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Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 419657 times)

Theriandros

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #300 on: 13 Oct 2010, 21:45 »

China Mieville ~ The Scar

Disliked Perdido Street Station for its thin plot, but I'm giving this guy a second chance.
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jimbunny

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #301 on: 15 Oct 2010, 07:17 »

To Say Nothing About the Dog, by Connie Willis

I'm actually not too enthused at the moment - this kind of comedy just isn't my thing - but I'm determined to get to the end because I'm pretty sure it's good.
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scarred

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #302 on: 15 Oct 2010, 11:45 »

Just finished Kraken by China Mieville. This man has an amazing imagination, but the middle 200 pages were pretty aimless. First 100 and last 100 were ace, though. Basically if you liked Gaiman's Neverwhere, you'd probably dig it.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #303 on: 15 Oct 2010, 12:18 »

Stories In Stone, by David B. Williams, subtitled Travels Through Urban Geology.  An interesting discussion of where various building materials (stone, in particular) came from.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #304 on: 15 Oct 2010, 21:37 »

The Wind in the Willows

Holy cow why didn't I read this as a kid?  Soooo much fun.
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Zingoleb

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #305 on: 15 Oct 2010, 21:50 »

Your astonishment matches your avatar well.


I just read Good Omens.


Holy shit! That was SO GOOD.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #306 on: 15 Oct 2010, 21:56 »

Just how good are we talking!
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #307 on: 16 Oct 2010, 05:05 »

I've just finished:

Perfume - Patrick Susskind: This got a lot of recommendations in another thread and I think they are well deserved - it's disturbingly sensory and every character placed in the story is monstrous in their own way. It's a lot of fun to read.

if nobody speaks of remarkable things - Jon McGregor: Some people find this book frustrating - the pace is slow and the time frames are haphazard, and the author is irreverent of things such as conventional grammar. It's also gorgeously evocative and every description is appropriately detailed without wasting any words. I really loved it.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynn Truss: She's surprisingly funny but my god is she uptight.

I'm now reading:

Skating to Antarctica - Jenny Diski: Technically, this is travel writing. It's caustic and upsetting and carefully written. The author is remarkably pragmatic about the sorts of things that would have most writers spewing realms of self pity. I'm about a third of the way through it and it is quite brilliant.

Fugitive Pieces - Anne Michaels: Thematically dark (holocaust survivor coming to terms with the horrors of the past) but written with disjointed floral prose which is hard to engage with and jars against the points the author is trying to make. Not sure about this one.

I'm about to read:

Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home - Erna Brodbery
Selected Stories - Katherine Mansfield
Words from a Glass Bubble - Vanessa Gebbie


And a bunch of tests about 'reading like a writer' and so on. Being a student is strangely fun.

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nekowafer

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #308 on: 21 Oct 2010, 12:26 »

I am reading the Animorphs series on my Nook. I'm on book 19. No, I am not currently in middle school..
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Tom

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #309 on: 21 Oct 2010, 13:56 »

I'm reading the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I can tell that when I'm done this'll be one of my favourite books ever.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #310 on: 25 Oct 2010, 02:48 »

I like to try and read two books at the same time, not exactly at the same time but you know what I mean
I'll pick something reasonably heavy-weight and something more readable for if the former aches my brain

currently I'm reading:
Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Thinner by Stephen King
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #311 on: 26 Oct 2010, 18:09 »

After several discussions with my literature teacher I decided to take a stab at James Joyce's Ulysses. I know the premise and I know this is going to be one of the most difficult books to pick up. Has anyone else finished Ulysses with some idea of what's going on?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #312 on: 29 Oct 2010, 11:22 »

Currently finishing off On the Road by Jack Kerouac. For some bizarre reason I'd never read any Kerouac, despite reading a huge amount of Burroughs and Ginsberg. Enjoying it so far.

Also, at the charity bookstall at the Co-op I picked up 'Back to the Batcave' which is the crazy memoirs of Adam West. He fucking insane.
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #313 on: 01 Nov 2010, 14:55 »

After several discussions with my literature teacher I decided to take a stab at James Joyce's Ulysses. I know the premise and I know this is going to be one of the most difficult books to pick up. Has anyone else finished Ulysses with some idea of what's going on?

Yes.

It's difficulty is massively overstated by people who are frightened of novels which veer away from more traditional storytelling practices. Ulysses is filled with beautiful language, ornate structuring, and incredible passages. It's not a book to zip through; take your time with each page, and you'll be able to draw a lot from it. Lots has been written on the book, but it's probably a better idea to take a stab without the aid of a crib or review. Have fun with it.

Then think about attacking Finnegans Wake.

Have you read Joyce at all before? Or any of the other writers of the period (who tend to be called Modernist)? Woolf, Pound, Eliot, Stein, etc?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #314 on: 06 Nov 2010, 20:18 »

I'm reading King Lear right now, for our production of that play. Also, a few days ago I started reading The Conspiracy of Catiline by Sallust. Pretty interesting so far.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #315 on: 06 Nov 2010, 22:02 »

Machine of Death.

It is decent. Not incredible. But decent. Occasionally hilarious and clever.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #316 on: 06 Nov 2010, 22:10 »

I'm currently reading the Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser. It's pretty good, though I do feel there are too many moments of intrusive authorial opinion. I'm writing a story about a stray cat at the moment so I'm kind of immersing myself in the literature of lost pets: next up (and long overdue) is Timoleon Vieta Come Home by Dan Rhodes.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #317 on: 07 Nov 2010, 07:36 »

I just finshed reading L'Ignorance by Milan Kundera.
It cemented the fact that Kundera's my favourite author.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #318 on: 01 Dec 2010, 03:03 »

I am just finishing up The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and I am also reading The Reader. After Edgar Sawtelle I am going to start Knit Two, or Breaking Dawn, I have not decided yet.....
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #319 on: 01 Dec 2010, 16:57 »

Re-reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It's been 5 years since I read it last, so it's sort of new to me in a way. Even though I cannot read that book without picturing Paterson Joseph as Marquis de Carabas now.
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Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #320 on: 01 Dec 2010, 17:12 »

finishing up A Train To Potevka by...uh....Mike Ramsdell, I think is his name. It's pretty sweet, it's about an American spy in Russia during the fall of the soviet union. As far as I know, it's true story too, so that's pretty cool. He hammers on the religion angle a bit much for my liking, but he is a devout mormon so I can't really blame him. It's just not my thing.

Next I'm gonna re-read Chuck Palahniuk's Rant because it's completely fucking awesome and I haven't read it since it came out, so I've forgotten most of it already. Looking forward to that one.

I'm also planning on getting Ender's Game as soon as I'm not broke, since I've somehow managed to never read it and everyone says it's awesome.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #321 on: 01 Dec 2010, 18:52 »

I just finished Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins and dove right into my next book: Demons by Dostoevsky.  I am hoping that it will take me a little while to finish it so that some people can give me funds for Christmas so that I can purchase more books.  I haven't been able to read recreationally in forever, I've missed it so!
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Kugai

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #322 on: 01 Dec 2010, 21:13 »

The Skies Of Pern

 By Anne McCaffrey
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #323 on: 01 Dec 2010, 23:58 »

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. Going to start on the third Hunger Games book tomorrow.
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nekowafer

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #324 on: 02 Dec 2010, 04:21 »

The Skies Of Pern

 By Anne McCaffrey

This makes me happy :D
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Kugai

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #325 on: 02 Dec 2010, 10:54 »

The Skies Of Pern

 By Anne McCaffrey

This makes me happy :D

Reading the Pern series backwards as a fun way to enjoy the series, so started with that, the last book.

Got the urge to read it again after I found my copies of the Atlas and The People of Pern and perused them again.
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Caleb

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #326 on: 02 Dec 2010, 14:35 »

As usual I am reading random stuff.

Blew through Steven King's latest when I was bored.  Some it it was a bit more dreary then his normal work.

I was skimming through the "Machine of Death" when I was at the Laundromat.

I was also skimming through "squirrel seeks chipmunk" which was a huge disappointment and not nearly as funny as his previous books.
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Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #327 on: 02 Dec 2010, 14:41 »

what King was it?

Something about a Dome? I'm not sure if that's his newest one or not, I just saw it the bookstore the other day and I don't really follow King's exploits that closely anymore. I've heard decent things about that Dome one though.
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nekowafer

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #328 on: 02 Dec 2010, 16:37 »

Reading the Pern series backwards as a fun way to enjoy the series, so started with that, the last book.

Got the urge to read it again after I found my copies of the Atlas and The People of Pern and perused them again.

That sounds fun. I have maybe half the series in paperback. I might buy the rest as e-books, as I've run out of space, between Pern novels, Xanth novels, and various old sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks.

There's something called The Book Thing in Baltimore where you can go get free books, and they always have an awesome selection in those genres.
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scarred

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #329 on: 02 Dec 2010, 16:39 »

I started rereading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury on the plane to/from Chicago, I forgot how good it is.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #330 on: 02 Dec 2010, 17:53 »

Continuing with a theme of dogs I'm just about done reading Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. It's absolutely fantastic, a real exemplar of the "Crime fiction as a means to examine society in general" style of literature (and infinitely better in that regard than, say, anything with the name Stieg Larsson on it), and beautifully written with characters so strongly and clearly defined that even when they exhibit extreme behaviour it's absolutely believable.
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Kugai

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #331 on: 02 Dec 2010, 20:51 »

Reading the Pern series backwards as a fun way to enjoy the series, so started with that, the last book.

Got the urge to read it again after I found my copies of the Atlas and The People of Pern and perused them again.

That sounds fun. I have maybe half the series in paperback. I might buy the rest as e-books, as I've run out of space, between Pern novels, Xanth novels, and various old sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks.

There's something called The Book Thing in Baltimore where you can go get free books, and they always have an awesome selection in those genres.


BTW nekowafer, you know about this place?    http://www.annemccaffreyfans.org/forum/index.php
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nekowafer

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #332 on: 03 Dec 2010, 05:08 »

No! That is awesome, thanks for showing me :D
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #333 on: 03 Dec 2010, 07:14 »

Fiction - Dune: Messiah. It's been 4 years since I read Dune, I really should have reread it before this. It's good, but damn it's hard to remember crap.

Non-Fiction - Plato's Republic. I always try to have a nonfiction on the go at the same time, it's usually philosophy or something. I've been "reading" Republic for nearly a month now but damn.
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Kugai

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #334 on: 03 Dec 2010, 12:09 »

No! That is awesome, thanks for showing me :D

You're welcome  :)
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James The Kugai 

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #335 on: 06 Dec 2010, 14:48 »

Just finished Tears of the Giraffe by McCall Smith and Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin. Reckon I'll follow that up with Her Fearful Symmetry by Niffeneger. I really enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife and I reckon this should stack up. Nothing too taxing my reading recently, although I'm quite close to splugging on the new William Gibson.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #336 on: 06 Dec 2010, 15:21 »

I'm refreshing my brain a little now by reading the new Iain M. Banks, then it's going to be into my Christmas read -  the Iliad. I always have trouble deciding which translation of classic literature to read, but I picked up the Robert Fagles translation published by Penguin because it's just such a beautiful object.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #337 on: 06 Dec 2010, 16:47 »

If you get a chance, find the Robert Fitzgerald translation and read through that a little. It's the one I read in the fall, when I wanted to go over The Iliad again, and it was wonderful. Easily the most lucid and compelling Homer I've looked through, and the one favoured by such discerning critics as Guy Davenport and James Laughlin. The edition which is in print now isn't so very pretty, but I found a first edition of his Odyssey in a used bookstore, and it's stunning. Going to be reading that once I'm through with exams.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #338 on: 06 Dec 2010, 18:43 »

I gotta say though, the Fagles translation is amazing.  I have a set of both of his translations for The Iliad and the Odyssey, bound in a fake leather.  They are wonderful, and the margins are full of my little notes from the very many times I've read them.

I've also read a translation that was something like from Greek to Chinese, then to English (the book had the Chinese on the left and English on the right), and all the flavor and elegance was lost in the double translation.  (on the order of "Antilochus, Nestor's son, threw his spear and killed the first Trojan captain."  very bland)
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Joseph

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #339 on: 06 Dec 2010, 19:06 »

It's worth noting that there are very many translations which manage to mangle the verse without needing to go through the steps twice.
It's also worth noting that the first of Ezra Pound's Cantos is, primarily, a double translation of the Odyssey, being a translation into English of a Renaissance Latin translation by Andreas Divus. And it is incredibly striking in its language:

Quote from: Ezra Pound
And then went down to the ship,
Set keel to breakers, forth on the godly sea, and
We set up mast and sail on that swart ship,
Bore sheep aboard her, and our bodies also
Heavy with weeping, and winds from sternward
Bore us onward with bellying canvas,
Crice's this craft, the trim-coifed goddess.
Then sat we amidships, wind jamming the tiller,
Thus with stretched sail, we went over sea till day's end.
Sun to his slumber, shadows o'er all the ocean,
Came we then to the bounds of deepest water,
To the Kimmerian lands, and peopled cities
Covered with close-webbed mist, unpierced ever
With glitter of sun-rays
Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back from heaven
Swartest night stretched over wreteched men there.
The ocean flowing backward, came we then to the place
Aforesaid by Circe.

Guy Davenport - the remarkable poet, story-writer, critic (of culture and literature), translator, and an all around astute man - has a very good essay (which predates Fagles translation, to be fair) on the merits of various tranlations of Homer. It's called "Another Odyssey", and is in his large book of essays The Geography of Criticism, alongside pieces on the work of Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Louis Zukofsky, Charles Olson, Jonathan Williams, and many other remarkable things. You can read most of the essay here. The Davenport book really is worth tracking down though, as is pretty well everything else he wrote or translated; over the past year, he has perhaps been the writer I've been returning to the most often.

Honourable mentions to Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Bringhurt, Jan Zwicky, Hilary Mantel, Dennis Lee, Jane Austen and Marilynne Robinson though.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #340 on: 06 Dec 2010, 21:43 »

I've got Nabokov's translation into English of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin somewhere and I really ought to get around to reading it.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #341 on: 06 Dec 2010, 21:59 »

To be honest, it's one of the only things of his which I haven't read (along with a couple of the early Russian novels and the recently released fragments of The Original of Laura. Oh, and Look at the Harlequins!). Well, I gave it a bit of a try a couple of years ago, but it was right during exams, and my time fell pray to other things (as I'm now only rereading The Trial in stops and starts, and the Heidegger and Wittgenstein I was reading is half finished by my bed). Keep in mind, if you read it, that it's quite deliberately literal, with that whole other giant volume of notes to try and make a non-Russian reader grasp the depths of its cultural references. Reading the long, long debates about it, and the meaning of translation, can be quite enlightening. Nabokov vs Wilson and all that. But I'm sure you already know all that, Harry. You're pretty remarkably well read, after all.

Man, I kind of do want to give Eugene Onegin another go now; I can see it from where I sit. But better that I wait a month.

Oh, hey, Harry. I ended up picking up a few Elizabeth Taylor books out a dollar bin a while back, but haven't read any of them yet. I remember you saying wonderful things about her. Which one should I be reading first?
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #342 on: 06 Dec 2010, 22:13 »

A View of the Harbour is my favourite, but that's partly because it was my first. In a Summer Season and the Soul of Kindness in particular are also terrific. And her short stories are pretty much universally regarded as her best work.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #343 on: 07 Dec 2010, 14:18 »

Recently finished House of Leaves for the third time. Still think it's a bit overrated, but I found things I hadn't noticed before, so I was pleased.

Picked up Michael Crichton's post-mortem release Pirate Latitudes and wasn't very impressed. Also for some strange reason I hadn't even heard that he died, and didn't realize it until about halfway through the book when I happened to look at the inside back cover, so after that it was a little creepy.

Currently rereading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. I like his humor, and this one's less corny than, say, Snow Crash. It's an 1100-page book but going pretty quickly.
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #344 on: 07 Dec 2010, 17:14 »

About half way through Johannes Cabal the Detective
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #345 on: 08 Dec 2010, 17:36 »

I have basically only read literary fiction all year (except for Cat's Cradle and Fahrenheit 451 again - fuck you I can like both) and I'm sick of it. It's taking me forever to get through Keep the Aspidistra Flying of all books. Subsequently I've ordered the first Johannes Cabal and Song of Ice and Fire books as well as San Perdido Station by China Mieville. I usually don't order from Dymocks because they charge shipping (really?,your brick and mortar stores have a selection limited to best sellers and young adult vampire love romances and are almost non-existant anywhere) but I had a gift voucher.
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Inlander

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #346 on: 08 Dec 2010, 17:57 »

I read at a ratio of about 3-4 "literary" books to 1 "genre" book (usually sci-fi, very occasionally crime). I find I need a bit of page-turning hard-plotted action to refresh my mind every now and then.
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Kugai

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #347 on: 08 Dec 2010, 21:39 »

Now moved on to All The Weyrs Of Pern
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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #348 on: 09 Dec 2010, 11:40 »

Reading The Bloody Crown of Conan one of the books that I got for the library with the surplus I had for 2010.

Oh man.  So fun to read.
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ackblom12

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #349 on: 09 Dec 2010, 19:11 »

Robert E. Howard Conan is so damn good.
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