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Old 01-07-2016, 05:35 PM   #811
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Ready Player One is not a good book, gang. Not at all.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:58 PM   #812
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Guess I'll wait for the movie on that one.


I just finished William Gibson's The Peripheral. Pretty much in line quality-wise with other recent works (very good but not earth-shattering), though the science fiction conceits are a little more ambitious this time around. It will be interesting to see if this is the start of a new loose trilogy within a specific world and some shared characters, or if he's going to be doing one-offs for a while.

Pattern Recognition is still his post-Neuromancer peak.

I'm trying to decide whether to dive into Murakami's 1Q84 right now, or finish up some shorter books that I've already started. The one I'm furthest into is John Irving's The Water Method Man.
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:06 PM   #813
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I really thing Spielbergo will do great work with the material. But the book is amature hour.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:42 AM   #814
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I finished The Bone Clocks and The Road over the past week. The former was good, but possibly my least favorite Mitchell so far (I haven't read number9dream or Black Swan Green yet). The earlier stories related to young Holly were very captivating, but I really lost interest when I got to the chapters set in the future. I feel this is becoming the norm for Mitchell: I absolutely love his period stories (The Thousand Autumns... is my favorite), but I can't get into the sci-fi/futuristic aspects of his novels.

The Road, on the other hand, was brilliant. Possibly one of the best father-son stories I have read, specifically the heartbreaking aspects of parental fear of dying before a child. Chabon's review is really beautiful:

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The Road is not a record of fatherly fidelity; it is a testament to the abyss of a parent’s greatest fears. The fear of leaving your child alone, of dying before your child has reached adulthood and learned to work the mechanisms and face the dangers of the world, or found a new partner to face them with. The fear of one day being obliged for your child’s own good, for his peace and comfort, to do violence to him or even end his life. And, above all, the fear of knowing—as every parent fears—that you have left your children a world more damaged, more poisoned, more base and violent and cheerless and toxic, more doomed, than the one you inherited.
And specifically, I really like how this fear stands in contradiction with the nature of the apocalyptic world he describes, created by present generations not caring enough about future generations (as in the climate change discussions).
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:47 PM   #815
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The Bone Clocks is definitely better than number9dream, which is way too derivative of Murakami. Like, so much that I often forgot I was reading a Mitchell novel.

But I do prefer Cloud Atlas, Thousand Autumns, and probably Black Swan Green to Bone Clocks, which has so much great stuff in it but didn't quite bowl me over by the end like the others.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:16 AM   #816
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I'm reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Norwegian Wood and having an absolutely wonderful time with both. Switching back and forth depending on my mood, but I'll finish up Androids in the next day or so at my current pace.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:33 PM   #817
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Books Part V, featuring Benny Profane and the Whole Sick Crew

Followup post:

Finished both, loved both. Androids I finished almost immediately. I was struck by how much romance there was in the novel compared to Blade Runner. It's a warmer, more relatable narrative than that of the film. If I have any complaints, it's how quickly the wife's depression seemed to resolve itself, at least on the surface. I seem to recall her falling back into old habits at the end, but it's been a while since I finished it.

Wrapped up Norwegian Wood today. It was flawed, occasionally repetitive and had a slightly deranged view of sex (just how incredible of a lover was Toru anyway?) but the prose was wonderful and it had a terrific cast of characters. Midori was a real gem. This is a story that I needed to read at this precise moment in my life and I was greatly moved by its message, so I can overlook some aspects I didn't care for. I look forward to reading more Murakami.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:55 AM   #818
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I'm about 3/4 of the way through the gargantuan 1Q84. Not his best work, but pretty typical Murakami despite the size, and a good enough read.

If Norwegian Wood was your first one of his, I'd suggest Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to be next. Many fans consider the latter their favorite; I'm partial to the former. Both are definite high points.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:43 AM   #819
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When the sixth Harry Potter movie came out, I never went to see it. I had fallen behind in the books, having only read up to five. I really wanted to see it, but I never did, because I always felt the books were better than the films, not so much because the films weren't good (fuck they're great for the most part) but just what they left out was a shame. Unavoidable in parts, but a shame nonetheless. So I always said that I would see it when I read the books.

Then the internet started becoming a big thing. Like, that sounds stupid, but when I was a kid, if you wanted to use the internet you were chained to a computer. All of a sudden there was high-speed internet at uni. I got a job and there was internet there, too. Then computers were eschewed for laptops. Instead of fighting with my siblings for the computer, I just got a laptop and a really long ethernet cable. Then wifi came. I could sit in my room with my laptop. Then phones started getting smarter and all of a sudden you didn't even need wifi; you could be on the internet wherever you had good phone reception. This all started happening slowly from about 10 years ago, I'd say. Give or take a few years.

I used to LOVE reading. My parents will tell you stories of how often I would curl up with a book, whether it be fiction or sports stats, and just. read. But I think once the internet started becoming a thing, I got distracted. I got lazy. I could read... but that's so boring. and it takes so long. and you have to make a commitment to something that requires effort and a LOT of time and it might suck. What's happened of Facebook though? Or Twitter?

Now, I fucking ADORE the internet and technology. It has been responsible for a lot of happiness in my life. It fucking rules. I fucking hate people, usually either boomers or idealistic idiotic young people, who say that technology is "destroying our ability to communicate" or whatever. That's it's ruining lives. That's bullshit. Yes, it has drawbacks, like everything, but a) it's actually improved communication, objectively b) it has been good for so many things and c) you're fucking kidding yourself if you think that people who are now 55 wouldn't have been just as addicted as 15-year-olds are now if the technology existed when they were 15.

But, I will admit that the internet and the advancement of technology stopped me from doing something I really loved, reading, for a very long time. Like, 10 years. (Give or take a few.) And I never really liked that, but I'd try to start reading something and would just go back on my phone. Too hard basket. Who cares.

But in the last year or so, largely thanks to CBT, I've wanted to better myself. And finally getting back to reading is high on the list of things I want to change (other things include stop being proudly ignorant I'm not into film and start watching more of it. becoming a better cook. learning Italian again). But it's a slow, slow process.

My girlfriend is a HUGE Harry Potter fan. In the early days of our relationship, she would often go to relate IRL-things to it like, "OMG this is just like in Harry Potter when--" but I would stop her and say that I didn't want spoilers, because I never read books 6 and 7, nor saw the movies. "I want to read the books." And she would be indignant, like you've had all this fucking time, blah blah blah. Eventually she cracked the shits and told me if I didn't want her spoiling it, I'd have to at the very least watch the movies. I said no, I want to read the books. I want to get back into reading. I want to finish what I fucking started like 20 years ago.

Today, at 5:30-odd PM on a sidewalk in Melbourne's CBD, I shed a few tears as I reached the end of the first book. And I was really, really happy. Reading it was like catching up with an old friend you haven't seen in years, but you hit it off right where you left it. Memories start flooding back and you wonder, why had I stopped seeing this person? They're fucking great.

So yeah, I'm so excited to read the rest of the books and finally finish what I started. Watch the movies again. I'm like a little kid. And boom, just like that, I think I've got the magic back.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:16 AM   #820
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I don't know if anyone is still reading Knausgaard's My Struggle or not but I just finished Book 5 last night night and absolutely loved it. Back in form after a weakish, though still enjoyable, Book 4. I also had the enormous pleasure of hearing him read recently and it was fantastic. He gave a few spoilers for Book 6 which lead me to believe the series is going to end on an outstanding note.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:10 PM   #821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfulgirl View Post
I don't know if anyone is still reading Knausgaard's My Struggle or not but I just finished Book 5 last night night and absolutely loved it. Back in form after a weakish, though still enjoyable, Book 4. I also had the enormous pleasure of hearing him read recently and it was fantastic. He gave a few spoilers for Book 6 which lead me to believe the series is going to end on an outstanding note.
I'm starting Book 4 this weekend, just waiting to finish Funny Girl tomorrow or Friday. Good to know that there are nice things to look forward to, even though most people don't seem to love Book 4.

How was his talk? I was sorry to miss him at BAM recently, would have loved to hear him.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:16 PM   #822
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I miss this thread, and I'm sure everyone's still reading, so here's a book I just finished.

The Big Roads, by Earl Swift

I dug the hell out of this book. If you drive long-distance in the US, like I do every summer (just about), you have an interest in the interstates and other US and state highways. This book traces the beginnings of the interstate system from the 1920s to the mid-2000s. Swift has a LOT of details about the men and the laws that built the system, and how the system changed and was changed by the various government agencies and the people impacted by the interstate system.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:13 PM   #823
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I'm trying to read Moby Dick and struggling. How the fuck do people do it? Do people still read this shit? It's so fucking long and racist and not really as pertinent as I was expecting. It's mostly just the 19th century wiki article on cetaceans but without the cetacean needed joke. I'm about 250 pages in so the plot is beginning to start, but I sure hope a lot of cool whale monomania stuff happens soon.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:15 PM   #824
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I really don't see a reason to ever read it, to be quite frank.

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Old 08-15-2016, 12:13 AM   #825
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I read Billy Budd and that was enough long Melville for me.
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