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Author Topic: What's top of your reading list?  (Read 69893 times)
Ed
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« on: December 29, 2008, 06:05:13 PM »

I have got a huge pile of reading material begging to be read, but I can't seem to get into a novel lately. I'm re-reading a couple of short story collections - Alexei Sayle's Barcelona Plates, and Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk. Anybody else read those? I'm reading one of each in turn and it's working out quite nicely.

What are you working your way through at the moment? huh
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 09:36:28 PM »

Getting into the "Children of Hurin" by JRR Tolkien via his son Christopher and waiting for the price to come down a bit on the newest collection of short stories by Stephen King  "Just after Sunset"
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 12:13:58 AM »

Huge pile over here, too. I've concentrated my efforts on short story this past year, though I did make time for few novels. The only memorable standout was The Woods, by Harlen Coben. I just recently re-read Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl. Great stuff there. It's what inspired me to write in the first place.

Haven't read Barcelona Plates, or Haunted. Good stuff? I've got more short stories to get through than I've got time for, but Id have a look if they came recommended.
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 01:47:21 AM »

I got 'The Catcher in the Rye' for X-mas this year.

What a hoot!

DW santa_cheesy
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Ed
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 03:13:19 AM »



Haven't read Barcelona Plates, or Haunted. Good stuff? I've got more short stories to get through than I've got time for, but Id have a look if they came recommended.

I couldn't get into Haunted last time I read it. The stories are all high impact in one way or another, so it's sometimes jarring to read, and by a certain point in the book I felt like the author's main aim was only to shock in whatever crass way he could. That said, I know people who loved it, and there are several stories that verge on brilliance IMO. The story 'Guts' is one of them. If you google the name there's a copy of the story online on the author's site. I'm reading it again in the hope I'll gain a new appreciation for the stories that didn't resonate the first time around.

Barcelona Plates is sometimes crass (eg. the title story), but I think there's more good stories than bad in the book. Some of the cultural references are quintessentially British, so you'll miss the nuances in a couple of the stories. It won't make that much difference, though. All in all it's easy to read, funny, and at times ironic.

Take a look at these links - http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=1617.0

http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php?topic=1284.0
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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 #5 on: December 30, 2008, 03:19:00 AM »

I got 'The Catcher in the Rye' for X-mas this year.

What a hoot!

DW santa_cheesy

I read that one last year, expecting it to be amazing after all the hype it got through the years. What a load of old toss. A whole book full of words that add up to nothing happened. 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 #6 on: December 30, 2008, 04:34:10 AM »

Last night I finished The Anubis Gate by Tim Powers. It's a dense and intricate (confusing!) time travel steampunk thing... Started brilliantly, got a little too confusing in the middle - and hence it took me a while to navigate this section - and ended very well.

Also three quarters of the way through Tuesday's War - a second world war action/love/thriller type thing. It's pretty good, too, though I've now got to the stage where I've had enough of it so I shall be making a concerted effort to polish off the last 150 pages over the next few days.

Then it's that wonderful moment when I go into the library down on the south wing of Del Towers and spend a good twenty minutes perusing all the books I've yet to read, and salivating at the worlds and adventures and heroes and heroines that await me within. I love that moment.  smiley

What's top of my list? Lord knows. I have a classics section and a crime section and a sci-fi section, horror, mainstream... biographies... I had a book called Four Kings for Xmas. All about the Duran, Hagler, Hearns, Leonard era of boxing. I have some Steinbeck and Mailer and Hemingway. There are still some John D MacDonalds that I haven't read. Ayn Rand and Tolstoy rub shoulders with Lansdale and Poppy Brite. Alfred Bester and Gene Wolfe look down upon Raymond Chandler and Scott Fitzgerald. I picked up some old John O'Hara's in my local secondhand shop recently and they're buttressed up against A Tale Of Two Cities and A Clockwork Orange. I recently extracted The Boys From Brazil from the crate of books in my garage because (for an unknown reason) I suddenly had an urge to read that again. I have some Val McDermid and some John Grisham, Walter Moseley and Elmore Leonard. I have In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and I have Roadside Picnic by those two guys who's anmes I can't pronounce let alone spell. I have Colin Bateman, Annie Proulx, Dan Simmons, Peter Straub. I have a Bill Hicks biography that I'm really looking forward to reading, so much so that I keep putting it off. I have The Forever War by Joe Haldeman that looks great and then there's all those early Stephen Kings that I keep on my shelf despite the fcat that I've read them all numerous times. He, more so than anyone else, makes me feel that writing is fun, so is always worth rereading once a year.

What a lovely problem this is!

Derek

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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 04:51:27 AM »

Currently reading "The Dance is Over" by P Soman Panicker. I 'know' Soman from the UKAuthors site, and always enjoyed his stories, so thought I'd buy his book. I haven't been disappointed.
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2008, 09:34:18 AM »

I'm currently reading Hotter Than Hell it's an anthology with 12 different authors.  I'm also reading Kelly Armstrong's Living With The Dead.  This is one of the few times I can keep two books going at the same time.  Next I think I'll read the next two of Mary Janice Davidson's mermaid series.  I love Mary Janice Davidson's stuff it's like a Saturday morning cartoon, light, fun, and a total guilty pleasure.   
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2008, 01:53:39 PM »

I'm halfway through Stephen King's Duma Key at the moment and as ever he has me spellbound. The book I read previous to this was 'Salem's Lot a very cool Vampire story. I must have read about two thirds of the books King has written and was only ever disappointed by one of them, which was Needful Things.
  I too was shocked by the price of Just after Sunset, £18.99, I think I'll what for the paperback on that one.
  At the weekend I bought 20th Century Ghost, I like to have something waiting on the shelf. It's by a guy called Joe Hill, I've never heard of him before but I often like to read books by authors I know nothing of, spice of life and all that.
  The Forever War, as delboy mentioned, is a great read. After about fifteen years of reading nothing more challenging than the tv guide, a friend recommended it to me. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to read the first few chapters and after I had I just kept going. I've been stuck on books ever since. What a wasteland I used to live in.     
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Ed
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 02:11:30 PM »

Joe Hill is one of Stephen King's sons - he apparently wrote under the nom de plume so that he could earn his own place on the book shelf.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 03:12:26 PM »

Quote
Joe Hill is one of Stephen King's sons - he apparently wrote under the nom de plume so that he could earn his own place on the book shelf.

Pretty good going then. His old man did it (became a successful author) twice - once as Stephen King and once as Richard Bachman, and now his son's done it. Should this give us all hope? Or is there something in the water up there in darkest Maine??

Quote
I'm halfway through Stephen King's Duma Key at the moment and as ever he has me spellbound. The book I read previous to this was 'Salem's Lot a very cool Vampire story. I must have read about two thirds of the books King has written and was only ever disappointed by one of them, which was Needful Things.

I recall reading Salem's Lot for the first time waaaay back when it was first out and couldn't put it down. Those first few books - Carrie, The Stand, Salems Lot, The Shining are just immense. I stuck with King through the first half of his career but must admit haven't really enjoyed too many of the middle-late era books. Things like Needful Things, The Dark Half, The Girl That Loved Tom Gordon.... they just didn't quite grab me the same way. On the other hand, The Body is immense, as is Pet Sematary and most of IT, so I guess he hadn't lost his touch, just a little bit of consistency. Mind you, that's akin to saying Jimi Hendrix played the odd dodgy guitar solo. Even at their direst these guys are still up there in the stratosphere compared to most.

Derek
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« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2008, 05:25:11 AM »

Quote
Also three quarters of the way through Tuesday's War - a second world war action/love/thriller type thing. It's pretty good, too, though I've now got to the stage where I've had enough of it so I shall be making a concerted effort to polish off the last 150 pages over the next few days.

Well, I gave this book a bit of a disservice in the quote above. Superb ending. I shall definitely be buying the next in the series. Good job!

Derek
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
Robert B. Parker
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2008, 06:04:50 AM »

Joe Hill is one of Stephen King's sons - he apparently wrote under the nom de plume so that he could earn his own place on the book shelf.

I'm stunned by that. On a whim I buy a book and it turns out to be by the son of one of my favourite authors. Go figure. santa_shocked
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2008, 02:12:52 PM »

Bloody Books have sent me two pre-publication novels to review: Absence by Bill Hussey (an unusual ghost story set in the Fens - very good so far) and Joseph d'Lacey's Garbage (I'm looking forward to reading it after his outstanding Meat.)

For presents I've been given several collections and novels by A.L. Kennedy, and A Void by Perec, The Watchers (a chilling autobio by a paranoid schizophrenic) and amnesia moon by Lethern.

All I need is time...

Geoff
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