Books that you've read lately



homage to catalunya by george orwell

not read any orwell since school and never any non fiction, really liked this where i was never bothered with 1984 or animal farm. is it worth re-reading them now i’m not a little twat or is his non fiction generally considered superior?

was a bit of providence reading this after reading tribe by seb junger, the way the politics got less important the closer you got to the front lines & the sense of community could have been a case study straight from that book.

my knowledge of history is really shit so i was a bit baffled by some of the political maneuverings - like it makes sense that the stalinists helped cause the other revolutionary groups to fail, but why were they so set on the re-establishment of the republican government? if russia was so heavily involved why didn’t it try to steal in on the revolutionary moment?


and before that was The Dream World Of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin, which was a rare book that I enjoyed where the main character wasn’t especially likeable.

This was pretty much the case with The Bell Jar for me.


Finished reading Disaster Capitalism it’s an excellent deconstruction of how private enterprise is increasingly profiting from and in some cases perpetuating issues such as mass incarceration, detention, war and disaster relief.

Currently reading Inventing the Future which takes a critical look at left wing folk politics.


Agree on those two short stories - think they are cases where the films add a lot of good stuff to them (working from a strong base). Love that short-story collection on the whole. There’s some wonderfully imaginative situations.


Finished this a little while back. Really liked it.

Now reading Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle at my usual glacial pace.


I’m about 450 pages in, still really enjoying it. I’ve been reading since January, so I’m going even slower that you. If I finish it before the end of the year I’ll be happy


Just read “hotel iris” which was mentioned upthread. It’s pretty much Every Day is like Sunday made into a slim novella of dubious sexual exploration in the sparse style of “the outsider” . I liked it but I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any longer, didn’t want to spend any more time with any of those characters.

I have decided short :books: are the thing.


Any reason you read it? I hadn’t heard of Ogawa before so slightly surprised we both read it! On reflection, I think my gut feeling after putting it down that it was ‘a bit crap’ was perfectly on point.

(Re)reading You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman at the moment (can’t be bothered with Zizek when I get in from work). It’s pretty great—weird body horror shtick in a Cronenberg vein, with sort of sparse, disconcerting narration reminiscent of Miranda July’s The First Bad Man. Vogue’s blurb on the back says it “Fight Club for girls” which is perhaps the least accurate and worst blurb I’ve read in 2017.


I read it because I decided to try some of the books in this thread I hadn’t heard of before so it’s not a great coincidence! :slight_smile:

I think I must have enjoyed it a lot more than you. As someone who grew up in great Yarmouth I’m a sucker for detailed description of costal decaying towns


The descriptions of the town were my favourite parts by quite some margin


I’ve never properly read any zizek but enjoyed some of his stuff i’ve happened to catch, film criticism, etc. Always get shouted at for saying that though. What’s a good starting point?


There are two modes of Zizek—one’s very approachable and funny and lucid, the other is basically incomprehensible and quite frustrating. I’ve found that Trouble in Paradise, First as Tragedy Then as Farce, and Against the Double Blackmail have been his most firmly in the first mode, and Trouble in Paradise covers a broad range for a small book so would start there. I could barely break the spine of Living in the End Times or Absolute Recoil. He’s got a new one out that I’ve not read (think it’s called The Year of Dreaming Dangerously) which may well be good, too.


Finished Darktown.

It’s good although going in I hadn’t realised it was written by a white guy so I’m not sure how authentic parts of it will be. Still, a good noir thriller.

Just started Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Guy’s laid down the word ‘idiolinguists’, FFS. Hate authors using words you can’t even get a reliable definition from googling. :smiley:


Started reading ; Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
It’s short - but full of wisdom


Like Richard Hammond.


I’ve just started the first book in the Three-Body Problem trilogy, after seeing it elsewhere and then praised in this thread - so I just ordered all three of them online without having read what it’s about (other than sci fi’ness). Looking forward to getting dug in.

Book related (and posted about in the theatre thread), I just saw a play based on the first story of Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy last night. Was excellent, and makes me want to read the book again.


Yeah, you may need to get used to that if you’re settling in for the full trilogy. Highly recommend you stick with it, fantastic set of books.

You got to the bit with the re-entry mathematics yet?


Just finished Sleeping Giants, which is touted as this years “The Martian”. Good premise, starts well, zips along nicely, but ultimately fails as it becomes increasingly apparent that it got a film deal quite early on and starts to read like it. Bit of a shame really.


I have the whole trilogy. Do you mean this bit?

Physics :slight_smile:


I remember very much liking her linked short story collection, ‘Revenge’ and her two (I think) short stories I read on the New Yorker website.

Haven’t read anything else by her, though.