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Old 03-19-2012, 05:54 AM   #76
Li-Ion
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

I finished A Player of Games. As I wrote earlier, the beginning is really slow and made me pause for a while to read other books. After about a third it clicked and the last third I read in one go. It is still not as good as the Wasp Factory, but much better than the first Culture novel. Now I'm reading Use of Weapons, which has a different tone than the previous book and a much better start (i.e. not boring).
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #77
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Finished Use of Weapons and it's my favourite of the series so far. Excellent book with a great ending, one thing certain video games don't seem to manage

Now reading Mogworld by the man they call Yahtzee. So far quite enjoyable and quick to read. Next up: Stasiland by Anna Funder, a book about life in the surveillance society of eastern Germany.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:43 AM   #78
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

I finished "Ready player one" a few days ago. I have a few unfinished books, buy I'll probably start "Mogworld", since you make me wonder why I haven't already.
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:27 PM   #79
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Reading a travel book about Burma which was written fifty years ago. It's called Golden Earth and is by Norman Lewis. It's amazingly well written, in prose you'd be envious of, and is a great example of a certain understated British sense of humour.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #80
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?



Wish the publisher had picked a slightly larger font and pages that weren't so wide. lol. My eyes don't like this book. Story's a lot of fun, though.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:37 AM   #81
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Finished a couple of books:

State of the Art and Excession by Iain M. Banks. The first is a couple of short stories in the Culture-universe, the latter the culture-series' equivalent of A Space Odyssey. Well worth the read.

Die Brüder Himmler - Eine deutsche Familiengeschichte by Katrin Himmler (the brothers Himmler - tale of a German family). The niece of Heinrich Himmler tells the story of her family, and how what she found out was different from what her parents and grandparents were telling her growing up. Recommend it.

Der General der toten Armee by Ismail Kadare. An Italian general goes to Albania in the 1960ies, in order to bring back the dead servicemen from WW2 that were lost and buried there. Turns out much more difficult than it sounds. Liked it a lot, despite the grim subject matter.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Got interested by the hype around Spec-Ops the Line. I found the biography of Joseph Conrad more interesting to read than the book itself.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Apparently he got his Nobel prize in literature pretty much for this book. I don't really understand why I'm afraid...
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:26 PM   #82
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

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Originally Posted by Li-Ion View Post

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Got interested by the hype around Spec-Ops the Line. I found the biography of Joseph Conrad more interesting to read than the book itself.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Apparently he got his Nobel prize in literature pretty much for this book. I don't really understand why I'm afraid...
HoD - I liked it; it's a slow burner for sure, and trades on its ambiguity a bit too much, but good stuff.

Old Man & Sea - but the humanity!

Me: I haven't read a book since I got my smartphone. Disgraceful. I may try to read one this weekend.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:51 AM   #83
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Haven't posted here in a while...

Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. A surreal detective novel without a detective. Liked it.

Stonemouth by Iain Banks. A book about homecoming, oddly resonated with me, albeit me having left my home under much, much better circumstances than the books hero

For the Emperor by Sandy Mitchell. What would happen if Blackadder would find himself in the grim and dark universe of Warhammer 40k? Entertaining.

Faust, der Tragödie zweiter Teil and Tristan und Isolde by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe. Re-read them since I was feeling a lack of culture after reading Warhammer

Next up:
Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #84
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

I re-read The Road over the weekend and started re-reading one of his other books, Suttree. Not sure if I'll stick with it, I don't remember it appealing much.

Amazed that The Road became a mainstream hit, really.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:18 PM   #85
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Currently reading
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The 1994 movie was very alright i guess, but some (or rather almost any) stories are just indefinitely better in book form.
Every chapter is either funny, heart warming or brings me close to tears. I am a sentimental person and i just love these things.
I guess the obvious target audience are little women, but i'd say this book can be enjoyed by everyone that has a heart.

before that i finished
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I don't know if i liked it. It felt sometimes like it didn't know what it wanted to be.
Some motives were interesting, overall it made some sort of sense, but while reading i often had weird wtf moments.
Especially a core element of the story, the love story, felt awkward and implausible. (spoiler: "He doesn't treat me like shit? At least not more than any other person! So, i love him!" Jesus Christ! really? That's probably even for the 19th century and her not so fun life until that point a low requirement. Would it have ended with her starving to death, ok, depressing ending, but acceptable. But after she experienced another quite fine, overall even better, episode in her life with this samaritan family, she must have at least then rearranged her standards for (romantic) love? No?
I don't understand it.
)

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Undergone a grand P&P treatment the last days.
reread the novel
and watched:
1940, 2005 movie
1980, 1995 BBC series
Lost in Austen
Lizzie Bennet Diaries on youtube

so altogether around 40 hours of misunderstandings, refusals and happy ends.
Love it.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:26 AM   #86
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

As a follow up to my Jane Austen overdose, i decided to read Romeo&Juliet and added afterwards Hamlet because i was disappointed and wondered if his other well known piece is better (spoiler: no, not really):

comment to Shakespeare/english language he uses
1. The greatest English literature figure ever?
Imho totally underwhelming if that's the expectation created by this introduction!
I can't like the core of his stories. Sort of beautiful nonsense, but still nonsense. And so other authors overtake him easily on my top writers list.
His vocabulary skills are quite impressive especially for a non native speaker like me, even the ebook dictionary doesn't know some shit he used.
But i don't think i have read much books of that era, so i have no real comparison.
funny:
"dild"
dildo ... is a penis shaped object for ... wait, i doubt he meant that, especially since it says "God dild you".
google directed me to some Shakespeare site that says it's "yield". ok, better
Compared to eg Goethe, which is imho barely readable in German for me, i had nevertheless less problems understanding Willi than i expected.

2. The whole thou, thee, thine thing irritated me a lot. (besides the 'tis, in't and actually all the "'t"s.) It's way too similar to the german "du" und "dein". So it sounded like fucked up german.
eg
Quote:
O me, what hast thou done?
Official german translation:
Weh mir! Was hast du gethan?
including some local Austrian enunciation it might look something like that:
Weh mia! Wos host don? ("du" can be cut. The o in "don" is like in over and not like in done.)
Not exactly the same, but it confuses when you are tempted to switch to German although it is supposed to be all English.

3. I possible have never read a theater piece, only have seen some for kids when i was at that age, and seen clips when some new adaptation is mentioned at the end of evening news.
I guess now it is save to say that i never will like that medium neither on stage nor off stage.
The overacting is always atrocious and thus appears quite comical way too often to enjoy the supposed to be dramas.
It's actually some sort of style over substance? Just for the intellectuals. Some weird, poetic wordings instead of exaggerated explosion and stunts.

Romeo & Juliet
This piece explains why so many marriages end in divorce. Instead of some sense and some proper talking to each other, it revolves around some logic-free, love at first sight kitsch love.

A possible womanizer (before seeing her he is already mad in love with another woman, so steadiness is not his best) and a not even close to grown up aged girl? ew!

If this intense, but baseless love is our societies master model for real love, excluding the pedophilia vibes, i can't wonder why so many relationships struggle.

The basic premise: a pair loving each other while they are part of enemy groups is awesome and gives certainly huge opportunities for drama, which is not new, but some actions that lead to the end appear comical while it should end in some depressing climax.
Been quite a while since i saw Luhrmans adaptation, but i guess the popcorn movie visuals actually fit to the story very much. If you go for kitsch you better go all in. Right?

While Pride&Prejudice tells me details about its characters, their thoughts, their misconceptions, how "dating" worked, what (middle class? poor!, only a few servants. fo' realz?) females life goals were, and that love can be found even after you thought you loathed the person when you open your mind and both make steps to one another.
It tells me something about a very specific time period, about females, about society.
R&E was about a Las Vegas couple that stumbles to their doom because they not for a second gave a thought before doing anything.
Nah, that's not my type of love story i can appreciate. I don't like both characters. I don't like their actions. I don't like their relatives. Friar Laurence and her nurse were cool, though.

Hamlet
Way too much weird madness (is Hamlet supposed to be schizophrenic?) and "oops" actions in it to take it serious.
Again.
I had to smile sometimes while it should all be super intense drama.
I'd love a spoof movie with original text and acted by SNL actors. That would make sort of sense.

I guess i'll read some of his other works some day, but more for the interesting language than for the stories.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:03 AM   #87
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

I haven't read any Shakespeare for a long time, but I suppose you have to cut him a bit of slack for his time and place. Before him, with the exception of other Elizabethan playwrights like Marlowe, there was really nothing in the line of drama that went beyond very basic Morality plays, where the 'characters' were just the embodiment of a virtue or vice - eg Chastity, or Lust, or Envy etc., and the 'plot' was a pretty basic affair about temptation or someone getting their comeuppance for moral reasons.

So really the Elizabethans were reinventing the theatre after hundreds of years of nothing but the most basic drama since the Greeks and Romans.

To have grand and amazing plots that were composed of tragedies, comedies, histories etc, was a real breakthrough. And the people in them were people rather than ciphers. You can still see the influence of the Morality plays in Shakespeare - his villains such as Iago, Richard III, and Aaron out of Titus Andronicus, do not really have any motivation to be so horrible except that they embody the older idea of a malevolent spirit trying to destroy everyone.

It's a long while since I've read him. I couldn't recommend going to see Shakespeare in the theatre without reading that particular play first (I went to see one of the Richards a few years ago and struggled) but as far as I remember some of his stuff can be entertaining. I like Titus Andronicus, Othello, King Lear a little bit.

I must read some of them again, see if I still think they are great. I'm sure they are, but recently I have come down on the side that literature must be accessible in order to be great. No good if no one can read it.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:05 AM   #88
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackajack View Post

While Pride&Prejudice tells me details about its characters, their thoughts, their misconceptions, how "dating" worked, what (middle class? poor!, only a few servants. fo' realz?) females life goals were, and that love can be found even after you thought you loathed the person when you open your mind and both make steps to one another.
It tells me something about a very specific time period, about females, about society.
R&E was about a Las Vegas couple that stumbles to their doom because they not for a second gave a thought before doing anything.
Can't argue with that
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:38 PM   #89
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

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...I suppose you have to cut him a bit of slack for his time and place. Before him, with the exception of other Elizabethan playwrights like Marlowe
I'm not a big fan of glorifying old pieces just because they are old. They might have been important, even huge stepstones to our current state of things, but i give no real bonus for that.
As a consumer i can have a loose interest in history but my "job" is nothing else than caring for the core story and how i liked the way it is told. Directors, writers and actors should probably have knowledge and expertise in these areas to be better at their work.

Certainly kudos to him for being someone that moved things forward, but i just can't like what i have read so far.

I already loaded some of his books and i wanted to read at least King Lear one day because i love Kurosawas Ran. Will be interesting if only the adaptation made it great or if one of his works is actually good to my taste.

Quote:
No good if no one can read it.
The "trve" versions, were all weird misspellings are conserved, would have been tough(er) to read.
Thanks to gutenberg.org you can find these "originals" and some enhanced editions depending on your preference. I guess native speakers can challenge themselves with those "purer" versions but myself would not have read even the "corrected/destroyed" versions without an e-reader and the handy dictionary.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:23 PM   #90
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Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Meh. Pretty much like The Corrections. Breeze to read, some high melodrama and a "penetrating" psychological breakdown of his characters. But at the end of the day, meh.

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. Labyrinthine ideas all over the place occultist good fun. More interested in the history of occultism than in the book's plot (unfortunately?), but I think Eco sets it up that way. I mean, from the get go he lays out that no idea actually has an "end" to it, so with about a hundred pages left to read I put it down, figuring the end wouldn't really an end anyway. It quickly became a generator of other things I wanted to look into, so was certainly worth it for that. Maybe I'll finish it soon.

Buncha Bolano, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Most recently The Insufferable Gaucho. Will probably be rereading 2666 soon.

Started Jodorowsk'y The Way of the Tarot. Interesting stuff.

Sefer Yetzirah. In bits and pieces.

Knausgaard's My Struggle. Juuust about done with Freedom so I'll be diving into this right after. Read the first 15 pages or so, and while I foresee a bit of a struggle (ha.ha.ha), I'm pretty interested.
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