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Author Topic: What are you reading? (apart from this)  (Read 59671 times)
Ed
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2007, 03:49:00 AM »

Yeah - I started out by liking the BP story - particularly liked the sicko girfriend finding the holidaymakers' deaths funny. The theme revolves around 'people don't give a toss about anything when they're on holiday', or maybe 'anonymity leads to people doing things they otherwise wouldn't', but I really didn't find the end of the story satisfying - thought it was a cheap shock, too.  As for the bit about the hotel made up of ten houses, I don't see the relevance of that at all.  Maybe I should read it again, but I found it quite a pointless story, especially as it had been hyped as something wonderful. undecided
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Ed
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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2007, 01:27:26 PM »

Re-read Barcelona Plates today, and I liked it better the second time around.  Also read the last story in the book, called The Last Woman to Die in the War - absolute classic, that one.  Laughed out loud at the end grin
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2007, 03:23:27 PM »

It’s more difficult for me to enjoy reading these days as a wannabe writer, compared to my teen years. I grab those top-sellers and read in the hope of finding their secret formulae. But it doesn’t work like that, does it? I go on courses where I’m told to have nothing but conflict and active voice in the first 5 pages, paragraphs, sentence, and yet what do I see in the top sellers? Languorous passive voice, clichés and multiple adverbs.

This is sadly true. While working in the bookstore, I was one of the few diligent employees who would take time to read those books that came "highly recommended" by publishers in order to understand what I was attempting to sell. I was always disappointed. Books by authors like Dan Brown and Laurell K. Hamilton fly off shelves, but I never understand what the public sees in such works. Mr. Brown, at least, has some history behind his Best Sellers. Ms. Hamilton has nothing but smut and misinterpreted mythology to hers. Perhaps I am simply disappointed by modern horror...
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Ed
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2007, 03:51:05 PM »

I seriously wonder what goes through the minds of those in charge of some of the big publishing houses - I'm not sure whether they're doing their market research wrong, or whether they just don't do any, but there seems to be a serious lack of good books. Let's face it, whatever book they choose to put on a flashy stand with a great cover will sell to some extent, but I get the impression they're less concerned with building 'brand confidence' than the smaller independent publishers, who live and die by their reputations.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2007, 04:03:49 PM »

A good friend of mine was once an assistant editor over at Hyperion. While the pay was worthwhile and the hours reasonable, she quit a few months in because of the material she was told to read through. She found it all dull and unoriginal, as well as poorly written and researched.

Unfortunately, I also know many people that happen to enjoy the cookie-cutter novels. Anything too 'new' seems challenging and unwelcome. Perhaps there's something appealing to a select audience when they can predict the outcome without even reading halfway through a book?
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Ed
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2007, 04:13:25 PM »

Yep - a lot of people seem to find the cookie cutter novels comforting. They know what's going to happen next and their enjoyment comes from seeing it all fold out as expected. Go figure scratch
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2007, 03:09:45 AM »

'Fraid I don't share your enthusiasm for *Anansi Boys*, Dan. The piece, I felt, was so turgid that reading became a chore. I think I might have gone for it forty years ago. Or, maybe, I just wasn't in the mood for that kind of book last week: sometimes a novel can create a feeling, other times it can enhance one, often it lacks the power to be acceptable unless it co-incidentally fits the prevailing mood of the reader.

Glad you enjoyed it, though. It would be a sad old world if we all liked and disliked the same things.

On the other hand, I was impressed by my working read of Dan Brown's *Deception Point*. He seems to be economic with research, but he puts his findings to the very best use. In fact, I get the impression that accidental discovery of odd facts (or rumours) might be the triggter to his work rather than backup to a story. Say what you like about his prose (I have no problem with it), but Brown can certainly motor a piece.

My bedtime reading right now is Ian McEwan's *Amsterdam*. It's none too generous in page count at just 178, so it won't last until the end of the week, but it's a superb read so far. McEwan's characters and dialogue can't be faulted.

Cheers. Neil
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Andrew D. Perez
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2007, 12:12:50 AM »

Finished reading George Orwell's Nineteen-eighty-four. Great book but the ending pissed me off a bit.
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Ed
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2007, 04:20:20 AM »

Finished reading George Orwell's Nineteen-eighty-four. Great book but the ending pissed me off a bit.

That's one of the books I've decided that I should read sometime. What pissed you off? Was it the fate of the characters, or did it seem to just fizzle out? I want to read all the classics, and had been working my way steadily through them, but I decided to take a break after Catcher In The Rye, because it frankly pissed me off and I wanted to get back to reading something more engaging. The whole damn book is about a spoilt rich kid making his own way home after getting expelled from his third or fourth school. Talk about dull. rolleyes

The last book I read was The Taking by Dean Koontz, which I thought was good and would happily recommend. smiley
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Walker
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2007, 07:40:15 AM »

At the moment I'm wading through Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. It's a pretty big book, non-fiction and absolutely fascinating. It deals with the case for advanced civilizations on the earth far previous to what the mainstream tells us. Not everyones cup of tea, but certainly mine. Love it, so far.
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Ed
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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2007, 03:11:38 PM »

Sounds good, Walker - I think I'd find it fascinating, too. I've heard of a theory before that links all the pyramid builders together as one advanced race spread across the continents, and the theory also said that the legendary continent of Atlantis is actually Antarctica. Apparently there are ancient maps that show it as it used to be before a huge meteorite hit the Earth and spun the surface crust of the planet around the core, thus placing Atlantis at the South Pole instead of where it used to be. Dunno how feasible that is, but it sounds good to me. scratch

I'm currently reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Didn't really think it'd be my kind of thing, because my wife read it and thought it was good and we don't generally share the same taste in literature. She ended up reading it twice and now says it's her favourite book of all time - and she has read more books than you can shake a stick at, so I thought I'd give it a bash. So far I'm really enjoying it. There's a gentleness to the narrative that I like, plus the situation is intriguing, dangerous and funny. I think I'm going to like it a lot, too afro
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2007, 05:10:23 PM »

The fate of the characters and the way they do thier confusion tortours.
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PaulH
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2007, 07:04:22 PM »

Dan Brown -oh dear. Sorry, not a good word to say. Didn't particularly enjoy Da Vinci Code for a multitude of reasons, not least the fact that I'd read a book called the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail about ten years before. That was the one Dan Brown ended up in court about and got off, despite me recognising huge swathes of the plot. I think Holy Blood and Holy Grail was partly responsible for me not enjoying DVC as there were very few surprises in it for me. So I tried Angels and Demons. And wish I hadn't. Thought the major mistake in that was the ending when you discover that the bad guy is the son of a certain person (sorry, trying not to spoil for anyone who hasn't read it). It just made the entire book ludicrous to me.

I quite like Laurell K Hamilton. Wait, let me think... I LOVE LKH's early Anita Blake books. The last half dozen have been tantamount to porn and not what I bought them to read for. Utterly boring sadly and an author who I'm beginning to think I'll not be bothering with much more.

Currently reading From Asgard to Valhalla. It's a non-fic about Norse myth and the way it has been translated, redefined and used by various people down the years. It covers everything from academic rewrites, to Wagner's Ring Cycle, the Nazis and Marvel Comics Mighty Thor. Fairly comprehensive and surprisingly entertaining so far.
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Andrew D. Perez
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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2007, 08:36:12 PM »

Anyone ever read Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane? Great mystery book and you'll never see the end coming.
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PaulH
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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2007, 09:37:12 PM »

you'll never see the end coming.

It's not about a blind hooker is it?

... anyone know someone from the CIA? I could do with getting my brain washed...
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