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What the fuck kind of books are you guys reading that require study guides and devoting years of your lives to? I am reading Russka by Edward Rutherford and I have not had to hire a support staff

Seems like a good day to start a biography of Pliny the Elder and  Younger that Claire got for me at Christmas.  

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They hold up incredibly well. The passage of time has not diminished the power of his prose. Mona Lisa Overdrive is next.

I don't remember reading the books together all at once. I've owned them for years, but reading them again as an adult (living in the future) seems to be different than when I read them as a sheltered teenager. For one thing, I'm actually bothering to look up every one of the words I don't understand this time – I admire Gibson's creativity and the breadth of his interests and vocabulary. I've read Neuromancer many times over the years, but I've only read the others once or twice.

William Gibson's cyberpunk novels changed my life. I've been looking back at the cyberpunk era (triggered by the upcoming launch of the Cyberpunk 2077 game, I think) and few of his contemporaries' works can compare to Gibson's trilogy. I didn't even consider the books a trilogy (and the publisher has never numbered them as such), but the linkages are more apparent when you read them back to back.

I've always found the covers for Mona Lisa Overdrive to be cheesy – I found this beautiful image on Google (art by Vladimir Manyukhin):

vladimir-manyukhin-mona-lisa-overdrive.j

Edited by HiWire
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On 8/31/2006 at 1:09 PM, grawk said:

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I enjoyed "Declare" - how's that one?

(Also, if you like that sort of writing, do you know Nick Harkaway?)

I just finished:

book-ch2-hires.jpg

Nothing that anyone with a general grounding in infosec and computing will find surprising, but a fair survey of the landscape and some crystal ball gazing that makes sense. I don't agree with every word of it, but it seems fairly sensible.

Edited by Kattefjaes
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2 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

(makes a note of it)

I haven't read anything like Tim Powers, so I will definitely give him a go.

 

Obviously, it depends which aspect of Tim Powers piqued your interest, I wouldn't dare to claim they're clones.

"Angelmaker" and "Gnomon" are pretty good, for example (the latter is significantly weirder, mind). Obviously, it depends which aspect of Tim Powers you like. Nick Harkaway runs the gamut a bit- "The Gone-Away World" is full of mimes, ninjas and monsters, for example. Very silly.

(I love how no-one has told me off for suddenly reacting to a post from 12 years ago.. because BOOKS, I get excited, sorry.)

 

 

Edited by Kattefjaes
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Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

Unlike the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies, this is the first time I've re-read Pattern Recognition. I like it a lot more now, I think, than when I first read it in hardcover from the library. The characters, settings, and plot make more sense to me now than when I read it the first time. He's definitely become more sophisticated in his development of the branding-sensitive protagonist, Cayce Pollard, and his exploration of culture, marketing, fashion, and art (in this case, film theory). The other interesting thing is that this is now a "historical" novel and it withstands the test of time.

The protagonists in the preceding novels of the Bridge Trilogy (Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties) are young people, whereas the characters in Pattern Recognition are all adults. The change in perspective is interesting – I think it's harder to write convincing adult characters (that aren't copies of the writer) because they require more imagination and context. Some of the attitudes in the novel seem dated, but they merely remind us of how much the world has changed since 2002.

You can see in the cover images below that the designers had trouble conceptualizing his ideas (my copy is the upper-left version).

 

Pattern_Recognition_(novel)_-_covers.jpg

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I started Seveneves about 2 years ago with a library copy, but I didn't get very far into the book at the time (stopped just before the hard rain starts). Reviews have been a bit mixed but I'll get back to finishing it soon... usually, I wait until the mass-market edition is released to purchase the book.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. was a huge disappointment. It was still fun to read, but a lot of the ideas went nowhere and the characters felt a bit generic. On the other hand, I loved REAMDE, even though it probably has a ton of flaws. The mix of action, fantasy role-playing computer games, and interesting settings was right up my alley.

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On 1/6/2019 at 1:04 PM, Grahame said:

^When you held it, did it "spark joy in you"?

Edit: now on Netflix!

That show got a pretty miserable review from The Guardian.  

"Maybe Kondo should have laid out every scene in an editing suite and, after the necessary thank yous, carefully considered which ones sparked joy. The bulk of them would have gone in the bin."

I hope there's more to it than that.  None of my underwear spark joy, but neither am I binning them -- I need my underwear!  And none of my work clothes spark joy, they're just necessary.

And my most beautiful guitars spark joy in me, but most of them have to go.

I've actually heard of Swedish death cleaning.  I think I saw Alexander Skarsgård talking about it in an interview.  If the Kondo thing doesn't work, I will seriously read up on it.  My father died only two years older than I am now, and he was in better shape than I am, and now I think I might have a neurological issue (I have an appointment at the end of January)...so I guess what I'm saying is, I'm in the right frame of mind.  Part of the cleaning is so that I don't dump it on my sisters if I die.

I found some non-rye whisk(e)y I don't remember buying.

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Phonogram: Rue Britannia by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (I was reading The Wicked + The Divine last week but I wanted to go backwards for a bit... the trade paperback releases take a while, so I usually forgot what happened in the previous issues)

Lots of Britpop references – time to catch up, starting with Pulp and Kenickie

 

61alMi1aa2L.jpg

Edited by HiWire
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A Les Paul Gibson or Leo Fender Stratocaster?  Book review is intriguing and I'll be adding "The Birth of Loud" to my reading list.

How can any book that devotes an entire chapter to Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" not be good :)

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/01/how-electric-guitar-was-born/580969/?utm_content=edit-promo&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_source=facebook&utm_term=2019-01-23T15%3A49%3A54&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR1yRv227ZOCG2E0QNyGcFsWmjcLIAbv-eGkq6zaLfCd5hLKbqO6QlLDXL8&fbclid=IwAR3lV2czwFZHomp5jZX4zu6G6lbCL7al2S268e-BqwgdzT-HCq_SdaXei38

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