Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Shane

What are you reading?

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, We Are The Robots said:

I received my annual email from Goodreads with my year in review stats. Might as well share my 4 and 5 star rated books. I'd love if others shared their top reads of the year.

I'm on 75 books for the year (so far) and would need to write about over half for my 4/5 star books (I don't generally finish a book otherwise). I'll choose a few when I have time though and mention them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Liam said:

I'm on 75 books for the year (so far) and would need to write about over half for my 4/5 star books (I don't generally finish a book otherwise). I'll choose a few when I have time though and mention them.

Interesting. You don't read books that are just average? I read quite a bit of mystery/crime fiction, so what may start off well may end up just being a 3 star book by the finish if the mystery doesn't live up to the promise of the set up. Even still, 3 star books (and even some 2 stars) have some value somewhere in them.

To each their own, of course. I've given up on books before but they'll have to be poorly written to the point where I can't stand it. I've slogged through many a book I didn't care for. Still though, at 75 books a year, you're presumably a pretty fast reader (I'm at about 45 and am quite a slow reader) so even if something is just bang average for you, you presumably would be able to get through it in a week, no? Generally at what point do you give up on a book?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm at 77(not counting the first four Hitchhiker books:I'm waiting to finish mostly harmless then will add the rest). Most of mine are history types and can vary in reading time from a couple of days to a week, though I slogged through a few this year. I balance them out with Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaassen that I read in a day. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Control said:

I just started Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and I expect big things from it.

woah I was coming here to say this, wtf!

anyway yes I'm about a third through it and it seems like a nice updating of the Canterbury Tales and I am digging it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2017 at 12:11 AM, We Are The Robots said:

Interesting. You don't read books that are just average? I read quite a bit of mystery/crime fiction, so what may start off well may end up just being a 3 star book by the finish if the mystery doesn't live up to the promise of the set up. Even still, 3 star books (and even some 2 stars) have some value somewhere in them.

To each their own, of course. I've given up on books before but they'll have to be poorly written to the point where I can't stand it. I've slogged through many a book I didn't care for. Still though, at 75 books a year, you're presumably a pretty fast reader (I'm at about 45 and am quite a slow reader) so even if something is just bang average for you, you presumably would be able to get through it in a week, no? Generally at what point do you give up on a book?

I do read average books, but I often feel that if a book has managed to get me from beginning to end without me giving up, it has some sort of merit and warrants a more generous rating. It is probably more likely that I just am too generous with my ratings.

When I read, I tend to read 1 to 2 hours at a time. It started as something that came out of my wife's desire to go to bed early due to her tiredness from work, yet I often wasn't tired. I've always enjoyed reading, but it meant that I now have a clear window in which to do it most days.

I skip around between books a lot, therefore there isn't always an obvious point at which I give up. Often it seems to be within the first quarter or so, though it isn't always because the book isn't good - more just that I have a book I wanted to read more.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/18/2017 at 2:19 AM, sevendaughters said:

woah I was coming here to say this, wtf!

anyway yes I'm about a third through it and it seems like a nice updating of the Canterbury Tales and I am digging it

I'm only through the Priest's tale, but pretty intrigued thus far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper. Awesome, awesome book. Ripped through it in less than three days and didn't want it to end, so I'm gonna finish it again by the end of this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished my first book of 2018: The Sleep Room by F.R. Tallis.

Frank Tallis is a real-life psychologist who decided to write a psychological ghost-story...and kinda missed the mark. It's about a promising young psychiatrist that goes to work at Wyledhope, an experimental "sleep center" run by one of the best and most charismatic doctors in England...if not the world. Patients are being left in extended sleep to cure a variety of horrible psychoses, and shit goes south...but not in the slightest hurry. In true British fashion, it is dry and slow and kinda dull in parts. Interesting ending, but this was a chore at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Marty Sugar said:

Finished my first book of 2018: The Sleep Room by F.R. Tallis.

Frank Tallis is a real-life psychologist who decided to write a psychological ghost-story...and kinda missed the mark. It's about a promising young psychiatrist that goes to work at Wyledhope, an experimental "sleep center" run by one of the best and most charismatic doctors in England...if not the world. Patients are being left in extended sleep to cure a variety of horrible psychoses, and shit goes south...but not in the slightest hurry. In true British fashion, it is dry and slow and kinda dull in parts. Interesting ending, but this was a chore at times.

I almost bought this, but was saved when a friend (who was heavily involved in the Ghost Story Society and knows his shit) described it as a "slog" to get through I stayed well away. When that criticism is leveled by a Brit who finds Victorian ghost stories to be among his favorites I shudder to contemplate how dry and tedious this must be. My friend thought that Keith Fleming's Can Such Things Be? was a lively read and I thought it a slog to get through and I edited and wrote the introduction to the new edition of the thing... ;-)

On the ghost story front, I just finished a collection by Simon Kurt Unsworth. Strange Gateways and I cannot recommend it highly enough, this guy is the goods and he's already been picked up in the US by Doubleday for his occult detective series, but I was just blown away by how polished his writing was for a comparative newbie (his first sale was in 2007). This collection was published at $40.00, but one bookseller on abebooks.com has it for $9.75, I would hie thee hence to the site and grab that before someone else does. 

Strange Gateways: Simon Kurt Unsworth

Another great recent read was Dead Sea Fruit by Kaaron Warren.  Wonderfully weird stuff and totally original, I'd sort of compare her to Michael Shea and Caitlin R. Kiernan and maybe a good helping of Ramsey Campbell thrown into the mix, but she has a totally unique voice. She's won a shelf full of awards in her native Australia but US readers aren't completely hip to her yet. Next year she's a Guest of Honor at a couple of major conventions, which should serve to increase her visibility in North America. No great deals on her book, but it's a huge collection and well-worth the twenty-five bucks or thereabouts it will cost you. I think mine was $27.00 from Barnes & Noble (they had it listed as a hardcover, which would have been a steal as the hardcover was limited to 100 copies and runs $75.00 so I figured I'd take a chance and see if they screwed up. Sadly, they didn't,  it was a trade paperback, the listing was wrong. I pitched a fit and they gave me $5.00 credit. What am I going to do with $5.00 at B & N? You can't even buy a magazine for five bucks. ;-(

 Dead Sea Fruit (Paperback or Softback): Warren, Kaaron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished up Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant and HOLY SHIT is was gory and scientific and amazing. Like, once the dying started I just could not put it down. Highly recommended.

Next library book up is Chuck Wendig's Aftermath: Life Debt. The first one introduced a couple of really good characters, so I want to see what happens with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Read 4 books so far(well finished one that was a holdover, Cold day in hell a novel about hell's superintendent). A view from the cheap seats, which is a collection of Neil Gaiman's non fiction(was it pimped here?) was awesome. Mostly introductions and speeches, but with awesome insights into a variety of different types of writng. Then I read "The only rule is it has to work" about a season when statheads took over a low level indy league basbeall team. Pretty interesting, as they were brutally honest about the process. Just finished an oral history of the Daily Show. I love oral histories and this is a pretty good one. Started a biography of Jann Werner and Rolling Stone, about a hundred pages in, and already you can see want a semi-sociopathic prick he is.,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kuetsar said:

Read 4 books so far(well finished one that was a holdover, Cold day in hell a novel about hell's superintendent). A view from the cheap seats, which is a collection of Neil Gaiman's non fiction(was it pimped here?) was awesome. Mostly introductions and speeches, but with awesome insights into a variety of different types of writng. Then I read "The only rule is it has to work" about a season when statheads took over a low level indy league basbeall team. Pretty interesting, as they were brutally honest about the process. Just finished an oral history of the Daily Show. I love oral histories and this is a pretty good one. Started a biography of Jann Werner and Rolling Stone, about a hundred pages in, and already you can see want a semi-sociopathic prick he is.,

I just finished writing the afterword to Volume #5 of The Complete Short Stories of R.A. Lafferty (The Man who Walked Through Cracks), so we're that close to Volume #6 which will be introduced by none other than Neil Gaiman... I can't wait to see what he comes up with... The last time we worked together was Shadows over Baker Street and Neil ended up getting the Hugo award for his story in the book. I'm really stoked to see what Neil has to say about Lafferty, a situation of perhaps the most interesting and unique talent of our generation commenting on the most interesting and unique storyteller of the previous generation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That he is, and every bit as nice a guy as you would imagine. Amazingly enough he's never turned me down when I've asked him to be part of a project. When I asked him about an intro for the Lafferty book (each volume features a guest introduction by a contemporary author (Michael Swanwick = 1, Harlan Ellison = 2, Bud Webster = 3, Richard A. Lupoff = 4, Michael Kurland =5, Neil Gaiman = 6, Jeff Vandermeer = 7, Scott Nicolay = 8) and if #9 is to be the last one (and it looks like it may be unless I get to add in the previously unpublished stories, which would add at least two more volumes to the set), then I'll come in and do  a wrap-up summarizing the series and putting a capstone on the narrative that I've been running as afterwords in each volume. 

Oh, another cool thing about Neil, I've heard him gently scold an assistant for trying to screen out my phone call. ;-) I heard in the background: "John doesn't ring up unless it's important, so please put his calls through." Made my day... ;-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ace said:

With

  Hide contents

Holmes/Watson as the villains.

 

 

Yeah that one.

I read it in one of Neil's collections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anybody else interested in reading it, you can get it here in a pdf.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Was that Neil's Sherlock Holmes/Lovecraft mashup? 

Yes, indeed it was.  A career high-point for me, I've been a Michael Reaves fan since 1978, and we ended up meeting in 1986. Some years later I was able to buy a Michael Reaves story for Children of Cthulhu and a friendship developed. Needless to say I was chuffed as fuck to be asked to co-edit an anthology with him (Shadows over Baker Street). Turns out we work really well together, I handled the slush pile and solicited a few authors, Michael focused on a smaller, but high caliber list. Basically we listed some pretty big names and then made a game plan on who would make the overture and how... (In all cases we wanted to avoid dealing with literary agents, which is generally a waste of everyone's time. One of the top names on the list was Neil Gaiman, so Michael asked: "How well do you know him?" "He knows me as a friend of Poppy and Caitlin, but that's about it; how about you?" "Well enough that I have his cell number!" Needless to say, we decided then and there to finish our conversation later, at present Michael had an important call to make... Neil said "yes!" and asked that one of us remind him later that year at World fantasy Con, which turned out to be my task. Obviously, Neil came through like a champ with an absolutely brilliant story. Still, I was stunned when it won the Hugo, (not that it didn't deserve to win, it did; but that's not the kind of story that wins the Hugo.

These are all the strikes against it, any one of these factors is usually enough to torpedo a story's chances:  #1. It was from a theme anthology, stories from theme anthologies are generally ignored. #2. It was fantasy, not science fiction. Fantasy stories are eligible, but they usually don't win, (exceptions being Harry Potter and Robert Bloch's "That Hell-bound Train". #3 It was a mash-up of Lovecraft and Doyle, so not only is it fantasy, it has horror and mystery elements as well. #4 An "Outsider", at the time Neil was just starting to enjoy the vast cross-over fame that he so well deserves, but there were still a distressing number of people (mostly old-school science fiction fans, you know, the sort that considers attending World Con and voting on the Hugos to be their civic responsibility), that considered Neil "a comic book writer" and not one of us. This close-minded  foolishness has been present in SF fandom to one degree or another since the 1950s. A lot of SF fans have these peculiar mental blank spots that gloss over the fact that Edmond Hamilton and Jack Williamson scripted plenty of comics in the 1940s, Manly Wade Wellman pinch-hit for Will Eisner on The Spirit and long before he created the Justice League, Gardner Fox had been a mainstay of Planet Stories and others. Anyway, in spite of all this, this time the good guys won and Neil Gaiman picked up the Hugo Award for Best Short Fiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/11/2017 at 9:48 PM, Kuetsar said:

I bought 49 Elmore Leonard books for $50 on Ebay, and just got them in the mail today. I've only read two of his, City Primevel and Split images, and liked them both so I figured what the hell. I have to finish a book on King Leopold of Belgium and the Congo(about 100 pages left), then I'm going to dive in. . . .

I only dip in and out of this topic every now and again but duuuuuude that's an amazing score.

I've only really read his 90s stuff and a couple of the westerns. I think Last Stand at Sabre River was one of my faves, tense as hell all the way through. How are you finding him?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading them in the order he wrote them(save for Split Images and CIty Primeval, two from the early 80's that I had read previously). I'm not a huge fan of the western genre(never read a western novel before this actually) but I liked them. I have read up until the Big Bounce(and it had fucking Owen Wilson on the cover, UGH). Went through a little dark patch once I finished it, and got burned out on the westerns, so I've been reading other stuff since, but I'll probably start again in a month or two. Pretty easy reading, but good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found my beat up and never finished copy of Splatterpunks II Over the Edge the other night. Reading the interview with Anton Levay.Which is reprinted from an old issue of Answer ME zine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost my old copy years ago, but recently bought another of God's Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams. I read my older copy multiple times, and I loved it at the time and it's exactly how I remember it. It's pretty thought provoking, but I won't have time to go back through it any time soon because I also bought The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt and I'm really excited to get into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×