Topic: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Thought I would start a new books thread...

So, what you reading at the moment and what do you think about it?

Me...

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles (smashing read)
The 13 1/2 Lives Of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers (quite fun initially, but becoming a bit of a chore)

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote. Love it, his prose isn't dry at all but really makes you feel the heat of the south.
Energy Flash by Simon Reynolds. A reread, a bit drug heavy but the stuff on the three cities of US dance music - Detroit techno, Chicago house and New York garage - is pretty great.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Fire Season, non-fiction about a guy who works as a fire lookout in New Mexico. Been reading it off and on since May and it's not that long, but it's better than that suggests.

Last book I finished was Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, which was very good, a bit weird, and rather creepy.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

currently on the third book of the first law trilogy, best fantasy i've read in ages. basically like a condensed game of thrones without the boring chapters. very good.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

ah man that's a fine series, loved it. heard it might get the tv treatment at some point? i've not read any of his stuff since though for some reason.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Currently reading The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, a 'popular' cultural history book about the neo-fascist romantic poet/celebrity. Highly recommended!

Few others that made biggest impression recently:
Dark Heart of Italy by Tobias Jones - Journalistic look at Italian culture and politics, focusing especially on corruption, conspiracy and Berlusconi. Great quick read.

Hunger by Knut Hamsun - Never got round to this before! Works as a nice companion to Notes from the Underground.

Mr Alfred MA by George Friel - Unremittingly bleak novel about an early '70s school teacher in Glasgow. Comparable to 'campus novels' like Stoner and Disgrace. Very good!

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Recently finished reading the Dune Trilogy which I absolutely loved. Was considering reading something else for a bit but I'm probably just going to crack ahead with God Emperor of Dune.

Sky:Lark (Noisy Post-Hardcore) - http://skylark.bandcamp.com
Man Hands (Fastcore) - http://horsepartyrules.bandcamp.com

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Andy Malcolm wrote:

ah man that's a fine series, loved it. heard it might get the tv treatment at some point? i've not read any of his stuff since though for some reason.

that'd be amazing! ron pearlman as the bloody nine. let's do this.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

recently gotten myself into a train commute in the mornings so have done lots of reading, most recently:

joyce carol oates - expensive people
richard yates - eleven kinds of loneliness
jerzy konsiski - steps

picked these last two from a david foster wallace essay where he does his weird book recommendations, quite liked them, particularly yates.

and currently bernard malmud - the fixer, which feels like a late 1800s/early 1990s russian novel written in the 1960, quite into it.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

johnbearandrews wrote:

Recently finished reading the Dune Trilogy which I absolutely loved. Was considering reading something else for a bit but I'm probably just going to crack ahead with God Emperor of Dune.

Oof - God Emperor is a trudge but worth getting through the other side of for the last 2 in the series (Chapterhouse and Heretics). Recently read the 2 follow ups by the son (Hunters and Sandworms) - not too bad and kinda wraps things up a bit better.

Also recently read the Dave Diktor (MDC) biog - interesting stuff if a little simply written and the Ross Lomas (GBH) biog - great quick read - lots of laughs, lots of upset.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

currently working my way through Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. excellent stuff

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

I'm about 4/5ths of the way through Perfidia by James Ellroy but am not really enjoying it. I don't know if you have to be in the mood for his books, as a majority of them I love, but this has been a real slog.

I've also recently enjoyed:

Brian Evenson - Last Days (a weird quasi-detective story about about a cult based around amputation, really great)
Ray Bradbury - October Country (a collection of his horror stories rather than his fantasy stuff; really good)

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Been reading loads of Thomas Bernhard. Could never get into him when I started reading him in my early twenties - but he's becoming one of my favourite writers now.

Have finished:

Walking
Woodcutters
Gargoyles

Just started Extinction, which is brilliant so far. Would recommend all of them though.

Also, read Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in San Salvador by Horacio Castellanos Moya, which wears its Bernhard influence on its sleeve (or cover) - but its excellent in its own right too. Going to read Dream of my Return by him next.

Really enjoyed The Antichrist by Joseph Roth, which is the first thing of his I've read. Its a great little book, although seriously weird in style. Its strikingly appropriate in the wake of Brexit and the rise of Trump.

The biggest and best surprise I had recently though was The Jokers by Albert Cossery. NYRB have recently published it in translation. Completely unputdownable. Have ordered another one of his books already.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Just started David Harvey's The Condition of Postmodernity.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Was reading Bernhard's "Gargoyles" on the tube when an overfriendly American lady started asking what I was reading. I made some effort to downplay the bleakness in my description but I don't think it worked. I really like "Old Masters" and "Wittgenstein's Nephew".

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It by Gabor Maté M.D.


I read this guy's book on drug addiction (In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts) which he referenced his studies on ADD/OCD he did for this book.  He manages to explain psychology in a way that's easy to read and follow, right now I'm into the part that breaks down how AAD develops, I've know people who were diagnosed with the condition and even recognise some of the symptoms from my own childhood.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

AlexN wrote:

I'm about 4/5ths of the way through Perfidia by James Ellroy but am not really enjoying it. I don't know if you have to be in the mood for his books, as a majority of them I love, but this has been a real slog.

I liked it well enough, but it's not up there with his best. Definitely good to see his average sentence length creep back above five words.


I just finished Butcher's Crossing by John Williams (the author of Stoner, which is also excellent).

This came off the back of Welcome to Hard Times by EL Doctorow which I did not really rate that much as it felt written for screen. Butcher's Crossing is probably up there with Blood Meridian, which it pre-dates by 25 years, as one of the best (anti)Western genre novels. It's basically about buffalo hunting and but has a bit of ecological, political and maybe mystical allegory to it. The futility of the premise never jeopardised my interest. Also, it shares a quality with Blood Meridian that I love: it's pretty much unfilmable.

I'm not into that.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Conor wrote:

I just finished Butcher's Crossing by John Williams (the author of Stoner, which is also excellent).

Yeah I really enjoyed Butcher's Crossing. And Stoner, which remains one of the best things I've read in recent years.

I just finished Sara Pascoe's 'Animal', which was really good. Now reading Bruce Springsteen's Autobiog, which is excellent. It helps that I'm a big fan of his anyway but it's really well written & something he's obviously pored over for a while.

"Give me a prejudice, and I will move the world"

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

I Served The King Of England by Bohumil Hrabal

next up either something by Ron Rash or Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

love a bit of Ron Rash

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

Just finished Inverting the Pyramid which I thought was brilliant 'cause I bloody love football obvz lol. Highly recommended for any pseudo-purists like myself wink.

Just about to start All the Pretty Horses which will be my first McCarthy (oops), any gushing fanatics here?

Putting the chat amongst the pigeons.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

jimcore wrote:

Just about to start All the Pretty Horses which will be my first McCarthy (oops), any gushing fanatics here?

Very, very big fan of what I've read (Blood Meridian, No Country, The Road, Sunset Ltd) but yet to start the Border Trilogy.

"Give me a prejudice, and I will move the world"

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

thencomesdudley wrote:
jimcore wrote:

Just about to start All the Pretty Horses which will be my first McCarthy (oops), any gushing fanatics here?

Very, very big fan of what I've read (Blood Meridian, No Country, The Road, Sunset Ltd) but yet to start the Border Trilogy.

Sound cheers for that, buzzin' to get started actually. Will let ya know what I reckon.

Putting the chat amongst the pigeons.

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

yeah, enjoying the Ron Rash - One Foot In Eden

Re: Books Thread Redux - What You Reading?

I'll check out Butcher's Crossing, looks great. I loved Stoner.

Currently got 2 on the go: The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Poet Seducer and Preacher of War, an excellent non-fiction about the undeniably fascinating proto-fascist, and The Red and The Black by Stendhal. It's the first Stendhal I've read and I'm really enjoying it; somewhere between Flaubert and the Russian classics