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Cormac October 19th, 2006 01:58

What are you reading ?
I'd say this thread was begging to be born.

I recently completed Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. McCarthy is one of my favourite author and I was disappointed at first with this novel: the aging author is no more the incredible prose stylist he was in Blood Meridian (a fantastic 'western', highly recommended) and his other books, he now writes in a much simpler way that's hard to believe is the effort of someone who's elevated english prose to his level, but by the end my appreciation changed. Not one of his best, but still good and very moving.
Now reading the latest from arguably the finest contempory french novelist, Richard Millet. If anyone is curious, I'd suggest they try 'Ma Vie Parmi les Ombres' (My life amongst shadows, for a literal translation), a great novel.

Whip-0 October 19th, 2006 02:07

Currently reading "Black Powder War" by Naomi Novik. Third book in her Temeraire series (Her Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade) and an adventurous romp through a pseudohistoric 1800th century where the british isles are under attack from Napoleon - both by sea and AIR! Novik (who I also found out was a programmer (!)on NWN:SoU ) succeeds in adding dragons to a well known setting without making it cliche fantasy (no magic, undead, elves et c). Excellent, refreshingly "simple" and entertaining read that's labelled by some as Patrick O'Brian meets Susannah Clarke. Also, Peter Jackson has recently bought the rights.

Cormac November 5th, 2006 06:36

Trying some contemporary fantasy novels. Currently reading Cook's The Black Company, which isn't bad, really. Then I'll probably start a 800-page brick by some guy named George R R Martin.

txa1265 November 5th, 2006 07:04

I'm working on both re-reading Joyce's 'Portrait of the Artist' and also 'Republic Commando: Triple Zero' (a Star Wars book)

Danicek November 5th, 2006 08:45

Dostoievskij - Idiot (probably fourth time through, great book that I really love)

nameless hero November 5th, 2006 13:09

Erich von Däniken's 'Chariots of the Gods' - Awesome!!!

slam23 November 5th, 2006 14:16

Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything": a rare popular scientific pageturner that appeals to almost all of my friends, even those that are not into science in any way. Very humoristic and brilliant in explaining things through metaphor and visualisation. Funny short biographies of famous scientists and their quirks. I now have the illustrated version which is even better.
Also perusing several new D&D books I bought recently, for example "Dragons of Faerun". Although I don't actually use them to play pnp rpg, I like looking at the wonderful illustrations and collecting them.
Last but not least: "The executive brain" by Elkohonon Goldberg. This is an eye-opener in the neurosciences by a former student of the great Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria. It deals with understanding the nature of the most complex cognitive functions we have as humans: the frontal lobe or "executive" functions. Also highly recommended for non-professionals, although a passing knowledge of basal neurology, -anatomy and -psychology is helpful.

HiddenX November 5th, 2006 15:05

Terry Goodkind - Phantom

Raymond E. Feist - Into A Dark Realm

Christopher Paolini - Eragon

Khass November 5th, 2006 15:28

George Orwell - "1984"

One just HAS to read it as he's playing Half Life 2 :) "Farm of the animals" was charming, and I really want to see how this comes out, then join the debate of whether the movie or the book was better.

HAHAHA! Apparently people like the farm, as seen here :D

slam23 November 5th, 2006 20:20

@HiddenX: I like both Eragon and Eldest. That series feels like a cosy and familiar amalgam of a lot of different fantasy influences. Nothing high-concept about it, just good ol' plain fantasy in the best sense of the word. What's your take?

txa1265 November 5th, 2006 23:30


Originally Posted by slam23 (Post 5413)
@HiddenX: I like both Eragon and Eldest. That series feels like a cosy and familiar amalgam of a lot of different fantasy influences. Nothing high-concept about it, just good ol' plain fantasy in the best sense of the word. What's your take?

My son is rereading Eragon, and tells us we all need to read it before the movie ;)

slam23 November 6th, 2006 00:07

Good advice! Although it's labeled a children's book I think it will appeal to grownups also. I'm not sure though if I would completely qualify for that latter group ;) I didn't know a movie was being made, I checked out the trailers: it looks like a promising movie, although more in the B than A category. But hey, they got Malkovich and Irons so there is some star power. And the director knows his special effects. Now to see if they can tell the story.

HiddenX November 6th, 2006 20:08

Eragon is a good book for fantasy beginners - young and old.

The Author is very young:

and I am curios about his future as a fantasy author.

txa1265 November 6th, 2006 20:14


Originally Posted by HiddenX (Post 5641)
Eragon is a good book for fantasy beginners - young and old.

The Author is very young:

and I am curios about his future as a fantasy author.

My older son (now 10) was anxious for 'Eldest' to come out, and swallowed it up when it arrived. I was pleased that it exceeded his expectations - he likes it better than the first. Too often this type of young author is a 'flash in the pan'. I hope the last in th etrilogy maintains the quality!

txa1265 November 6th, 2006 23:32


Originally Posted by Viking_Berserker (Post 5676)
Does reading the Manual for Gothic 3 count?

Considering the purpose of the thread is to share reading experiences so perhaps we can find cool new stuff to read … I'd say 'no' ;)

slam23 November 7th, 2006 00:48

I think he is already finding his stride as a more independent author (style- and idea-wise) in the second book. I think he'll develop into a fine fantasy author in time.

Myrthos November 7th, 2006 02:06

I'm reading Children of Amarid, the first book in the LonTobyn Chronicles by David B. Coe.
What is it that fantasy writing authors just have to write books in a series of at least 3 instead of just one.

slam23 November 7th, 2006 02:11

"The curious incident of the dog at the night-time". A great little book that is written from the standpoint of an autistic child of about 10 years old. It's kind of his journal about him being a detective in a "murder" case. Besides being a quite truthful representation of what an autistic child would write and do, there's also a moving underlying story that you only "get" while reading through the lines of the matter-of-fact writing. Such theory-of-mind things like feelings, motives and the ability to lie are dealt with beautifully from the autistic standpoint.

Corwin November 7th, 2006 02:26

Exile's Return by Feist, 3rd book in the series!!

txa1265 November 7th, 2006 11:38

We were at Barnes & Noble on Sunday, as my older son had birthday gift cards burning a hole in his pocket (and wanted the brand new Artemis Fowl book). They had the 'collector edition' of the 'Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide' collection for ~$17, so of course I grabbed it. Hadn't read the 4th and 5th books ever, and only read the trilogy when they first came out. Just re-read the first book this summer, so now I will take a crack at the rest!

titus November 9th, 2006 15:54

Anybody who knows Dean R Koontz? hewrites horror, piece by piece great books.
Some of them have been made to a movie, but the book was defintely better and scarier. I am reading his books again after a long break. Now i am reading : Chills (if i translated it correctly

Jaz November 9th, 2006 21:14

Koontz may get a little repetitive after a few books, but he still is my favorite horror author (but perhaps I'm a little prejudiced because I got to interview him for a Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy magazine back in '91 or '92, and he was an *extremely* nice guy). My favorite Koontz book is 'Midnight'… so far, he couldn't beat it.

I cannot disclose the title of what I'm currently trying to read… I got the book from my sister-in-law, it's X-rated, and I must say I'm quite shocked about her literary tastes. So far I don't like the book in question a bit (preferring books with a story ^_^).

titus November 9th, 2006 21:16

Dragonklock or something dragon tear? read that one of him? that was the first book I read about him, damn i was scared of dark alleys afterwars :D

Jaz November 9th, 2006 21:25

Dragon Tears? Sorry, I haven't read it :( , but I read a lot of Koontz after discovering a musty issue of 'Hell's Gate' in a chest full of books in our basement. 'Hell's Gate' was supposed to be SF, but as such, it -frankly- stank. Where the book worked extremely well was in the first part which was truly nerve-wracking horror - there was one scene which reminded me of a (good) Carpenter movie… I actually jumped when reading it. Subsequently I searched for Koontz books and discovered that he had - luckily - decided to write Horror.

slam23 November 9th, 2006 23:54

I have read some when I was younger. I had this horror thing going on, reading Stephen King, Dean R Koontz, Peter Straub, and Clive Barker. Can't remember any specific novels of Koontz. Can you name some oldies?

Jaz November 10th, 2006 00:19

Here's a bibliography - take your pick: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/k/dean-r-koontz/

Corwin November 10th, 2006 01:40

I've never enjoyed horror at all. I grew up devouring all the SF I could find and when that ran out, I began on fantasy. I would have read at least 15,000 books if not more. As a teenager, I read up to 3 a day; I was voracious and I'm a fast reader!!

curious November 10th, 2006 02:08

just finished 'empire of the sun' by j. g. ballard. i've read nearly all his other books over the past 4 years and its great to see the story of how his life was shaped and makes clear how such a vivid imagination could have erose and shaped his books he would write.

Corwin November 10th, 2006 02:12

If you enjoyed that book, the movie is excellent!!

Cormac November 10th, 2006 02:13


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 6658)
As a teenager, I read up to 3 a day; I was voracious and I'm a fast reader!!

It was the same with me. Of course when you're older you just can't read as much as you want, lately the only free time I've had for reading is on the subway going and coming from work. But I still buy tons of books.

Corwin November 10th, 2006 03:00

Back then, I didn't have computer games sucking up so much of my time either!! :) I still try to read, usually while watching NFL games; there are SO many commercials!!

Jaz November 10th, 2006 09:52

Yep, back in the days I had no computer, no family, no fulltime jobs… when I was still in school I read the Mists of Avalon in one night, The Foundation Trilogy the next night and all of Moorcock's Corum novels the night after that one (long nights for sure). Nowadays: reading = restroom (neither counting the reading I have to do for work, nor reading picture books to sonny).

Khass November 10th, 2006 10:20


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 6658)
As a teenager, I read up to 3 a day; I was voracious and I'm a fast reader!!

Dear god … 13.7 years just reading …

I envy you :(

ToddMcF2002 November 10th, 2006 22:14

A Feast For Crows

I've loved the series up to this point but I'm getting a bit tired of the endless rape discussions. And I do mean endless. I think Martin has an issue frankly.

Neo November 12th, 2006 23:05

At this moment I am reading Tears of the Gods, third part in the Krondor trilogy of Raymond E. Feist. At this moment I have read 14 books written by Raymond. The Riftwar Saga, Krondor's Son, Empire Trilogy, Serpentwar Saga and now in the last book of the Krondor series of the Riftwar Legacy.

I recommend these books to every fantasy lover. Marvalous writer.

EDIT: Oh, and for everyone who isn't too lazy to read my post; Magician is still Feists best book ever IMO.

Corwin November 13th, 2006 00:13

I agree Neo, but next read his Conclave of Shadows series!!

JonNik November 14th, 2006 13:52

Finally got Started in Steven Erikson's Malazan books.
Very good stuff from my early impressions…

3 books a day ! Heh I'm lucky these days if I get through
3 books a month. I still buy them by the bucketload myself too.
(~20 books every 3-4 months from play.com the last few years…
needless to say my "unread" shelf has an average of 20 books
on it at any given time)

I always read before I get to sleep though. A ritual that follows
me since my early teens… I practically cant sleep if I dont get at
least an 1-2 hours of reading unless I am dead tired… Or dead drunk ;)

Alrik Fassbauer November 15th, 2006 16:33

My last three books were :

- The amazing Maurice and his educated Rodents
- Glennkill (a sheep murder mystery story) (translated into English with the strange title "Three Bags Full")
- Thud!

Right now I'm reading a book explaining the Egyptian Hieroglyphs quite nicely :
The original (English) title is "decoding egyption hieroglyphs", it was written by Bridget McDermott, and it was originally published by Duncan Baird Publishers Ltd. in 2001. I can really recommend it !

Lintra November 17th, 2006 15:56

Just finished the last of the Disc World books (Thud). Classic Pratchett. How *does* he manage to keep it up?

"The Cold War" by John Lewis Gaddis. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the period. Not very detailed, but that was not the goal of the book. It is a good quick review of the period. And surprisingly, for a history book, relatively agenda free.

"Eragon" Very nice light read … am about to start the second book.

"His majesty's Dragon" series. First is a great … second starts slow but picks up … third is pretty good, though not *quite* up to the quality of the first.

ToddMcF2002 November 17th, 2006 16:01

I finished A Feast for Crows. Definately the weakest of the series and I can't understand why he is introducing additional content at this point (given the grand story arc). But, it good enough to keep me wanting more.

Started Tad Williams ShadowMarch this morning. He tends to be a plodding author but Memory, Sorrow and Thorn is still an amazing series taken as a whole. His character development is as strong as Martin. I was left wanting more after that series - even if it needed a good douse of editing.

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