General Reading / Book Thread for 2019


I’m dipping in and out of K-Punk at the moment, got The Weird and The Eerie lined up too.

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My currently reading / TBR pile

Always jumps up a bit after Xmas, plus I have another eight or so books, mostly from NetGalley, on the Kindle and a £20 book token burning a hole in my wallet.



The fourth book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series finally came out in English back in September but it had been so long I decided to re-read the first three so I only just got around to starting The Labyrinth of Spirits at Christmas and yesterday I finally got into it.

It was good to re-read the others and I’m hopeful this will wrap everything up really well.

After this I’m not sure what I’ll read actually. Maybe I’ll finally read some Ursula K LeGuin.



I have only read Kindred by Butler and a short story. Both were outstanding. I should put one of hers up for my next read, cheers.



Out of interest, M-B, can you tell me why Gravity’s Rainbow has such a ‘rep’ here/in general? Is it just long or something?



Re: ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, I think someone referred to it as a holistic experience after they finished it and how they had wept at doing so but I can’t remember who it was.



What Kalgeese said

But it’s also got a lot of mythology surrounding it: its length and tendency towards experimentation (which on my reread I’ll say sometimes works beautifully and sometimes just makes it a bit tough), the fact that it essentially won the Pulitzer Prize (but was deemed profane and unreadable so basically no prize was given that year), and Pynchon’s being a recluse and a fairly singular writer



Oh, it was Louis Tacos!

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I really do need to read this book.



Was going to say I thought it would be @ericV’s partner in film crime. I think he’s on here still as another name.



is he? doesn’t join in the cricket threads anymore if so



I didn’t really like it. There were some engrossing parts, but it’s hard to enjoy something so deliberately dislocated - you don’t get any sense of momentum, and there’s barely anything to latch on to. Makes it a right old slog. Lovely that it exists though.

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Finished Stephen King’s On writing yesterday which I enjoyed and maybe I will start writing again because of it

Onto Convenience store woman now and I’m hooked. Might finish it tonight. Such a sucker for Japanese fiction.



Finished four books already this year in an unprecedented surge of reading not seen since my mid-teens, ok two were under a hundred pages, but :shushing_face:

Previously mentioned Le Guin books I loved both of immensely, have the big compendium of her short works ordered with my book token and the full set of Hainish novels coming for my birthday. Just want to read everything I can by her.

I read the little book of Shirley Jackson short stories which I got from @dingaling as part of my secret santa, Tooth was particularly great in the tension of it. Each story seemed like it would have made a great Twilight Zone episode for the uncanny sense of unease they had.

Just finished In Praise of Shadows by Junichirō Tanizaki which is a fairly compact, if a little meandering, essay on Japanese aesthetics. Some lovely evocative writing but also bits where you can tell plainly it was written in 1933 by a grumpy old man.

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First book of the year finished.

  1. In Bloom - C. J. Skuse


I found out at the end of reading this book that it’s a bloody series. Although I don’t think you necessarily need to read the first one cause I picked it up easily. It’s just general easily written thriller/murdery stuff but this is a bit darker comically as the murderer is pregnant and her baby keeps hurting her whenever she kills. This isn’t a spoiler.

Bit gutted as I would have liked to read the first one as I like the writing a lot and its a super easy read but can’t exactly go back in time now can I.

Now Reading: Milkman.



PRETENTIOUS WANK ALERT: I feel like, with GR, when it works it’s crazy how the experience of reading through some of the denser passages of prose is kind of like a film reel running - I may not necessarily take in the exact meanings of the words but there’s a really clear image that they’re forming (there’s a section about Christmas during wartime, which I was bowled-over by this time round); and then there’s other times where that simply doesn’t happen at all (and it’s more like a CD skipping). This time round, I’m getting way more out of it more often than I did the first time.

Quite interesting to compare with V., which does a similar thing but in a much more accessible way imo. That novel is kind of like a short story collection but joined together to make a sprawling episodic novel, whereas with GR, it’s a more of a hazy obscured version of that same thing, kind of reminiscent of the swarming confusion of ghosts that are frequently described in it.

tldr: gr is the loveless to v’s isn’t anything

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omg and then Vineland came out ages later like mbv and variably regarded as slight and a worthy continuation of their respective creators’ oeuvres



Reading Homo Deus

Find myself often going “fuck yeah that’s an interesting and eloquent way of thinking about something” and then almost instantly forgetting about it.



Such a good book, feel like he doesn’t stick to his own rules a lot though.

Tried reading Sleeping Beauties but it was kinda trash



Same with Sapiens and I’m sure it’ll be the same when I get round to Homo Deus.