Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 66409 times)

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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #780 on: December 13, 2016, 11:21:17 AM »
I've had it in my Audible for years, but never pulled the trigger and actually listened to it...
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #781 on: December 13, 2016, 12:32:27 PM »
I'm sure that the fact that English is not the original language it was written in or intended for also contributes to the disjointed feeling. I've had sort of the same feeling reading Tolstoy, for example (or for that matter Heart of Darkness come to think of it).
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Offline starnado

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #782 on: December 14, 2016, 03:03:17 AM »
Now you've all got me worried!
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #783 on: December 14, 2016, 10:41:36 AM »
I'm sure that the fact that English is not the original language it was written in or intended for also contributes to the disjointed feeling. I've had sort of the same feeling reading Tolstoy, for example (or for that matter Heart of Darkness come to think of it).

Two examples come to mind of books I've read in both the original Spanish and in English translation, where the original was absolutely delightful and the translation was unreadable. La montana es algo mas que una inmensa estepa verde (literally, "The mountain is something more than an enormous green steppe") by Ernesto Cardenal, translated as Fire From the Mountain; and El hablador (literally "the speaker") by Mario Vargas Llosa, translated as The Storyteller. Some things just cannot be translated.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #784 on: December 14, 2016, 11:59:06 AM »
Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium 7.5/10

Been hearing about the series from time to time for years, but have never been into the Warhammer scene myself.

This book did not make me care any more about the game than before, but it was a surprisingly fun, engaging read that kept me coming back. So much so, in fact, that because it is not available in audio format, I could only read it during the times I would normally be wandering this forum or otherwise surfing the internet. Hence my recent scarceness, if anybody noticed.

Not perfect. The cracks about Jurgen's body odor get a little old after a while, and one certainly doesn't sympathize much with the Imperium itself. But I was drawn in. The central protagonist is fun in a way similar to Horatio Hornblower, as he succeeds not despite but because of personality traits that are both highly relatable to the reader and contrary to what you expect from a person in his position.

Good mindless fun.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 12:02:16 PM by Redamare »
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Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #785 on: December 15, 2016, 01:29:42 PM »
The Wind-up Bird Chronicles 9/10
By Haruki Murakami.
A truly wonderful book. I am so busy at the moment but when I get a free moment I plan to properly expand the review and expound my thoughts.
Listening to 1Q84 right now.

Absolutely agree. One of my favourite authors and one of his best books. I wld also give Dance, Dance, Dance 9 if not 10/10 . Having said that ..
 I also agree with Slick about 1Q84 ... it left me feeling very uncomfortable and not in a good way

Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #786 on: December 15, 2016, 01:52:52 PM »
A Little Life
by Hanya Yanagihara

A fat epic about 4 schoolfriends and their jourmey into adulthood. It's brutally emotional and deals with ugly truths about life - shot through with tenderness. A difficult book to read - harrowing. But I didn't want it to end.

Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #787 on: December 16, 2016, 07:46:31 AM »
The Wind-up Bird Chronicles 9/10
By Haruki Murakami.
A truly wonderful book. I am so busy at the moment but when I get a free moment I plan to properly expand the review and expound my thoughts.
Listening to 1Q84 right now.

Absolutely agree. One of my favourite authors and one of his best books. I wld also give Dance, Dance, Dance 9 if not 10/10 . Having said that ..
 I also agree with Slick about 1Q84 ... it left me feeling very uncomfortable and not in a good way

As an avid reader of Murakami I can add my agreement to the above sentiments.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle made me actually cry at one point in the book. Such a lovely piece of writing.

1Q84 WTF'd me.
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Offline starnado

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #788 on: December 21, 2016, 06:44:44 AM »
So I have put 1Q84 aside for the moment. I am halfway through. I think I will steel myself for the final push and make sure that I feel as emotionally healthy as possible before restarting.

My life has been full of serendipity and synchronicity and coincidence recently. It is all Murakami's fault.

An example: do you guys ever say 'for the time being'? As in, "I don't want a cup of tea now, I am okay with this juice for the time being."

I used the phrase so many times it changed its meaning to be a kind of prayer or missive to The Time Being. As in, juice for The Time Being. It has gone beyond a joke. I told a couple of close colleagues and now we are all devotees of the new religion. Everything is for The Time Being.

So when I decided to put 1Q84 on hold, I looked for a new book and found Ruth Ozeki's Tale For The Time Being.

It is just as Japanese as Murakami, well nearly, but she made it clear in the beginning that if you are a fan of sexual violence or hentai then you probably should lend the book to a female friend and not read it. I was immediately hooked. I felt safe. I know this is the 'last book you read' thread, not the 'book you are currently listening to' thread, but whatevs.

I have not finished it but so far it is a lovely example of Japanese-American magical realism. Highly recommended.
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Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #789 on: December 21, 2016, 11:20:20 AM »
I loved 'A tale for the time being' too.

I've just finished 'Amnesia' by Peter Carey, another of my favourite authors. It's about computer hacking set against the backdrop of American/Australian tension in the 70s (but book set in 2010), narrated mostly by an aging eccentric liberal journalist. Very entertaining but some of the political detail was lost on me.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #790 on: December 21, 2016, 11:36:04 AM »
Picked up a beaut from 1977, "Gateway" by Frederick Pohl.  Won the 1978 Hugo award for Best Novel.

One of those wonderful 70s covers too (this is the edition I have - I was going to take a photo of it but Wikipedia had this nice one already)


It's a first contact story, sort of, and I quite enjoyed it.  It was quite progressive for the time regarding human sexuality (not in a sort of creepy Heinlein way, but in a legitimate "making a liberal statement" way).  I think the only flaw that bugged me the whole way through was the underestimation of human ingenuity - I figure that on the time scale in the book, with the resources being pumped into (and out of...) Gateway, people would have made a lot more progress figuring out how it all worked.

The format of the story was interesting.  The protagonist starts out visiting a robot psychologist (and narrating the story in the present tense, which was jarring at first but quickly became normal) for odd-numbered chapters, and progressing through his past on even-numbered chapters.  You're unsure at first exactly what's wrong with him, and why he's not satisfied with his outwardly fantastic life, but as the story of his past progresses, it all unfolds.  The ending was very satisfying.

Apparently it's also being developed by Syfy, as of last year.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 11:39:18 AM by amysrevenge »
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Offline Redamare

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #791 on: December 21, 2016, 01:04:33 PM »
...she made it clear in the beginning that if you are a fan of sexual violence or hentai then you probably should lend the book to a female friend and not read it.

What the fuck does that mean? I'm not especially into either of those, but I find myself offended on behalf of those who are.
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Offline starnado

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #792 on: December 21, 2016, 02:58:49 PM »
...she made it clear in the beginning that if you are a fan of sexual violence or hentai then you probably should lend the book to a female friend and not read it.

What the fuck does that mean? I'm not especially into either of those, but I find myself offended on behalf of those who are.
I may have paraphrased ineffectively. Anyway, it was an opinion expressed by a character and not explicitly the view of the author. I found it reassuring in the context of having stopped reading 1Q84 precisely because of the prospect of sexual violence. Or something else equally horrid.

I am not a prude, I have read all sorts but Murakami gets under your skin in a particular way. I understand the literary or narrative or political motivation to include violent scenes, I am not censorious, I just fancied a break, alright?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 03:03:22 PM by starnado »
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Offline Redamare

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #793 on: December 21, 2016, 04:13:07 PM »
Not criticizing you, just the author as I originally understood your comment.

I have no problem with saying "if you're not into (whatever), look out cause there's some of that here." But saying "if you are into (whatever) fuck right off, because this book isn't for sick fucks like you," would rub me very much the wrong way.

But a character saying that in her (fictional) diary is a totally different thing from what I was picturing.
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Offline Redamare

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #794 on: December 21, 2016, 09:03:09 PM »
Picked up a beaut from 1977, "Gateway" by Frederick Pohl.  Won the 1978 Hugo award for Best Novel.

One of those wonderful 70s covers too (this is the edition I have - I was going to take a photo of it but Wikipedia had this nice one already)


It's a first contact story, sort of, and I quite enjoyed it.  It was quite progressive for the time regarding human sexuality (not in a sort of creepy Heinlein way, but in a legitimate "making a liberal statement" way).  I think the only flaw that bugged me the whole way through was the underestimation of human ingenuity - I figure that on the time scale in the book, with the resources being pumped into (and out of...) Gateway, people would have made a lot more progress figuring out how it all worked.

The format of the story was interesting.  The protagonist starts out visiting a robot psychologist (and narrating the story in the present tense, which was jarring at first but quickly became normal) for odd-numbered chapters, and progressing through his past on even-numbered chapters.  You're unsure at first exactly what's wrong with him, and why he's not satisfied with his outwardly fantastic life, but as the story of his past progresses, it all unfolds.  The ending was very satisfying.

Apparently it's also being developed by Syfy, as of last year.

You sold me. Checking it out right now.
"redamare has kicked this thread's ass" -champagnej

Certainty is the enemy of wisdom.

--RED-uh-MAR-ay--

 

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