Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 594770 times)

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Offline Alberich

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8500 on: December 30, 2017, 12:00:20 PM »
Also finished another Elizabethan-era play, Shakespeare's As You Like It (did I write about it already in this thread?). Mixed feelings about this one. There were plenty of fine insights and observational lines made by the characters but the execution of the plot was beyond clumsy (Oliver's and Duke Frederick's heel face turns were way too sudden and unbelievable, for example). I know it was the standard of the comedies of the time to have these last minute-conversions (hell, Shylock's forceful conversion to Christianity in The Mechant of Venice was probably supposed to be a "happy ending" for him, merciful Christians, my ass), but I'd expect from a writer of Shakespeare's calibre to do better than that.
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Offline milk

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8501 on: December 30, 2017, 09:53:02 PM »

I've been interested in science fiction the last few years but I have to admit I haven't liked 90% of the popular novels I've picked up. Hyperion is one exception but, like most work in the genre these days, it was followed by two more (in a series) that weren't worth the read. Oryx and Crake suffered the same fate. Same with Three Body Problem (on Obama's list  :P). There's some new law that science fiction books have to be trilogies. Anyway, the only really reliable writer, that I've come across, of a series is Ursula Le Guin. She's a serious writer, in command of the language, and she's after interesting, important and moving themes.

Offline Daverz

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8502 on: December 30, 2017, 11:06:51 PM »

I've been interested in science fiction the last few years but I have to admit I haven't liked 90% of the popular novels I've picked up. Hyperion is one exception but, like most work in the genre these days, it was followed by two more (in a series) that weren't worth the read. Oryx and Crake suffered the same fate. Same with Three Body Problem (on Obama's list  :P). There's some new law that science fiction books have to be trilogies. Anyway, the only really reliable writer, that I've come across, of a series is Ursula Le Guin. She's a serious writer, in command of the language, and she's after interesting, important and moving themes.


Yes, it seems nearly all SF these days only comes as massive series.  The days of the tight 50,000 word novel are long gone.

Offline milk

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8503 on: December 30, 2017, 11:15:07 PM »
Yes, it seems nearly all SF these days only comes as massive series.  The days of the tight 50,000 word novel are long gone.
I guess it's all about the cash. And they all want to be Tolkien. Ever tried to read Game of Thrones? Good T.V. show but (IMO) terrible books. There's only one Tolkien!

Offline Crudblud

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8504 on: December 31, 2017, 10:08:28 AM »
The thing Tolkien has going for him is the worldbuilding, which is rich and extensive. However, what's been taken from his example is the model of writing epic multi-book series, not the foundation that made the Baggins saga actually sustainable for 1500 pages. I wouldn't be surprised if George R.R. Martin, who it seems nears or bests 1000 pages in a single book, is making his Ice and Fire series up as he goes along—although the TV show, which I think has now caught up to him, probably throws a spanner into the works there. But the vast amount of money the franchise has made is bait for both authors and studios, who will be trying to write and looking for the next big fantasy series respectively. It will probably blow up like the cinematic universe craze in Hollywood, there's already a Witcher series in the works for Netflix, I expect more will be hopping on the bandwagon in the coming years.

Offline milk

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8505 on: January 01, 2018, 12:34:55 AM »
The thing Tolkien has going for him is the worldbuilding, which is rich and extensive. However, what's been taken from his example is the model of writing epic multi-book series, not the foundation that made the Baggins saga actually sustainable for 1500 pages. I wouldn't be surprised if George R.R. Martin, who it seems nears or bests 1000 pages in a single book, is making his Ice and Fire series up as he goes along—although the TV show, which I think has now caught up to him, probably throws a spanner into the works there. But the vast amount of money the franchise has made is bait for both authors and studios, who will be trying to write and looking for the next big fantasy series respectively. It will probably blow up like the cinematic universe craze in Hollywood, there's already a Witcher series in the works for Netflix, I expect more will be hopping on the bandwagon in the coming years.
I think so. But even when some of them try to focus on the details of world building, they just aren't as adept with language or their worlds aren't as interesting as they think they are. A Tolstoy or a Tolkien is so very rare. It takes a lot of gumption to think readers want a thousand pages from you in one book. It's another reason why I admire Le Guin. She's very economical. I think SHE thinks, "how can I say this with clarity and brevity?" Martin obviously has something going for him but I think the harsh limit of TV does him a service that he can't do for himself. I think Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series is similar in that it would make a good TV series whereas the books are windy and ponderous. He's another guy who thinks every word he types is golden. I crave science fiction these days but most of it isn't very good.   

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8506 on: January 01, 2018, 09:38:08 AM »
I think so. But even when some of them try to focus on the details of world building, they just aren't as adept with language or their worlds aren't as interesting as they think they are. A Tolstoy or a Tolkien is so very rare. It takes a lot of gumption to think readers want a thousand pages from you in one book. It's another reason why I admire Le Guin. She's very economical. I think SHE thinks, "how can I say this with clarity and brevity?"

I need to re-read Earthsea.
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Offline Judith

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8507 on: January 01, 2018, 09:53:25 AM »
Reading a novel biography at the moment

Trio
Boman Desai

About Brahms involvement with the Schumanns, the very subject I'm interested in.

Nearly finished it.  Up to the part where Brahms is ill.

Online San Antone

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8508 on: January 01, 2018, 11:27:56 AM »
Reading a novel biography at the moment

Trio
Boman Desai

About Brahms involvement with the Schumanns, the very subject I'm interested in.

Nearly finished it.  Up to the part where Brahms is ill.

Sounds like a very interesting book.  What is your sense of how much is fiction and how much fact?

Offline Judith

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8509 on: January 01, 2018, 01:12:36 PM »
Sounds like a very interesting book.  What is your sense of how much is fiction and how much fact?
Think by checking facts, that the book is accurate.  Just told in novel form.  Starts off with Brahms performing in seedy bars, Claras marriage to Robert against her father and the court case, Roberts illness and death, Brahms loving Clara, falling out with Joachim and now Brahms being ill.

Offline bwv 1080

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8510 on: January 01, 2018, 02:03:35 PM »
Yes, it seems nearly all SF these days only comes as massive series.  The days of the tight 50,000 word novel are long gone.

Sf or fantasy?  Sf still does the stand alone novel well - witness Alastair Reynolds.

The franchise 10000 page epic is more of a fantasy thing.
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

Offline Daverz

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8511 on: January 01, 2018, 08:04:22 PM »
Sf or fantasy?  Sf still does the stand alone novel well - witness Alastair Reynolds.

The franchise 10000 page epic is more of a fantasy thing.

I was exaggerating, but note that most of Reynolds's novels are in his Revelation Space and Poseidon's Children series and it looks like he has a third one going.

Offline Ken B

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8512 on: January 02, 2018, 06:50:27 AM »
Dead Man's Blues
Ray Celestin

A crime novel set in the Jazz world of Chicago, 1928.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for life.

Offline milk

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8513 on: January 02, 2018, 08:18:00 AM »
I need to re-read Earthsea.
Are those books good from beginning to end (of the series)? I've never read them. I go more for science fiction than fantasy but I like her so much it might be worth a try.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8514 on: January 02, 2018, 08:47:38 AM »
Hard for me to say, as I read them decades ago.  It is not a direct answer, but FWIW I would periodically re-read The Lord of the Rings, but I never went back to Earthsea.

(I suppose she may have written more books afterwards, so I might specify that I read A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, & The Farthest Shore.)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8515 on: January 08, 2018, 05:02:10 AM »
I'll admit I'm not reading it, but rather listening to it, which I find appropriate.  ;D
I had two free Amazon Audible credits, and this was one i chose. Plus it has provided me with hours (over 20 to be exact I believe) of entertainment for my drives.



Offline Christo

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8516 on: January 09, 2018, 01:05:44 AM »
I'll admit I'm not reading it, but rather listening to it, which I find appropriate.  ;D
I had two free Amazon Audible credits, and this was one i chose. Plus it has provided me with hours (over 20 to be exact I believe) of entertainment for my drives.

Please keep us informed! (#oneofthosebooksontheshelveswhichIwishhopewanttoreadonetimetimeproviding)  :)
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Jo498

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8517 on: January 09, 2018, 05:38:37 AM »
I am also reading Ross' book, although in German translation. Now about 220 pages in (of 600+). Not so sure what to make of it. I think Ross is overambitious and it's a little bit of everything but impossible to go into depth because he wants to cover so much.
And he sometimes slips into a somewhat gossipy mode. I think he has more than a page overall on the ominous 8th symphony of Sibelius; not a smart move if one wants to cover a lot of ground, better stick to stuff that was actually published and played...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
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Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8518 on: January 09, 2018, 07:14:39 PM »
Please keep us informed! (#oneofthosebooksontheshelveswhichIwishhopewanttoreadonetimetimeproviding)  :)

#getitofftheshelfandreadit

(We won't mention the unread books I put into piles because I don't have enough shelves)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8519 on: January 10, 2018, 02:11:56 AM »
I am also reading Ross' book, although in German translation. Now about 220 pages in (of 600+). Not so sure what to make of it. I think Ross is overambitious and it's a little bit of everything but impossible to go into depth because he wants to cover so much.
And he sometimes slips into a somewhat gossipy mode.

Maybe it's a matter (IIRC) of the book originating, not as a book, but as an accumulation of blog posts.  I found the book a bit of a mix, and probably because a serious musical reader has different expectations for A Book than for skimming through a blog.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot