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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:41 am 
 

I've been catching up on a pile of books bought for me over the last couple of years, thought I'd join the thread.

In order of my personal enjoyment !

William Gibson - Neuromancer (1984)

Now, I've played Shadowrun (Gibson hated it), both pen & paper and computer games, many times. From the Matrix to Ready Player One - there are three decades of debt to this book in popular media. I'd never read it, mainly because I could never find a copy in a bookstore. I found one on the last day of my holiday this year, in a mall in Florida. I then read Neuromancer in two afternoons, and finally feel complete as a fan of the cyberpunk genre. The setting is that distillation of Blade Runner, Kowloon Walled City, and Asimov's grand concepts into a horrible world, one that you don't want to live in, but can't help turning the page over to explore further. Do you want hacking, a 1980s vision of corporations, neon-lights-in-the-rain, and characters that you really do start to care about ? You want a little shooting and some international travel between ruined cities too ? This book has all of that, and still feels fresh even if you've spent half your life consuming media inspired by it.


Becky Chambers - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2014)

Great worldbuilding in this one (I understand to be the first in series) - the settings and context / background environments are well fleshed out, and the world has that 'lived in' feel that good Sci-Fi generally manages to bring to the table. The story is like an old fashioned movie - lots of sitting around talking, with brief spurts of action - refreshing actually, more like old-school SciFi than something very kinetic like the Expanse series. The characters are generally good, well rounded and relatable - if prone to stopping the narrative / scene dead with exposition. The author has her personal politics, fine, but the story does suffer here and there with almost narrator-like interjections - much like Ann Leckie, or later Pratchett did. A better editor could have smoothed that out without losing the message, but then it's a first novel, and crowdfunded at that. One character I found a bit much - I won't mention due to spoilers even for a six-year-old book, but this character is an obvious lift from a famous TV series - and not done in a homage way, more in a Kai Hansen-steals-the-riffs way. Minor gripes aside, I'll definitely be picking up the sequels !


John Le Carre - Agent Running in the Field (2019)

I own everything Le Carre has written, and must have read the Smiley stuff three times over. He's a very good writer. He's also the definitive master of middle-aged-men-in-raincoats doing the spy game stuff. All chalk marks, sneaky Russians, and disillusioned Brits trying to do their bit via gin and tonic. Problem is, by 2019, and writing in the immediate present, his 1960s idioms and characterisations are well past their sell-by-date. Shoehorning in random admonishments to the reader about Trump and Brexit jarrs with the half-White Russian main character playing badminton and chatting up posh girls from the pony club. The characters could be inserted into any of his novels and they'd work - they'd work best in one of his 1980s-set novels, they'd just about seem realistic. Set in the present, they seem like time-travellers. The story isn't wound up particularly well - infact the whole thing feels like he wanted to get out a 'Brexit' novel (he's said as much in interviews as this being that kind of work), and just had some stock characters hanging around left over from the Tailor of Panama or something.
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Azmodes
Ultranaut

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 10632
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:49 am 
 

Methuen wrote:
Becky Chambers - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (2014)

Great worldbuilding in this one (I understand to be the first in series) - the settings and context / background environments are well fleshed out, and the world has that 'lived in' feel that good Sci-Fi generally manages to bring to the table. The story is like an old fashioned movie - lots of sitting around talking, with brief spurts of action - refreshing actually, more like old-school SciFi than something very kinetic like the Expanse series. The characters are generally good, well rounded and relatable - if prone to stopping the narrative / scene dead with exposition. The author has her personal politics, fine, but the story does suffer here and there with almost narrator-like interjections - much like Ann Leckie, or later Pratchett did. A better editor could have smoothed that out without losing the message, but then it's a first novel, and crowdfunded at that. One character I found a bit much - I won't mention due to spoilers even for a six-year-old book, but this character is an obvious lift from a famous TV series - and not done in a homage way, more in a Kai Hansen-steals-the-riffs way. Minor gripes aside, I'll definitely be picking up the sequels !

I really loved this one, something very warm and human about it and the worldbuilding is indeed on point. Definitely check out her other stuff, especially the one directly after this one is worth reading. And yeah, I totally get which character/inspiration you mean, haha. But I didn't mind it.
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Dudeguy Jones
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:07 am 
 

Wow. I really have to read Necromancer again. Just seeing the name brought back such visual memory accompaniment.

Ive been re-reading Malazan Book of the Fallen for the second time. Read all the books from the series before. Second read is so amazing.
What a book of compassion and what a damning of the human condition.

Im on book 8, Reapers Gale and Ive hit a slow spot and am wondering if I should pick up something else. Something light, like the Hitchhikers Guide.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:12 am 
 

I always thought I should read Neuromancer but never got around to it. Might have to finally do it.

Reading Dune right now, about 200 pages left to go. I like it - really nice imagery and a lot of big ideas. Not my favorite ever; not always into the whole 'dynasty/chosen one/prophet' stuff, or stories about kings and princes and whatnot. But I can see the appeal and the world-building has been interesting enough as escapism during this pandemic, with just enough social commentary to chew on.

And reading Yellow Bird, a true-life account of the Bakken North Dakota oil boom that I was there in 2013 for, tied into tribal drama, a murder, etc. It's really good. I can never get enough of the Western/plains vibes. Great, sobering writing.
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Dudeguy Jones
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:23 am 
 

Yellow Bird sounds very interesting! Thanks for the tip off!

Neuromancer is a weird book. The imagery that came into my head upon thinking about it is very unique. And thats how I recall the book. Definitely need to go back to that one and you should give it a whirl too.

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CoconutBackwards
Bullet Centrist

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:02 pm
Posts: 1003
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:30 am 
 

Everybody Loves Our Town - Mark Yarm

Book about Seattle before and after becoming the hotbed of music in the 90s. It's written as quotes from everyone you can think of from that era. I honestly don't love it so far. It's interesting to hear, but I'm wondering how much more I would've liked this when I was younger and far more obsessed with Soundgarden/Alice in Chains. There's a whole lot of people and bands that took up a lot of pages that I don't give a shit about, also (U-Men, Cat Butt). I'm about halfway through and haven't really read anything that's blew my mind yet.

It's Garry Shandling's Book - Judd Apatow

This is a book filled with pictures and personal thoughts throughout the life of Garry Shandling. I never watched The Larry Sanders show and to be honest, never knew a whole lot about him. The adulation he received when he died has made me want to understand what was so loved about him and then I heard someone call the Larry Sanders Show a precursor to 30 Rock which is about the highest praise I can think of.
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Dudeguy Jones
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 6:15 pm
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:42 am 
 

@CoconutBackwards.

Ever heard of the book Please Kill Me? By Legs McNeil. Its about the punk movement in NYC and England at the end of the 70s.
Its presented as quotes from everyone around that time. Dee Dee Ramones parts are so fucking memorable. The whole book is. I recommend everyone read it once.
You'll be telling the stories about it to anyone who will listen for months.

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CoconutBackwards
Bullet Centrist

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:02 pm
Posts: 1003
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:23 am 
 

Dudeguy Jones wrote:
@CoconutBackwards.

Ever heard of the book Please Kill Me? By Legs McNeil. Its about the punk movement in NYC and England at the end of the 70s.
Its presented as quotes from everyone around that time. Dee Dee Ramones parts are so fucking memorable. The whole book is. I recommend everyone read it once.
You'll be telling the stories about it to anyone who will listen for months.


I'll look into this. I've never been a big 70's punk guy, but if the stories are good that's all I care about.
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Southern Freeze
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 661
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:15 pm 
 

Black Metal: Into the Abyss by Dayal Patterson

interviews with

• FURIA
• MASSEMORD
• 1349
• FORGOTTEN WOODS
• TSJUDER
• NOCTURNAL DEPRESSION
• VEMOD
• ONE TAIL, ONE HEAD
• MYSTIFIER
• BLACK ALTAR
• BESATT
• MORD 'A' STIGMATA
• TRIST
• HELHEIM
• HYPOTHERMIA
• LOITS
• DEINONYCHUS
• PSYCHONAUT 4
• KOLDBRANN
• URGEHAL
• SACRILEGIUM
• BLAZE OF PERDITION

So the first half of this book seems to be interviews with the revival second wave bands like 1349 and so on, apart from Vemod. It reminds me of the book i read just before this about the straightedge scene where their was a retaliation against where the music was going (militant hardline), in this case the big names becoming more goth with synths and appealing to the more mainstream (kind of funny when you think about it in retrospect).

I listened to all the bands as I hadn't heard of some while reading this book and just like old hardcore, they're good but get old real fast. Its almost disturbing that some of these guys are like 40 with kids now still praising Satan and claiming their shows are "rituals". It baffles me that there is clearly a hidden nazi thing going on with a lot of these second/second wave bands aswell. Its never openly said but lyrics images show this and though its never admitted its never denied either. Its only a few bands in this book, but they talk about other bands and so on, I just think its bizarre that its even in a thing in bm , especially for a genre that's suppose to be non political.

The real reason I brought this book though is for the interviews with Nocturnal Depression Trist Hypothermia, Forgotten Woods and Psychonaut 4. Funny thing is I think these were the most honest, interesting and real interviews out of them all.....well apart from the Hypothermia one, that was a bit of a let down.

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~Guest 21181
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:27 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
Looks like Interlibrary Loan, the last Gene Wolfe novel, will come out June 2020. It's the sequel to A Borrowed Man.


https://www.amazon.com/Interlibrary-Loa ... oks&sr=1-1


And it's out. Can't decide if I should wait for an omnibus or just buy both books. I feel like an omnibus isn't very likely. Of course, I don't really need to get new books, but that's not exactly been stopping me lately.

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~Guest 21181
The Great Fearmonger

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:44 am
Posts: 3987
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:34 pm 
 

I thought some of the resident lupines might enjoy this: an analysis of how time is measured in The Book of the New Sun. The article isn't new but I only discovered it today. The primary focus is how long the Autarchy lasted---i.e, how much time passed between the ages of Typhon and Severian.

https://ultan.org.uk/posthistory-201/

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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:59 am 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
I thought some of the resident lupines might enjoy this: an analysis of how time is measured in The Book of the New Sun. The article isn't new but I only discovered it today. The primary focus is how long the Autarchy lasted---i.e, how much time passed between the ages of Typhon and Severian.

https://ultan.org.uk/posthistory-201/


Vague memories of reading New Sun mean this is irritatingly interesting, if you get me ? :lol: I'll have to re-read the novels I suppose ! Thanks :D
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Methuen
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:54 am 
 

Latest out of the pile

Kate Mosse - The Burning Chambers (2018) - She writes gothic novels from the perspective of a romantic historian. This one was very enjoyable, and shifted away from her usual medieval / Victorian setting to the start of the Wars of Religion in France (mid 16th Century AD) - a nice change, and it introduced a slew of new and well-grounded social and personal dynamics. She's obviously done the reading, as everything from the basic precepts of the Reformed Church down to the details of the surviving Roman architecture of Toulouse is spot on. Given the time and setting, she manages (in the main) to avoid coming down as a dogmatist for any point of view, modern or in-setting, which is always nice. The characters are engaging, the villain is a great one (no spoilers), and the whole thing clips along in the best tradition of the style. Swords do sword fighting, Inquisitors inquisit, and mercenaries aren't very nice people. It's the first of three books, and it does seem like I'll be getting the others in ! If you're not familiar with her, get 'Labyrinth' and enjoy a trilogy set around the Cathar Crusade as a central theme.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Labyrinth of Spirits (2017) - This is the next instalment in his 'cemetery of forgotten books' series; not your usual 'chronicles of x', it's a series of stand-alone novels that intersect at various points (or not at all) between some of the same characters, plot lines via the Spanish Civil War. I read the first three in a non-chronological order (I bought the third first, first second), and loved them. There's a whiff of the supernatural, but not much - they're gothic-noir novels, but much less focused on the history and grand-scheme compared to Kate Mosse. There's a good bit of third-person narration thrown in to move things along. This one is more of the same - about the micro-level lives of ordinary people touched by the Civil War, and the various bad actors involved in that. The translations into English are good, and retain some of the segues into dialect or slang, which is always appreciated. It's a world of fog, secret policemen, horrible psychological and physical scars, and above all about the power of the written word. Highley, highly recommended for a sunny day in the garden with a glass of (Spanish) wine.

Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish (2007) - I thoroughly enjoyed the Witcher games, and roundly disliked the (horribly, horribly wooden) TV series. I was given the first book as a present, but never got around to it until now (thanks, lockdown). Didn't realise that it's a book of short stories, or I'd have dipped in earlier. I recognise a lot of the plots from the games, so if you've played those, you can just enjoy the storytelling even where you know what will happen. They're very good, the translation is good, and carries over the style well into English I understand - sharp, sarcastic, irreverent adventure stories. The world he's fleshing out here is fresh feeling, rather like a late-era version of Tolkien's world, without the Deus Ex Machina of all-powerful wizards. The drinking is there, the monsters, the bath is there, the women are there, the fighting & evil priests - the whole thing is rather like reading a Powerwolf album. Very enjoyable.
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BeholdtheNicktopus
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:26 pm
Posts: 489
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:19 am 
 

Haven't read anything other people are mentioning, so can't comment. Neuromancer was great but it's been ages since I read it. Well over a decade at this point.

I just read "Stranger in a Strange Land", gotta say it was pretty awful. Speeches upon speeches. Humans are like this. Humans are like that. You can't judge x. Just a bad plot. Characters started out likable (only redeeming quality), but quickly become totally unlikable and lost their personalities (I know that was the point of the last half of the book, I guess, but it was just unenjoyable after that point as the plot/point was so lame). On the other hand, Philip K Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" was quite good. Little sci-fi jaunt.

But I also just finished John Cowper Powys' book "Porius", which I'd been reading for months since it is so long. It was without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, a weird modernist Arthurian masterpiece. The cosmic battle of 3 and 4 never seemed so compelling...

Just starting some William Hope Hodgson. Plan to go through his collected fiction. "The Boats of the Glen Carrig" is all I've read so far. Good, can see its influence on Lovecraft and those guys. Overall kind of anti-climactic though. I hear his later stuff gets more adventurous, like "The Night Land". I can't wait for that one.
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Rottir
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:48 pm
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:16 am 
 

Fiction-wise I've been alternating between McCarthy and Murakami in a bid to finish off their bibliographies.

Completed recently since May/June-ish:

  • A Wild Sheep Chase (Murakami)
  • The Crossing (McCarthy)
  • Dance Dance Dance (Murakami)
  • Suttree (McCarthy)
  • Kafka On The Shore (Murakami)
  • The Orchard Keeper (McCarthy)


On deck:

  • 1Q84
  • Cities on the Plain (still need to get)


Not sure where I'll go after that. Maybe try my hand at Bolano or the rest of David Mitchell's novels.

Non-fiction-wise, I've been bogged down in a few different books for awhile

  • In the Dust of this Planet, the Horror of Philosophy - Eugene Thacker
  • The Communist Manifesto - Penguin edition, has like a 160-page introduction encompassing everything from Adam Smith to the Young Hegelians
  • The Myth of Sisyphus - Albert Camus - should be an easy one to finish up, but I always stall out 2/3rds the way through

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InnesI
The Goat Fucker

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1870
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 2:53 pm 
 

Rottir wrote:
Non-fiction-wise, I've been bogged down in a few different books for awhile

  • In the Dust of this Planet, the Horror of Philosophy - Eugene Thacker
  • The Communist Manifesto - Penguin edition, has like a 160-page introduction encompassing everything from Adam Smith to the Young Hegelians
  • The Myth of Sisyphus - Albert Camus - should be an easy one to finish up, but I always stall out 2/3rds the way through


I also own the Penguin edition of The Communist Manifesto. It does indeed look excellent with all the additions. Though I am yet to read it. I only had a budget swedish version before but that one was just the manifesto and a short intro. Not at all comparable to the Penguin edition I'm sure.

The Myth of Sisyphus is excellent. I never really enjoyed when Camus did fiction but this book I really enjoy.

I just finished Bengt Liljegrens biography on Adolf Hitler. Excellent book that never demonizes the man. That is he is not afraid to tell of the many bad sides of him, and of course what his leadership eventually ended up being, but he also tells about his good sides, his troubeled sides, sad sides. It does what a good biography should do and put light on every aspect of the man.

Right now I'm reading Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. I've only read the introduction thus far but I do enjoy it. Its an early book by Burke so perhaps not as sophisticated but I really appreciate the directness of his style here (I always though On the Revolution in France was a little bit dry but this one is not).
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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1839
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:04 am 
 

BeholdtheNicktopus wrote:
But I also just finished John Cowper Powys' book "Porius", which I'd been reading for months since it is so long. It was without a doubt one of the best books I've ever read, a weird modernist Arthurian masterpiece. The cosmic battle of 3 and 4 never seemed so compelling...


Small world - I've just bought his 'Maiden Castle', which I'm very much looking forwards to - glad Porius gets a good review !

I had a good time buying books from weird little shops over the weekend, so have the following to get through

Comics -
Mr Punch.... - Neil Gaiman & co
The High Cost of Living - Neil Gaiman & co

Books
The Gospel of Thomas (I don't have any Coptic stuff, so fills a gap)
St Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury - Rev Lionel Smithett-Lewis (this is one of my favourite legends, for its mixture of mysticism and plausibility)
The Bicentennial Man - Asimov
The Land Leviathan - Michael Moorcock
Wanderers of Time - John Wyndham
Hadrian the Seventh - Frederick Rolfe
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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:02 am 
 

I know we have a few history types here - so wanted to ask if anyone read any particularly interesting historic journals, diaries, letters ?

A few of my favourites (of totally different flavour) are -

Alexiad

The author is Anna Komnene, the daughter of the Roman (or Byzantine) Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The book deals with her life as her father's daughter, her fathers campaigns, rule, Roman politics. It also discourses heavily on the First Crusade, the 'barbarian' (Turks, Franks, Goths, Syriac) invasions of the empire, and how they managed militarily, socially, and personally. It's very revealing of the kind of brittle pride that was the empire by that point (late 11th - early 12th century AD). Rather uniquely for a history of the period, it's not straight hagiography, and deals critically and emotionally with the world. Totally unique (we have no other female author, and precious few Byzantine sources from the era), and a must read if you're interested in late medieval history, or the 'whys' of the Crusades / legacies of the Islamic conquests in that period.

Memoirs of Baron de Marbot

A general during the Napoleonic wars, Marbot is the absolute model of the wine-filled, gold-decked, womanising hussar of many fictional works. Think characters in Sharpe, Blackadder, Flashman, that kind of thing. Marbot is about as unapologetic as you can get, even for the era - and he was writing his memoir for his grandchildren. They're mainly stories of campaigning, drinking, fighting, and trying to avoid being done-in by someone with more revolutionary fervour than he. He's one of those people that you read and can't believe he lived to die of old age - nearly killed in three battles, had to eat his own horse to survive Russia, and made wine glasses with rounded bottoms for his mess so that a full glass could never safely be put down on the table. In terms of what you get from it ? You learn that a great deal of French middle-management just wanted the revolution to miss them, so that they didn't end up beheaded, you see a lot of antique social attitudes and are happy that you aren't subject to them by-and-large, and you learn a lot about domestic life during the period, more so than from Jane Austen.
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DeathFusion
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:25 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:34 am 
 

Stuff I have read this year:
Necronomicon: Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft.
Seeing as how Lovecraft is such a metal cliché I had to see what all the fuzz is about. Loved it! Dark as fuck.

William Gibson - Neuromancer; Count Zero; Mona Lisa Overdrive
Pretty cool trilogy, but since my expectations where huge I was mildly disappointed.

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
Great book, made me reflect on whether happiness for all can really be the only determining factor in moral and politics.

Christopher McDougall - Born to Run
Inspired me to seriously increase my running.

Stephen King - Hearts in Atlantis, The Shining
Reading right now: Stephen King - Doctor sleep. Such a great writer.

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wizard_of_bore
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 654
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:18 pm 
 

I am not much of a reviewer, but I just finished Kathy Valentines (Go Go's bassist) autobiography. Really interesting, I found it hard to put down. She has lived an amazing, yet crazy life. Started off playing guitar, played in Girlschool for a bit, before moving to LA to make it. It always amazes me people who move to LA with nothing and actually make it. I know there were thousands that didn't, but I still find it amazing that anyone did. To just up and move from Texas, to California with a friend who has someone you can stay with, all you bring is some music equipment and some savings is amazing. She had no big music connections out there, just started going to shows trying to meet people. That takes some balls. Very well written and obvious she is highly intelligent.

I just started Rob Halfords - Confess. I enjoy it quite a bit. It's a very good read so far. I would imagine anyone with homophobia probably won't like it. They probably stopped following Rob when he came out anyway. Very good book, I feel like I will probably burn through the entire book this weekend.
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Tekdeth
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 254
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:01 am 
 

I started reading books recently and I regret not starting to read earlier, yet at the same time I don't regret it because I feel like I'm finally wise enough to properly understand the books that I read. I'm turning 18 soon and I don't think that reading would've really done anything for me when I was 15 or so.

Onto the books I'm reading: they're all Dutch, and I must say that I'm rather surprised and pleased by the amount of great literature that's written in my native language. Of course, every language has great writers, and I am of the opinion that you should always start reading in your native language, it is truly the language whose literature will speak to you the most, no matter your proficiency in a second language such as English.

The writer that got me into reading (which is something that happened only about a month ago) is Arnon Grunberg. I have no idea how well-known he is outside of the Netherlands, and his books are probably different from and easier to understand than the books most of the people in this thread seem to read, though keep in mind that I'm 17. The main characters in his books almost always are pretty intelligent yet also have psychological issues, a description I sometimes attribute to myself, though I am aware of how cringy that might probably sound, but I can't think of another way to say it unfortunately, so take my application of that description to myself with a grain of salt.

Reading his books has just finally allowed me to analyze someone else's thoughts instead of my own, which is extremely tiresome due to my still rather severe OCD. It is indeed an escape from reality which I desperately need sometimes.

I am probably going to look back on this post in a few days and cringe the fuck out, though I am tired of not allowing myself to post "serious" things, which is why I will still post this post... I hope my quasi-self-awareness atleast lessens the cringe, so to say.

Anyways, I'm reading about 3 books a week now and I feel good about it.
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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5286
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:39 am 
 

Stumbled today over it on the page of The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/feb/10/drone-music-ancient-modern-history-monolithic-undertow-harry-sword

Quote:
From primitive instruments and sacred chants to today’s minimalist electronica and metal, drone music has a long and mystical history. A new book investigates


Sounds intriguing. 464 pages will provide a lot of ... hopefully good ... stuff.
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~Guest 58624
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 2:36 pm 
 

^Nice! I will definitely add that to my list, thank you. My enthusiasm for drone/ambient has been fading lately, so that could be just what I need to get into it again.

I just got this in the mail -

https://www.counterpointpress.com/dd-pr ... ilderness/
A Pelican in the Wilderness: Hermits, Solitaries, and Recluses by Isabel Colegate.

It was praised in the bibliography of a short overview I read of Athanasius's Life of Antony, itself an early classic in hagiography (biography/legend of saints): Per Wikipedia, Antony "is sometimes considered the first monk, and the first to initiate solitary desertification, but there were others before him."

Anyway, from what I can tell, Pelican looks like more of a miscellany of portraits than a dense academic tome, which should make it nice to just casually dip into here and there.

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oneyoudontknow
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:15 pm 
 

megalowho wrote:
^Nice! I will definitely add that to my list, thank you. My enthusiasm for drone/ambient has been fading lately, so that could be just what I need to get into it again.

I have ordered it and I am also rather curious about the book.
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InnesI
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:34 am 
 

oneyoudontknow wrote:
Stumbled today over it on the page of The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/feb/10/drone-music-ancient-modern-history-monolithic-undertow-harry-sword

Quote:
From primitive instruments and sacred chants to today’s minimalist electronica and metal, drone music has a long and mystical history. A new book investigates


Sounds intriguing. 464 pages will provide a lot of ... hopefully good ... stuff.


Very cool! It was just recently I realized there was such a instrumental category that were called drone. I'm really into a lot of music that has drone as a large part. Not just in metal but also more traditional music based around bag piped or the duduk for example.
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Lane
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:42 am 
 

I need to recommend C.J. Sansom's Shardlake novels to all who like sleuth stories and the 16th century. They are brutal depictions of clashing religions under the reign of Henry VIII of England. Nicely varying, though, as it's not all about religions. Hefty books, for sure!

Some time ago, I got to reading Stephen King after many, many years. "Tommyknockers" is an okay UFO story, if a tad too long, and Hearts in Atlantis is a cool depiction of children's lives in 1960s USA and following them later in 1999 (it's not "IT", but...).

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:20 pm 
 

I'd read Hemingway's books before, but not many of his short stories. Been reading through Men Without Women and now Snows of Kilimanjaro after buying them while visiting the Hemingway House in Key West. Tremendous. I might like these even more than the books. Got through with the title story of "Snows" just a bit ago - a sweeping emotional epic. Probably had influence on a lot of shit that came after.

He's great at action scenes with bullfights and boxing too. I can't believe I missed these.
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PETERG
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:03 am 
 

CLIVE BARKER - IMAGICA

I had never heard of Clive Barker before randomly taking his book from my dad's store about 2 years ago. I started reading Imagica 3 weeks ago and it is amazing! Barker writes horror with fantasy and tremendously simple vocabulary but manages to convey his enormous world building into coherent meaningful plot lines.

This is - I think - his longest book. The Greek translation I am reading has 1020 pages!
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CoconutBackwards
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:47 pm 
 

^Thats crazy (to me) that you discovered Clive Barker through his books.
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Black Earth
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:42 am 
 

Tekdeth wrote:
I started reading books recently and I regret not starting to read earlier, yet at the same time I don't regret it because I feel like I'm finally wise enough to properly understand the books that I read. I'm turning 18 soon and I don't think that reading would've really done anything for me when I was 15 or so.

Onto the books I'm reading: they're all Dutch, and I must say that I'm rather surprised and pleased by the amount of great literature that's written in my native language. Of course, every language has great writers, and I am of the opinion that you should always start reading in your native language, it is truly the language whose literature will speak to you the most, no matter your proficiency in a second language such as English.

The writer that got me into reading (which is something that happened only about a month ago) is Arnon Grunberg. I have no idea how well-known he is outside of the Netherlands, and his books are probably different from and easier to understand than the books most of the people in this thread seem to read, though keep in mind that I'm 17. The main characters in his books almost always are pretty intelligent yet also have psychological issues, a description I sometimes attribute to myself, though I am aware of how cringy that might probably sound, but I can't think of another way to say it unfortunately, so take my application of that description to myself with a grain of salt.

Reading his books has just finally allowed me to analyze someone else's thoughts instead of my own, which is extremely tiresome due to my still rather severe OCD. It is indeed an escape from reality which I desperately need sometimes.

I am probably going to look back on this post in a few days and cringe the fuck out, though I am tired of not allowing myself to post "serious" things, which is why I will still post this post... I hope my quasi-self-awareness atleast lessens the cringe, so to say.

Anyways, I'm reading about 3 books a week now and I feel good about it.


Well, I must hand it to you... With being 17 years of age and recently starting to read your writing flows tremendously well. Your tone is also very mature for your age. You are wise beyond your years. Keep at it, buddy. Keep at it because so many had potential but did not persist, were not encouraged, lacked confidence. Keep your chin up and persist. Confidence is built, not given. May you be graced by the radiance of good faith in yourself. Exercise your language abilities and with your potential you may not know what the future holds.

Edit: I did not realize how old your post is. I do not visit here regularly as evident by my post count. Although I hope you see this someday.
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PETERG
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Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:48 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 8:08 am 
 

Tekdeth wrote:
I started reading books recently and I regret not starting to read earlier, yet at the same time I don't regret it because I feel like I'm finally wise enough to properly understand the books that I read. I'm turning 18 soon and I don't think that reading would've really done anything for me when I was 15 or so.

Onto the books I'm reading: they're all Dutch, and I must say that I'm rather surprised and pleased by the amount of great literature that's written in my native language. Of course, every language has great writers, and I am of the opinion that you should always start reading in your native language, it is truly the language whose literature will speak to you the most, no matter your proficiency in a second language such as English.

The writer that got me into reading (which is something that happened only about a month ago) is Arnon Grunberg. I have no idea how well-known he is outside of the Netherlands, and his books are probably different from and easier to understand than the books most of the people in this thread seem to read, though keep in mind that I'm 17. The main characters in his books almost always are pretty intelligent yet also have psychological issues, a description I sometimes attribute to myself, though I am aware of how cringy that might probably sound, but I can't think of another way to say it unfortunately, so take my application of that description to myself with a grain of salt.

Reading his books has just finally allowed me to analyze someone else's thoughts instead of my own, which is extremely tiresome due to my still rather severe OCD. It is indeed an escape from reality which I desperately need sometimes.

I am probably going to look back on this post in a few days and cringe the fuck out, though I am tired of not allowing myself to post "serious" things, which is why I will still post this post... I hope my quasi-self-awareness atleast lessens the cringe, so to say.

Anyways, I'm reading about 3 books a week now and I feel good about it.




It is never late to start reading books. I read my first book when I was 8 - humble brag here - and didn't fully understand it (it was The never-ending story by Michael Ende). I read it again after 10 years and was able to get the plot and the characters etc. I suggest it to you if you like epic-fantasy like Tolkien with a more surreal feel. The book was written in the 1950s and both Ende and Tolkien seem to have influenced each other.

As for reading in one's native language I agree with you. Though I am a bit lucky having been born Greek so many great books have been written in my native tongue. From Plato and Homer to Seferis and Kavafis; I can tell that no translation does justice to the original scriptures of those amazing philosophers and scholars.
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into_the_pit
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:37 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I'd read Hemingway's books before, but not many of his short stories. Been reading through Men Without Women and now Snows of Kilimanjaro after buying them while visiting the Hemingway House in Key West. Tremendous. I might like these even more than the books. Got through with the title story of "Snows" just a bit ago - a sweeping emotional epic. Probably had influence on a lot of shit that came after.

He's great at action scenes with bullfights and boxing too. I can't believe I missed these.


hemingway scholar here. IMO his short stories are where it's at, in particular "men without women". I know tons of people who never realized that a good chunk of the movie "pulp fiction" was modeled after "killers".
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Waltz_of_Ghouls
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:19 pm 
 

I've started Stephen King's The Stand some weeks ago, it was one of his major works still on my "to read" list and I never expected to be sucked into it that fast. Reading it during a global pandemic kind of brings a little something extra too. I think I preferred the outbreak section to the post-flu one (so far), but I might end up ranking it high in my King top 5. It stand as number 1, this one could end up at 2, maybe 1.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:08 pm 
 

into_the_pit wrote:
Empyreal wrote:
I'd read Hemingway's books before, but not many of his short stories. Been reading through Men Without Women and now Snows of Kilimanjaro after buying them while visiting the Hemingway House in Key West. Tremendous. I might like these even more than the books. Got through with the title story of "Snows" just a bit ago - a sweeping emotional epic. Probably had influence on a lot of shit that came after.

He's great at action scenes with bullfights and boxing too. I can't believe I missed these.


hemingway scholar here. IMO his short stories are where it's at, in particular "men without women". I know tons of people who never realized that a good chunk of the movie "pulp fiction" was modeled after "killers".


Have to agree with you there. These early stories in Men Without Women are just so raw and simplistic but have a lot of complexity going on underneath. The way he constructs sentences so as to just have only what's needed is an inspiration as a writer.

I didn't know that about PF either. I can see it.
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PETERG
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:56 pm 
 

CoconutBackwards wrote:
^Thats crazy (to me) that you discovered Clive Barker through his books.


I saw recently that many of his books have become series and movies. I might check them out someday.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:29 am 
 

-Harry Sword's Monolithic Undertow

Just wanted to follow up on this one, mentioned a few posts above... Have you (or anyone else) been able to check it out yet, oneyoudontknow? I'm currently unable to find it on Amazon US, but will continue to wait. (It's honestly not a top priority, so I probably won't bother with international shipping.)

-Cal Newport's Deep Work

Potentially (hopefully!) a life-changer, if you find that social media and other digital junk food might be getting in the way of creative/academic/professional aspirations. It's not so much about eliminating distractions as about managing them more thoughtfully. He has some interviews on YouTube and elsewhere, if you feel like taking a quick look.

-Eriugena's Periphyseon

On order from Dumbarton Oaks. Long out-of-print English translation of the complete text, finally available again! Looks like essential reading for anyone with a semi-serious interest in the philosophical classics of late antiquity and the Middle Ages. (And/or officially Church-forbidden books, hur-hur.)
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Curious_dead
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:24 am 
 

Disappointed by Jeff Vandermeer's Dead Astronauts, after the great Borne, it feels like a bit too much of an acid trip. In theory a story about three weird characters traveling parralel universes and meeting each other's alternate reality selves while trying to stop a nefarious Company and meeting talking foxes and ominous ducks should be right up my alley, but I'm just bored reading it. Nice prose, but it's a confusing tale that's really dreamy, almost intangible. Apparently the explanations are coming and what the first part is about is explained more clearly later on, but I won't force myself to reach that point now.

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Methuen
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:37 pm 
 

megalowho wrote:
-Eriugena's Periphyseon

On order from Dumbarton Oaks. Long out-of-print English translation of the complete text, finally available again! Looks like essential reading for anyone with a semi-serious interest in the philosophical classics of late antiquity and the Middle Ages. (And/or officially Church-forbidden books, hur-hur.)
:evil:


That site is absolutely dangerous :lol: The best place I knew for Byzantine / Classical / late Roman stuff was Hodges Figgis in Dublin, or if I was feeling flush Blackwell's in Oxford - it's going to be dangerous having that site bookmarked, thanks for the coming marital strife :D

I don't know if you're aware of them, but the Folio Society in the UK have done limited print runs of Boethius/ Procopius / Augustine etc., on the best paper / board / binding I've ever seen. Expensive, but something you'll keep forever.
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PETERG
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:38 pm 
 

Has anyone tried Wattpad ? I tried it and at first I thought it was really good; for the first story I read was amazing - the story is called "Bottomdollar" - . Then I started stumbling upon incredibly awful YA and teen romance stuff. Not that this is a bad genre, I eman we have Harry Potter and Persey Jackson for YA and there exist plenty great romance books but I do not know man...

90% of the stuff there is just stupid romance...

What do you guys and girls think?
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Coastliner
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:58 am 
 

PETERG wrote:
[...] The never-ending story by Michael Ende [...] The book was written in the 1950s and both Ende and Tolkien seem to have influenced each other.


That's impossible. "The Never-Ending Story" was written between 1977 and 1979 (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_unendliche_Geschichte) and was first published in 1979
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Neverending_Story), six years after Tolkien's death. "The Lord of the Rings" was written between 1937 and the late 40s and was first published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings).

Both great in their respective ways and recommended. Although it's doubtful that Tolkien would have liked Ende. He wasn't keen on 20th century literature in general. One of the few contemporary novels he accepted was David Lindsay's science fiction classic "Voyage to Arcturus" (1920) (cf. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter # 26) but, on the whole, he was more into age-old stuff with cobwebs and a beard :old: .
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