What Are You Reading? |OT| One Thread to Rule Them All

Yasuke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
13,384
I’ll be wrapping up Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker soon.

Next up is probably The World Doesn’t Require You by Rion Amilcar Scott.

 
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Jag

Jag

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,709
Anyone read any KJ Parker/Tom Holt? I read the Engineer series but didn't love it.

This flowchart from /r/ Fantasy intrigues me.

 

Dec

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,380
read


Solid mystery. If you are into detective mysteries check it out.

and Locke & Key. Fine... a bit edgey in a dumb way but still at times charming and well written.

Currently reading

 

Sparky2112

Member
Feb 20, 2018
484
CONSUMED this over the weekend:



First, it must be said that Walker wrote this while in prison for bank robbery, which was to support his heroine addiction. The main character...get this...robs banks to support his heroine addiction.

Anyway, this is really two books in one - one a guy and his girlfriend strung out and trying to score their next fix, and the other his time in Iraq as a combat medic. Not gonna lie - I found the Iraq portion much more compelling, but the whole thing was an experience worth having. Did I love it? No, I don't think this is a novel you 'love'. It is, however, a great example of a unique and consistent voice - the kind of prose you don't see that often. He's a degenerate that has not an ounce of self-pity or blame for anyone but himself. As Walker's editor said to him (and I'm paraphrasing) 'your character is a jerk, but I like him'.
 

Measurehead

Member
Oct 25, 2017
193
Anyone read any KJ Parker/Tom Holt? I read the Engineer series but didn't love it.

This flowchart from /r/ Fantasy intrigues me.
I read sixteen ways to defend a walled city and thought it was really good. Ending wasn't great, but it was definitely worth a read.
makes you realize how poorly the winterfell part in GoT's final season was handled!
 

Nakho

Member
Nov 1, 2017
74
Finished The Master and Margarita:



Outside of the Sinners Ball at the beginning of part two (which unfortunately felt like a bit of a slog), it was an absolute riot. Found myself surprised by how fond of Satan's retinue I grew as I approached the ending (Koroviev and Behemoth in particular), and just how enjoyable the whole Pontius Pilate narrative turned out to be.

The opening three chapters (two intellectual atheists debate the existence of Jesus with an irritating passerby they're unaware is actually Satan -> Satan's insistence that Jesus obviously did exist because he was there when Pontius Pilate sentenced him to death -> their desperation to rationalise Satan as some kind of academic or invalid (as he hilariously addresses all their unvoiced internal monologuing)) were sublime. That most of the book lives up to that insanely entertaining intro is super impressive.

The whole 'written in Stalinist Russia and chucked in a drawer when finished (after being destroyed and given up on a couple of times), only to be published after the authors death' thing is also a pretty good story in and of itself.
What translation are you reading? There are like four different translations on the Kindle store, with big price differences.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,589
What translation are you reading? There are like four different translations on the Kindle store, with big price differences.
I read the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation, which includes a bunch of material that was initially censored (also available in the Burgin and O'Connor translation - from what I understand these two are basically the only 'faithful' versions (others like Glenny are easier to read, but omit information and are based on an incomplete manuscript)).

Here's the opening paragraph from those two:

[Pevear-Volokhonsky]

At the hour of the hot spring sunset two citizens appeared at the Patriarch’s Ponds. One of them, approximately forty years old, dressed in a grey summer suit, was short, dark-haired, plump, bald, and carried his respectable fedora hat in his hand. His neatly shaven face was adorned with black horn-rimmed glasses of a supernatural size. The other, a broad-shouldered young man with tousled reddish hair, his checkered cap cocked back on his head, was wearing a cowboy shirt, wrinkled white trousers and black sneakers.​

[Burgin-O’Connor]

One hot spring evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch’s Ponds. One of them – fortyish, wearing a gray summer suit – was short, dark-haired, bald on top, paunchy, and held his proper fedora in his hand; black horn-rimmed glasses of supernatural proportions adorned his well-shaven face. The other one – a broad-shouldered, reddish-haired, shaggy young man with a checked cap cocked on the back of his head – was wearing a cowboy shirt, crumpled white trousers, and black sneakers.​
 

Piston

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,686
I have an issue of adding books to my To Read list on Goodreads every time I enter this thread.
 

Nakho

Member
Nov 1, 2017
74
I read the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation, which includes a bunch of material that was initially censored (also available in the Burgin and O'Connor translation - from what I understand these two are basically the only 'faithful' versions (others like Glenny are easier to read, but omit information and are based on an incomplete manuscript)).

Here's the opening paragraph from those two:

[Pevear-Volokhonsky]

Thank you! They look kinda equal

At the hour of the hot spring sunset two citizens appeared at the Patriarch’s Ponds. One of them, approximately forty years old, dressed in a grey summer suit, was short, dark-haired, plump, bald, and carried his respectable fedora hat in his hand. His neatly shaven face was adorned with black horn-rimmed glasses of a supernatural size. The other, a broad-shouldered young man with tousled reddish hair, his checkered cap cocked back on his head, was wearing a cowboy shirt, wrinkled white trousers and black sneakers.​

[Burgin-O’Connor]

One hot spring evening, just as the sun was going down, two men appeared at Patriarch’s Ponds. One of them – fortyish, wearing a gray summer suit – was short, dark-haired, bald on top, paunchy, and held his proper fedora in his hand; black horn-rimmed glasses of supernatural proportions adorned his well-shaven face. The other one – a broad-shouldered, reddish-haired, shaggy young man with a checked cap cocked on the back of his head – was wearing a cowboy shirt, crumpled white trousers, and black sneakers.​
Thank you! I didn't know about the restored content.
 

MilkBeard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,293
Thank you! I didn't know about the restored content.
I've also read a bit about comparisons, and it's important to note that some people say the Pevear Volkhonsky translation misses some of the author's humor. A number of people seem to recommend the Ginsberg translation for the humor and poetic writing, even if it's based on the earlier, censored version, while others say not to read them. Some promote Burgin-O'Connor for the clarity of writing as well, while some further promote Glenny as well. Of course you'll find people recommending different versions based on certain qualities and it's a bit of a wash.

It just depends on what you want out of it. These differences make it hard to choose, though.

I suspect most people will probably go the completionist route, wanting the fuller text of the BO or PV versions(I might end up doing this as well, though the more fanciful writing does interest me, as writing flow is important to me in enjoying a story). I'm leaning toward Burgin O'Connor now (though my opinion has changed a lot in the last hour).

Edit: I ended up going with the Burgin O'Connor. What I gather, especially from this really helpful thread, is that the PV translation does aim for more accuracy from Russian, but in expense, makes the English often read awkward and a little bit muddled. The BO version uses a more natural English flow. I think this choice will depend on what you prefer, but there was a Russian person in the thread translating and commenting on it, and the original Russian was not generally meant to sound awkward, but rather smooth and easy to read. I would have preferred Ginsberg if only it was based on the uncensored version...
 
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fulltimepanda

Member
Oct 28, 2017
402
Finished Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, solid book on the science of sleep. He spends a bit too much time trying to drive the point home at times but I feel it's deserved.

Also finished The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, there was some pretty wacky writing here (comparing eyes to mad olives) but overall a nice premise. If you've ever thought about how the people in your life would continue on after you've died, it's worth a read.
 

WillJoe

Member
Nov 14, 2018
1,641
UK
i have just started The Hobbit. last time i read it was back in 2012, i think. i've just finished "Riddles In The Dark".

i'm off work this week, there's a storm going on, and i've just been lying in my warm bed with my cats reading it.
 

smisk

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,243
I am looking for shorter (~300 pages) novels that deal with mental illness for my bachelor thesis. It would be favourable if the main character has one but it's not necessary. It's important that the author doesn't have a mentall illness themself. I could just google but I thought that people here would recommend something that they have enjoyed reading. I would appreciate any tips.
Check out Nico Walker's Cherry for a pretty vivid portrayal of PTSD and addiction (these probably aren't mental illnesses? But what do I know.)
 

DassoBrother

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,125
Saskatchewan
Just finished The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie. I think I liked it a little more than Best Served Cold. Only complaint would be there was so much going on that I sometimes lost track of what was happening between the different divisions in battle. I probably should've referenced the maps between sections more. Not sure that would've helped all that much since I was still checking the list of characters often trying to remember who was in what division too. The upside to the large cast is that there were tons of great characters. I enjoyed Bayaz quite a bit in the end but Calder and Gorst were probably still the best. Craw and Beck would be close behind those three.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,834
North-East England

Gigglepoo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,926
I've been reading The Bone Clocks for about a month and my interest is really waning. I really liked the first few sections that focused on personal drama, but now I'm in the "Let's explain the esoteric fantasy war going on behind the scenes!" part and, man, I just could not care less about what's going on. Should I continue? Does it shift back to personal drama? I'm about 78% of the way through.
 

electricblue

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
Currently reading

Ancillary Justice, I like it a lot very interesting premise
It's got kind of a Tyranny vibe going, that's interesting
kinda 50/50 on whether I want to read any further books in the series though
 

RepairmanJack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,598
What kind of stories do you like?
Anything really. Most of my life though I've always searched for something with the feel, depth, and world building of manga but in book form. Not so much just stuff with battle systems or lore, or intricate fights, but more the feel of serialization where you're with the characters for a long time and really get to know them. Fantasy lately has been really filling that niche, but discovering Web Fiction and Worm/Ward specifically has kind of grabbed me to where it's basically all I've been reading for a few months.
 

Switch Back 9

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
4,908
Most of their books haven't yet come out in English - I've read Vita Nostra, which was released by the same translator in 2018. It's extremely good.
She's a Russian speaking Ukie, but our local library has very little selection (Vancouver Island) and she's already read all their Russian Lit.

I'll try to order them in the original.

"Let's explain the esoteric fantasy war going on behind the scenes!"
lol this sounds so much more interesting to me than

I really liked the first few sections that focused on personal drama
 

Tuorom

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,891
Has anyone read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler?

I saw it in the bookstore today and the chapter headings really peaked my interest. I'm a sucker for philosophy. I didn't buy it because it was $22 but I'm wondering if I should jump in.

Also saw The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin. Is it worth it to read? I really liked the Earthsea series.




I absolutely loved this book. Some of the characters are cliched, there's a very clear "evil" threat with few shades of grey, the pacing goes to hell in the last third of the book.... but it's so much FUN. Literally the definition of more than the sum of its parts. I was also convinced to read it by the promise of a single-volume fantasy epic, knowing I can leave the world behind after just the one book and be satisfied from a fantasy story is a rare occurrence, and it definitely delivered on that front. It has a really interesting world and likable characters and for whatever it's worth it kept reminding me of Fire Emblem: Three Houses in terms of story and characters. Really a treat.
Ooo interesting. The cover and the name of that book really grab my attention every time I see it at the bookstore. Maybe I'll give it a go.


Its been Dune reread. I went through the first Dune through Children of Dune in January and about to finish God Emperor soon. Man, these books are amazing read thousands of pages in a month and it feels like a breeze.

I love these covers! I have them all except Messiah and Children (which are an older edition I think) and I am very tempted to buy these editions because the covers are so damn good. Messiah especially looks fantastic. My favourite cover and coincidentally book is God Emperor, I love the colour and it is the perfect contrast to Dune considering the two environments.
 

arkon

Member
Nov 6, 2017
240
Just finished The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie. I think I liked it a little more than Best Served Cold. Only complaint would be there was so much going on that I sometimes lost track of what was happening between the different divisions in battle. I probably should've referenced the maps between sections more. Not sure that would've helped all that much since I was still checking the list of characters often trying to remember who was in what division too. The upside to the large cast is that there were tons of great characters. I enjoyed Bayaz quite a bit in the end but Calder and Gorst were probably still the best. Craw and Beck would be close behind those three.
I think that feeling of confusion is by design. The whole thing is a messy affair to put it lightly. I remember when I read it ages ago and I felt like so much had happened only to realize the book itself only covered a short span of time. If I remember it's pointed out in a home-coming scene. I forget which character. In the midst of it all it's a different world. For those outside of it, it's just another day.
----

Upthread people were talking about KJ Parker. I've only read one book so far, The Folding Knife, but it was fantastic and is standalone. Not sure I'd class it as epic fantasy though. I don't remember it having that sort of scale (but it's been ages since I read it). Read to me more like historical fiction, although I suppose the distinctions can be arbitrary. Definitely a good starting point.
 

Torizo

Member
Apr 18, 2019
271
I started A Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss a few days ago, after finishing The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. I was holding off A Wise Man’s Fear for a long time because I loved the writing in The Name of the Wind and it became my favourite book, but I was feeling in the mood to start it.
 

djinn

Member
Nov 16, 2017
4,167
I started A Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss a few days ago, after finishing The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. I was holding off A Wise Man’s Fear for a long time because I loved the writing in The Name of the Wind and it became my favourite book, but I was feeling in the mood to start it.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it
 

Tuorom

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,891
I was holding off A Wise Man’s Fear for a long time because I loved the writing in The Name of the Wind and it became my favourite book, but I was feeling in the mood to start it.
WMF is more of the same delicious prose. Enjoy!

Even if it doesn't get an ending, it will remain my favourite series because the writing is so damn beautiful to read. Everything flows so well.
 

TheXbox

Member
Oct 29, 2017
2,984
I started Glen Cook's The Black Company after years of recommendations. So far, so good. I vibe hard with its bleak comedy.
 

fakefaker

Member
Oct 28, 2017
187
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne was a bust and I DNF'd it a little over half way through. A thriller shouldn't be frustrating and dull. It should be fun, a page turner, pop corn for the mind...and not make the reader question why they bother ever reading again.

And since I can't stop reading, going to read Inspector Imanishi Investigates by Seichō Matsumoto next.

 

AutoMard

Member
Feb 21, 2018
212
Currently reading "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque. It's the most quotable book I've read since I last picked up Catch-22 ten years ago.

Pretty remarkable. Feels very relatable too, for some odd reason.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,589
I've been reading The Bone Clocks for about a month and my interest is really waning. I really liked the first few sections that focused on personal drama, but now I'm in the "Let's explain the esoteric fantasy war going on behind the scenes!" part and, man, I just could not care less about what's going on. Should I continue? Does it shift back to personal drama? I'm about 78% of the way through.
I really, really enjoyed it until the second to last chapter where it completely imploded for me. 3/5 overall, but the ending left a really sour aftertaste >.<
 

Darkmaigle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,623
I read all of N0S4A2 by Joe Hill in two days.

couldn’t put this fucking book down, satisfying ending that genuinely moved me