The 'Read 52 Books in 2015 Challenge' Thread Page 5

  • Deleted user 9 January 2015 15:17:32
    @RedSparrows

    Good call on The Magic Mountain. Also need to finish it off. I found the start to be fantastic but put it down for some reason and never returned to it.
  • CosmicFuzz 9 Jan 2015 18:03:04 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    CosmicFuzz wrote:
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    CosmicFuzz wrote:
    Oh! Also finished Horns the week by Joe Hill, so I'm at two.
    What did you think? I couldn't stand it .
    Really? I enjoyed it quite a bit! Have you read any other Joe Hill?
    Can't say I have - got pointed in the direction of this one by Gremmi, who may have been overexcited by the Stephen King link.

    It's a style thing as much as anything to be frank.
    Don't know if you read graphic novels or not but check out Locke and Key - comic series by Hill that's very good. Quite Lovecraftian.
  • Deleted user 9 January 2015 21:09:24
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Eh? My point was to read books of value, not read trash by the cartload to up your score. Not to mention how low the bar is in here already - Dune as a challenging sci-fi read? Christ, it's basically Star Wars.
    Sure I guess. But you usually try to read good stuff as trash doesn't hold your attention much, or it doesn't mine. But if you have shit taste then enjoy your shit sandwich.

    I was on about there are obviously easier ways to get into the habit of reading and harder ways. East of Eden is an awesome book but not easy in comparison to Of Mice and Men, for example.

    In this age of instant gratification it's nicer and more gratifying to help people into it properly than just suggesting ridiculously inappropriate shit. There's a reason why Charles Dickins novels were so long. No TV, no radio, no record players.
  • brigadier 13 Jan 2015 09:46:11 1,036 posts
    Seen 1 day ago
    Registered 15 years ago
    Second one down. Finished King Rat by James Clavell last night. It's my third Clavell novel after reading Shogun and Taipan many many moons ago. It's my least favourite of those, but saying that, it's still magnificent. Mercifully shorter than the latter 2, real page turner.

    Set in a Japanese WWII POW camp in Singapore it follows the survival story of a British officer making his way through the horrors of the camp, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with the "King" of the camp, an American corporal who has a thumb-hold on the black market within the camp. It's loosely based upon the authors very own experience in the very same camp during the war.

    Not sure what to read next though. As much as I'd enjoy them, I'm not sure I can commit to the other Clavell epics.
  • JoelStinty 15 Jan 2015 15:25:49 8,981 posts
    Seen 2 minutes ago
    Registered 7 years ago
    Just finished my second book. Twelve years a slave.

    It's fantastic. Really is. Solomon Northup's writing is great, clear and precise, with little flourishes of some great prose. Can't even imagine the position he found himself in. Not that he was just a slave, but that he was a man of great stature and intelligence. to be repressed in such a way must have been disheartening. He doesn't pull back on his descriptions, some scenes are horrific, and the way he describe slaves that know no different from slavery is equally terrible too.

    Highly recommended,
  • Deleted user 16 January 2015 06:13:21
    Week 3

    So week 3 is here. I'm on 6 books so far: 1 novella, an autobiography, a book of poetry, and 3 non-fiction books.

    Next up, The Magic Mountain. Will probably take a couple of weeks to read and will be a good warm up for Remembrance of Time Past.
  • CosmicFuzz 16 Jan 2015 10:21:38 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Week 2 over - I've finished Horns, Cat's Cradle and this week polished off The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd.

    Stone Man was a self published kindle book that the author put out in paperback by print-on-demand. It's a decent read, but (annoyingly for someone who wants to publish a book himself) you can tell that it's not went through the "old fashioned" system. It needs some editing down - lots of rambling paragraphs or clunky sentences that I'd imagine an editor would help smooth over. The dialogue is bothersome too, very direct and rather stilted.

    Having said that I did enjoy it - it's about a massive Stone Man that appears and starts walking across the UK. Very sci fi in places. Recommended read but keep in mind it's rather rough.
  • Deleted user 16 January 2015 23:13:12
    THIS IS A GOOD THREAD.

    So far this year I have read:

    Station Eleven. A great post-apocalypse novel in a sea full of terrible post-apocalypse novels. Worth hunting down if you're a fan of post-apocalypse novels.

    Solo. James Bond. Was a re-read. Was okay.

    Mr. Mercedes. Was good. Didn't read like a Stephen King. He should write more stuff outside of supernatural gubbins.

    Red Rising. The Hunger Games trilogy crammed into one book that moves way too fast.

    Currently midway through Ready Player One, and shall then move onto California and The String Diaries.
  • PazJohnMitch 17 Jan 2015 21:01:29 16,193 posts
    Seen 55 minutes ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Not going to read 52 but going to try and do 12.

    First completion is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Struggled to get into it initially to be honest as there were lots of flashbacks / dreams however I thoroughly enjoyed it by the end.

    Edited by PazJohnMitch at 21:01:57 17-01-2015
  • Deleted user 17 January 2015 22:10:12
    I may have to give up with Ready Player One. It started off okay, but has now devolved into author wish fulfillment and almost every sentence ending with "...AND IT WAS JUST LIKE (random 80s reference)"
  • CosmicFuzz 17 Jan 2015 23:47:04 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Ha, I was just going to ask how you were finding it. Question answered.

    Think I'll give it a miss.
  • Deleted user 17 January 2015 23:52:07
    Here's an example paragraph from halfway through the book:

    "I made a big entrance when I arrived in my flying DeLorean, which I'd obtained by completing a Back to the Future quest on the planet Zemeckis. The DeLorean came outfitted with a (nonfunctioning) flux capacitor, but I'd made several additions to its equipment and appearance. First, I'd installed an artificially intelligent onboard computer named KITT (purchased in an online auction) into the dashboard, along with a matching red Knight Rider scanner just about the DeLorean's grill. Then I'd outfitted the car with an oscillation overthruster, a device that allowed it to travel through solid matter. Finally, to complete my '80s super-vehicle theme, I'd slapped a Ghostbusters logo on each of the DeLorean's gull-wing doors, then added personalized plates that read ETCO-88."

    That's not a stand-out paragraph either, they're almost all like that.

    Edited by Gremmoo at 23:52:24 17-01-2015
  • CosmicFuzz 18 Jan 2015 00:03:28 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Post deleted
  • Deleted user 18 January 2015 00:03:46
    Consider the Lobster David Foster Wallace

    A collection of short essays covering subjects such as awards in pornographic entertainment, do lobsters feel pain, the 9/11 attacks from a small town perspective and sports biographies amongst other things. Its a great read though some of the essays interested me more than others, as well as the small human moments in each one. In particular the small story about the detective who returns stolen porno films to a star and reveals why he's so facinated with them.

    Would definitely recommend this. Going to get started on Women by Bukowski next and I'm still going through Embassytown which is really good at the moment.
  • CosmicFuzz 18 Jan 2015 00:03:58 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Jesus, that's awful. It's like embarrassing fan fiction.
  • Deleted user 20 January 2015 18:31:56
    I've made it around 90% of the way through and it's still awful. I'm genuinely baffled by the success of the damn thing. It's like someone asked a 14 year old to write a story about how he's the King of the Internet. Plus it's so badly written from a technical viewpoint. There's an entire two pages dedicated to explaining how he had a security airlock installed and how it works in great and specific detail, even though it could be completely replaced with a single short sentence of "for security reasons I've installed an airlock for deliveries".

    But even then, even then, it's utterly superfluous to really mention it because it never once gets used for anything.
  • CosmicFuzz 20 Jan 2015 19:07:29 32,585 posts
    Seen 46 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    He's writing a sequel apparently...
  • Trowel 20 Jan 2015 23:01:37 23,658 posts
    Seen 12 hours ago
    Registered 17 years ago
    Gremmoo wrote:
    Mr. Mercedes. Was good. Didn't read like a Stephen King. He should write more stuff outside of supernatural gubbins.
    He wrote 11.22.63 in a similar vein and pacing (albeit with a touch of time travel thrown in) - decent read, though I'm not a big fan either; bit too close to Dan Brown in places.
  • HarryPalmer 21 Jan 2015 11:32:55 6,166 posts
    Seen 10 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Might try and keep track of what I read here - no idea how many books I read in a year, I think I'm a pretty slow reader generally.

    so far I've read:

    The Story of San Michele - Axel Munthe
    Totally bizarre memoir. Swedish doctor basically did what he liked, made loads of dosh, built an incredible house on Capri and kept loads of animals, including a mischievous - reformed alcoholic baboon called Billy. Very enjoyable, if a bit self-aggrandising.

    Stillness and Speed: My Story - David Winner
    Dennis Bergkamp's sort of autobiography. Fascinating, and very well written, with an interesting structure. If you like football (particularly the Dutch or Arsenal) then it's a must read. The system at Ajax is fascinating. What a guy.

    The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole
    I have a Gothic novel anthology, and this is the daddy of them all, apparently.
    Mental, hard to follow, supernatural melodrama. Massive helmet.

    Vathek - William Beckford
    Also from the Gothic old school. Slightly more enjoyable, also bat shit crazy and all over the place. Features an Indian man being turned into a ball.

    Frankenstein up next.
  • Deleted user 21 January 2015 11:34:13
    I love that Walpole pretended Otranto was a translation. I love that kind of shit, it's so immersive. Probably done to death now though.

    Edited by RedSparrows at 11:34:28 21-01-2015
  • HarryPalmer 21 Jan 2015 11:40:41 6,166 posts
    Seen 10 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    Yeah, Vathek is the same - seemed to be the done thing because 'gentlemen' didn't want to be associated with such silly fiction. Until it became massively profitable that is!

    They definitely work as ghost stories, but I find them quite hard to follow, as the narrative and logic is so different to today's style.
  • TenderChicken 21 Jan 2015 11:43:04 3,539 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    This year so far I've read the Forever War (9/10), Radio Free Albemuth (8/10), Flowers for Algernon (9/10) and the Minority Report (7/10).

    I'm currently battling through Ubik. Not PKD's best, I'd say.
  • HarryPalmer 21 Jan 2015 11:44:57 6,166 posts
    Seen 10 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    I loved Ubik, one of my favourites, along with Valis, but I've only read it once, a long time ago.

    The Forever War is such a classic, need to read that again too.
  • Deleted user 21 January 2015 11:52:33
    I found Valis to be totally bonkers. Just couldn't get into it at all. I particularly enjoyed Time Out of Joint, Ubik and The Man in the High Castle.
  • Deleted user 21 January 2015 11:57:01
    Jack Vance is a bit alright isn't he. Why aren't people reading this instead of the misery of Tolkein?
  • TenderChicken 21 Jan 2015 12:06:32 3,539 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    HarryPalmer wrote:
    I loved Ubik, one of my favourites, along with Valis, but I've only read it once, a long time ago.

    The Forever War is such a classic, need to read that again too.
    I'm about half way through, so I'll reserve judgement until I finish.

    I absolutely loved the Forever War, are the other books in the series (is it even a series?) worth checking out?
  • TenderChicken 21 Jan 2015 12:07:12 3,539 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    zoolophage wrote:
    I found Valis to be totally bonkers. Just couldn't get into it at all. I particularly enjoyed Time Out of Joint, Ubik and The Man in the High Castle.
    Man in the High Castle and A Scanner Darkly are my two favourites, I'd say.
  • HarryPalmer 21 Jan 2015 12:15:44 6,166 posts
    Seen 10 minutes ago
    Registered 14 years ago
    @TenderChicken - I havnt read them because a friend said they were shite. But I will if I see them second hand or something.
  • TenderChicken 21 Jan 2015 12:37:23 3,539 posts
    Seen 5 days ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    HarryPalmer wrote:
    @TenderChicken - I havnt read them because a friend said they were shite. But I will if I see them second hand or something.
    I see that the trilogy is the same price as the individual novel I bought on Amazon! Should have just bought that instead.
  • Deleted user 23 January 2015 07:07:33
    Week 4

    Week 4 of the brand new, shiny year has begun and the sparkle is just beginning to wear off a little. I've been getting into The Magic Mountain and am now about a thirrs of the way through - only another 500 pages to wade through.

    I'm rather enjoying it, a thought provoking mixture of philosophy, musings on the nature and passage of time as well as extensive looks at the small pleasures of life and the nature and being of humanity. No small potatoes here. And the eating. Much of the narrative is concerned with the 5 times a day sumptuous meals and the goings on that are enacted during them.

    It's very likely a classic. Hope to finish it in the next week or so.
Log in or register to reply

Sometimes posts may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.