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Thread: What are you reading? (Literature)

  1. #1201
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    When you tell yourself "I'm going to finish the chapter and then go to bed" but the chapter you're on goes for 200 pages straight to the end of the book. So now it's 2 am and I'm sitting here worn down and depressed over the bittersweet somber ending.

    Memories of Ice is a good book with a very slow burn. I'm starting to think the author hates optimism though...

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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwok View Post
    When you tell yourself "I'm going to finish the chapter and then go to bed" but the chapter you're on goes for 200 pages straight to the end of the book. So now it's 2 am and I'm sitting here worn down and depressed over the bittersweet somber ending.

    Memories of Ice is a good book with a very slow burn. I'm starting to think the author hates optimism though...
    Sounds kind of sad. What's it about?
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  3. #1203

    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    It's the third book in a fantasy series called "The Malazan Book of the Fallen", by Steven Erikson. Excellent series, which I'm on the penultimate book of myself at the moment. The author worked for most of his life as an anthropologist and archaeologist, which it turns out translates amazingly well into creating fiction, because the world building in the series is incredible. That said, they can be pretty dense reads, if you want to try to spend the time to make connections and piece things together yourself.

    I've honestly wrestled myself with how I would describe the tone of the books. Some of them can definitely get to some extremely sad parts (I'm perfectly willing to admit I cried toward the end of Memories of Ice), but at the same time, I somehow don't think they ever get... 'bleak', I suppose is the word I'm looking for? Like I think the sad scenes work as well as they do because of contrast to the good that is out there.

  4. #1204
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    I'd say the series, without getting in to spoilers, is about a series of conflicts and campaigns that are frequently affected and influenced by the machinations of a pantheon of magical patrons. The tone is rather serious but damn if some of the payoff isn't great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post
    It's the third book in a fantasy series called "The Malazan Book of the Fallen", by Steven Erikson. Excellent series, which I'm on the penultimate book of myself at the moment. The author worked for most of his life as an anthropologist and archaeologist, which it turns out translates amazingly well into creating fiction, because the world building in the series is incredible. That said, they can be pretty dense reads, if you want to try to spend the time to make connections and piece things together yourself.

    I've honestly wrestled myself with how I would describe the tone of the books. Some of them can definitely get to some extremely sad parts (I'm perfectly willing to admit I cried toward the end of Memories of Ice), but at the same time, I somehow don't think they ever get... 'bleak', I suppose is the word I'm looking for? Like I think the sad scenes work as well as they do because of contrast to the good that is out there.
    Yeah, the lore is rich to the point of being very difficult to tackle. I know I had trouble keeping different groups and races straight during the first book.

    I'd say Deadhouse Gates brought me closer to tears since it had more of a clear cut downer ending. Memories had me empathizing with the surviving characters in just feeling kind of numb and horrified, but glad the remaining characters survived.
    Last edited by Jabberwok; August 29th, 2017 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Just finished reading Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat, the two collected anthologies of lyrics written for musical theater by Stephen Sondheim, along with his own descriptions about the songwriting process and the creation of each musical he worked on. (along with his thoughts on basically every topic related to musical theatre he has an interest in... it's kind of amazing what he managed to cram in there.) As a Sondheim fan, these works were a treasure, basically like reading a commentary of my favorite shows, while also getting a chance to examine lyrics I never actually paid attention to before.

    Because the volumes themselves are so huge (and expensive...) I don't know if I would ever recommend them to anyone who's not hardcore into musical theatre, but honestly? These two books are the best lessons in editing I've ever read. In part for Sondheim's detailed and invaluable insights on not only each of his lyrics, but their earlier drafts and what needed fixing, but also because the lyrics themselves are excellent examples of balancing character, style, feeling, information, and also brevity. As a writer with some... difficulties, in that subject, studying the streamlined poetry of these books had a tangible impact on my own writing, though I work in a completely different medium.

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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Well, today, I started reading the book "IT" by Stephen King. The book already starts out interesting and somewhat creepy. Can't wait to see how it all comes together!

    And the book is pretty long too, which I don't mind. Just not used to reading stuff this big XD

  7. #1207

    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Because I spread myself thin, currently in the middle of:
    The Beautiful Struggle, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    In the Woods, by Tana French
    Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    I'm a bit of a (massive) newb when it comes to modern literature, so I figure this thread might be a good place for some recommendations :)

    Anyone know of any books similar to:
    Infinite Jest (please don't recommend the Pale King or anything else by DFW, trying to sit through a 100 page monologue about the benefits of civil service has soured me on him big time, and Infinite Jest is my favourite novel!)
    or
    Blood Meridian (I've read No Country for Old Men and The Road by McCarthy and they, while good, were very different in tone and style to Blood Meridian)
    or
    The Monogatari series of light novels (that is translated to English). This one's kinda outta left field, and I do technically have a lot of the series left to read...but there's only so much time of my life I'm willing to spend with a lolicon protagonist who has all the girls chasing him...
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by lr-hr-rh View Post
    .
    Can't speak to the last one but McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses might please you. Underworld by Don DeLillo might interest you too.

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  10. #1210
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwok View Post
    Can't speak to the last one but McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses might please you. Underworld by Don DeLillo might interest you too.
    Hmm, I've not looked too much into McCarthy's other stuff (after reading the two I mentioned and reading around the internet I figured that Blood Meridian was more an outlier from his usual), what about All the Pretty Horses would you say relates it to Blood Meridian? I figure it's not the title :P

    Not sure DeLillo and I would get along well tbh. I've only come across his work twice; the first time was reading a fairly critical review of one his books about darker sides of suburban culture, shopping malls replacing churches within American culture and so on. And I definitely can't stomach social commentary that is that on the nose and simplistic. The other time was when I sat through about a third of Cosmopolis (the film) and bailed after about the fourth or fifth instance of two people sitting in a limo babbling pseudo-intellectual nonsense at each other. :/

    I do appreciate you taking the time to offer some suggestions though, hopefully what I've written doesn't come across too harsh or ungrateful :/
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  11. #1211
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by lr-hr-rh View Post
    Hmm, I've not looked too much into McCarthy's other stuff (after reading the two I mentioned and reading around the internet I figured that Blood Meridian was more an outlier from his usual), what about All the Pretty Horses would you say relates it to Blood Meridian? I figure it's not the title :P

    Not sure DeLillo and I would get along well tbh. I've only come across his work twice; the first time was reading a fairly critical review of one his books about darker sides of suburban culture, shopping malls replacing churches within American culture and so on. And I definitely can't stomach social commentary that is that on the nose and simplistic. The other time was when I sat through about a third of Cosmopolis (the film) and bailed after about the fourth or fifth instance of two people sitting in a limo babbling pseudo-intellectual nonsense at each other. :/

    I do appreciate you taking the time to offer some suggestions though, hopefully what I've written doesn't come across too harsh or ungrateful :/
    Oh no, not at all! It's perfectly normal to be picky about books.

    I can't speak directly to Underworld since it's based off a friend's recommendation and I have no first-hand knowledge of what the tone is really like. It just goes in the same category in my head as Infinite Jest.

    All the Pretty Horses is more of a classical western set in the...50s? It's three teens run away south to Mexico to be rancheros and get mixed up in some gang trouble, so the topic at least seems fairly similar to Blood Meridian. I think the tone and style are similar too but it's been a while.

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  12. #1212
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwok View Post
    Oh no, not at all! It's perfectly normal to be picky about books.

    I can't speak directly to Underworld since it's based off a friend's recommendation and I have no first-hand knowledge of what the tone is really like. It just goes in the same category in my head as Infinite Jest.

    All the Pretty Horses is more of a classical western set in the...50s? It's three teens run away south to Mexico to be rancheros and get mixed up in some gang trouble, so the topic at least seems fairly similar to Blood Meridian. I think the tone and style are similar too but it's been a while.
    Ahh ok, All the pretty horses sounds promising in that regard, I'll have to look into it, thanks :). I'll give Underworld a look too, I mean I'm sure there are certain aspects of Infinite Jest (or DFW's stuff in general) that, exposed to out of context, would make me roll my eyes pretty damn hard (well even harder than I did when exposed to those aspects in context :P
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  13. #1213
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    I've been reading the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, on recommendation of a friend who saw a lot of similarities with my own YA fantasy writings. As one would be expected, it's a really good series, clearly bent to the younger side of YA, but not in a way that looks down to the readers at all. I particularly love the way the main character grows into adulthood over the course of the books, and I think it's especially important how her development is directly tied to the many challenges she faces. And, of course, the fantastic elements are all very familiar ground, but its familiar for a reason. Ultimately pretty fun and light and not much else, but I absolutely plan to introduce this to the younger members of my family.

  14. #1214
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    So I finally finished The Wheel of Time.

    It wasn’t a perfect ending. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending.

    Spoiler:
    Am I the only one that felt like the story lost steam after Egwene died? After that point it felt like it was just going through the motions of wrapping up the last threads, nothing else really moved me, maybe until the epilogue?

    Even the part where Rand sealed the Dark One again felt lacking. I felt we needed a bit more explanation on what effect his actions will have on the world this time, but we barely got that.

    And the “pipe lighting” moment, though it was apparently intended to be a mystery I had this Inception moment like “were they in the Dream world all along? O_o” lol.
    Last edited by Femme; November 21st, 2017 at 08:50 AM.
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Are you going to start reading Discworld now? :3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pachylad View Post
    Are you going to start reading Discworld now? :3
    Sorry nope :P I’m 1/3 thru the Stormlight Archive’s newly released third book, Oathbringer ^_^
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  17. #1217
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Femme View Post
    So I finally finished The Wheel of Time.

    It wasn’t a perfect ending. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was an ending.

    Spoiler:
    Am I the only one that felt like the story lost steam after Egwene died? After that point it felt like it was just going through the motions of wrapping up the last threads, nothing else really moved me, maybe until the epilogue?

    Even the part where Rand sealed the Dark One again felt lacking. I felt we needed a bit more explanation on what effect his actions will have on the world this time, but we barely got that.

    And the “pipe lighting” moment, though it was apparently intended to be a mystery I had this Inception moment like “were they in the Dream world all along? O_o” lol.
    Spoiler:
    I definitely agree. Egwene's big moment definitely feels like the most dramatic point of the book. I think it Echoes Return of the King a bit too strongly: the biggest battle happens midway through to stem the tide of evil, complete with undead battalion and heroine's heroic sacrifice-ish. And then there's a later battle that feels less epic to more or less provide a distraction while the protagonist seals evil away. A Memory of Light probably executed that last part a little better than RotK by virtue of giving almost everyone something important to do (sorry Matt) and skipping The Eagles bailout, but it's still too close to be really satisfying.

    Hope you enjoyed the marathon anyways! Books 12 and 13 definitely felt superior to the final one but I think they all did a fairly good job of tying up most of the stories.

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  18. #1218

    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Speaking of Discworld. I just finished "Long Earth" and "Long War" from Pratchett and Baxter. Having "Long Mars" in my hand, I hope it doesn't drag like Long War (there was no war?).

    Aside from that, very interesting setting with Pratchett-like-written characters everywhere.
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  19. #1219

    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Femme View Post
    Sorry nope :P I’m 1/3 thru the Stormlight Archive’s newly released third book, Oathbringer ^_^
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it's out????

  20. #1220
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    Default Re: What are you reading? (Literature)

    Quote Originally Posted by Panda Bear View Post
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it's out????
    Yep :D last week. Get it get it get it!

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Also can I get a solid good fantasy recommendation? Need to spend off an audible credit.
    I’d like a chunky huge book that’ll give me at least 20ish hours of listening lol.
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