell, and it's bloody brilliant.

It's my 3rd time reading through it, decided to pick it up again following the Brexit stuff that's been going on, helps gives me some perspective on this island nation of ours (spoiler - we're all immigrants, every last one of us).

O'Farrell manages to weave classic dry British humour throughout the story of how Britain came to be the place it is today, highly recommend it.

Seriously, give it a look.

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SugarDave
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by SugarDave » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:57 pm

Cheers guys, I'll give both of those a read also.

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Cuttooth
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Cuttooth » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:42 pm

Have been on an odd binge lately of popping into Waterstones on my lunch break and picking something up for a tenner.

Started with Ulysses, which I still know I won't read any time soon (my first post in this thread, eight years ago, supports that pretty well!) then Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; a book similar in scope to (and inspired by) Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel.

It's an interesting read on anthropology and the nature (and lack thereof) of societies, especially with the way the country and the world is right now. It's certainly accessible but I thought a little simplistic at times with quite a few assertions, plus a slight hint of "this relatively accepted idea will blow your mind!". I do wonder whether something was lost in the translation from the original Hebrew in that regard. Still, it's worth a look if you're interested in a decent historical book, as well as a good recount of the inherent cruelty of farming.

It led me to picking up a new copy of Guns, Germs, and Steel which I'm part way through, as well as Wolf Hall because I've been meaning to try Hilary Mantel's work for a while, plus it'd be good to read some decent fiction.

Can anyone recommend the works of J.G. Ballard, particularly his short stories?

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Irene Demova
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Irene Demova » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:08 pm

Cuttooth wrote:Can anyone recommend the works of J.G. Ballard, particularly his short stories?

He's an excellent scifi writer but his non-sci fi stuff's a bit harder to get into since some of it is deliberately hard to read.

Terminal Beach is one of his best collections of short scifi whilst The Atrocity Exhibition is kinda short stories but it's in a much more esoteric style, somewhat similar to stuff like Naked Lunch where stuff is clearly thematically linked but there's little in the way of clear structure connecting the different parts of the book.
Crash or High Rise are good choices for his novels

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Moggy
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Moggy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:10 pm

I've yet to read Wolf Hall but if its anywhere near as good as the TV show then you're in for a treat.

I've just finished Bernard Cornwell's Starbuck (no not the coffee :roll: ) series. I say "finished" but the lazy bastard hasn't actually finished the series yet. It's been 20 years since the last one so I guess that's it. A shame as they are good books.

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Irene Demova
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Irene Demova » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:13 pm

Moggy wrote:I've just finished Bernard Cornwell's Starbuck (no not the coffee :roll: ) series.

Surprised a historical novelist took the time out to write battlestar galactica fanfiction

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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Moggy » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:25 pm

Irene Demova wrote:
Moggy wrote:I've just finished Bernard Cornwell's Starbuck (no not the coffee :roll: ) series.

Surprised a historical novelist took the time out to write battlestar galactica fanfiction


Fracking Cylons :x

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Squinty
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Squinty » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:45 pm

You Olmos made me laugh there.

I'm reading that Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. It's strawberry floating wank. I have an almost irrational hatred of first person narratives.

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Irene Demova
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Irene Demova » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:54 pm

Squinty wrote:You Olmos made me laugh there.

I'm reading that Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. It's strawberry floating wank. I have an almost irrational hatred of first person narratives.

Prince of Thorns is hilarious in it's desire to be edgy and controversial (and it ends up being really tame compared to other books)

I'm currently really fed up with multiple-pov's in fantasy. Every book has it since ASoIaF became huge but so few writers can do more than one PoV well.
I read a book that was pretty fun for action fantasy (Blood Song) and then for some reason the sequel went from one detailed perspective to something like five different ones, now nobody feels like an actual character.

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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by lex-man » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:03 pm

I'm half way through the third book in the song of fire and ice sersis,a storm of swords. I quite like the story, but I find the writing long winded and it's definitely slightly spoiled by having seen the TV show. That said it's interesting to see the differences in the book.

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Moggy
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Moggy » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:27 pm

lex-man wrote:I'm half way through the third book in the song of fire and ice sersis,a storm of swords. I quite like the story, but I find the writing long winded and it's definitely slightly spoiled by having seen the TV show. That said it's interesting to see the differences in the book.


Book split. :x

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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by lex-man » Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:08 am

Moggy wrote:
lex-man wrote:I'm half way through the third book in the song of fire and ice sersis,a storm of swords. I quite like the story, but I find the writing long winded and it's definitely slightly spoiled by having seen the TV show. That said it's interesting to see the differences in the book.


Book split. :x


:?: :?: :?:

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Captain Kinopio
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Captain Kinopio » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:39 am

I've been on a non-fiction binge lately. I don't know if it has anything to do with getting older but I just seem to have zero patience for fiction books in the past couple of years if the story isn't compelling or it's difficult to read.

Recently I've read through Flash Boys, Boomerang and The Big Short all by Michael Lewis who is fantastic and rights about finance in a really compelling and easy to understand way. From there I moved on to Putin country by Anne Garrels which gives a glimpse into the day to day reality of ordinary Russians. After that I absolutely blasted through Generation Kill by Evan Wright, which was utterly brilliant and I was surprised how closely the to show stuck to it, really a great read. Now I'm on to Plutopia which I'm really interested in.

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Moggy
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Moggy » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:24 am

lex-man wrote:
Moggy wrote:
lex-man wrote:I'm half way through the third book in the song of fire and ice sersis,a storm of swords. I quite like the story, but I find the writing long winded and it's definitely slightly spoiled by having seen the TV show. That said it's interesting to see the differences in the book.


Book split. :x


:?: :?: :?:


Sorry, when you said you had watched the TV show I thought you'd have read the thread here. TV split is what Ad7 calls anyone that dates to even mention the books exist. :lol:

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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by lex-man » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:09 pm

Moggy wrote:
lex-man wrote:
Moggy wrote:
lex-man wrote:I'm half way through the third book in the song of fire and ice sersis,a storm of swords. I quite like the story, but I find the writing long winded and it's definitely slightly spoiled by having seen the TV show. That said it's interesting to see the differences in the book.


Book split. :x


:?: :?: :?:


Sorry, when you said you had watched the TV show I thought you'd have read the thread here. TV split is what Ad7 calls anyone that dates to even mention the books exist. :lol:


Ah fair enough. I tend to watch the shows after it's all aired on telly so I can binge watch it. So I don't really bother with the thread.

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Memento Mori
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Memento Mori » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:25 pm

Apt Pupil

:dread:

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Squinty
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Squinty » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:43 pm

Irene Demova wrote:
Squinty wrote:You Olmos made me laugh there.

I'm reading that Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. It's strawberry floating wank. I have an almost irrational hatred of first person narratives.

Prince of Thorns is hilarious in it's desire to be edgy and controversial (and it ends up being really tame compared to other books)

I'm currently really fed up with multiple-pov's in fantasy. Every book has it since ASoIaF became huge but so few writers can do more than one PoV well.
I read a book that was pretty fun for action fantasy (Blood Song) and then for some reason the sequel went from one detailed perspective to something like five different ones, now nobody feels like an actual character.


It takes a really special author to pull that off. I'm not sure GRRM does it that well, but that is understandable seeing as he has a ridiculous amount of POV's to manage.

Regarding Prince of Thorns, I have no idea why I'm reading this book. I will finish it though, while it's bad, it is not offensively so. The story being set after a post apocalyptic event is slightly interesting to me, but then I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

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Denster
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Denster » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:13 pm

Memento Mori wrote:Apt Pupil

:dread:


Just re reading this.

Great but very unsettling.

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Parksey
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by Parksey » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:12 am

Any recommendations for horror, specifically a collection of short stories? Need it for a birthday present, and it's not a genre I've ever dabbled in.

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King Chaz
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PostRe: The Literature Thread
by King Chaz » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:24 am

Squinty wrote:
Irene Demova wrote:
Squinty wrote:You Olmos made me laugh there.

I'm reading that Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. It's strawberry floating wank. I have an almost irrational hatred of first person narratives.

Prince of Thorns is hilarious in it's desire to be edgy and controversial (and it ends up being really tame compared to other books)

I'm currently really fed up with multiple-pov's in fantasy. Every book has it since ASoIaF became huge but so few writers can do more than one PoV well.
I read a book that was pretty fun for action fantasy (Blood Song) and then for some reason the sequel went from one detailed perspective to something like five different ones, now nobody feels like an actual character.


It takes a really special author to pull that off. I'm not sure GRRM does it that well, but that is understandable seeing as he has a ridiculous amount of POV's to manage.

Regarding Prince of Thorns, I have no idea why I'm reading this book. I will finish it though, while it's bad, it is not offensively so. The story being set after a post apocalyptic event is slightly interesting to me, but then I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.


The sequels are a bit better, I'd stick on with it.

Currently reading the 3rd book in Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy and loving it. Not sure what to go on to next. A friend suggested The Painted Man, anyone read that?

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