Whatcha reading?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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Jan
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Jan » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:37 pm

Rick: 18th. I read about a third of it randomly two years ago and put it away. One of Margo Lanagan's seemed the best. Perhaps I missed the real highlights.
I'll look some more but I'd rather have the editors do it for me. I'm not surprised the series was cancelled. They should have narrowed it down to ten stories, 9 horror, 1 fantasy. :)

Oh, I tried The Stand too, also put me to sleep, right around the beginning, though it wasn't bad. (So did the miniseries, later.) People say it's his best book but it's too drawn out from the start, without the clever structure that helps some of his later efforts.

Speaking of miniseries, have you all seen the Langoliers one? Only recently saw the second part which I missed originally. This is SOOO well-adapted from a so-so book.

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David Loftus
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby David Loftus » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:37 pm

Despite how busy I may appear to the rest of you from the posts on my Webderlanders thread, I'm still reading (and glad to see this thread, which I started, revived again).

As I indicated on my Webderlanders thread, I read and wrote an extensive review of Richard Powers's latest, Generosity, for the California Literary Review 'zine. Also reviewed a 50th anniversary companion to "Some Like It Hot" for the same Web site, but the owner is holding it until after the holidays, when hits will pick up again. Another book I may write about for that venue, which just arrived in the mail and looks interesting, is Good Vibrations: the physics of music, by Barry Parker.

I've read more than half a dozen plays by Nicky Silver, who writes savage and surreal (and terribly funny) stories about families, because I have been offered an opportunity to interview him later this month (probably by email).

Submitted my extensive profile of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes for the Book Drum tournament a few days ago and am now laboring on a similar profile of Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It's rich enough that, given the other things on my schedule, I may not manage to finish before the Jan. 31 deadline, but I'll give it the old college try.

And, just because I don't have enough to do, I decided to take another bash at Proust and finish the goddamn thing this year. Gave myself a running start on 2010 by beginning Swann's Way two days ago, and am about 180 pages in.

Oh, and Happy New Year, everybody!
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:42 am

Over sea and Under Stone by Susan Cooper. I've heard that's it a good children's fantasy, and Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, which I can really relate to at the moment. ..

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David Loftus
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby David Loftus » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:51 pm

Trying to pull the posts back over here from the johnny-come-lately "Reading and more reading" thread. . . .

Lori, I haven't read a lot of Stephen King -- just dip in now and then to see what he's up to; probably due to check in again, since the last one I read was Gerald's Game -- but The Stand was definitely my favorite.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:41 pm

David

I am trying to slog my way thru the re-released one, the one he is supposed to have added an extra 400 pages or so to. Didn't get around to it the first time, I got it in the mail with a great copy of DeathBird Stories, so I figured I'd give it a try.

IF nothing else, I can fend off all the asses in the neighborhood who think it's a good idea to harass a nice blonde woman trying to get from somewhere to somewhere else.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby diane bartels » Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:48 pm

David, Im sorry. I forget to sign my stupid post. I was trying to make you smile. Hope I didnt offend. I really do admire you pluck, talent and perserverance.
Diane Bartels

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby markabaddon » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:32 pm

Keeney, I cannot remember was Mr. Punch the graphic novel I loaned my friend Liz when you were over? I think that, or Signal to Noise are Gaiman's best stand-alone graphic novels. Sandman is, of course, his magnum opus.

Lori, I think you are perverse for many reasons, not the least of which because I know you, but the Stand is possibly my favorite King novel. I had mixed feelings about the extended version. Some scenes I thought were helped by the additional length (particualrly Frannie's talk with her parents) while others started to drag a bit. Plus, I was uneasy with the update in timeframe from the 1970s to the 1990s. Although I have not read it in many years, King's short story "Crouch End" was my favorite work of his for a long time

Got about 150 pages into Leon Wieseltier's "Kaddish" before I put it down. It is the story of a man whose father dies and he goes in seach of the history of the kaddish prayer. There are some great stories in the book, but it feels very repetitive (much like the kaddish prayer or the ritual of saying kaddish 3 times a day for a parent, which I am observing). However, there are only so many times I can hear about a tale from Rashi or Maimonides' time retold before I start to lose it. May pick it up again in a while, but just started re-reading Jack Chalker's Rings of the Master series. After Kaddish, I needed some light space opera to allow my mind some time to recover
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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:41 pm

I've always favored Stephen King's more science fictional things over the pure horror. Of his more recent stuff I really enjoyed FROM A BUICK 8, about one weird ass car. I like the way King allows the characters to speculate about what it all means but never imposes one explanation, letting the story just unfold.

I read the "expanded " THE STAND. I did enjoy the Jim Morrison story. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it.

His latest UNDER THE DOME sounds interesting. I'll wait and look for it in the used book stores.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:48 am

I wonder if "Under the Dome" was inspired by the Simpsons movie. Very similar plot. . .

I've liked most of what I've read of King - he's got a very reader friendly style a knack for characterization - but I've always found him very long winded, even in his shorter works.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:39 am

His plots are always shitty. What makes him good is his humour and charactors.

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FinderDoug
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FinderDoug » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:41 am

Just finished Dan Simmons' Hard Freeze and rolled right into the third book in the trilogy, Hard as Nails. Feeling gritty this week.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby reddragon70 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:43 am

Just started Robert Rankin's 31st novel, Retromancer. So far its very silly and great fun. Really enjoying it. Even better though, its getting made into a radio play like its previous volume The Brightonomicon. And David Warner is in it again :D

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:55 am

Raj Patal has a new book called the Value of Nothing, where he talks about the externalities that come from our economy, like the environmental damage and cost of just one hamburger, which should, in his view, cost 200 dollars, because of the costs down the line, not even counting the diabetes that ups healthcare costs. Externalities are rarely discussed in our sick economy, that only values freedom of choice, avoiding the hidden costs.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:55 am

FrankChurch wrote:Raj Patal has a new book called the Value of Nothing, where he talks about the externalities that come from our economy, like the environmental damage and cost of just one hamburger, which should, in his view, cost 200 dollars, because of the costs down the line, not even counting the diabetes that ups healthcare costs. Externalities are rarely discussed in our sick economy, that only values freedom of choice, avoiding the hidden costs.


Does the fact that Raj Patal has a new book, which you've heard about, mean that your :shock: reading :shock: it? And therefore are contributing something on topic and relevant to this thread, instead of hijacking it to sabotage it? Lawdy me!
OR
Psst. Did you really just pull this from the blurb on the back, Frank? :lol:


I'm now reading "The Hound of the Baskervilles". I'd forgotten how active a role Watson plays in the story.
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:28 am

Oh leave him alone. There's a new book out with an interesting premise and he wants to mention it. Where's the harm? :|


I haven't actually readGuns Germs and Steel, but I've seen the National Geographic special on it, and it sounds fascinating.


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