Books - What are you reading?

Books - What are you reading?

Author
Discussion

droopsnoot

8,045 posts

199 months

Saturday 23rd May
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I've just finished "Cold as the grave" by James Oswald, one of his Inspector McLean series. It was very good, but a little more of the supernatural than usual - there's always a bit of that, but not enough to be offputting. A good story regardless of that, though.

droopsnoot

8,045 posts

199 months

Thursday 28th May
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I've finished "The Shout" by Stephen Leather. A bit different from his usual stuff, this is about a firefighter who gets injured in the line of duty and reassigned to the investigation section. The end was a bit predictable, but it was pretty good regardless of that.

FunkyNige

6,990 posts

232 months

Thursday 28th May
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rst99 said:
I


Autobiography of the greatest test pilot in history.
I'm halfway through this and am getting a bit frustrated at the pace of it - it starts with loads of detail about the escort carrier he was on, the people, tactics developed, etc., then at the end of WW2 it's just "I flew a bunch of German planes" with no commentary on how good or bad they were, then randomly it's a few pages on one carrier landing.
It's a good book about a fascinating character but the skimming over some bits and going into a lot of detail on others could be improved, but I guess there are other books going into more detail.

MC Bodge

13,918 posts

132 months

Thursday 28th May
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MC Bodge said:
I'm reading "Seven Pillars of Wisdom" by T E Lawrence.

It's not exactly a light read. I will endeavour to finish it.
I have stuck with it. Reading a few pages at a time over breakfast. By page 72 it has improved. I wonder if he was just trying too hard in the early pages?
His descriptions of the people and places he visits are fascinating.

Stuart70

2,115 posts

140 months

Friday 29th May
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FunkyNige said:
rst99 said:
I


Autobiography of the greatest test pilot in history.
I'm halfway through this and am getting a bit frustrated at the pace of it - it starts with loads of detail about the escort carrier he was on, the people, tactics developed, etc., then at the end of WW2 it's just "I flew a bunch of German planes" with no commentary on how good or bad they were, then randomly it's a few pages on one carrier landing.
It's a good book about a fascinating character but the skimming over some bits and going into a lot of detail on others could be improved, but I guess there are other books going into more detail.
The book is unlikely to be improved now, given that it is an autobiography! frown

Ace-T

6,991 posts

212 months

Saturday 30th May
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-5282...
Link to a review of EM Forsters science fiction novella The Machine Stops. There is a link to download the novella too.

All I can say is blimey. Firstly who knew EMF wrote scifi, secondly that he wrote good scifi, thirdly woah, scarily prescient! yikes


Prolex-UK

1,348 posts

165 months

Saturday 30th May
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Fair warning by michael connelly

Read in 5 sittings

Jack mcevoy returns.

Well worth seeking out.

About misuse oF DNA

K12beano

20,131 posts

232 months

Saturday 30th May
quotequote all
Ace-T said:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-5282...
Link to a review of EM Forsters science fiction novella The Machine Stops. There is a link to download the novella too.

All I can say is blimey. Firstly who knew EMF wrote scifi, secondly that he wrote good scifi, thirdly woah, scarily prescient! yikes
yes
I first read The Machine Stops as a teenager and it stuck in my head, such that some 40-odd years later It has been at the forefront of my mind from time-to-time this year. I found it chilling, likely and memorable. I have been meaning to revisit it for a while now....

andy_s

16,817 posts

216 months

Saturday 30th May
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Thanks chaps, a biggun and a little un to be going on with - cheers.

cherie171

322 posts

74 months

Saturday 30th May
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Ace-T said:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-5282...
Link to a review of EM Forsters science fiction novella The Machine Stops. There is a link to download the novella too.

All I can say is blimey. Firstly who knew EMF wrote scifi, secondly that he wrote good scifi, thirdly woah, scarily prescient! yikes
I love my sci-fi, but I had no idea that this novella existed. Thank you.

Goaty Bill 2

3,114 posts

76 months

Monday 1st June
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Just finished re-reading 'Crime and Punishment' by Dostoevsky
Translator: Constance Garnett

As I had first read this over 25 years ago, I felt it was time to go back to it with an improved understanding of the author's themes and experience of many of his other works.

It is interesting that the protagonist, Raskolnikov theorises an almost Nietzschean concept of the ubermensch nearly 20 years before the appearance of 'Thus Spake Zarathustra', and believes himself to be a member of such a 'group', thus giving himself the privilege to act outside and beyond the law and societal norms.

Where Raskolnikov's nihilism and belief in his superiority leads him is of course the subject of the story.

As always, the description of life in 19th century Russia leaves one with plenty else to find depressing, and so also remains an important record of social conditions of the times.

Heron Books (stock photo)


ElectricSoup

6,945 posts

108 months

Monday 1st June
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Ah yes, I'm sure I've told this tale before but hearing about that book always reminds me of an undergrad colleague of mine, when asked to give a seminar on the book, who simply stood up at the front, and said, "It's a crime to have written it, and a fking punishment to have to read it", and walked out of the room. I joined him in the pub immediately. He and I were more of the linguistics bent than the literary.

Goaty Bill 2

3,114 posts

76 months

Monday 1st June
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ElectricSoup said:
Ah yes, I'm sure I've told this tale before but hearing about that book always reminds me of an undergrad colleague of mine, when asked to give a seminar on the book, who simply stood up at the front, and said, "It's a crime to have written it, and a fking punishment to have to read it", and walked out of the room. I joined him in the pub immediately. He and I were more of the linguistics bent than the literary.
But it's still funny rofl

Truth be told, Dostoevsky was broke again and needed the money, so he wrote a book. (see also 'The Gambler')
Research tells me he was engaged in writing a piece on drunkenness (incorporated into the book in Raskolnikov's interactions with Marmeladov, alcoholic father of Sofia) and created something larger for the additional kopeks.
It is probably somewhat easier, for many readers, to come to grips with than 'Demons' or 'The Brothers Karamazov' which may explain its greater readership.
Personally I preferred both of the other two for tackling the predicted effects of the sudden 'loss' of religion and growing nihilism in Russian society.


"When he [Raskolnikov] was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen.
Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious.
But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible.
Whole villages, whole towns and peoples went mad from the infection. All were excited and did not understand one another. Each thought that he alone had the truth and was wretched looking at the others, beat himself on the breast, wept, and wrung his hands.
They did not know how to judge and could not agree what to consider evil and what good; they did not know whom to blame, whom to justify. Men killed each other in a sort of senseless spite. They gathered together in armies against one another, but even on the march the armies would begin attacking each other, the ranks would be broken and the soldiers would fall on each other, stabbing and cutting, biting and devouring each other. The alarm bell was ringing all day long in the towns; men rushed together, but why they were summoned and who was summoning them no one knew.
The most ordinary trades were abandoned, because everyone proposed his own ideas, his own improvements, and they could not agree. The land too was abandoned. Men met in groups, agreed on something, swore to keep together, but at once began on something quite different from what they had proposed. They accused one another, fought and killed each other. There were conflagrations and famine. All men and all things were involved in destruction. The plague spread and moved further and further.
Only a few men could be saved in the whole world. They were a pure chosen people, destined to found a new race and a new life, to renew and purify the earth, but no one had seen these men, no one had heard their words and their voices."
- Dostoevsky, Crime & Punishment, 1866

Some take this as a remarkably accurate foreboding of the socialist experiment that would grip Russia, and its neighbours, throughout much of the 20th century.


smn159

7,216 posts

174 months

Monday 1st June
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Just finished Into The Black, about the development of the Space Shuttle, culminating in the flight of Columbia.

Now onto Truth Lies and O-Rings, which goes through in detail the background to the Challenger disaster and the subsequent enquires.

Both excellent reads.

andy_s

16,817 posts

216 months

Tuesday 2nd June
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Prolex-UK said:
Fair warning by michael connelly

Read in 5 sittings

Jack mcevoy returns.

Well worth seeking out.

About misuse oF DNA
These have always struck me as more straightforward than the Bosch ones, but eminently readable and a good story nonetheless. Also devoured in the required 5 sittings smile

Laurel Green

28,348 posts

189 months

Tuesday 2nd June
quotequote all
andy_s said:
Prolex-UK said:
Fair warning by michael connelly

Read in 5 sittings

Jack mcevoy returns.

Well worth seeking out.

About misuse oF DNA
These have always struck me as more straightforward than the Bosch ones, but eminently readable and a good story nonetheless. Also devoured in the required 5 sittings smile
Have it in my 'to read pile'. Nice to know it's a goodly read.
Currently reading Jeffery Deaver's The Goodbye Man, it's the second in the Colter Shaw series. Seems about a 3.5 stars (out of five) for me so far.

Desiderata

272 posts

11 months

Tuesday 2nd June
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I just started this last night but I'm really enjoying it. Most people will know most of the geographical, political, and historical information in it already, but the appeal is in the way it has been put together and makes you think. Pretty topical.

MC Bodge

13,918 posts

132 months

Tuesday 2nd June
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Desiderata said:


I just started this last night but I'm really enjoying it. Most people will know most of the geographical, political, and historical information in it already, but the appeal is in the way it has been put together and makes you think. Pretty topical.
It's a very interesting book. Well worth a read.

I would suggest that most people wouldn't know very much at all about the subject matter, but those that choose to read it might know some of it.

j4r4lly

215 posts

92 months

Thursday 4th June
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FunkyNige said:
rst99 said:
I


Autobiography of the greatest test pilot in history.
I'm halfway through this and am getting a bit frustrated at the pace of it - it starts with loads of detail about the escort carrier he was on, the people, tactics developed, etc., then at the end of WW2 it's just "I flew a bunch of German planes" with no commentary on how good or bad they were, then randomly it's a few pages on one carrier landing.
It's a good book about a fascinating character but the skimming over some bits and going into a lot of detail on others could be improved, but I guess there are other books going into more detail.
I read this recently which I found fascinating. Henshaw was the Chief Test Pilot at Supermarine's Castle Bromwich factory and is estimated to have flown 10% of all Spitfires ever built.



j4r4lly

215 posts

92 months

Thursday 4th June
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Working my way through the Conn Iggulden Wars of the Roses series which is enjoyable. It's a period of history that I thought I knew about but realise that I don't. A lot of complex political maneuvering, ruthless ambition and extreme violence.