The Book Thread

What’s everyone reading at the moment?

I’m in a sci fi phase, I’m working my way through this list of nebula/hugo/lotus award winners: Award-Winning Fantasy & Science-Fiction Novels - Google Sheets

Currently on The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. Story about a genderless society, and the impact that the lack of gender has on society. No division of humanity into strong/weak, protective/protected, dominant/submissive, owner/chattel, active/passive. Everyone has exactly the same reproductive experience. Very weird and interesting.

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finally finished the brain bursting ‘Sophie’s World’ last weekend; now plowing through the wryly amusing ‘Travels with My Aunt’ by Graham Greene

Just got done reading the Robin Hobb Fitz/Elderlings saga. Pretty rad if anyone’s after a Game of Thrones style fantasy series.

currently reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.
bit much.

Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNabb. Which actually improves with every read.

Bad Slags by Stan the Stabber.


I really rated this James Brown book. Admits from the start that JB made himself unknowable. Admits he didn’t think he was the man to write the book but needed the money… It reads more like a pulp detective novel crossed with a kind of social history. V good.

Blood Meridian is amazing, probably my favourite of his books. It’s dark, but not as desperate as The Road. I also really liked Suttree.

What is it with GG and Catholic Guilt? He always manages to fit some in in every book.

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I’ve just finished The Plot Against America and American Pastoral by Phillip Roth, and then Among the Thugs by Bill Buford. The Plot Against America is interesting in the context of Trump’s presidency (it’s an alternative history with Charles Lindbergh voted in as a non-interventionist, anti-Semitic president in 1940 instead of FDR).

Been trying to fill in gaps in my ‘classics’ reading of late.

Read Silas Marner by George Eliot last week - surprised to say that I loved it and it made me cry.
Great Expectations was a bit of a slog but that’s Dickens I suppose.
Did An Inspector Calls last night - very good.
Then re-read Of Mice and Men, first time since I was in school - also excellent.

George Elliot is a big gap in my reading. I’ve got a copy of Middlemarch burning a hole on my bedside table. I love Dickens, but I know what you mean about Great Expectations. Have you read David Copperfield?

Haven’t read Middlemarch - Silas Marner is the first Eliot that I’ve read.
The idea of the redemptive power of love/parenthood really got to me though.
As for Dickens, only read Great Exp and Christmas Carol - I’ll give Copperfield a go soon as it’s supposed to be his best I think, isn’t it?

Middlemarch is meant to be the most boring book ever written.

I started Gravity’s rainbow about a month ago but barely gotten into it. I fall asleep too quickly when reading at night. Book feels like it would be alright thoughl.

I did the same with V - great writing and very ‘progressive’ technically but hard to actually enjoy to be honest. Pynchon is a fantastic writer but he’s not that much fun.
I’ve got maybe 80 pages left - will report back if I get through it.

I read V when I was 18. I thought it would make me look cool. Not sure I really understood it, but it had some good character names in it. I read most of Vineland. I quite liked the film of it with Joaquin Phoenix.

It’s the most autobiographical. The thing with Dickens is that he always has some amazing characters to counterbalance the sentimentality. I loved Joe Gargery, Wemmick and Jaggers in GE.

Wasn’t it John Major’s fav book?

Amazing character right there.

“What larks, Pip!”

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