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Sostie
Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
A bit like a British X-Files set during the Blitz. Not too bad. Fowler seems to be the "forgotten" British horror/twisted thriller writer, despite his huge output and success. Always some interesting nuggets in his books about London and always pretty good page turners

Now half way through Gaiman's Anansi Boys.
widowspider
QUOTE (Crutch @ Feb 16 2007, 05:18 AM)
I've read The Time Traveler's Wife. It was SO beautyfully written! I have cried from somewhere at page 200 to the almost end regularly... I really love this book and I'm so happy that it fullfilled all the expectations, that I had from what I've read about it on this board. For a person I really love, and for whom I gave it as a christmas present, it appeared to be also a touching book. Thanks for giving me the hint, that this book is SO grrreat....
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Glad you liked it - I think it's one of my favourite pieces of recent fiction.
Sir_Robin_the_brave
QUOTE (maian @ Feb 15 2007, 05:59 PM)
A few weeks back I picked up a second hand copy of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan and I started reading it the other day. Haven't been able to put it down since, really fantastic book.
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Crappy movie though. I've heard the book is much better
Jubei
QUOTE (Jessopjessopjessop @ Feb 15 2007, 05:18 PM)
From Richard K Morgan.com

So it's done. Black Man is complete
*

Now this is a piece of news I've been waiting for for a while. Cheers Adlles.

And as for The Prefect I expect that will be another intriguing story. Reynolds proved he can do the noir style detective novel in Century Rain.

I'm currently reading a couple of books.

Strata by Terry Pratchett. A little semi-serious parody of Ringworld and so far a much more enjoyable read.

Assasins Quest by Robin Hobb. The third in the Farseer trilogy. Really engrossing story. I find it hard to pull my face out of the book sometimes.
shinyelvenqueen
QUOTE (Julie @ Feb 15 2007, 04:24 PM)
I'm reading Generation X by Douglas Coupland. 

I'm actually really sad that it's the last book of his I haven't read.  I don't know what I'll do without him!
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That was the book that introduced my to the talented elf. Love it, although Eleanor Rigby felt a bit lost. Lacking something, perhaps.
Crutch
QUOTE (widowspider @ Feb 16 2007, 03:36 PM)
Glad you liked it - I think it's one of my favourite pieces of recent fiction.
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It's surely one of mine too now. I think it was the first book, since Garp which made me laugh and cry that much.
Jessopjessopjessop
QUOTE (Jubei @ Feb 16 2007, 05:23 PM)
And as for The Prefect I expect that will be another intriguing story.  Reynolds proved he can do the noir style detective novel in Century Rain.

*

Absolutely.

I also recommend you get his other collection, 'Zima Blue and Other Stories'. I had to import in from da USA from Amazon, but it arrived in about two days. They are all non-Revelation Space stories dating back to the mid-90s, and they're all really great so far.
SkipToTheEnd
Just read Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh... it was quite darkly funny and reminded me a bit of Catch-22, but it didnt have the emotional punch of A Handful of Dust - which incidentally has the most utterly terrifying ending ever committed to print...
shinyelvenqueen
I just bought a whole heap of books, including one from Michael Palin (it was only a fiver since I spent over ten English pounds), one about George Bush (it isn't flattering), and a Neil Gaiman novel (Anansi Boys, which I may start tonight). Woo, frivolous.
mcraigclark
Just finished Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann. It's a great whisical read (sheep are the main characters). It's literary enough to have kept me interested and to pull the conceit of sheep investigating the murder of their shepherd into the realm of plausibility. There are some great theological jokes throughout; the sheep, by misunderstanding what the humans are saying, think Satan is the donkey in an adjacent pasture and they can't believe that the murder is "Satan's work."

It's clever and it lifted me out of the winter doldrums for a while.
Sostie
QUOTE (Sostie @ Feb 16 2007, 12:51 PM)
Now half way through Gaiman's Anansi Boys.
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Finished last night. It was alright.
widowspider
Finished Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith earlier this week - enjoyable novel about the residents of a house that is divided into flats in Edinburgh. My favourite character is Bertie, the precocious 6-year old whose dreadful mother pushes him to yoga classes and saxophone lessons and Italian, while all he really wants to do is look at trains and not have to wear pink dungarees. Not a work of genius, but nice to read on the train.

I'm now reading Amazing Disgrace by James Hamilton-Paterson, which is the follow up to Cooking With Fernet Branca that I read earlier last year. The main character, Gerald Samper, is a somewhat effete ghost writer of sporting heroes' biographies who lives in a villa in Tuscany and despairs of doing something more with his life. His passion for food peppers the novels, such as making a souffle with cow's brains and other such oddities, but the tone is witty and sarcastic and it also speeds my ride to work each day.
Crutch
I'm two thirds through Hannibal Rising. Harris surely didn't want to write much more than a shooting script for the movie. I think, he lost interest in the character whose story he's trying to tell. There isn't as much inhumane cruelty as in "Hannibal" and there isn't any sign, that he was attempting to write a good book or at least a book that's breathing the spirit of the previous Lecter novels. I don't think anyone wanted this book, except Harris' bank-accountant and Dino De Laurentis.
thirtyhelens
The Devil In the White City was terrific, tho quite dark - I really wanted something lighter, and I picked up the paperback of Into the Volcano by Forrest DeVoe Jr. (pen name; real name, Max Phillips) at work. First in a Cold War, American pulp - meets - Fleming series about a male/female spy team called Mallory & Morse. Barely cracked the cover last night but I can already tell it's going to be a) no ground-breaker, yet b) quite a lot of fun.
widowspider
I also just finished The Devil in the White City - superbly written non-fiction novel. Really loved it.

I then read The Sense of Paper by Taylor Holden, which was an impulse pick-up at the library in the 'new fiction' section. It's a really great book.
Douglas Nicol
I've finished re-reading a number of the Wing Commander novels that were based off the games, NOT the awful film.

Anyone who played the games and enjoyed them should hunt them down..

They are..

Action Stations (Almost like a prequel showing the start of the Earth-Kilrathi war and a newly commisioned Ensign Geoffrey Tolwyn)
Freedom Flight (Takes place during the secret mission expansion)
End Run (Covers a covert raid on Kilrah, a MUST READ)
Fleet Action (A follow on from End Run, also a must read)
Heart of the Tiger (Basically a novelisation of Wing Commander III)
False Colors (Covers events in the Landreich between WCIII and IV, quite an interesting read)
The Price of Freedom (Wing Commander IV novelisation)
maian
Finished Easy Riders, Raging Bulls over the weekend.Superbly written and highly entertaining. It's shattered my illusions about many of the great directors of our time whilst simultaneously making me realise that Hal Ashby is a real lost talent. The end of the book nearly had me in tears.
Mellanie
Just finished Outdoors by Bailey Ferry and I think I need hosing down. One of the funniest, strangest reads, but I love his writing style, utter madness. Next is Northern Lights, Pullman, which I think I have been missing out on, according to a dear, occasionally evil, friend - we all have them. Then Steinbeck, a fat book of his complete works, what a hack!
Well, for anyone that is interested, that's my twopenneth!!!! rolleyes.gif
thirtyhelens
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 19 2007, 02:11 PM)
making me realise that Hal Ashby is a real lost talent. The end of the book nearly had me in tears.
*


Yup. Heartbreaking. And an excellent book; see the accompanying documentary if you can, the book is more detailed and thus better but the interviews are good.

I'm in love with this DeVoe feller, BTW. (See above). It's like bizarro-Avengers - Steed is a strapping Texan with a penchant for Asian girls, and Mrs. Peel is a WASPy ice queen who could kill you with her pinky. Fun, fun, fun.
Jimmy Green
I've just finished Dog Eat Dog by Eddie Bunker. I've also read The Animal Factory and Little Boy Blue... he's a very underrated writer.
Zoe
Has anyone started the new Ian McEwan yet? I think I'm going to go out and buy it at lunchtime, I'm too excited to wait for it to drop in price.

Read the Times review on Saturday and it sounds amazing (no surprises there).

On Chesil Beach

Hysterically the Mail review seems to equate quality with quantity!

QUOTE
Is Ian McEwan's new book, as advertised, a novel? Although the publishers have tried to make a short story long, eking out its 40,000 words across small pages to resemble a proper book, as a typical paperback it would amount to no more than 100 pages.

Value for money aside, one wonders whether such brevity can truly encompass the depth and scope we expect from the novel form.


I wonder if they'd say the same about 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'?

Value for money aside (ha!), I can't wait to read it.

Extract here
mcraigclark
QUOTE (Zoe @ Apr 4 2007, 06:30 AM)
Has anyone started the new Ian McEwan yet? I think I'm going to go out and buy it at lunchtime, I'm too excited to wait for it to drop in price.

Read the Times review on Saturday and it sounds amazing (no surprises there).

On Chesil Beach

Hysterically the Mail review seems to equate quality with quantity!
I wonder if they'd say the same about 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'?

Value for money aside (ha!), I can't wait to read it.

Extract here
*

I finished an advance of it a few weeks ago. It is predictably wonderful; the narrator is the bast part. It is very small, and expensive for its size, but fans of McEwan won't be disappointed.

Publisher's Weekly took issue with its length as well.
Zoe
Nothing wrong with economy of language, and I don't mind it being expensive, I love my McEwan hardbacks.

Thanks for that Craig, I am even more excited.

Is it possible to be an Ian McEwan fangirl?
Jimmay
QUOTE (Zoe @ Apr 4 2007, 10:30 AM)


Ah, Chesil Beach, the largest Tombolo in the U.K.

You can take the man away from Geology, but you can't take Geology out of the man.

Book sounds good by the way.
Jubei
Chesil Beach is awesome, don't know about the book.

I've just finished Sister Alice by Robert Reed. I read a book of his called Marrow which was really good, but was immediately put off Sister Alice when I first started reading it. I tried again recently and was much more impressed, although it is a bit confusing. The ending was a little too open to my liking, didn't tell you what happened or what the titular characters motivatioons really were. An interesting take on humans evolution and the technologies that will fuel it though. For those of us who like the techno-aspect of Sci Fi, there's plenty there to satify. God-like people in the future are made mostly of 'talents', large and small machines made from baryonic or dark matter and energies that they drag through space with them and give them unnatural abilities, but visualised as additional hands/eyes etc. Sometimes it gets a bit confusing though, reading through the reality and the metaphor.
mcraigclark
QUOTE (Zoe @ Apr 4 2007, 06:40 AM)
Is it possible to be an Ian McEwan fangirl?
*

All the best girls are, Zoe.

I've also just read The Handmaid's Tale for the first time. Strange how current some of it felt.
Starscream`s Ghost
QUOTE (mcraigclark @ Apr 4 2007, 11:46 AM)
I've also just read The Handmaid's Tale for the first time.  Strange how current some of it felt.
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Y'know, I was just thinking that the other day. We read that for my A-Level English Lit. It seemed scary then, scarier now.

Shame about the film, though.
curtinparloe
I was part way through that and it was mislaid somewhere in the move. sad.gif

Bought Lord of the Flies and Discourse on Method and the Meditations yesterday.
SkipToTheEnd
I'm halfway through Vanity Fair...
maian
Finished The Big Sleep yesterday. Seeing as I seem to be reading a lot of things that reference or parody Chandler, I thought it was about time I investigated the real thing. Great book, wonderfully written. Shame that it didn't have the same ending as the film in that you actually find out who did it.
bigfatrich
QUOTE (maian @ Apr 4 2007, 11:23 AM)
Finished The Big Sleep yesterday. Seeing as I seem to be reading a lot of things that reference or parody Chandler, I thought it was about time I investigated the real thing. Great book, wonderfully written. Shame that it didn't have the same ending as the film in that you actually find out who did it.
*


I read this as I was inspired by my brother who was doing a PhD on American detective fiction. From this, I got a bit of a love for the genre. It's something in the attitude which comes across in the style of the writing and the attitude of the characters.

From this, I've gone on to absolutely bum Jame Ellroy - the man's a genius. I'm currently reading Moon Palace by Paul Auster. He's another of my favourites as he apperas to be such a thoughtful, poetic writer. I love the way he messes, plays with and changes memory through different viewpoints and his use of language.
Ghost_862
I'm a big fan of film noir and have similarly been intending for a while on reading a few of the original books, especially Raymond Chandler's. However, I have a big stack of books already waiting to be read. I might buy one or two to read on holiday.
maian
QUOTE (bigfatrich @ Apr 4 2007, 08:44 PM)
I read this as I was inspired by my brother who was doing a PhD on American detective fiction. From this, I got a bit of a love for the genre. It's something in the attitude which comes across in the style of the writing and the attitude of the characters.

From this, I've gone on to absolutely bum Jame Ellroy - the man's a genius. I'm currently reading Moon Palace by Paul Auster. He's another of my favourites as he apperas to be such a thoughtful, poetic writer. I love the way he messes, plays with and changes memory through different viewpoints and his use of language.
*



QUOTE (Ghost_862 @ Apr 4 2007, 09:18 PM)
I'm a big fan of film noir and have similarly been intending for a while on reading a few of the original books, especially Raymond Chandler's. However, I have a big stack of books already waiting to be read. I might buy one or two to read on holiday.
*


I've gone even further back into the history of detective fiction now and have started reading some Sherlock Holmes stories after picking up ''The Adventures of...'' for 2. I'm pretty sure it's a collection of the entire first lot of Holmes stories, up until his 'death', though I'm not certain.
Ghost_862
If you check out The Works or The Book People then up until recently they were doing a boxset of ten Sherlock Holmes novels for about 8.
maian
Now that is a very good deal. May pick one up after the loan comes in and when I'm next near The Works in Sheffield.

Curses, if only this deal had been on last year (or I had known about it) it would have only taken me 2 minutes to walk there from my old house. Now I'll have to walk slightly further.
Zoe
Apparently the top twenty hardbacks are half price in WH Smith.

Woot.
tigerlily
Similarly, Borders are offering a discount over the Easter weekend.

The voucher be here

Wish I'd known about all this cheapness before I went out a bought a load of books yesterday. Bah.
Raven
I'm reading the novel of Sideways at the moment (the film was based on the book, not the other way around).

It's followed the film very closely for the most part (or should that be the other way around?), but it does give some insights the film doesn't, and - like the film - it is still hugely entertaining.
Sostie
Soho Black - Christopher Fowler
Another slice of strangeness about the living dead, narcotics and magic spunk set around the Soho film community. What I really like about Fowler's novels, other that the good stories, is that he is so knowledgeable about London and its history that his novels are always filled with interesting nuggets of information about the city.

Pies & Prujudice - Stuart Maconie
Northerner in exile Maconie goes in search of "The North". An excellent, funny and educational travel book about the North of England, its people, history and rivalries. Great stuff.
Douglas Nicol
I'm reading Soul of the Fire, the fifth book of the Terry Goodkind series "Sword of Truth", for some reason there's seems to be a lot of dislike for this series, but I don't mind it. It's certainly not as ponderous as Wheel of Time where I couldn't even be bothered to finish the first book.
Stella MM
QUOTE (Sostie @ Apr 6 2007, 06:08 PM)
Pies & Prujudice - Stuart Maconie
Northerner in exile Maconie goes in search of "The North".  An excellent, funny and educational travel book about the North of England, its people, history and rivalries.  Great stuff.
*

I'll have to hunt that out. I loved his Cider with Roadies.

I've started reading How to Make Love Like a Porn Star 'by' Jenna Jameson (actually Neil Strauss) though I'm not sure why. The contradiction inherent in the line "I had made it as a stripper" rather made me want to hurl the book across the room. And I'm irritated by the cod-psychology insights into the differences between men and women that have clearly been added in by Strauss - not Jameson, since anyone stupid enough to subscribe the patently bullshit "stripping = feminist empowerment" theory probably doesn't spend that much time in deep thought about the human condition.
maian
Finished Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk last night. Another great book, with a great ending (something of a rarity in Palahniuk books, I find). Now ploughing my way through some Sherlock Holmes stories and I'm going to start reading Don Quixote. Again.
rabbit57i
Just finished Titanic: End of A Dream. One of the best books I've read on the subject. Does an excellent job of interpreting what exactly happened that night to the late-20th century reader. The author doesn't speculate but just takes first person accounts & transcripts from the American inquiry to tell the story.

I have to say that I am actually quite surprised that my opinion of Captain Smith has changed after this. I am very disappointed in how useless he was after they had hit the ice. Also, Ismay isn't quite the low-life that he is made out to be. He did more than the Captain did to get passengers into the boats.
Mase
Just finished re-reading American gods by Neil Gaiman.

Seemed diffrent this time think i must have somehow skipped a few chapters on my last reading, haha.
Jubei
QUOTE (Douglas Nicol @ Apr 6 2007, 10:40 PM)
I'm reading Soul of the Fire, the fifth book of the Terry Goodkind series "Sword of Truth", for some reason there's seems to be a lot of dislike for this series, but I don't mind it. It's certainly not as ponderous as Wheel of Time where I couldn't even be bothered to finish the first book.
*

I've read 7 or 8 of them. My problem with them was that they had already been written by the time I found them, so I read them one after the other. As they are really one long story, with no real stand-alone moments, it can be a bit frustrating, and also as I was moving straight to the next books, things that had been 'forgotten' by the characters were still fresh in my mind, like the number of wives Richard has.
tigerlily
QUOTE (Stella MM @ Apr 8 2007, 02:56 AM)
anyone stupid enough to subscribe the patently bullshit "stripping = feminist empowerment" theory probably doesn't spend that much time in deep thought about the human condition.
*


This, along with numerous other qualities, pretty much form the basis for my unyielding and unwavering hatred for Jodie Marsh. But this is probably not the thread for that.

I've just finished What a Carve Up by Jonathan Coe, which I finally got a chance to get through. It was wonderful. There was so much happening within it that it was a really satisfying read. It's been a while since a book kept me reading until 3am, but this is one of them.

Now I've got a choice between Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys or The Successor by Ismail Kadare. Might be a case of Eenie Meanie.
Stella MM
QUOTE (tigerlily @ Apr 10 2007, 12:05 PM)
This, along with numerous other qualities, pretty much form the basis for my unyielding and unwavering hatred for Jodie Marsh.  But this is probably not the thread for that.
*

I don't hate Jodie Marsh; mock and pity, yes. Hate, no. She wants peopple to hate her, I'm sure of it.
tigerlily
You would think that, but according to her solicitors she doesn't.

Hatred is probably a very strong word and since she doesn't figure too prominently in my own life then it's possibly the wrong one. However, she used to merely annoy me, but lately she's stepped that up into proper revulsion.
zeden
Currently about half way through Teach Yourself NLP.
I was looking for something a little more technical and written from a phsychologists point of view, but for now this is a decent stop gap.
NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming for those unfamiliar with the term, is a concept which covers the way the human mind works and programs itself based upon beliefs and values we have been tought, how we process new information using these beliefs and values as filters and how it is possible to change even the deepest held beliefs by changing the way we think and react to situations.
It's heavy going, many of the concepts are abstract and require one to look beyond ones own perception and hypothisise different thought patterns, but it would seem that I already practice many of the core behaviours of NLP.
Picking apart exactly what one feels and thinks about given a situaiton and what these reactions are based on experience-wise is proving to be very useful in confronting some of my more prominent stresses.

Very temped to buy The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo, which explores what it takes, from a phsychological point of view, to turn a "good" person "evil". Anyone read it yet? Opinions?
Starscream`s Ghost
QUOTE (Stella MM @ Apr 10 2007, 12:08 PM)
I don't hate Jodie Marsh; mock and pity, yes. Hate, no. She wants peopple to hate her, I'm sure of it.
*


Similar to JK Rowling, then.
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