Book Recommendations?

beanman101283 wrote:

A few years ago I was reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen, and posted about it here, but 2 years ago I finished the fifth book, Midnight Tides, and fizzled out after that.

This past week I decided to start over, and I'm really glad I did. I'm moving quickly through Gardens of the Moon, and of course picking up on so much I missed the first time through. Also, just having context for plot events in the first book that pick up later makes reading the first one a lot easier. I figure that if I'd been reading these books as they came out originally I would have likely reread them a couple times.

Anyway, hoping to move onto Deadhouse Gates this weekend or early next week, and overall hoping I have the motivation and stamina to finish the whole series this time.

I've considered doing the same. I fizzled out after the 6th book (Bonehunters) and am looking to start over once I finish reading The Expanse series (which is just a fanstastic series for those that haven't read it yet).

Just finished Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, which used to be a favorite of mine, but has become turgid and over-stylized to my middle-aged eyes. I read it to my kids, so it worked as a deluge of vocabulary words, but as a story standing the test of time, not so much.

However, I'm reading its antithesis for class, the ever-popular Pride & Prejudice, which 20 chapters in is just sublime. I've never actually read any Austen, so this is a welcome first for me. I'm using both Audible and the physical copy, and Rosamond Pike is a superb narrator.

I'll always have nostalgia for Something Wicked This Way Comes even if it doesn't' hold up well with time. I was first introduced as we read it in my 7th Grade English class and I loved all the symbolism and the underlying creepy feel of it. The whole lightning rod salesman thing and the carnival atmosphere.

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites of all time! I don't think I ever *had* to read it for anything, but I think I came across Austin when I came off binge-reading another round of Louisa May Alcott and was looking for something else around the same time period, give or take.

Pride and Prejudice is awesome. It's like the anti-Bronte.

Robear wrote:

Pride and Prejudice is awesome. It's like the anti-Bronte. :-)

I was trying to derail that skirmish, in vain, I see.

bekkilyn wrote:

I'll always have nostalgia for Something Wicked This Way Comes even if it doesn't' hold up well with time. I was first introduced as we read it in my 7th Grade English class and I loved all the symbolism and the underlying creepy feel of it. The whole lightning rod salesman thing and the carnival atmosphere.

I couldn't agree more, but I couldn't fail to notice that the setting is very "nostalgia mid-20th century Americana", which is not especially resonant, and there are few female characters of note. That's before we deal with the bare bones of the plot, which divorced from Bradbury's hyperventilating Octoberisms, makes not a bit of sense.

bekkilyn wrote:

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites of all time! I don't think I ever *had* to read it for anything, but I think I came across Austin when I came off binge-reading another round of Louisa May Alcott and was looking for something else around the same time period, give or take.

It's astonishingly good. Even with the centuries of hype, I'm still astounded at her use of language.

“He’s proud, she’s prejudiced... It just works!” - Sheldon Cooper

I have a love for Something Wicked this Way comes as it provided a wonderful gateway to a strange America i really wanted to exist across the Atlantic when I was growing up. I havent read it in 20 years though.

I love Austen Pride and Prejudice will remain in the canon as long as Shakespeare has, the Bronte sisters I am not so sure, I will never be able to process Cathy's behaviour towards Heathcliff probably the most despicable character in literature and yes I include Titus Andronicus's cast list in that!

bbk1980 wrote:

I have a love for Something Wicked this Way comes as it provided a wonderful gateway to a strange America i really wanted to exist across the Atlantic when I was growing up. I havent read it in 20 years though.

I can assure you that malign, corruptive carnival barkers leading a troupe of repulsive freaks across an imaginary 1950's heartland are still in vogue in this country.

bbk1980 wrote:

I love Austen Pride and Prejudice will remain in the canon as long as Shakespeare has

I agree. Just wanted to point out that a lot of critics feel that Hillary Mantle's Wolf Hall trilogy has ascended to that level, as well. Definitely worth reading.

Natus wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I have a love for Something Wicked this Way comes as it provided a wonderful gateway to a strange America i really wanted to exist across the Atlantic when I was growing up. I havent read it in 20 years though.

I can assure you that malign, corruptive carnival barkers leading a troupe of repulsive freaks across an imaginary 1950's heartland are still in vogue in this country.

Fantastic as soon as CoVid is done, I will book my tickets, any particularly gothic spots I should try and catch a glimpse of them in?

bbk1980 wrote:
Natus wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I have a love for Something Wicked this Way comes as it provided a wonderful gateway to a strange America i really wanted to exist across the Atlantic when I was growing up. I havent read it in 20 years though.

I can assure you that malign, corruptive carnival barkers leading a troupe of repulsive freaks across an imaginary 1950's heartland are still in vogue in this country.

Fantastic as soon as CoVid is done, I will book my tickets, any particularly gothic spots I should try and catch a glimpse of them in?

Trump rallies would probably be your best shot.

Going out on a limb here and gonna suggest that that is exactly what Natus was hinting* at.

*By hinting I mean being slapped directly in the face with what he was implying.

Natus wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I have a love for Something Wicked this Way comes as it provided a wonderful gateway to a strange America i really wanted to exist across the Atlantic when I was growing up. I havent read it in 20 years though.

I can assure you that malign, corruptive carnival barkers leading a troupe of repulsive freaks across an imaginary 1950's heartland are still in vogue in this country.

LOL so true!

I'm really getting an inkling to re-read this book, but in reality, I probably won't due to my enormous backlog!

r013nt0 wrote:

Going out on a limb here and gonna suggest that that is exactly what Natus was hinting* at.

*By hinting I mean being slapped directly in the face with what he was implying.

I was hoping he'd laugh when he realized that's what Natus meant all along. I suppose I could have been more subtle, but I didn't put a ton of thought into that post.

Robear wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I love Austen Pride and Prejudice will remain in the canon as long as Shakespeare has

I agree. Just wanted to point out that a lot of critics feel that Hillary Mantle's Wolf Hall trilogy has ascended to that level, as well. Definitely worth reading. :-)

That's a series I mean to get to.

I find it fascinating in the long term which fiction, and other art forms are seen as long term classics. One of my favourite questions of people in the U.K is which artists and scientists will be on our money in 100 years time (accepting the fallacy that there will be paper money in a centaury) Recent fiction authors to have been on there are Shakespeare, Dickens and currently Austen. Austen very sadly took a concerted campaign to ensure there was at least one woman on there!

Of the current crop Internationally I think that Margret Atwood is probably my favourite for long term recognition long after she stops writing.

r013nt0 wrote:

Going out on a limb here and gonna suggest that that is exactly what Natus was hinting* at.

*By hinting I mean being slapped directly in the face with what he was implying.

"By hinting I mean being slapped directly in the face" with a three-day-old fish.

Ian Banks and Irvine Welsh should definitely place.

Banks was a master of time and place and people in his “mainstream” literary fiction, and also absolutely defined the modern “space opera” with thoughtfully themed novels set in and around The Culture. But it’s his literary fiction that will stand the test of time outside of his genre audience. Masterpieces like “The Crow Road” and “The Company” will stand for a long time.

Welsh is a master of characterization and setting, and he produces oddly hopeful and optimistic tales of the hardscrabble underbelly of society. His first few novels were pretty relentlessly depressing, with hopeful overones, but with “Glue”, he rounds out his view of human nature with both failure and success, and since then he’s played those two themes off of each other with even more success. He’s become a delight to read, and his mastery of dialogue and dialect alike is unlike any other author.

Oh and one other, another UK author who digs into (and creates) societies and cultures like no other. Ian Mcdonald has a knack for internalizing and expressing cultures, and driving his stories in directions that make sense in their interactions as well as the usual inter-personal conflicts. Truly amazing tales. I suspect he’ll be on the list of great UK writers in 50 years time.

I’m listening to the audiobook of The Stranger by Albert Camus. It’s only 3.5 hours long. I have 15 minutes left. Interesting tale about a sociopath.

A few days ago I finished Conversations with friends by Sally Rooney. it was a lot like Rooney’s most recent novel, Normal People, but not as good. CwF is about polyamorous relationships which crisscross between four people.

I recommend Normal People more than this one.

I am happy to see the love for Austen here. On that note, I advise everyone not to neglect “Northanger Abbey” - especially if you’re familiar with classic gothic novels, you will enjoy this immensely.

Brainsmith wrote:

I am happy to see the love for Austen here. On that note, I advise everyone not to neglect “Northanger Abbey” - especially if you’re familiar with classic gothic novels, you will enjoy this immensely.

Yeah, I'm on it. I had been ever-so-slightly sneering at the Austen hype of a decade ago, and now I truly see what the hype was all about. I am lightly mortified and duly chagrined.

I have just finished Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. It was fantastic, I ignored Agatha Christie for years as I went through an insufferable snob period where the only detective fiction I read was Sherlock Holmes. Christie has a wonderful writing style that is very easy to relax into and her plots are so tight. The usual warnings of attitudes of the time have to be applied unfortunately.

bbk1980 wrote:

I have just finished Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. It was fantastic, I ignored Agatha Christie for years as I went through an insufferable snob period where the only detective fiction I read was Sherlock Holmes. Christie has a wonderful writing style that is very easy to relax into and her plots are so tight. The usual warnings of attitudes of the time have to be applied unfortunately.

I finished And Then There Were None a few weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me want to read some more books by her.

Honestly, most of her books are a pleasure to read. But start with the classics (Murder on the Orient Express, Murder on the Nile) and you can’t go wrong.

Although read enough of them and you’ll start wondering what the heck it is with the English and poison, and there are some interesting answers there...

I'll keep those suggestions in mind, Robear! I remember reading A Murder is Announced back in middle school, but I think that was the only Agatha Christie book I had read prior to this one, and that was over three decades ago. It shouldn't have taken me this long to go back to her work!

I'm currently reading the DI Rebus series from Ian Rankin and it's a Celtic Noir delight.

Mario_Alba wrote:
bbk1980 wrote:

I have just finished Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. It was fantastic, I ignored Agatha Christie for years as I went through an insufferable snob period where the only detective fiction I read was Sherlock Holmes. Christie has a wonderful writing style that is very easy to relax into and her plots are so tight. The usual warnings of attitudes of the time have to be applied unfortunately.

I finished And Then There Were None a few weeks ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me want to read some more books by her.

This is actually my favorite of hers.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was one of my favorites too.

Robear wrote:

I'm currently reading the DI Rebus series from Ian Rankin and it's a Celtic Noir delight.

I haven't read these yet, but this article definitely made me want to.

Robear wrote:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was one of my favorites too.

My fascination with Christie's "I'm going to out-meta y'all" books (this and Orient Express) has cooled. It's interesting the first time you encounter it but it's hard to re-ignite the excitement of the trick, once its known. I still have great affection for And Then There Were None.

Robear wrote:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was one of my favorites too.

Craig Mazin spoiled The Murder of Roger Ackroyd on Scriptnotes about three weeks ago. I hadn't really considered reading the book until he spoiled it, but now that I know about it, it sounds very interesting. Unfortunately, he did spoil it, so I don't think I'll be reading it any time soon. Maybe if I ever forget who the bad guy is...

I think I knew about Agatha Christie's books before I'd ever heard of Sherlock Holmes. My grandmother on my mother's side liked to read Agatha Christie's books and I remember her reading them when I was a very small child.