Read more books - 2017 edition Page 4

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  • Nielzor 25 Jun 2017 09:23:29 484 posts
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    If you're looking for a good book, you can't go wrong with Grand Theft Octo. I happen to know this because it was written by, well, me. The ebook is free for the next couple of days so it won't even cost you a single bloomin' penny:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grand-Theft-Octo-Niels-Saunders-ebook/dp/B071V8XRQC

    Here's the synopsis:

    When Jonathan Doe is fired from his office job for stealing too much stationery, he becomes an entrepreneur of businesses the world has never seen. After a disastrous start at freelance taxidermy, he moves onto professional octopus teasing. Will he fail again or make his fortune? Is he really a professional or just a con artist? Desperate to succeed, his plans become more outlandish, from stealing theme park mascots at gunpoint to fighting deranged restaurant tycoons. As the enemies he makes seek revenge, both his life and business are threatened, until his world spirals into mayhem and violence. Set in the fictional city of Vestibue, England, Grand Theft Octo is a wild and hilarious ride that strikes at the heart of aspirational culture.

    Cheers me dears!
  • rice_sandwich 25 Jun 2017 12:08:30 6,452 posts
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    Non-Fiction

    1. The Genius of Birds (Jennifer Ackerman) - 4/5
    2. Food Rules (Michael Pollan) - 4/5
    3. Absolutely on Music (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    4. Grunt (Mary Roach) - 4/5
    5. Gut (Giulia Enders) - 4/5
    6. Paddle Your Own Canoe (Nick Offerman) - 2.5/5
    7. Hi Is For Hawk (Helen MacDonald) - 5/5
    8. The Path (Michael Puett/Christine Gross-Loh) - 3/5
    9. The Hidden Life of Trees (Peter Wohlleben) - 4/5
    10. Seneca: A Life (Emily Wilson) - 3.5/5

    Fiction

    1. The Sound of The Mountain (Yasunari Kawabata) 3.5/5
    2. Beware of Pity (Stefan Zweig) - 4.5/5
    3. Moth Smoke (Mohsin Hamid) 3.5/5
    4. My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante) - 5/5
    5. Barkskins (Annie Proulx) - 4/5
    6. The God of Small Things (abandoned at 40%) - 2/5
    7. Men Without Women (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    8. In The Beginning Was The Sea (Tomas Gonzalez) - 3.5/5
    9. An Account of The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It (Jessie Greengrass) - 4/5
    10. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Boll) - 5/5

    Half way through the year and I've equalled the number of books I read last year. I counted my to be read pile and it's at 60 books. I noticed that I'm reading a much wider range of genres/topics compared to when I was in my 20s when I mostly read sci-fi novels, such as Philip K Dick. Although I should probably try to read much political, current affairs and other genres like sports books. Still chugging through Devils, it's super long. Somehow it's a lot easier and a lot more fun to get through reading backlogs than gaming backlogs.
  • JoelStinty 25 Jun 2017 13:19:43 8,922 posts
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    South of the border, west of the sun - Murikami.

    A short but tender and beautiful novel. A stripped back murikami but one that has all of his recognisable tropes. Some of the writing in this is terrific and reminds me how good he can be at times. I always seem to recognise myself in his books.

    #1) American Gods - Gaiman
    #2) South of the border, West of the Sun - Murikami
  • rice_sandwich 13 Jul 2017 07:25:11 6,452 posts
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    Fiction

    1. The Sound of The Mountain (Yasunari Kawabata) 3.5/5
    2. Beware of Pity (Stefan Zweig) - 4.5/5
    3. Moth Smoke (Mohsin Hamid) 3.5/5
    4. My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante) - 5/5
    5. Barkskins (Annie Proulx) - 4/5
    6. The God of Small Things (abandoned at 40%) - 2/5
    7. Men Without Women (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    8. In The Beginning Was The Sea (Tomas Gonzalez) - 3.5/5
    9. An Account of The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It (Jessie Greengrass) - 4/5
    10. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Boll) - 5/5
    11. Demons - Fyodor Dostoevsky (3.5/5)

    I have finally finished Demons! It felt like 1000 pages but turned out to be only 750ish pages. The first half of it is the best as it's essentially a long character study with many long and meandering conversations. The main plot, such as it is, doesn't really start until half way through. It's easily the most complex book I've read this year in terms of number of characters and plot twists and turns. My only complaint is that it's somewhat overlong.

    Next up: The Silk Roads, A New History of the World.
  • JoelStinty 24 Jul 2017 18:11:31 8,922 posts
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    The Rider - Tim Krabbe

    Superb. One of the best books i have ever read. A short novel about a Cylisct account of a road race he took part in, pretty much Kilometre by Kilometre. Which sounds boring, but Tim's Writing is superb and brings the race to life with some beautiful prose and some pretty funny cutting remarks about other riders and himself. Towards the end it can get a bit hallucinogenic - as he very much goes into the red - which can confuse some passages. But is a beautiful book about cycling, the human condition and pushing oneself to the very edge of what one can do.

    I know i liked it because i visualised making a film of it which i tend to do with books i really like.

    5/5

    #1) American Gods - Gaiman
    #2) South of the border, West of the Sun - Murakami
    #3) The Rider - Tim Krabbe

    Edited by JoelStinty at 18:13:01 24-07-2017
  • rice_sandwich 31 Jul 2017 21:07:37 6,452 posts
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    1. The Genius of Birds (Jennifer Ackerman) - 4/5
    2. Food Rules (Michael Pollan) - 4/5
    3. Absolutely on Music (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    4. Grunt (Mary Roach) - 4/5
    5. Gut (Giulia Enders) - 4/5
    6. Paddle Your Own Canoe (Nick Offerman) - 2.5/5
    7. Hi Is For Hawk (Helen MacDonald) - 5/5
    8. The Path (Michael Puett/Christine Gross-Loh) - 3/5
    9. The Hidden Life of Trees (Peter Wohlleben) - 4/5
    10. Seneca: A Life (Emily Wilson) - 3.5/5
    11. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World - 5/5

    A brilliant tour of the last few thousand years of world history as told from the perspective of Central Asia and the East rather then the usual euro-centric view. Later chapters are incredibly damning in respect of the incessant meddling of Britain, the USSR and particularly America in their efforts to control and shape the world to further their own interests at the expense of others. A must read.
  • rice_sandwich 19 Sep 2017 11:29:44 6,452 posts
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    I haven't been reading that much over the past couple of months but have finished two more books. Up to 24 read this year. I have 2 more books on the go right now, and three fairly short ones in the pipeline so should be updating again soon. I hope to hit 35 to 40 read before the end of the year. It's generally more satisfying than finishing games.

    Non-Fiction

    12. The Tale of the Axe (David Miles) - 3/5

    An at times interesting but somewhat dry history of the transition from hunter gathering to farming over the last 8000 years. Lots of archaeological detail about cairns, barrows and other structures. So much remains unknown about humanity before the introduction of writing.

    Fiction

    12. The Talented Mr Ripley (Patricia Highsmith) - 3/5

    An ok pot boiler with a somewhat implausible plot. It starts out slowly but becomes more interesting as it progresses. I'll probably read the sequels.
  • sherpa1984 19 Sep 2017 13:37:32 847 posts
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    After Amazon were selling the Kindle edition for £1 I made a start on American Gods seeing as how popular it is (plus the TV show) but I had to give up 1/3 of the way in. Too weird for me. Literally the first chapter has a couple shagging and the woman gobbles up the man by inserting him into her fanny and he doesn't fight it.

    Back to that Steve Erikkson fantasy series but books 1 and 2 weren't super.

    Edited by sherpa1984 at 13:38:52 19-09-2017
  • mal 19 Sep 2017 20:48:42 29,326 posts
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    I should have used this thread to keep track, but I think my books read this far is:
    0. Einstein Lived Here - Abraham Pais - a bit too straight
    1. The Catcher In The Rye - J.D.Salinger - essential if you're still in your 20s or younger
    2. Watching the English - Kate Fox - She charmed me by the end; Recommeded
    3. The His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman - second book felt a bit slow, but being a book for younger readers, it's an easy read, which is how I like a set of books this long, personally; A proper epic.
    6. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra - Vaseem Khan - Characterful and evocative, if not especially impactful.
    7. Tricks of the Mind - Derren Brown - too much religion, which rarely works regardless of which side you're on
    8. How the Marquis Got His Coat Back - Neil Gaiman - always nice to dip back into london below, even just for a short story.
    9. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson - An autobiography of his early years in Des Moines; light and fluffy, the way he always writes.

    I think I read the first Dalziel & Pascoe novel this year, which it turns out isn't a patch on some of his later work. And probably some other crap offloaded onto me by relatives, I really can't remember, nor care to especially.
  • rice_sandwich 18 Oct 2017 19:04:47 6,452 posts
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    FICTION

    1. The Sound of The Mountain (Yasunari Kawabata) 3.5/5
    2. Beware of Pity (Stefan Zweig) - 4.5/5
    3. Moth Smoke (Mohsin Hamid) 3.5/5
    4. My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante) - 5/5
    5. Barkskins (Annie Proulx) - 4/5
    6. The God of Small Things (abandoned at 40%) - 2/5
    7. Men Without Women (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    8. In The Beginning Was The Sea (Tomas Gonzalez) - 3.5/5
    9. An Account of The Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It (Jessie Greengrass) - 4/5
    10. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (Heinrich Boll) - 5/5
    11. Demons - Fyodor Dostoevsky (3.5/5)
    12. The Talented Mr Ripley (Patricia Highsmith) - 3/5
    13. Record of a Night Too Brief (Hiromi Kawakami) - 3/5
    14. Spring Garden (Tomoka Shibasaki - 4/5)

    NON-FICTION

    1. The Genius of Birds (Jennifer Ackerman) - 4/5
    2. Food Rules (Michael Pollan) - 4/5
    3. Absolutely on Music (Haruki Murakami) - 3/5
    4. Grunt (Mary Roach) - 4/5
    5. Gut (Giulia Enders) - 4/5
    6. Paddle Your Own Canoe (Nick Offerman) - 2.5/5
    7. Hi Is For Hawk (Helen MacDonald) - 5/5
    8. The Path (Michael Puett/Christine Gross-Loh) - 3/5
    9. The Hidden Life of Trees (Peter Wohlleben) - 4/5
    10. Seneca: A Life (Emily Wilson) - 3.5/5
    11. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World - 5/5
    12. The Tale of the Axe (David Miles) - 3/5
    13. The Unwomanly Face of War - 5/5

    Bump. I haven't been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of months due to gaming much more on the Switch. It's just so convienent to game anytime, anywhere. Anyway, The Unwomanly Face of War is an incredible, sobering account of many Russian women who fought on the eastern front during WW2. They were gunners, engineers, partisan fighters, sappers, pilots, medical assistant, machine gun crew...you name it, they did it. As there are so many stories it gets a little repetitive but it's very powerful stuff, a classic imo.

    As for fiction, I liked Spring Garden, a novella about some neighbours living in a soon to be demolished flat. They become obsessed with a photo book from the 1970s that shows the interior of a house just around the corner. A really nice character study and just the right amount of detail for a novella.

    As there's only a few weeks left in the year I've picked out 10 or so books that I hope to read before 2018. Not a bad year's reading but I can do better in 2018.

    Edited by rice_sandwich at 19:15:18 18-10-2017
  • Your-Mother 9 Dec 2019 16:02:45 4,471 posts
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    I know it’s spam, but “love reading” and “Atlas Shrugged is one of my favorite books” are mutually exclusive terms.
  • neilka 9 Dec 2019 16:41:11 23,404 posts
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    I engaged the services of an-essay.com to write me an essay about the works of Shakespeare but it came back as a 20,000 word expletive filled tirade about why you should never trust a gypsy.
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