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Thread: What's the last book you read?

  1. #2581
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    Chris Hayes' A Colony in a Nation was a good read. Non-fiction about how there are really two Americas for black and white citizens, or even between rich and non-rich. A good point he goes over is that those of us who aren't black and/or in the poorest areas have no hesitation in calling the police when minor crimes happen because we don't fear the police and many of us can't understand that the police truly are different when you're poorer or darker skinned. It's an easy read, as in not too academic, but it's difficult when you feel a lot of outrage.

  2. #2582
    Princess Sparklefists Sansa Spark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Thank you, Ryan. I mean, someone trying to start dramaz in THE BOOK THREAD= buh bye. This is the least dramatic thread ever and I like it that way!
    Preach.

    I just read a My Lady Jane, a silly alternate history of Lady Jane Grey/Dudley, and I ended up enjoying it so much I'm in a total reading slump now and am combing the thread for recommendations. I'm trying to read Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, but I'm having trouble sticking with its format.

  3. #2583
    By the methane lakes Bloody Grace's Avatar
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    I just finished reading the first book of The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.
    I picked it up because I was craving some sci-fi, because have a thing for China going on, but mainly because of why I found about it in the first place:
    I have been trying to write a sci-fi novel for a few years now, and I had come up with a nice, complex story... except that at one point everything stopped making sense to me, my characters looked flat and I just didn't feel it anymore, as if the idea was outdated and the plot forced. When I'm in situations like these I don't scrap the whole thing, I just throw everything back in the cauldron and begin to stir again. I'm still stirring.
    Still, doing research for this novel, I stumbled upon an excerpt of The Three-Body Problem on Google Books (I was looking for infos about possible systems to bring sunlike illumination to an underground city) and reading the synopsis I found it curiously similar to my novel. It wasn't the same, of course, but it had several similar aspects: factions, secret 'societies', secret research bases, a physicist as the female protagonist, police and military involved, weird radio stuff going on, and some other stuff. The stories of course would have been totally different, but while reading the book I have found myself often thinking "hey, this is pretty much something that could've happened in my novel". And that's how I realized that I had done good by sending my story back to the conception phase.

    In the end, I didn't enjoy the book much. Some parts of it were incredibly charming, especially those set in a videogame, which are very visionary and interesting. But once I got to the second part of the book I started to have the impression that the writing got worse, the science infodumping got unbearable and absolutely excessive, as if the author wanted to make REALLY CLEAR that he had done so much research and that he knew what he was talking about. At one point, most of the story is narrates as if it was a history book, no dialogues, no interaction. Main characters keep switching (while remaining quite flat), the narration keeps changing its form and that's quite annoying. Also, I understand very little about physics, but at some point the science reeeeally seemed to be a bit wonky, and she sci-fi part of it not much interesting. The author comes across a bit like a poser, like "LOOK I HAZ NOO PHYSICS THEORY IN MY BOOK I HAVE COME UP WITH BY MYSELF! STEP ASIDE ASIMOV!". Pretentious.
    And I felt like that because at one point I realized I was trying to do the same with my book: I had the aspiration to come up with something clever and complicated... but then I realized that, as much as I love physics, I suck at it. I was getting frustrated because I was trying to make my main character super incredibly smart, but then I watched Sherlock season 4, where Moffat tries to make trivial shit sound like it was super clever, and I decided I had to admit my limits.

    So, this book, The Three-Body Problem... It's a serie of 3 books but I think I'm done with the first one. Interesting idea, flat characters, annoying rhythm and excessively infodumpy. It's a story too ambitious, it's just too much time and things to put in a 400 pages long book, and in the end it feels more like a history book chapter about some weird military stuff happening in China and then aliens.

    Now I'm back at my long lost love, Lovecraft. I just read The Call of Cthulhu and So refreshing. I'm reading all his works in chronological order, it's really interesting. If he was alive we'd been soulmates, for our love for anthropology and exoterism, and for our misanthropy. But I can only wish I could write with such a rich language as he did... in italian, of course. Sometimes I really feel like my vocabulary is shrinking, but maybe it's because I need to get back at reading more.
    Last edited by Bloody Grace; 05-08-2017 at 10:34 PM.
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  4. #2584
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post

    Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

    HOLY GOD THIS BOOK IS SO FUCKING SEXY, first of all. It really captures that intense longing you have when you are young and in love, but also manages to be this really profound meditation on what it means to have to be in the closet and not be able to express your sexuality fully in the world. I tore through this and I cried at the end. A beautiful book. Just gorgeous. I can't wait for the movie.
    This is the last book I've read as well. It directly went into my top ten of all-time. Kari, I agree with EVERYTHING you said. Anyone expecting a run-of-the-mill modern gay novel will be very surprised. It's just a gorgeous book written masterfully that just so happens to be about two men in love. It reached parts of my heart that haven't seen the light of day in years. I tore through it while feeling deeply aroused, wistful, sad and just blown away by the entire thing. From what I've read, the movie is getting RAVE reviews. Even Aciman said it's better than the book. I can't imagine but all I know is that I can't wait to see Oliver and Elio on Monet's Berm or in "Heaven". I'm SO happy that I'm going to get to see someone's visual interpretation of the book because while I read it, I could see everything so clearly that it felt real....like I could just reach out and touch the scenery. And from what I've seen, it looks BEAUTIFUL and it couldn't have been more perfectly cast. "Futile Devices" is so dead on for this book and I'm so happy that Sufjan is involved. I can't wait to hear the song he wrote specifically for the film. It's going to be amazing.
    Last edited by Adam; 05-09-2017 at 02:08 AM.
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  5. #2585
    Senior Member venusunfolding's Avatar
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    Here to add to the commercial fiction-ness of the thread!

    I just finished The Weekends by Mary Kay Andrews. A super fun beach read. I love her sense of humor, and she always manages to put a lot of heart into her books. This one was a great mix of her more recent beach reads and the early mysteries (which I LOVE) that she wrote as Kathy Hogan Trocheck.

    Also just finished A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle. It's the first in her Fixer Upper mysteries which Hallmark is making into movies staring Jewel. This wasn't one of the ones that made it to the screen, but I've got to stay I find the movies infinitely more fun than the books.

    I recently read the new Paula Hawkins, Into The Water. I never read Girl on the Train, but I enjoyed this one. It's getting slammed in critical reviews. I do think it had way too many different point of views from other characters (15 or 16 I think) but I enjoyed the almost Gothic feel to it. I'm wondering if all of the bad press is just sophomore backlash because the first book was such a phenomenon.

  6. #2586
    someone to fall back on Owen's Avatar
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    No One Can Pronounce My Name - Rakesh Satyal

    I read and ADORED Blue Boy, which was hilarious and moving, but this shows Satyal's evolution as a writer. I fell in love with each of the main characters. Such a moving, inspiring, laugh until you cry/cry until you laugh book, for me.

  7. #2587
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by venusunfolding View Post
    I recently read the new Paula Hawkins, Into The Water. I never read Girl on the Train, but I enjoyed this one. It's getting slammed in critical reviews. I do think it had way too many different point of views from other characters (15 or 16 I think) but I enjoyed the almost Gothic feel to it. I'm wondering if all of the bad press is just sophomore backlash because the first book was such a phenomenon.
    I HATED Girl on the Train... I never understood why it was such a smash hit. It wasn't tense or gripping at all... In fact it was actually utterly predictable and quite boring and way too long for the flimsy story.
    post28!

  8. #2588
    Butts. soignee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    I HATED Girl on the Train... I never understood why it was such a smash hit. It wasn't tense or gripping at all... In fact it was actually utterly predictable and quite boring and way too long for the flimsy story.
    It was a Did Not Finish for me too, but I did like the portrayal of female alcoholism in it, something that isn't really done much in media (all I can think of is Jessica Jones right now.)

  9. #2589
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    True, that part was interesting. But at times it did feel like a cheap method to carry the plot ("oh noes I forgot everything I did!!!!!")
    post28!

  10. #2590
    Senior Member venusunfolding's Avatar
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    I just finished The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. This series used to be a sure thing, every book was a treat. With the last few books it's really gone off the rails. I think there are two different series here. The quiet village mysteries, and the big thriller books. I really think Louise wants to write a big thriller but keeps being told to stick to Three Pines so she shoehorns the plots into the series. The character development in this one was excellent as always, but the plot was ridiculous. I know it's based on a true story but it just didn't work here.

  11. #2591
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

    A psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator ( surprise) that's getting pretty buzzy ( surprise again). I had a lot of fun reading it, but I didn't find the conclusion ( which you read towards like a speeding train) to be all that satisfying or even well done. It definitely has a "Wtf?" ending, but I didn't find myself thinking much about it after I put it down. Possibly it's because I had no one to discuss it with. It's one of those books, where all of the fun is in the questions. In fact, the whole book is fueled by one very specific question, although what that question is varies from person to person ( I just looked up discussions online).

    It's frustrating because to even really review the book would be to ruin it, but if you like high psychodrama and want to be very unsettled for an evening, you should give it a go. It's definitely entertaining and very original. I just dont think it's strong enough to be a cult classic like some suggest it will become. For me, I'd give the first 3/4ths an A- and the last part a C.

    ETA: Sorry. I know that's one of the shittiest posts ever written about a book, but it seriously can't be talked about without giving everything away. You really need to be blind going into the book or there's no use.
    Last edited by Adam; 05-19-2017 at 05:02 PM.
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  12. #2592
    streak his blood across my beak PoorMatty's Avatar
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    I felt exactly the same way about it! It was one of the creepiest things I've ever read until the end which was just like, "Oh . . . really?" I expected so much more after how wonderfully eerie and almost Lynchian the rest of the book was. It may sound weird to say, but to me the ending was almost . . . predictable?

  13. #2593
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    ^ exactly! I was SO confused while reading it that I was expecting something much more strange and original than the ending we got. It's interesting you mention Lynch. What I love about him ( and what can creep me out like nothing else) is how the strange or unreality smacks up right against reality. It's that blurriness that intrigues me and it's that blurriness that I was wanting from the conclusion. I expected some parts of the book to be "real" and other parts to be manifestations of something else, but once the book quickly stepped away from any sort of plausibility, it totally lost me. I actually remember feeling so much disappointment ( do not read if you don't want the book ruined)

    Last edited by Adam; 05-20-2017 at 05:10 AM.
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  14. #2594
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    I'm reading Scott Sigler's Infected trilogy. Think Outbreak meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Deliciously pulpy and the depth of a Michael Bay movie but so much fun.
    And also one of the absolute grossest, goriest books I've ever read. I mean, holy crap it's bloody and nasty and yuck!
    post28!

  15. #2595
    Princess Sparklefists Sansa Spark's Avatar
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    Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy. The first half kept me up til 2am, but the second unraveled a little. A group of Americans, all close friends and whose kids are close friends, go on a cruise down the coast of Central America. One day, they go ashore for a zip-lining excursion, but their taxi gets in a wreck and in a bizarre series of events, the kids are separated from their moms and all hell breaks loose. It won't get as much attention as Paula Hawkins' new one, but the writing is better than hers (at least in Girl on the Train). Out June 6.

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