General Reading in 2017

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by Boreas, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I started a new thriller last night called Empire of Lies by Andrew Klavan. I've been familiar with Klavan for some years since I used to occasionally read his articles for the City Journal where he was a regular contributor, and also the few pieces he wrote for other publications. I knew he was an author of popular crime fiction thrillers, but wasn't interested in reading much in the genre until recently. Read the first two chapters last night. I'm already hooked.
     
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    :D:D:D I know the feeling!
     
  3. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting a standard 'strange creatures in a cave' horror book, but it's actually a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy/sci-fi book with strong character focus. Only 1/3 in but it's pretty riveting!
     
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  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just started The Pursuer by J Cortázar, a short story based on the last months in the life of the fantastic jazz musician Johnny Carter. So far this is being a little jewel.

    I have also read a couple of chapters of The Wolfen by W Strieber. It has been recommended to me as an uncomplicated, entertaining, gritty, horror story. Perfect for my eclectic, weekend taste.
     
  5. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just finished Critique of Criminal Reason by M Gregorio. I chose this crime novel purely on the fact Immanuel Kant would be one of the characters.
    Well, he just gets mentioned several times but he is not in any way a relevant role per se: disappointing in that respect. Other than that, this story has a very vivid atmosphere but without a particularly clever or creative plot. Enjoyable in a mediocre kind of way.

    Also finished Frostbite a non-horror novel. Initially, it presents a good premise with rather poor characters' development and holes in the plot as big as the Artic.
     
  6. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I just ordered Everyone Lies by Stephens-Davidowitz and I just finished Contact.
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Carl Sagan's Contact? How did you like it?
     
  8. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I love that book. I first read it over 10 years ago but I saw it on the shelf and just seemed like it needed reading. My favorite part of the book is how the "aliens" interact with the passengers; at first it's a bit creepy but then it allows the passengers to open up when they would most likely remain guarded.
     
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  9. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I am now going to start Mansfield Park.
     
  10. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I just started Everyone Lies by Stephens-Davidowitz and, when I couldn't sleep this morning, I started re-reading The Dark Glory War by Stackpole.
     
  11. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Mansfield Park is one of the Austen novels I had not previously read, and I'm finding it be starkly different from her other efforts. For one, Fanny displays none of the conversational repartee that's an intrinsic feature of her many other heroines. And I think this is turning out to be the most character involved novel of Austen's I've read so far. The heroine's early life from when she was a child is charted out for a few chapters before the main action of the novel even begins, and the level of attention to internal thoughts and observations seems to be more than in S&S or P&P, definitely more than NA, and likely even more than E. This is also the most introverted heroine that Austen's written so far.

    Has anybody read it? And did you like it?
     
  12. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I never saw the plot twist coming when Fanny turns into a zombie. Oh no! I've said too much!
    :)
     
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  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm ashamed to admit that I attempted a reading of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. At first I thought the author was quite clever at tweaking Austen's original prose and dialogue to suit the new horror elements (I can see it taking a crap-load of time to do it well), but then my interest started fizzling out. I kept pushing through but, at around 60-70%, I gave up. All of what I thought were clever little changes in the beginning just started to annoy me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  14. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Last night I started The Black Echo by Michael Connelly. I decided that if I ever write a detective novel I am going to make the character (1) not some kind of ex-military baddass, (2) college educated, and (3) some kind of a goof-ball (as opposed to a laconic loner).
     
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  15. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just started a re-read of The Terra-Cotta Dog (Commissario Montalbano #2) by A Camilleri.
    I read this probably 18 years ago and I have forgotten how unintentionally funny these books can be. Besides, the plots are extremely entertaining and refreshing. About 200 pages long, so it feels like a light, easy read. A welcoming change after finalising Cantos.
     
  16. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have just finished The Terra-Cotta Dog. I adore Camilleri and will definitely continue re-reading this series.
     
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  17. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Yesterday after work, I started reading Wolf Winter by C Ekbäck, a crime novel set in the Swedish Lapland in XVIII. This book was recommended to me as a new approach to the Scandinavian Noir fiction.
    I’m beginning to believe that the golden era that Sjöwall-Wahlöö initiated in the 60s, reached its zenith 10 years ago and since that point, all has been going down hill.
    I have almost completed Wolf Winter, and I’m afraid this has been another disappointment.
    A great story setting, all sprinkled with a good dose of folklore and superstition but sadly with a very linear and unchallenging plot: it really lacks spirit.
    It reminds me of a shelf I recently bought from IKEA: extremely functional but rather boring.
     
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  18. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I found it for $8.83 on Amazon and I am going to give it a go. All the reviews indicate that she squandered the ending but I want to experience the setting. Thank you for the write up!
     
  19. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Last night I started Concrete Blonde by Connelly.
     
  20. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Good! Let me know your opinion when you finish it.
    Funny enough, this morning I read a very good review about CB and I'm also planning to read it. Eventually...:)
     
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