What Are You Reading? (10)

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What Are You Reading? (10)

1Sorion
Jun 4, 2020, 12:55pm

We reached 500 posts and time for a new thread.

Still reading Thucydides.

2adriano77
Jun 4, 2020, 1:00pm

Vile Bodies. Still not liking it and close to abandoning.

3podaniel
Jun 4, 2020, 5:22pm

The Mirror and the Light.

4Mr.Fox
Jun 4, 2020, 5:41pm

Five Little Pigs.

5Lady19thC
Jun 4, 2020, 6:09pm

Cider with Rosie

6RRCBS
Jun 4, 2020, 6:10pm

The Thirteenth Tale

7Jobasha
Jun 4, 2020, 6:50pm

Dracula.

8housefulofpaper
Jun 4, 2020, 7:31pm

The LEC edition of Undine and a yellowed paperback of A Graveyard for Lunatics.

9Charon49
Jun 4, 2020, 7:46pm

Remains of the day - Ishiguro.

10Graham69
Jun 4, 2020, 8:20pm

Death Stops the Frolic by George Bellairs. Nothing like a little British Golden Age crime novel on an early June day . . .

11bookish_elf
Jun 5, 2020, 8:40am

Reading at a snail's pace Earth an intimate history and MiddleMarch. Both are lovely editions by FS, only problem is that I'm too tired by the end of the day, to read either of those. I have to buy some Christie, James Bond, Wodehouse etc in my next batch. I should have a "books to read when you don't feel like reading" list.

12podaniel
Jun 5, 2020, 8:53am

>11 bookish_elf:

Great thread idea suggestion: What are suggested books to read when you don't feel like reading. I'd add Dorothy Sayers and Graham Greene.

13Chemren
Jun 5, 2020, 8:55am

14jsg1976
Jun 5, 2020, 9:15am

>12 podaniel: Terry Pratchett, Daniel Silva

15bookish_elf
Jun 5, 2020, 9:37am

>12 podaniel: podaniel Thanks. I found Greene's Comedians quite dark.

16Charon49
Jun 5, 2020, 10:27am

I completely agree. I was too tired to read Remains of the Day after a long day so grabbed the Hobbit which seems to just read itself.

17Cat_of_Ulthar
Jun 5, 2020, 1:21pm

My current bed-time reading is Pratchett. And it has often led to my staying up later than I wanted.

So it's good. Possibly too good.

Damn.

Still, we want to die happy, don't we?

18davidjbrown10
Editado: Jun 5, 2020, 2:32pm

>12 podaniel: Robert Goddard

19Pellias
Jun 5, 2020, 3:55pm

Dipping into Lovecraft LE , waited for this one long enough

20Kainzow
Jun 5, 2020, 11:37pm

Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl

21Bibliogasm
Jun 5, 2020, 11:45pm

Books to read when you don't feel like reading are essential workflow products for when life distracts me or when I'm seeking a palate cleanser before tackling another doorstop novel. I call them my 'stepping stone' or 'bubble bath' books. Pratchett was my go-to author for this purpose until I read them all a couple of years ago and went into a blind panic. I have since found the following to bridge that gap: Ben Aaronovitch, Mick Herron, Ian Rankin, John Le Carre, Norman Lewis, mostly anything published by Eland publishing, Patrick Hamilton, Armistead Maupin and Irvine Welsh. However, I've almost exhausted those wells too. So if anyone has any other suggestions they'd be gratefully received!

22kcshankd
Jun 7, 2020, 1:30am

>21 Bibliogasm:

Elmore Leonard? Raymond Chandler? Noir is my 'palate cleanser'.

23Mr.Fox
Jun 7, 2020, 2:45am

I started Killing Floor. I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this one—the short sentences are driving me crazy.

24boldface
Jun 7, 2020, 9:17am

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (not the FS edition, sadly, which I don't have).

25emgcat
Jun 7, 2020, 9:44am

In Search of England - H.V.Morton - Folio

26CAJR
Jun 7, 2020, 10:30am

Brave New World

27dlphcoracl
Jun 7, 2020, 11:06am

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.

28gmacaree
Jun 7, 2020, 11:24am

>29 P&V? I just re-read mine and enjoyed it

29dlphcoracl
Editado: Jun 7, 2020, 11:36am

>28 gmacaree:

Yes. The Folio Society edition.

30warehouseisbare
Jun 7, 2020, 7:39pm

Starship Troopers

31DubiouslyDarling
Jun 7, 2020, 10:19pm

Finished rereading The Princess Bride, and promptly made myself sad by looking up William Goldman to see how much of his career was real and finding out he died two years ago and I never heard of it. I might pick up The Count of Monte Cristo for a much needed reread while waiting for the summer sale.

32EdmundRodriguez
Jun 8, 2020, 5:18am

Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov

33Charon49
Jun 8, 2020, 9:41am

>Boldface

I already broke trying to withhold no purchases until the sale ordering the folio Magic Mountain. Just wondering if that is your first read of it?

34boldface
Jun 8, 2020, 10:57am

>33 Charon49:

Yes, it is. But it's a different translation from the Folio edition. My copy is from the Franklin Library Oxford Library of the World's Great Books, which is nice enough but uses what I think is the first English translation by H. T. Lowe-Porter. The descriptive passages are fine, but the dialogue can be very stilted and somewhat unidiomatic in places. I have no idea how the German reads to a German speaker. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying the book so far - I'm only a hundred or so pages in out of a total of just over seven hundred. My copy is part of a job lot of Franklin editions in this series which I picked up in perfect condition from a good antiquarian bookshop in Norwich a few years ago. A few years before that I had visited Thomas Mann's birthplace in Lübeck. So, all in all, I thought it was about time I read Magic Mountain.

35Pellias
Jun 8, 2020, 1:30pm

I tried to read Seven wonders of the world (bought secondhand, which i regret, as it came cheaper during sale) .. anyway. My volume stinks of old perfume, a perfume that did not go home with me, and therefore must be cleansed !

Therefore, Leopold`s Ghost it is !

36Cat_of_Ulthar
Jun 8, 2020, 1:36pm

>23 Mr.Fox:
'the short sentences are driving me crazy.'

If you haven't already tried it, let me point you toward (Ta-da!):

Gormenghast.

The sentences are long and winding. The plot is actually not that complicated.

It's all rather wonderful. :-)

37Mr.Fox
Jun 8, 2020, 3:17pm

>36 Cat_of_Ulthar: I’ve been wanting to read Gormenghast for years! I’ll bump it higher on my list.

38kannekills
Jun 8, 2020, 4:46pm

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen.

39Charon49
Jun 8, 2020, 8:01pm

>Boldface

Thanks for the great information and the Franklin Library Oxford World’s Great books editions look splendid. This will be my first read of it as well so that’s promising that you are enjoying it as I have heard the murmurings that it can be a formidable read. I would love to go to Lubeck always exiting to see great figures home places. I lived in Berlin for a short while and never made it there. I have heard that devotees of the book make the pilgrimage to the Magic Mountain near Davos in the Swiss mountains to the real Schatzalp that is there.

40Betelgeuse
Jun 8, 2020, 8:53pm

Pickwick Papers by Dickens, Franklin Library / Oxford edition.

41Pellias
Jun 11, 2020, 5:26pm

So hot outside it's a perfect time for 'Dune'

42Kainzow
Jun 12, 2020, 12:22am

Done with Man's Search for Meaning
Now on to 1984

43Mr.Fox
Jun 12, 2020, 1:03am

Moving on to 1776.

44Pellias
Jun 12, 2020, 1:42pm

I can't remember last i read a bad book from FS. Boring to some degree yes, but not bad. I have great taste 👍

45shkenney
Jun 12, 2020, 2:53pm

The Origins Of The Second World War by AJP Taylor

46CarltonC
Editado: Jun 12, 2020, 3:58pm

>45 shkenney: I have The Origins Of The Second World War on my shelves, but have not felt the inclination to read it yet. How did you find it?
Just finished House of Glass by Hadley Freeman, which I found an excellent group biography of Jewish siblings who moved from Poland to France to avoid the violence of progroms in the 1920’s, only to be caught up by Vichy anti-semitism in the 1930’s, then chronicling the survivors lives after the Second World War.

47coynedj
Editado: Jun 14, 2020, 12:47pm

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why - Laurence Gonzales - just started it, but very interesting so far

And my thinking aligns with >41 Pellias: - it's high time I read Dune. Looking forward to this!

48Retronaut78
Jun 14, 2020, 1:23pm

I'm reading The Babylonians (H W F Saggs) from the Empires of the Near East set and straight off the back of The Hittites in the same set.

I've got to say I'm finding it heavy going - the history chapters of the book cover 2500 years in 125 pages so it's quite compact: King X was invaded by tribe Y and allied with city Z to defeat them, in the next paragraph now it's tribe X pushing back as far as city Y in the time of king Z, and it's hard to retain anything much or get a general picture.

What I will say is that I've seen at times where the Ancient Empires series is discussed and people mention empires they feel are missing, and they mention Assyria. From what I've read so far the Babylonians book is so much about the Assyrians I wonder that it wasn't called that instead, so look no further.

49AnnieMod
Jun 14, 2020, 7:11pm

>48 Retronaut78:

You may want to pair these with a more modern book on the topic(s). While these are informational and awesome for the time they were written in, newer archeological and technological advances had made them somewhat obsolete and in places totally incorrect.

A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC by Marc Van de Mieroop is concise (for some value of concise) and pretty up-to-date and covers a lot more of the cultural story (so you won't get some of the long lists of kings and battles - those had not changed - but you will get the better interpretations of what really had been happening. I've read some of the second edition when I was reading about the area, the third one had come out since - and pairing a newer book with the standard texts work much better than just the old one. And The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures is exactly what it says on the tin -- and is very helpful in putting things in context.

There are some similar options out there but I found Marc Van de Mieroop's style to work the best for me for an overview (as opposed to separate books per empire).

50Conte_Mosca
Editado: Jun 19, 2020, 2:08am

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

51Cat_of_Ulthar
Jun 17, 2020, 11:28am

Appropriately enough, my Pratchett saga has reached 'Interesting Times'.

A little too interesting, if you ask me, but such is life.

52DanielOC
Jun 17, 2020, 2:04pm

Boswell's Journal of A Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson - Pub. Literary Guild 1936

53ubiquitousuk
Jun 17, 2020, 2:14pm

>52 DanielOC: I'll be curious to hear your thoughts. I have the LEC edition working its way across the Atlantic to me and it's probably third or fourth in line on my TBR list.

54DanielOC
Editado: Jun 17, 2020, 3:46pm

Yes, just started, it already has the frank Boswell observations and Johnson judgments I loved so much in Boswell's Johnson.

55jsg1976
Jun 17, 2020, 3:54pm

FS version of King Leopold’s Ghost, having torn through the FS Post Captain and the Thornwillow Frederick Douglass: Portrait of a Free Man over the last few days

56Pellias
Jun 17, 2020, 5:25pm

>47 coynedj: Really enjoy Star Wars .. (ups .. i meant Dune) .. `Duncan Idaho` what a name .. a part of me want FS to publish more in this series, as this book `Dune` is merely the door opener (so i have read, many opinions about Dune) .. but, since there are so many other books i want to read, a taste (the first book) are therefore better than none .. if FS publish it i will definitive read the lot

>55 jsg1976: Great book, not yet done with Leopold`s Ghost, i dip into it from time to time, it is a prelude for me to Heart of Darkness ..

57laotzu225
Jun 17, 2020, 11:53pm

>20 Kainzow: I just finished that. i re-read it every decade or so.

58stopsurfing
Jun 18, 2020, 3:09am

Vernon Subutex I by Virginie Despentes

59zachp
Jun 19, 2020, 12:05am

Recently finished The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard. Now reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

60bookish_elf
Editado: Jun 19, 2020, 2:22am

42> Kainzow How did you like Man's search for meaning? I have been wanting to read that book for long.

61Cubby.R.S.
Jun 19, 2020, 8:58am

A Wizard of Earthsea FS, reading this with my 8 year old daughter. Perhaps a bit darker than I imagined, and since I've never read the book before, I wasn't sure what to expect. Honestly, I can say that I like it quite a bit. I find the story keeps me and the overall value of thought is strong enough to give this book some lasting value, albeit a bit above a 2nd - 3rd grade reader. Kudos on a nice production by Folio.

Homage to Catalonia FS, I like this book more than I thought I would. What a mess and quite honestly just like every other moronic condition of human life, everybody blames somebody for their plight. Government must fail, it will always happen. Another stupid anecdote -- The only thing certain is change, well if everything changes then nothing is changing. Anyway, Orwell is fun to read, because his thoughts don't necessarily align with his end thinking, and that's the way we should all be... ever growing and ever accepting.

62kdweber
Jun 19, 2020, 3:09pm

Juneteenth, the perfect day to read my newly arrived Thornwillow edition of the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas with commentary by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. A great though still thoroughly shocking read.

63thebookrunner
Jun 19, 2020, 5:41pm

As of Bloomsday, started re-reading the FS LE Ulysses. This edition doesn't get a lot of love on this forum--I also have the more recent John Vernon Lord illustrated edition, but the LE is far more practical to read.

64coynedj
Jun 25, 2020, 3:16pm

>56 Pellias: - I just finished Dune, and am on the fence on whether I want to read further in the series. So many people say that the later books aren't nearly as good as the first (which was very good), and as you say, I have many unread books calling to me.

First to be picked up is Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, by Alexandra Petri. From what I have seen, the title is not to be taken at face value. I'm still working on Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales. I'm halfway through and just getting into the meat of the subtitle - so far, the book has concentrated on how easily people get themselves into deadly situations in the natural world. It has made me fearful of venturing out of the house, adding to the virus fears.

65cronshaw
Jun 25, 2020, 3:31pm

Still reading Proust. He does go on.

66Sorion
Jun 25, 2020, 3:57pm

>65 cronshaw: Hah that may be the funniest post this month.

67dlphcoracl
Jun 25, 2020, 7:33pm

>65 cronshaw:

It is most difficult to work through 'Remembrance of Things Past" because by the time you wade through Proust's endless, tedious verbiage, finally reaching Volume 6 or 7, you will probably have developed Alzheimer's dementia and won't be remembering anything at all.

68Charon49
Jun 25, 2020, 8:27pm

I just picked up a cheap copy of the Deptford trilogy still in its clingrap as I saw many glowing reviews here on the boards so looking forward to starting it today.

69Comatoes
Jun 25, 2020, 9:39pm

>62 kdweber: Thornwillow edition of the Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas

What edition did you purchase? I have this on my wishlist, the half cloth $195.00 version, what is your opinion on the craftsmanship? I never ordered from this publisher so not sure what to expect.

70jsg1976
Jun 25, 2020, 9:47pm

>69 Comatoes: I have the half cloth edition, and having just read it, I think the craftsmanship is fantastic. The quality of the printing and the paper are lovely.

71Pellias
Editado: Jun 26, 2020, 5:20am

>64 coynedj: According to Brian Herberts afterword in `Dune` that he wrote back in 2005 (the one in the FS ed). There is likely to be a total of 16 books in this series. Do not know the status onwards from 2020, but. Knowing that i have read the best book in the series, and knowing what this is about and somewhat what is likely to come, what it influenced in pop culture etc. I will as mentioned, read whatever FS publishes and likely not go at it from other publishers as i have to many other books to read during my lifetime. Who knows in the future. There is also an upcoming movie https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160419/ which is likely to be my next step into the world of Dune. I am glad i had that one out of the way myself and not staring me down anymore ;) .. oh, and gorgeous illustrations. Esp the one on 270.

>65 cronshaw: haha ..

72sdg_e
Jun 26, 2020, 11:11am

>64 coynedj:
>71 Pellias:

I'd recommend at the very least reading Dune Messiah. It's a quite shorter read, and brings home a few of the points Frank Herbert made in Dune that many miss: his views on the danger of messiahs and the dangers of bureaucratic systems. I'm not going to go into a discussion on his thoughts here, but I think Dune Messiah is necessary to get a fuller picture of his message. And if you do desire to keep reading the series after that, stop once you finished Frank Herbert's original six; don't read his son's Brian Herbert's additions.

73Sorion
Jun 26, 2020, 1:21pm

>72 sdg_e: God Emperor of Dune...So Crazy...

74Pellias
Jun 26, 2020, 2:59pm

Thumbs up guys, and please awake the Dune thread from it's sleep. There are plenty to discuss about that book.

-

After some this and that, and naahs .. I have finally found a book i really wish to down with the mood i'm in..

Dan Browns 'The Focaul's Pendulum'

75coynedj
Jun 26, 2020, 3:41pm

>72 sdg_e: - Thanks for the recommendation. I did finish Dune thinking "Paul Muad-Dib was getting quite full of himself by the end - quite a messiah complex". It sounds like that book addresses exactly that, and my local library, which has reopened, has a copy. I'll check it out, in both meanings!

76AnnieMod
Jun 26, 2020, 3:53pm

>72 sdg_e:

I don't know - I've had a lot of fun with some of Brian's. Not that they are great literature but they are not awful (but then I can enjoy fan fiction in worlds I like as well so... ) :)

77affle
Jun 26, 2020, 4:24pm

A while back I made a speculative purchase of the FS edition of True grit, which I've just got around to reading, with much greater pleasure than I had expected. The read started well, with one of the most enabling introductions I've come across, by Donna Tartt - a writer I admire. Then in the week I finished this little gem of a book I get the NYT's weekly flyer for its book section including this paragraph:

'Donna Tartt, the best-selling author of “The Goldfinch,” “The Secret History” and “The Little Friend,” writes our cover essay on Portis, whom she knew. She recorded the audiobook version of “True Grit,” which is probably his best-known novel and the basis for a terrific movie by the Coen brothers (as well as a 1969 adaptation starring John Wayne). Tartt also wrote the foreword to a recent edition of the novel. Here, she writes about her relationship with Portis and the full body of his work.'

A reference to the FS edition perhaps. Here's the link to the essay referred to:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/books/charles-portis-true-grit-dog-of-the-sou...

Consider this as an enablement gesture towards FSDs who haven't acquired this book yet.

78gmacaree
Jun 26, 2020, 5:09pm

>77 affle: I am enabled. It's added to my wishlist, thank you

79uncledaveh
Jun 26, 2020, 7:57pm

I just finished Agatha Christie's 'The Mystery Of The Blue Train' and have started Georges Simenon's 'Maigret And The Saturday Caller'.

80Comatoes
Jun 26, 2020, 8:41pm

>70 jsg1976: Thank you! You just enabled me to secure myself a copy. I thought as much from the images, all around lovely. Thanks

81coynedj
Jun 27, 2020, 9:28pm

>71 Pellias: - I have a copy of the 2000 TV series on DVD (about five hours long), which will be my next step. I looked at the cast listing for the upcoming film and while the casting looked pretty good to me, I noticed two things - Liet-Kynes' gender seems to have changed, and there are no listings for Alia and Feyd-Rautha. I do hope that those characters haven't been cut out of the story.

82Unbroken1
Jun 27, 2020, 9:45pm

I'm finishing up The Radetzky March. I'd never heard of Joseph Roth prior to finding this book in the Folio Society catalog. In some ways, it reminds me of a more succinct War and Peace.

I'm not sure how much to ascribe to Roth and how much to Michael Hoffman, the translator, but the writing style captures the feel of the "old world" quite well, and there is a lyrical quality to the writing that holds my attention where Tolstoy would have had me wandering.

83jsg1976
Jun 27, 2020, 11:35pm

The Lies of Locke Lamora

84Sorion
Jun 28, 2020, 12:18am

>83 jsg1976: Great book. I really enjoyed that series.

85CarltonC
Editado: Jun 28, 2020, 4:32am

>82 Unbroken1: I really enjoyed The Radetzky March, but didn’t think The Emperor’s Tomb was as good, or his other novels that I have read. I really enjoyed his journalism, such as Hotel Years also translated by Hofmann (but not What I Saw, which was more uneven).

Just started reading Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor.

86kdweber
Jun 28, 2020, 10:33am

Just finished reading the new FS edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

87jsg1976
Jun 29, 2020, 1:19am

>84 Sorion: I just finished the first one, and really enjoyed it, but I’ve heard that the books aren’t as good after the first one. What do you think?

88Unbroken1
Jun 30, 2020, 8:12pm

>85 CarltonC:

Interesting! Maybe I'll give Hotel Years a look after I'm finished with the books from my latest Folio order.

89Conte_Mosca
Jul 2, 2020, 1:22am

>74 Pellias: Do you mean Umberto Eco?

A big difference. Umberto Eco is an incredible author (and philosopher) of great reputation, and worthy of the FS treatment. I know FS has veered into popular fiction, but if ever Dan Brown gets the FS treatment I will know the world has gone to hell in a handcart.

90gmacaree
Jul 2, 2020, 2:19am

>89 Conte_Mosca: It's a running joke about Dan Brown, Eco and Foucault's Pendulum. To quote the great man: "I invented him. He shares my characters' fascinations – the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist."

91Twas_Brillig
Jul 2, 2020, 3:38am

92DanielOC
Jul 4, 2020, 8:31pm

The Hole in the Wall - Arthur Morrison FS 1978

93coynedj
Jul 5, 2020, 8:09am

Since finishing Dune, I've raced through the first two books of the Foundation Trilogy (FS edition) and can't wait to get to the third. The writing is not to a Tolstoyan level, but the stories are very engaging.

Once finished with the third, I did pick up Dune Messiah at the library, at sg_e's recommendation. That should complete my recent concentration on science fiction - it's time to get to other forms of literature. I set myself three ambitious readings upon my retirement, and having finished the first (The Life of Samuel Johnson) I think it's time for the second. So, I have War and Peace atop my TBR list. I have the Briggs translation, so that's the one I'll read, though I do understand that the updated Maude translation has many champions.

94boldface
Jul 5, 2020, 1:05pm

>93 coynedj: "Foundation Trilogy (FS edition) . . . The writing is not to a Tolstoyan level, but the stories are very engaging."

Yes. Frankly, Asimov is a terrible writer (imo) and his thankfully infrequent wooden sex scenes made me want to die under a cushion, writhing in toe-curling excruciational embarrassment, but the themes and story are full of excitement and imagination. Just maybe, a more literary style would have blunted the narrative.

95folioaddict
Editado: Jul 5, 2020, 1:26pm

>93 coynedj: coynedj: really? I’m giving it a third try and having a hard time so far. The writing is very juvenile for the lack of a better word... but I’m trying to justify my purchase, otherwise it will continue sitting on my shelf as a beautiful decoration. The illustrations are superb though.

96NLNils
Jul 5, 2020, 1:25pm

I finished:

-Anne Frank’s Diary. I read it in the original Dutch and currently live in Amsterdam, so had a good feel for the Annex and its surroundings. Finally I can make an informed visit to the museum, always wanted to read the book first.

-Adrift, Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan. A lighter summer read to follow-up. Worthwhile, entertaining survival story.

After seeing it mentioned here a few times, I got interested in The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Read a little in the bookshop and afterward acquired the Peace and War Omnibus Edition (The Forever War, Forever Peace and Forever Free) by Gollancz. The first two books both won the double (Hugo and Nebula award) and I can’t wait to dig in!

97folioaddict
Jul 5, 2020, 1:27pm

Loved “Planet of the apes”, disappointed with the “Fahrenheit 451”.

98adiouri
Jul 5, 2020, 2:12pm

>97 folioaddict:

Disappointed by the story or the edition?

99EdmundRodriguez
Jul 5, 2020, 2:58pm

Reading Canticle for Leibowitz at the moment, enjoying it so far.

100Jayked
Jul 5, 2020, 3:26pm

You don't see Boulle mentioned much as a SF writer, perhaps because he's not one of the boys. Like LeGuin, he honed his writing skills successfully in other areas. Those who came up through the pulps were writing to their audience, who were one step removed from the comics. Gee, there's no pictures here. All this reading is hurting my finger. The short story was the ideal length, and it didn't create a need for character development or emotional depth. If you want wooden, try working your way through one of the old paperback anthologies such as the SF Hall of Fame series. By the time you hit your tenth robot, you'll think a robot wrote them.
That's all changed of course, but while FS is concentrating on the Old Masters, sophisticated is off the table.

101folioaddict
Jul 5, 2020, 3:27pm

>98 adiouri: adiouri: the story, it had a good premise but half through the book went downhill for me. The edition is beautiful though.

102adiouri
Jul 5, 2020, 4:07pm

>101 folioaddict: ah ok - thanks. I’m currently on the fence about whether to get it. I read it awhile ago and remember feeling similar about the story... so am torn.

103folioaddict
Jul 5, 2020, 4:45pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way, I know the book is very popular. Were you thinking of getting it second hand, since it’s now sold out?

104adiouri
Jul 5, 2020, 5:24pm

>103 folioaddict: That’s the question really. I ordered with plans to gift it and maybe get another later for myself so I didn’t open it. But now I’d have to search for it and I’m not sure it’s worth the effort since I’m only lukewarm about the story. The illustrations shown on the folio site tempt me though.

105EclecticIndulgence
Jul 5, 2020, 7:05pm

Just finished Njal's Saga in FS garb. I can't say it makes me want to finish both volumes of sagas, though. Who would have thought the book contained so much LAW?

106Unbroken1
Jul 5, 2020, 7:13pm

>104 adiouri: If the story doesn't sell you, then the illustrations will. Fahrenheit 451 was one of the first books I bought from the Folio Society, and years later, I still think it's one of the most handsome books in my collection.

That said, I wouldn't talk yourself into anything.

107wwfield
Jul 6, 2020, 6:54am

I finished "Love and War in the Apennines" about a week ago. A compelling read about the triumph of the human spirit, the bravery inherent in all of us... full of beautiful observations. Crack it open if you have it. The first chapter is a thriller.

108Charon49
Jul 6, 2020, 6:55am

Just finished Steppenwolf now to Titus Groan

109santiamen
Editado: Jul 6, 2020, 6:11pm

>100 Jayked: I feel the same way about a lot of famous sci-fi novels. It's a pity too because the premises always sound fascinating but by the end I often feel a bit disappointed and wonder whether I missed something given the popularity and fame of the titles. I felt let down by Fahrenheit 451 but purchased it now anyway because it's been some time since I read it and I figured maybe it deserved a second chance. I was disappointed by Brave New World. And while I enjoy John Wyndham's work as a quick, light read, I re-read The Day of the Triffids recently (in English for the first time) and found it linguistically - hmm - primitive?
On the other hand, I've noticed there is some hate for Atlas Shrugged around here - I started that one on kindle (intend to finish it with the FS books I got) and I was actually massively enjoying the way Rand writes, I suppose envying her the ability to master a foreign language to that extent.

I'd say Orwell's work is a mile above all the other dystopias I've read.

The reason I'm giving specific examples is, given your opinion, I'm curious which sci-fi novels you would recommend as genuinely great pieces of literature, not just entertainment within the limits of the genre. I should also add I enjoy soft sci-fi but don't have the brain capacity to understand long-winded descriptions of various machinery or intricacies of space travel etc.

110sekhmet0108
Jul 6, 2020, 10:11am

Cousin Bette by Honoré de Balzac. Fascinating, so far. I wish FS would do more editions of Balzac's works.

111HarpsichordKnight
Jul 6, 2020, 11:13am

Regarding the above posts about Foundation, I love Asimov's writing, and find myself totally engrossed in his stories - just an incredible sequence of ideas and scenes.

That said, you have to get into the mindset to enjoy it, and realize that the dialogue and characters may feel slightly artificial or stilted, because they aren't really the point. It's a bit like opera in that way.

112UK_History_Fan
Jul 6, 2020, 12:06pm

>110 sekhmet0108:
Do you have the FS edition of Lost Illusions? It is a beautiful production and a surprisingly good novel. Highly recommended!

113folioaddict
Editado: Jul 6, 2020, 3:12pm

I think another reason why some of us feel underwhelmed by some books is our ability to read in a different language and the stylistics we’re used to. I know, I’m constantly comparing writing (English vs Romantic and Slavic languages) on the subconscious level and find that the translated works by French, German, Russian (original) work best for me. What are your thoughts on that? I also noticed that it has a lot to do with the difference in mentality and overall view on life.

114santiamen
Jul 6, 2020, 3:50pm

>113 folioaddict: I'm very sceptical about any translations when it comes to purchasing FS titles. Fortunately, the English-speaking authors have given the world more great literature than one can ever read so it will be a feat to acquire even those by FS.

I love the illustration style in the FS edition of Master and Margarita for instance but I noticed the discussion here comparing different translations which makes it very off-putting. I know exactly which translators are brilliant in my country but have no clue about the translators to English and I also feel this little, probably unfair, prejudice when it comes to translation of certain languages to English. At least with Russian to Czech translation I know how similar the structure of the two languages is so there isn't much risk of weird sounding phrasing. Moreover, I would feel a bit further away from the general feel of the novel if that makes any sense. It's just weird to picture Russian aristocrats in War and Peace express themselves in the same manner Austen's or Dickens' heroes would. I like to keep the worlds separated even though it makes little sense because there is no chance I could actually plow through Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky in the original language.

I have that approach the other way around too. Ever since I learnt English well enough to not need to look up every other word I can't stand the idea of reading translations of novels written originally in English. Sort of separated from each author's unique phrasing by a middleman.

115sekhmet0108
Jul 6, 2020, 4:31pm

>112 UK_History_Fan:
Yes, i do! It is gorgeous! Crushed silk covered boards are my new passion! I will be reading Lost Illusions this year too, since i am really enjoying Cousin Bette. I might read Old Father Goriot in between CB and LI.

I know that FS printed Cousin Pons and Droll Stories too. They don't look as good as LI, though. Scarcely anything does!

116zachp
Jul 6, 2020, 6:01pm

>109 santiamen: I agree that Nineteen Eighty-Four ranks well above Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World. It's one of the few books I've read three times, and I'll be reading it again next spring (thanks Suntup!). For something different in the sci-fi genre, have you read The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui?

Is there any chance FS will be making the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy?

117EclecticIndulgence
Jul 6, 2020, 6:46pm

on to Leaves of Grass, FS Fine edition. Quite enjoying it so far.

118jsg1976
Jul 6, 2020, 7:34pm

FS edition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

119ArchStanton
Jul 6, 2020, 7:37pm

Just finished 'Common Sense' by Paine, Apple Books edition. I may move on to 'Rights of Man,' EP edition.

120ranbarnes
Jul 11, 2020, 8:32am

>111 HarpsichordKnight: Exactly. Space Opera

121Pellias
Jul 11, 2020, 9:37am

Remembered for a While : Nick Drake (LE)

122RRCBS
Jul 13, 2020, 11:44am

Just finished Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg. Absolutely loved it. Very unique book, not what I was expecting.

123LG2
Jul 13, 2020, 11:51am

FS edition of King Leopolds' Ghost

124EclecticIndulgence
Jul 13, 2020, 3:49pm

just beginning A Man Called Ove on a recco from a Swedish friend.

125Mac451
Jul 13, 2020, 8:26pm

Hello Everyone
Just finished Rendevous with Rama. A proper science fiction novel, thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended . Riveting to the end. Better than Fahrenheit 451 and Planet of the apes, even though I enjoyed both of those too. FS really must publish more Arthur C Clarke, incredibly imaginative and thoughtful writer.

126kdweber
Jul 13, 2020, 8:35pm

>125 Mac451: "Arthur C Clarke, incredibly imaginative and thoughtful writer"

Oh, come on who's going to believe crazy ideas like geosynchronous satellites!

127EdmundRodriguez
Jul 16, 2020, 3:31pm

Bend Sinister - Vladimir Nabokov

128Unbroken1
Jul 17, 2020, 8:05am

I've finished everything else from my recent order, so I've moved on to my mystery book, The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England. As a rule, history books put me to sleep, but this one does a good job of making the trivial details come alive instead of reciting them like a bulleted list.

But I noticed right away that something was different about the book. It *felt* different. Looking at the first couple of pages, I saw that it was made in China. No wonder they gave it away as a freebie. But I'm even more surprised that they're still pricing it comparably to volumes that are printed in Europe.

129ArchStanton
Jul 17, 2020, 8:38pm

>127 EdmundRodriguez: Very good book. Needs a Folio edition, along with Invitation to a Beheading.

130coynedj
Jul 22, 2020, 9:56pm

Well, I finished reading Dune Messiah, and watched the Dune TV miniseries.

Dune Messiah resolved a lot of the issues that the original book left hanging, some of them in a satisfactory manner but others I felt were dealt with poorly. I don't expect to read any more Dune books - the first two is enough.

The TV series was, in my opinion, pretty silly. I was afraid that the guy who played Paul was going to go full Annakin Skywalker on us, but he got better as things went on. Still, it wasn't very good, which doesn't give me much confidence about the new movie - it highlighted some things that could be expressed in book form that just didn't translate to the screen. Denis Villeneuve is probably the director most likely to succeed, but my expectations aren't very high.

I've started Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream, by Nicholas Lemann. I haven't gotten to the meat of his argument yet, but so far I find it very well written and look forward to finishing it.

131RRCBS
Jul 29, 2020, 8:40am

Just finished reading The War at the End of the World. I found it a hard read, with a lot of disgusting aspects that are necessary to the story (rape, mutilation etc). It was an interesting read and the story was well told and the portrayal of society was well done and multilayered. However, I’m not sure that my interest outweighed my disgust, particularly in relation to the portrayal of women and rape. Yes, rape was pervasive in war at that time and place (and sadly generally is during war), but by not exploring the thoughts of the female characters, I think the author missed a chance to explore the implications of rape, both to victim and victimizer. This actually really impacted my enjoyment of the book. I’m happy I’m done and would likely give away the book if I had a friend who would want it. I’ll be moving on to something lighter for my next read.

132bookish_elf
Jul 29, 2020, 11:08pm

I finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey and am currently reading In Praise of Folly, Earth: An Intimate History and Breakfast at Tiffany's (all FS editions).

133Cat_of_Ulthar
Jul 31, 2020, 3:37pm

>120 ranbarnes:

Opera (ignoring the Space bit).

My Pratchett reading recently encompassed his thoughts on opera (Maskerade).

I think he got it more or less right: Makes no sense but (at its best) it's beautiful while it lasts.

Meanwhile, the saga continues: I am now engrossed in The Last Continent.

Boing!

PS: off to order a copy of Nielsen's Maskerade to see if Pratchett had it in mind or not.

134coynedj
Jul 31, 2020, 4:01pm

I finished Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream, by Nicholas Lemann. As stated before, it is very well written. Most of the book is an examination of how we got where we are (the decline of corporate involvement in any sort of community, whether it be the community where the company is located or the community of its employees). Since I am familiar with much of this information (I have an MBA in finance and have worked for both small and very large corporations), I was looking for more. He does provide some suggestions in the last chapter, but to me it felt like a 15-page book with a 250-page preface.

I've begun The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. The authors' enthusiasm for rapid technological change makes them get ahead of themselves sometimes - it was published early this year but some of the "this is what's going to happen" statements are already obviously too ambitious. I haven't heard of widespread testing of flying cars yet, for example, which was predicted to occur before the end of the year. But it's still a useful detailing of what people are working on and what could well be in our near-term future. The world of 2040 or even 2030 will be radically different from what it is now, and not just because of the virus. I have no idea just what it will look like, unfortunately.

I need to read some fiction. Maybe something from the 19th century.

135smhunter85
Ago 1, 2020, 2:10am

I usually have a few books on the go, as I tend to read non-fiction at a much slower pace than fiction, e.g. over weeks versus a day or two.

At present, I'm reading both SPQR and Legends of Ancient Rome, which complement each other quite well. Next on my list will either be Rubicon or Beard's Pompeii.

I'm also nearly finished with The Two Towers; only just now getting to the LOTR trilogy at age 35!

On walks or long car rides, I listen to Audible. My current choice is Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett.

136UK_History_Fan
Ago 1, 2020, 7:51am

>135 smhunter85:
I am nearing 50 and despite having two different editions of it, I have not read LOTR yet or any Tolkien really. And yet I own multiple titles. Someday...

137crunchycon
Ago 1, 2020, 9:24am

Regarding books that you read when you don’t feel like reading: Don’t beat me up for this one, but Wilbur Smith. The older ones (especially the Courtney and Ballentyne series), not the new stuff with co-authors. Bubblegum for the mind.

138davidjbrown10
Ago 1, 2020, 12:35pm

Late coming to this thread... currently a pretty mixed bag on the go more or less simultaneously: Kevin Brownlow's marvellously detailed record of the silent-movie era, The Parade's Gone By; Lewis Wilkinson's memoir of the Powys brothers, Welsh Ambassadors; Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker (in the FS LE); and Blake Crouch's Abandon.

139EdmundRodriguez
Ago 3, 2020, 4:25am

The Brothers Karamazov (I don't have a folio edition of this, so reading an Easton press one).

140stopsurfing
Ago 3, 2020, 5:30pm

Reading The Black Death by Philip Ziegler (FS), Road to Abaddon by Vincent Heeringa and dipping into the FS Essays of Montaigne every few days which I am enjoying immensely - just so nice to read such a quality book with such thought-provoking content...

141coynedj
Ago 5, 2020, 9:17pm

I mentioned above that I needed to read some 19th century fiction, so I've begun Sense and Sensibility, FS edition 1975.

142LG2
Ago 9, 2020, 7:51am

I've just started on Thomas Hardy and "Jude the Obscure", the FS edition 2020.

143ubiquitousuk
Ago 9, 2020, 10:19am

I am reading Bel-Ami in its LEC 1968 edition. It's a great example of the kind of book I'd never have read had I not stumbled across a reasonably priced fine edition, but now I'm having a lot of fun with it. Before that, I read the LEC Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (https://ubiquitousbooks.wordpress.com/2020/08/01/memoirs-of-a-fox-hunting-man/) which falls into a very similar category. It's good to know that serendipity exists.

144Charon49
Ago 9, 2020, 10:42am

Just finished Lord of the flies now onto The once and future king.

145Kainzow
Ago 9, 2020, 11:37am

Started Half of a Yellow Sun yesterday.

146kcshankd
Ago 10, 2020, 8:21pm

Recently completed Overstory, which was both amazing and disheartening. I had been waiting to read it as Richard Powers is one of my favorites & I knew it would be excellent. Followed that with These Fevered Days, which I was also holding on to for a special moment - finished on a trip to the coast last weekend.

Sticking with the 19th Century, now reading WEB DuBois John Brown, which is an excellent narrative of the man behind the myth.

147elladan0891
Ago 11, 2020, 9:36am

>143 ubiquitousuk: Great review and video, as usual! Sounds like you need to start looking for the LEC Memoirs of an Infantry Officer! And then, of course, you'd have to come back home to FS for Sherston's Progress, as the LEC never completed the trilogy :) And then the question would be do you just get the individual volume, or go for the whole trilogy set :)

148EdmundRodriguez
Ago 11, 2020, 10:34am

Just starting Despair (Vladimir Nabokov). FS needs to create more Nabokov editions, every one of his books I have read so far would well deserve it.

149ubiquitousuk
Editado: Ago 11, 2020, 12:07pm

>147 elladan0891: Thanks! The LEC Infantry Officer is already on my book case : D. And yes, I am braced to have to turn to FS to finish the trilogy. There are worse fates, I suppose...

Incidentally, given the infrequency with which LECs show up on the secondary market in the UK, I consider myself quite fortunate to have found both LECs from different sellers in fine condition within the space of a week.

150thisGuy33
Ago 11, 2020, 3:55pm

>144 Charon49: What are your thoughts on Lord of the Flies. Just received my copy from FS a bit a go ... I'm about to start ... seems like a quick read. I have seen several polar opposite opinions on this title. Curious to hear yours.

151BionicJim
Ago 11, 2020, 5:01pm

FS Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. I’ve watched the Hitchcock film many times and love that this novel takes a 180 at a key point in the film so it almost seems like fanfic!

152Charon49
Ago 11, 2020, 8:01pm

>150 thisGuy33:

As for the Folio edition itself I find the design very striking being a fan of Sam Webber’s illustrations. I hadn’t read Lord of the flies since I was in school and my memory of the details were quite vague but the general impression was that it wasn’t too bad. I was much more impressed this time and frequently shocked by the grim depiction of human nature quickly descending into barbarism and the capacity for the masses to follow and mimic cruelty due to fear and being outcast. I found the children to be accurately written in how they interacted and behaved and it being a short book the premise doesn’t needlessly meander. I can see why it’s polarising in opinion as there are faults you could pick apart but for the most part I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

153CarltonC
Ago 12, 2020, 5:14am

Recently finished Ali Smith’s Summer which completes her excellent seasonal quartet of novels.
Now reading The Empress of Ireland, which is the latest Slightly Foxed limited edition and is extremely amusing (although some may consider it politically incorrect, for example after a highly unusual formal dinner party in Tangiers: ‘That’s what you get when your host has midgets for servants - an evening of small talk‘)

154emgcat
Ago 12, 2020, 7:14am

I'm reading Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy Sayers FS. A wonderful collection of short stories that are so well written. Such a tricky genre to get right and she certainly does.

155boldface
Ago 12, 2020, 7:22am

I'm reading The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning in an omnibus paperback edition of the Balkan Trilogy, of which this is the first novel. Written in 1960 and drawing largely on her own experience, Olivia Manning's book portrays Bucharest at the dawn of the Second World War.

Guy Pringle, generous to a fault and everybody's friend, an admirer (politically) of the Russians, is an English lecturer at the University and part of a small group of British expats set within a melting pot of Polish refugees, Russians, Jews, and Romanians both rich and distressingly poor. As the chaos of war gets ever closer, the questions hanging over a city still trying desparately to carry on as normal are 'Will the Nazis invade?', 'Which sections of Society are in danger?', 'When and to where can they escape if the worst happens?' As Guy's new wife Harriet begins to adjust to a strange and unfamiliar world, she quickly finds herself immersed in this disparate society. She soon learns that Guy, still pursuing his bachelor lifestyle complete with former lady friends whom she suspects of less than honourable intentions (of which he seems oblivious), is too intent on helping various political proteges, lame ducks, lost causes, and hangers-on, to devote much time to her.

The writing is sharp, witty, and insightful, the characters tragic, funny, always tellingly drawn, the sense of place vivid. Underlying all is the sense of impending doom threatening to shatter forever a city of fading elegance and a lifestyle increasingly at odds with a rapidly changing world.

Q. Why am I not reading it in the Folio Society edition?
A. Because there isn't one.

Q. Why on earth isn't there one?
A. G-d alone knows. . . .

156CarltonC
Editado: Ago 12, 2020, 8:03am

>155 boldface: I read The Great Fortune about five years ago and was disappointed (I think that I was hoping for something like Durrell’s Alexandria quartet, accepting that the language would not be as lush). My review at the time concluded: Overall I felt that this book fulfilled less than its potential and this is perhaps due to the lack of empathy that you feel for the main characters (Harriet and Yaki).

I suspect that although its time may come again, FS should have published an edition when it was televised by Branagh/Thompson (I have not seen).
I would prefer more contemporary historical fiction, especially Mantel, McMurtry, McCarthy and Barker, which I think would also be more commercially successful (but who knows).

157boldface
Ago 13, 2020, 12:12am

>156 CarltonC:

Well, we all have our likes and dislikes and I respect your opinion. I love (and have some training) in history and I tend to enjoy books not only for their intrinsic story but for their place in literary history as well. For that reason, books rarely strike me as "dated" as I read them, although I can appreciate that others might find them so. If you didn't gell with the main characters, of course I can see why you would be disappointed. Personally, I have a lot of empathy for Harriet and Yaki and I enjoy the historical setting, social mores, politics of the period, etc. The book is largely autobiographical and it shows in unexpected details and insights. The style reminds me of the richness of Brideshead (in the original 1945 version) which I love. Call me an old romantic if you like. I've also been reading The Magic Mountain, which I found by sharp contrast dull, turgid, self-conscious and long (and I'm only half way through it) - no doubt a heresy to many, including the Nobel Prize Committee - but turning to Manning was like a breath of fresh air and gave me a renewed will to live! The Branagh/Thompson adaptation was good, as I remember - not having seen it since it was aired, but there's so much more in the novel(s).

P.S. Maybe I'd prefer Buddenbrooks - also semi-autobiographical - and I believe it was actually this much earlier novel which more immediately impressed the Nobel committee in 1929.

158Pellias
Ago 13, 2020, 3:43pm

Just finished `Butcher`s Crossing` John Williams

159N11284
Ago 14, 2020, 6:41am

Just finished The Long Weekend and was surprised at how interesting it was.

160Conte_Mosca
Editado: Ago 15, 2020, 3:21am

>155 boldface:
>156 CarltonC:
>157 boldface:

Thank you for this exchange, and your thoughts. It is posts like these that add real value. I have now been inspired to pick up my copy of The Great Fortune which I have been intending to read for ages.

At the risk of sounding like the grumpy old man that I am, can other posters please take note. Someone we don't know (or don't know well) simply listing the title of a book they are reading adds no value whatsoever. Please tell us why you are reading and what you think of it! Give us something to think about, discuss, and potentially inspire us!

161Conte_Mosca
Editado: Ago 15, 2020, 3:50am

>153 CarltonC:

The Empress of Ireland is hilarious! The prologue sets the scene, from the opening three words:

"F***ing old queen!"

It’s mid-morning at the Turk’s Head in Belgravia and Brian Desmond Hurst, a tall, distinguished-looking elderly figure, is replying to a trio of Guinness-drinkers who have greeted his entry to the bar by hissing the above words. Nothing abashed, Hurst orders his usual breakfast glass of champagne with fresh orange juice and offers the Guinness drinkers a refill, which they shamefacedly accept.

The prologue continues:

"Your very good health", Brian said, raising his glass of champagne in the trio's direction. "And by the way, gentlemen, I am not an old queen." He paused, forcing the men to look at him. "I am the Empress of Ireland!".

It is the story of the strange friendship between the somewhat naïve, straight young English journalist, Christopher Robbins, and the old outrageously camp Irish film director, Brian Desmond Hurst, and you can see why Robbins is dazzled both by Hurst’s professional reputation and by the sheer heady irresponsibility of the life he leads.

In a later episode, Hurst is trying to raise money from backers for a new film:

"The carefree spirit in which the quest for the latter financial backing is pursued is made plain at an important meeting between Hurst and a potential investor, a merchant banker whom Robbins has painstakingly cultivated after meeting him at a dinner party. The banker duly arrives at Kinnerton Street but before the meeting has a chance to take off, Brian is overcome by an irresistible urge to puncture the man’s pomposity and casually suggests he take his clothes off, whereupon the outraged banker immediately leaves the house. It’s one of the rare moments when Robbins loses his cool.

Hopes of progress are briefly raised again when Sir Michael Redgrave, apparently an old friend of Brian’s whom he has earmarked for the part of Herod, unexpectedly comes to lunch but only, it turns out, in order to arrange the delivery of a large wad of cash to ‘Big Freddy’, one of Brian’s unsavoury contacts, who is blackmailing Redgrave by threatening to ‘go to the papers’ about his private life. The innocent Robbins is bemused.

‘What? And tell them Sir Michael’s queer? As if they didn’t already know?’ Brian looked at me searchingly, and seemed to be considering whether to continue. ‘There are a few “in” jokes about Sir Michael in our circle. “Sir Michael Redgrave, I’ll be bound,” and “Sir Michael is unable to come to the phone just now, he’s all tied up!” Do you understand?’

Robbins gets the point but protests, ‘It’s a bit rich – I mean, you owe the milkman God knows how much, I’ve been arrested for non-payment of rates, and here’s Big Freddy getting away with blackmail . . .’ to which Brian replies: ‘Crime pays. Life’s not fair. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer – it’s all a bleedin’ shame.’

Very highly recommended!

162Roberto23
Ago 15, 2020, 1:02pm

Reading Lord of the Flies atm. Its pretty good so far.

163jsg1976
Ago 15, 2020, 3:37pm

Read the FS Candide this morning. Really enjoyed it, and I thought Quentin Blake’s illustrations complemented the tone of the text wonderfully.

164zachp
Ago 16, 2020, 1:37pm

I just finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey and recently finished Rendezvous With Rama. Both rank among my favorite sci-fi books, with the slight edge to 2001. They are also, somehow, my first encounters with Arthur C. Clarke.

Maybe a measure of a good sci-fi book is what it does to your perceptions in the aftermath. This morning, after returning 2001 to the silver foil slipcase, I looked out the window at a typical morning sky. The sky seemed larger than usual and I had a brief feeling of vertigo, as if standing near the edge of a cliff.

It's been possibly two decades since I've seen Stanley Kubrick's 2001, but I don't recall it having the impact the book had. The movie, and maybe memory is failing me, was primarily focused on Hal 9000, the saboteur computer, and the perils of AI, whereas the book seemed concerned with AI only in passing and had a much broader scope. I was surprised to learn that the book was written in collaboration with Stanley Kubrick with the intention of being made into the movie. Seems apt to watch the movie tonight and complete the experience.

Add the Centipede Press Childhood's End to the list of books I regret missing out on.

165elladan0891
Ago 17, 2020, 4:01pm

>155 boldface: Thanks for this post! Sounds like books I would enjoy. I'd definitely buy them if Folio published them. Any decent hardback editions out there?

166boldface
Ago 17, 2020, 6:16pm

>165 elladan0891:

I'm not aware of any decent hardback editions. I think possibly the only ones are the first editions and immediate reprints. Both trilogies, Balkan and Levant, are in print as paperbacks, which is what I've had to make do with. That's why a Folio edition would be nice. I hope you like them as much as I do - tastes do differ.

167Conte_Mosca
Ago 18, 2020, 2:39am

>165 elladan0891:
>166 boldface:

Slightly Foxed subscribers can read Patrick Welland's wonderful full-length essays on Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy (SF 63 Autumn 2019) and Levant Trilogy (SF 64 Winter 2019) in recent issues of Slightly Foxed. Another great reason to subscribe to Slightly Foxed if ever one was needed (and print subscribers get access to the entire back issue collection via the SF app). They inspired me to pick up the paperback versions last year, and I have (thanks to Jonathan's post) just started The Great Fortune. Whilst I haven't read them yet, Welland's description does suggest these would be a perfect pair of 3-book sets from Folio Society.

I believe you can also read short extracts from Welland's essays if you search Slightly Foxed / Olivia Manning on the World Wide Interweb Thingy.

168Conte_Mosca
Editado: Ago 18, 2020, 3:02am

I have just finished reading the FS edition of the incredibly thought-provoking "Five Days in London, May 1940" by the American historian John Lukasz.

It is an intense account of "the hinge of fate", that not-even-a-week when all the news from Europe was bad, all the pleas to the US as yet unanswered, a new Prime Minister regarded as a gangster sat at the Cabinet Office table trying to persuade aristo appeasers to stand straight let alone firm, and the daily morale sampling compiled by the incomparable Mass Observation produced the summary: "The whole structure of belief would seem to be rocking gently."

The introductory paragraph perfectly sets the scene:

"By Friday 24 May 1940 Great Britain, to the mind of any dispassionate observer, had lost the war. The seemingly invincible German army had broken French lines at Sedan, Holland had been overrun and had surrendered, Belgium was on the point of following suit. In France morale was collapsing and the government seemed to have lost the will to carry on. The Germans had reached the English Channel, the British Expeditionary Force was almost cut off, and even if a few units managed to scramble their way to Calais, Boulogne or Dunkirk, thee was little reason to hope that they would be able to escape by sea. 'It looks like the greatest military disaster in all history', wrote the deeply defeatist chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Edmund Ironside. The only sensible course of action was surely to seek some sort of settlement with the Germans before Britain too was overrun".

This is not a military history, and you won't find any descriptions of battles. This is about the drama in and around Westminster in those fateful five days in May 1940 which Lukasz convinces us decided the future not merely of Britain but of Europe and indeed the World. Britain didn't win the war. Indeed the war could not have been won without the Soviet Union and the United States. But in those few days, Britain didn't 'lose' the war, although this account shows how close we came to that fate, with the consequences that would have had for Europe and the World.

Absolutely compelling reading, like watching a drama unfold minute by minute in front of your eyes!

169boldface
Ago 18, 2020, 11:46am

>167 Conte_Mosca:

I'd forgotten about those SF articles. Thanks for reminding me. I'll dig them out and read them again.

>168 Conte_Mosca:

I have it and it's on my tbr.

170Pellias
Ago 18, 2020, 1:07pm

I went from >158 Pellias: To Miss Pym Disposes

In the one book they strive for survival, whereas the other one is about a woman that looks at the scale every end of the week because she likes cookies, and are jealous of other womens lovely legs.

When i finish that book tomorrow, i really need some masculinity again.

171Conte_Mosca
Editado: Ago 18, 2020, 1:37pm

>170 Pellias:

I feel as though I have just been through a period of self-emasculation myself. Prior to >168 Conte_Mosca:, I had read, in succession:

- "Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day" by Winifred Watson (Persephone)
- "Someone at a Distance" by Dorothy Whipple (Persephone)
- "Excellent Women" by Barbara Pym (Folio Society)
- "Diary of a Provincial Lady" by E.M. Delafield (Folio Society)
- "Hons and Rebels" by Jessica Mitford (Folio Society)

Now, I guess if I am reading Persephone, I should know what I am going to get, but perhaps I need to read something a little different to ensure I don't get too in touch with my feminine side (although I should add that all were excellent reads)!

172Pellias
Ago 18, 2020, 2:55pm

>171 Conte_Mosca: You go girl ! You can take a break once in a while you know :)

I am really a fan of this FS set of Josephine Tey books. It is a really nice set. They really are quality. Storywise there are some red herrings here and there, come so far i will let the author guide me through, i might be rewarded to some degree. Really hope i will.

Writing about it now, i am looking forward to complete it tomorrow. Oh the irony.

Nothing is like reading a Nancy Drew like chick novel on my hairy chest, while filing my guitar nails

173aerus
Ago 19, 2020, 8:39am

Reading FS Steppenwolf - The booklet inside gave me goosebumps as I was reading. It felt like being placed inside the book.

174Charon49
Ago 19, 2020, 8:45am

>173 aerus:

Couldn’t agree more. It was a wonderful touch of immersion.

175Michael_Henchard
Ago 25, 2020, 9:39am

Currently reading 'The Invisible Man' (1897), by H.G. Wells. FS 2004.
A real page-turner right from the off. Set in Sussex, England - don't let various film adaptations tell you otherwise...😉

176Pellias
Ago 25, 2020, 2:45pm

Russian Myths and Legends. I can see where the likes of `Tales from the Crypt` likely found an inspiration and plenty of pop culture like movie games (i do know many of the characters from Russian myths, but never dived into them) Disturbing, shocking, funny in a morbid kind of way

177Conte_Mosca
Sep 2, 2020, 7:57am

I have almost finished reading "To War With Whitaker", which are the wartime diaries of Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly. It was this Spring's Slightly Foxed edition.

"After reading this Dan asked Whitaker if he would like to go with him. The old fatty looked over the top of his spectacles and said “To the war, my Lord? Very good, my Lord.” Then we started to pack."

It is 3 September 1939 and Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly, is describing in her diary the reaction of their portly cook-butler Whitaker to her husband Dan’s call-up telegram. Whitaker, however, is no ordinary servant, and Hermione is a decidedly unconventional aristocrat. This is a wonderful book, telling the incredible story of The Countess of Ranfurly's time in the Middle East during the war. She is shown to be funny, humane, incredibly determined, and immensely likeable.

It has been interesting reading a number of books almost back to back (not intentionally but by happy accident) that have cross-over narratives, which are a mix of fiction, memoir, eyewitness journalism and traditional history. Remains of the Day (Ishiguro, FS edition), Hons and Rebels (Mitford, FS edition), Love and War in the Apennines (Newby, Slightly Foxed edition), Five Days in London, May 1940 (Lukacs, FS edition), Once There Was a War (Steinbeck, FS edition), To War with Whitaker. Together, they have helped me build a picture of certain aspects of WWII that no single book on history could possibly do so well.

178CarltonC
Sep 2, 2020, 9:25am

Currently reading These Truths: A History of the United States which is helping to give me some understanding of the US political system and makes for an interesting read to distinguish with the British political system with which I am familiar. Although a long book it necessarily skims the details, but fascinating to learn about Jim Crow laws and how politically and legally this retrograde step was slowly introduced following the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
>177 Conte_Mosca: I have To War with Whitaker on my TBR, so your review has pushed it up the pile.

179Conte_Mosca
Editado: Sep 2, 2020, 9:52am

>178 CarltonC:

I recently read "These Truths". It was fascinating, and made me realise how little I actually knew about the history of American politics. It also revealed how naive my understanding of the politics of slavery was, and how fundamental slavery was to the history of the United States. The more I read about everything, the more I realise how little I know about anything.

180Kainzow
Sep 2, 2020, 1:51pm

East, West by Salman Rushdie

181Conte_Mosca
Editado: Sep 2, 2020, 1:57pm

>180 Kainzow:

Why? How is it? Give us a bit more. See >160 Conte_Mosca:

182podaniel
Sep 2, 2020, 2:50pm

History of England by Hilaire Belloc

183Kainzow
Editado: Sep 2, 2020, 3:08pm

>181 Conte_Mosca:
Oh! I actually used to give more details before, then I thought nobody cared, lol.
Anyway, glad you pointed it out, I'm more than happy to go back to my old habits!

So.
The book I last read was Half of a Yellow Sun.
It was outstanding. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie wrote the perfect story to weave us through the horrors of the Nigerian Civil War.
Honestly, I don't know if a better book has been written about the topic. In terms of language, character-building, narrative, etc, she certainly came a long way from Purple Hibiscus, which I also enjoyed last year.

Moving on from that book, I didn't know what should be my next read.
Of Heroes and Tomb? Atonement? All Quiet on the Western Front?
I wanted something that was not emotionally charged, so I settled for 'East, West' by Salman Rushdie, which I recently bought while wandering in a bookshop. It's a small collection of short stories which should fit the purpose of appetizer. For the time being, it's proving to be very Rushdieque - there are obvious flashes of genius, although sometimes you'd think he was taking some substance while writing the stories. Example: 'Yorick', a twisted version of Hamlet and his father's former court jester.

The thing with Rushdie is he can do no wrong. Even if he were to write a complete ridiculous story, it would still hold some value as he masters the English language like few others can.

184Conte_Mosca
Editado: Sep 2, 2020, 4:33pm

>183 Kainzow: Definitely want more detail! If this thread was just a list of books (which it was in danger of becoming) it is of no use or interest to anyone. You have just brought your reading choice to life! I do love Rushdie's work. It is a shame (no pun intended!) that FS has not produced anything other than Midnight's Children. I would love to see a nice edition of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (I have a signed first edition that will keep me happy in the meantime, which I bought the day it was published, back in 1990).

185kcshankd
Sep 2, 2020, 4:35pm

Recently finished The Silk Road and am still trying to decide how I feel about it. I received an advance copy as part of my Powell's Indiespensable subscription about 18 months ago, and honestly I loathe receiving the 'extra' books in the package. Like everyone else, I have so much I want to read and so little time to devote to the task. I have so far been able to keep up with the main subscription but I don't always read the throw-ins.

I came across a review for this novel and remembered it was slim and at hand so I dove in and... it is difficult to describe. The novel is about lives, families, selves, moods, sex, death, certainly death, and our own individual journeys that can be experienced together but not really shared.

It is an odd jaunt. I think I didn't like it, but may change my mind. It is still with me these few days later.

186Sorion
Sep 4, 2020, 8:49pm

Currently reading Farnsworth’s Classical English Style. Which is just delightful.

187Jobasha
Sep 4, 2020, 9:00pm

Currently reading Cicero's Philippics. It is definitely worth the read just to see the massive tonal shift between the first and the second.

188stopsurfing
Sep 5, 2020, 4:46pm

Recently finished 'The Name of the Wind' and 'The Wise Man's Fear', by Patrick Rothfuss. I think it's the fourth time I've read them, so I guess they're favourites. I find the writing and the world-building beautifully done, and using the device of Kvothe telling his story after the fact really captured me - we know he's not a hero, we know that he's royally f*cked up his life, we know it's a tragedy, and we just want to find out how he gets to this point. My wife hates the books, calling them 'the last gasp of patriarchal fantasy writing', and it is very centred around Kvothe and he is annoyingly and incredibly multi-talented, but I can't help enjoying the books immensely. I also like the depiction of how poverty feels. There's a third book that I'm starting think may never be released (it's been promised for I guess ten years now) but here's hoping

Currently reading Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber and other stories' (yes a folio book this time). Kind of fairytale gothic horror with a twist. Loving it: The language is quite dense and rich and the story-endings (so far at least) are slightly abrupt and gorgeously unexpected. If you were to describe the book as fairy tales for feminists you wouldn't be far wrong, but they also stand well on their own merits. Very glad this one is in my collection...

189jsg1976
Sep 5, 2020, 8:36pm

>188 stopsurfing: one of my friends, who is big into fantasy novels, called Name of the Wind “a perfect example of the genre”, and was horrified that I hadn’t read it yet until I explained that after The Wheel of Time (which we had both started when it was supposed to merely be a trilogy), I wasn’t starting any more series that weren’t already finished, which he begrudgingly accepted as a valid reason

190Charon49
Sep 5, 2020, 9:11pm

Yeah Rothfuss has had a bit of a breakdown and the publisher said they hadn’t seen a single word of the third book so sadly doesn’t look like it will be done for a long time if even at all. Very sad as the first two books were very enjoyable reads.

191Sorion
Sep 5, 2020, 9:18pm

>189 jsg1976: A wise decision. It is some of the very best fantasy of the last 15 years. And you will be really ticked when you realize he’s probably not even written one word of the third book yet. With no beginning in sight.

192kcshankd
Sep 5, 2020, 10:27pm

Finished Inside Game, written by a favorite baseball writer. This book attempts to reach beyond the sport, and reminds me of a series of MBA case studies - not really what I was after. I have encountered most of these concepts in other settings. The best chapter was the last, where Law interviews several baseball executives about past decisions and tries to get at their motivations.

I just started rereading Desolation Angels due to reading a story on renting fire lookouts - it has been some time since I've read my 2nd favorite Kerouac (after Darma Bums).

Finally, for the Labor Day holiday this weekend in the US I am going to begin the FS Working that I have not touched since buying it when released last year.

193stopsurfing
Sep 6, 2020, 3:29am

>189 jsg1976: Perhaps a wise decision but I hold that they are worth reading even if the series remains unfinished forever...
>190 Charon49: and >191 Sorion: Rothfuss said a couple of years ago on his blog that he had finished (!) the third book and that now it was a case of pulling it apart and putting it back together again (he used the analogy of pulliing a motor apart). So there is hope, he’s a perfectionist (which shows in the perfection of his other books) so maybe one of these decades it‘ll see the light of day. I for one don’t really see how he can resolve everything and bring it up to the present day in one volume so maybe the series could continue after that...
He apparently has two kids now too: as a father myself I can understand finding it difficult to get anything else done, especially something creative!

194red_guy
Sep 7, 2020, 12:06pm

I've just finished Girl, Woman, Other - the Booker co-winner by Bernadine Evaristo. I really enjoyed it for many reasons, but didn't feel that it was up there with previous winners. Certainly not on a par with last year's stupendous Milkman.

Has anyone else read it, or have thoughts?

195Mr.Fox
Sep 7, 2020, 1:29pm

Finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, now starting H.M.S. Surprise.

196coynedj
Sep 7, 2020, 4:19pm

>194 red_guy: - No, but I agree with you regarding Milkman!

197coynedj
Sep 7, 2020, 4:36pm

Recently finished:

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie. Great fun, of course. It may be hard to believe, but I had no idea how it would end. I've never read it before, never saw any of the film versions, and generally paid little attention to the detective genre. What a rube (an Americanism for someone totally lacking in culture).

Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism, Anne Applebaum. I needed something depressing, to go with my viewing of the first three seasons of The Handmaid's Tale, and this fit the bill. Very good, and very chilling.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie. Also plenty of fun, even if it wasn't quite up to the standard set by the Orient Express. I'm working my way through the Poirot FS volumes I have, but will probably take a bit of a break before moving on to The ABC Murders and Death on the Nile.

Next up, on the way from the local library: These Truths: A History of the United States, by Jill Lepore; Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II, by Svetlana Aleksievich; and Where Reasons End, by Yiyun Li.

198jsg1976
Sep 7, 2020, 5:11pm

I finished the FS Radetzky March a couple weeks ago, and with that book ending with the breakout of WWI, I thought i would follow it up with a book about that, so I read Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August in the Library of America volume. That LOA volume also contains an essay about the US entry into the war that discusses the Zimmerman telegram, which I didn't really know much about, that episode only rating a a few paragraphs in Martin Gilbert's The First World War, which prior to this trip down the WWI rabbit hole, was the only history book about WWI I'd ever read. So this weekend I read the FS version of Barbara Tuchman's The Zimmerman Telegram. I thought both of her books were excellent, and would recommend them.

199stopsurfing
Sep 8, 2020, 2:37am

>198 jsg1976: and what did you think of Radetzky March? I’ve started it but it’s on hold at the moment...

200Cat_of_Ulthar
Sep 11, 2020, 2:17pm

My Pratchett survey continues.

And it is good.

I have said in the past that I thought the later Discworld volumes might not have been as funny as the earlier ones but, rereading them as a series*, I now think that I was wrong. That might be because I was reading individual volumes in isolation. While every volume stands on its own two feet, the series builds up a whole, perhaps not entirely coherent, universe which creates and plays with our expectations. Sort of like real, you know, life, sort of thing.

I recently finished 'The Truth'.

Whereas 'Withnail and I' once famously went on holiday by mistake, William de Worde finds that he has accidentally taken charge of Ankh-Morpork's first newspaper. Possibly a rather more dangerous error. It brings him into potential conflict with various other powers of the city: the Watch, the Patrician, the Guilds, and a couple of rather curious hitmen.

It's possibly one of the most obviously topical Discworld volumes right now given current debates about 'fake news' and 'alternative facts' and how to know who we can trust.

It's very funny and it's about the world of publishing. Made for Faddicts, I should have thought :-)

* Most of them: it turns out I do have several gaps to fill. Mostly of a 'young adult' persuasion. Do the 'not-so-young' adults amongst you recommend these titles?

201dfmorgan
Editado: Sep 11, 2020, 2:55pm

>200 Cat_of_Ulthar: Do the 'not-so-young' adults amongst you recommend these titles?

Assuming that you are talking about Amazing Maurice it's an OK read and if I remember correctly totally standalone. Also assuming that you are talking about the Tiffany Aching series Discworld: Tiffany Aching then they are a must read with a poignant final book.

202trentsteel34
Sep 11, 2020, 3:31pm

Making my way through multiple steinbeck novels and short stories. Never read steinbeck before this past year. Bought the FS grapes of wrath. Such a sad story. Im sure there is some exaggerations, but its probably not too far off from the truth. After that i purchased the library of america complete steinbeck set and have read about 7 other books and stories by him. The highlight being cannery row and sweet thursday. Truly funny characters that do ridiculous things out of the kindness of their hearts. One scene had me in tears laughing. Reccomend steinbeck 100 percent

203Kainzow
Sep 11, 2020, 4:12pm

Reading African Folktales.

East, West by Salman Rushdie didn't quite make it for me. I didn't find anything special in the short stories, bar Rushdie's signature use of the English language.

So, I'm turning towards African Folktales for something light and interesting. Then I'll move to a bigger book - something intense.

204CarltonC
Sep 11, 2020, 5:13pm

Just starting Illumination and Night Glare, a dictated incomplete autobiography of Carson McCullers. Why have FS done no McCullers?
>202 trentsteel34: I must read Sweet Thursday soon, as I have really enjoyed Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat.

>200 Cat_of_Ulthar: I would agree with >201 dfmorgan: that the Amazing Maurice is an OK read and is standalone. The Tiffany Aching stories are as good as normal Discworld (ie sometimes hit and miss, but generally brilliant) and develop well.

205Charon49
Editado: Sep 12, 2020, 12:40am

Last book I read was The Drowned World by J.G Ballard.

Set in a dystopian world where the dissipation of the stratosphere from sustained solar storms from the sun has left the earth vulnerable to temperature and radiation increases. This in turn incurs the melting of the polar caps flooding the earth turning Europe into a continent of silt encompassed lagoons and flourishing tropical rainforests Filled with reptilian hordes. The resulting picture is a wonderfully realised world with a palpable atmosphere.

It is the first book I have read from Ballard and expected a sci fi from the 60’s to feel a bit dated and probably feature quite simple direct prose. I was wrong in these preconceptions as I found it was written quite poetically with immersive descriptions providing a vivid depiction of a dystopian world. The characters may be a bit one dimensional in their presentation but the phycological examination of the effects of returning to a more Triassic age is bewildering and fascinating. I felt a similar atmosphere to the trip down the Nile into the heart of darkness with the impenetrable darkness of the rainforest luring man back into its prime evil domain.

The third act of the book may stray to a familiar thriller with tropes of mans insanity and destruction but the ending was surprisingly affecting. The following days of finishing the book I have found it more haunting with my thoughts often drifting back to the world of the novel with peoples shared fever dreams of the pulsing sun and the drumming call of the jungle to return to their primitive ancestry and reverting to their genetic roots.

I would recommend the book quite worthy of reading even though some aspects of the novel may be wildly unrealistic I hope but sadly perhaps a relevant book with world temperatures rising steadily.

206StevieBby
Sep 12, 2020, 4:19pm

>194 red_guy: To begin with I hated Girl, Woman, Other - the characters seemed no more than a series of cliches. I felt sure the award was granted in deference to, or fear of, the PC Gods.

I did warm a little towards the end - the characters interacted sufficiently to expose their strengths and weaknesses. I even detected a theme - while (English) society may be cold or suspicious towards outsiders, those who hold their ground will (soon) be accepted, and even (dare I say it...) that there is more to life than colour and sexual-orientation. (Gosh!)

Certainly an easy read, like it was aimed at high school level!

But you are absolutely right - not close to the sublime Milkman!

207LolaWalser
Sep 12, 2020, 6:00pm

>206 StevieBby:

Out of curiosity, do you ever suspect pandering to the "gods" at work when it comes to prizes awarded to white men?

208Betelgeuse
Sep 12, 2020, 6:05pm

Just finished "H.M.S. Surprise," now reading Pirenne's "Mohammed and Charlemagne," both Folio Society editions.

209housefulofpaper
Sep 12, 2020, 7:02pm

Just finished a bit of 1890s French Decadence, Monsieur de Bougrelon by Jean Lorrain; and am about halfway through The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes. This is a biography of the French surgeon and society figure Samuel Pozzi, but it's also a portrait of the age - the Belle Epoque - and Jean Lorrain makes more than one appearance.

210Cat_of_Ulthar
Sep 13, 2020, 12:59am

>201 dfmorgan:, >204 CarltonC:

Thank you, yes, I meant the Maurice and Tiffany Aching books.

I shall add them to my want list :-)

211RRCBS
Sep 13, 2020, 8:02am

Just finished Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. Absolutely loved it. Beautiful writing, interesting characters and loved the ending. Would definitely recommend.

Starting on The Winds of War by Herman Wouk next.

212StevieBby
Editado: Sep 13, 2020, 8:37am

Thanks Lola for being gentle with me... I knew I was asking for that!

I do suspect some white men are not good writers!

(I get your point.)

213zachp
Editado: Sep 13, 2020, 2:58pm

>205 Charon49: you might also enjoy Empire of the Sun, which is still available from FS. I read both The Drowned World and Empire of the Sun early in the pandemic. Honestly, I struggled with Ballard's surrealistic, hallucinatory prose style, but both books left a lasting impression. Fun fact just discovered: 13 year old Christian Bale stars in the lead role in Spielberg's adaptation of Empire of the Sun.

I just finished The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, recent winner of the 2020 International Booker Prize. If you're the type that journals favorite passages, be prepared to fill a notebook; Rijneveld's prose is gorgeous. In some ways this book reminds me of Tara Westover's Educated, but without the pervasive optimism.

Currently reading 1776 by David McCullough and Flights by Olga Tokarczuk.

214Lady19thC
Sep 13, 2020, 5:29pm

>213 zachp:

Extra fun fact. I remember when the movie Empire of the Sun first came out and how amazed everyone was at Christian Bale's performance. This kid, coming out of nowhere, suddenly deserved an Academy Award, but was too young to be nominated. The movie industry was shook. He ended up receiving the first "Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor" award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. I'll never forget the standing ovations he received at various award ceremonies as other actors recognized he should be up there with the award instead.

It remains one of my husband and my favourite top 10 movies of all time.

215Charon49
Editado: Sep 13, 2020, 8:35pm

>213 zachp: >214 Lady19thC: Thanks I have been meaning to read Empire of Sun having watched the movie when I was young and being a big fan of Christian Bale. I agree the writing style was a bit obtrusive but appreciated the effort of the novel coming from the point of view of basically insane people.

I miss Spielberg’s golden age I don’t think he’s made a movie of that quality in well over a decade.
They must have changed the age requirements for Oscar nominations quite quickly following Empire of the sun for Anna Paquin won best supporting actress at the age of 9 for the piano 4 years later. I also thought that bale definitely deserved the Oscar for the performance as well but glad he still received recognition.

216red_guy
Sep 14, 2020, 10:21am

>206 StevieBby: My thoughts ( Re: Girl Woman Other - Bernadine Evaristo) pretty much mirror yours, although for me the one hugely successful element was formal. By using line breaks to group words into separate thoughts, sentences, speech, and poetic fragments rather than conventional punctuation, Evaristo achieved a fantastic flow. I can imagine someone getting to the end without even realising that there was anything odd about the way it was written. Often these tricks are just irritating, but here it just worked.

Unfortunately, the actual prose and vocabulary is rather lumpen and only a few of the characters really came alive (Shirley, LaTisha, Carole, Bummi, Winsome) and for me the rest were just ideas from her checklist of the Types she wanted to include and were not fleshed out and barely believable. Amma, her daughter and the gay dad were unfunny Ab Fab, and the trans couple too sketchy, which was rather a shame. By the time we got to Hattie on the farm and the dénouement with Penelope we were well into Catherine Cookson goes to Cold Comfort territory. Fewer characters or a longer book would have improved matters.

Nevertheless it intrigued me enough to want to read Mr Loverman, which I have ought. Booker winner? I can't see it myself although maybe you and I are in a minority. It has been extremely well received everywhere, including the U.S., where a black writer is unlikely to be condescended to. I do think she was very badly served by being only half a winner, and her indignation at all the 'won by Margaret Atwood and some black writer' stuff which appeared. I can't see why that was allowed since the judges had been explicitly told this should not happen.

>207 LolaWalser: Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of tokenism in UK culture, but probably not in the Booker lists, which have always been refreshingly diverse by way of the original Commonwealth Writers Only remit.

217stopsurfing
Oct 4, 2020, 2:46pm

Just finished the FS Twelfth Night, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s the cheaper Letterpress version, and one or two of you might recall me saying I felt underwhelmed when I received it after buying it in the New Year’s sale. I now put that feeling down to how sober it is compared to the Signature Shakespeare version of Much Ado About Nothing that I had just finished (which is very colourful with yellow and blue laser-cut paper illustrations, coloured text and glosses etc). Next to that Twelfth Night does look rather somber. Nevertheless, I loved the experience of reading Shakespeare in Letterpress on good paper without any glosses etc. There was one glaring spelling mistake (Frality instead of frailty) but otherwise thoroughly enjoyable. I think it’s my favourite Shakespeare yet (I’ve read Hamlet, Much Ado and now this), it’s hard to know whether it’s the play or the edition that made it my favourite so far. And which Shakespeare play should I read next? Any suggestions? I’m thinking of Julius Caesar maybe...

218varielle
Oct 8, 2020, 7:18am

219Conte_Mosca
Editado: Oct 10, 2020, 12:33pm

>217 stopsurfing:

If you liked Twelfth Night, I would next recommend As You Like It, and then perhaps The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I wouldn't dive into the histories just yet, much as Julius Caesar has much in it to admire.

One you have his four greatest "comedies" under your belt (MSN, The Tempest, Twelfth Night and As You Like It), I would suggest tackling perhaps his greatest work, King Lear.

220ubiquitousuk
Oct 10, 2020, 1:20pm

>217 stopsurfing: I would second >219 Conte_Mosca: in recommending As You Like It. Comedy of Errors is also a real favourite of mine.

I was underwhelmed by Julius Caesar. If you wanted more tragedy, why not finish off the big four with Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear? If you want a Roman Tragedy, I enjoyed Titus Andronicus more than Julius Caesar, although I know this could be controversial.

Lastly, don't ignore Shakespeare's excellent Henriad!

As for myself, I just finished reading Through the Woods (https://wp.me/pc0a8G-vg). I bought it for the gorgeous Miller Parker woodcuts, but it has ended up being, I think, my favourite nature book so far!

221Conte_Mosca
Oct 11, 2020, 1:42pm

Just started reading "To The Hebrides", by Samuel Johnson and James Boswell. This is the Birlinn edition which comprises two books, juxtaposing Samuel Johnson's 'Journey to the Western Islands'. with his friend and biographer James Boswell's account of the same voyage, 'The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson'. FS has of course produced the two books in a single volume, Journals of the Western Isles (1990), which I have alongside it, but the Birlinn takes a completely new approach and, instead of one book followed by the other, the books are juxtaposed within 23 chapters grouped by location, and within each chapter Johnson's account (focusing on Scotland) followed by Boswell's account (focusing on Johnson). It is an ingenious way of presenting the two books, and helps join them up much more effectively. It also has extensive annotations and maps which are very illuminating.

222BionicJim
Oct 11, 2020, 1:55pm

>221 Conte_Mosca: Ever since I saw “I Know Where I’m Going” I’ve been fascinated by the Hebrides and, especially, the Corryvreckan with its whirlpool. Having not read these books, is there any mention of this and other features of the landscape or is it more of a discussion of the Scottish culture? It sounds like a good read either way.

223stopsurfing
Oct 11, 2020, 4:38pm

>220 ubiquitousuk: >221 Conte_Mosca: thank you both for your very helpful suggestions. I’ll go for As You Like It on your recommendations, thanks again!

Currently reading Burning Chrome by William Gibson; Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf (sadly not the FS edition); and the quite large FS Finnegans Wake, which I think I’m ready for (though time will tell) - wish me luck!!

224kcshankd
Editado: Oct 12, 2020, 12:44am

Recently finished Winter Brothers, a tremendous tapestry of Ivan Doig's experience of 1980 Puget Sound while reading through a lifetime of journals from James Swan. Swan headed west from Boston for the California Gold Rush, then headed north from the bust. He ended up recording the echoes of the Makah people out at the Pacific tip of Washington, then made a trip to the Haida 20 years before the tales in A Story As Sharp as a Knife were recorded.

Well worth the reader's time.

Now re-reading Dune Messiah ahead of a hoped for Folio edition. Dune's sequel, Dune Messiah is an amazing tragic coda that bookends the rise of a legend with his inevitable downfall.

225Mr.Fox
Oct 12, 2020, 2:45am

>222 BionicJim: I love “I Know Where I’m Going,” and it’s so nice to hear from someone who has seen it. Whenever I tell someone that it’s a favorite of mine, they inevitably tell me that they’ve never heard of it.

226SinsenKrysset
Oct 12, 2020, 4:42am

> 222 Have you seen the other Powell & Pressburger film from around the same time, A Canterbury Tale? It is also a beatiful film about the zeitgeist at the end of the second world war.

227ubiquitousuk
Oct 12, 2020, 9:50am

>222 BionicJim: The pair didn't make it far enough south to see Corryvreckan, but there's certainly plenty of discussion of the Scottish landscape in Boswell's account (I haven't read Johnson's, although I gather he focused even more on Scotland than does Boswell, whose main interest is Johnson himself). This includes some treacherous days at sea on the way down to Coll, as well as some general observations about derelict churches, humble manses, etc. For what it's worth, I visited the (outer) Hebrides last year and it was even more spectacular in person than I had dared to imagine.

228foxtrot345
Oct 12, 2020, 11:51am

Also some hilarious entries detailing Boswell’s late night/early morning punch bowl escapades with the hosting gentry and Johnson’s (teetotaler) observations on the resulting hangovers.

229De.Selby
Oct 12, 2020, 4:55pm

Currently reading To Hell and Back: Europe, 1914–1949 by Ian Kershaw and The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia.
If I can't bring myself to read either, I also keep a local book about poetry slam, as a light read.

230uncledaveh
Oct 12, 2020, 5:57pm

"Story Of The Wild West And Campfire Chats" by Buffalo Bill and "The Murder On The Links" by Agatha Christie.

231trentsteel34
Oct 15, 2020, 8:21am

Just finished the warden. There were parts i enjoyed. I liked the characters. But man there were a lot of boring parts. The first two chapters i struggled through. Seeing it was just about 200pgs i pushed through and enjoyed some of the middle section. It was definitely not a book that i stayed up trying for just one more chapter.

232Jobasha
Oct 15, 2020, 8:55am

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Certainly an eclectic book, but I am enjoying it.

233RRCBS
Oct 18, 2020, 12:58pm

Been reading a lot of Fantasy/Sci Fi books recently.

The Night Circus - absolutely loved it, intricate story telling and beautiful writing. Going to get a friend a copy for Christmas!

Dreamsnake - not as excited to recommend but was a really interesting read and writing was engaging. Ursula Le Guin was a fan of Vonda McIntyre’s work.

234CarltonC
Oct 18, 2020, 1:55pm

>233 RRCBS: I am rereading fantasy books at the moment - old Thieves' World anthologies which have recently be converted to ebooks. I remember reading Dreamsnake, which I recall was reasonable, but I have just checked my memory to Wikipedia and it was inspired by her novelette, "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand", which I read in a Nebula anthology 40+ years ago (which was better, in my opinion).

Also reading excellent and interesting essays from Mantel Pieces, especially illuminating if you have read her books, and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee (FS), which I am taking practically a single chapter at a time, as it tells such repetitively depressing history.

235jsg1976
Editado: Oct 18, 2020, 2:21pm

>233 RRCBS: The Night Circus is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, and one of the few books I have read more than once (the others being The Hobbit/LOTR, Clavell’s Asian Saga, and Dragonlance Chronicles), and I was actually thinking of re-reading it again. It’s a perfect book for reading by the fire on a blustery fall afternoon. I would love FS to produce a version of this book.

236red_guy
Editado: Oct 19, 2020, 10:10am

I recently finished The Princess Bride, which sadly I found incredibly disappointing, more tedious and annoying than funny. Perhaps the film is better.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay on the other hand, is beyond magnificent. It has a sparkly emotional warmth which I think I last met in A Gentleman in Moscow, or maybe Kent Haruf's Plainsong trilogy. I am trying to read it as slowly as I can, but that may prove difficult.

>233 RRCBS: , >235 jsg1976: I have been recommended the latest Erin Morganstern, The Starless Sea (it probably stuck in my mind because of Princess Bride!) but maybe I will try Night Circus first.

237jsg1976
Oct 19, 2020, 10:12am

>236 red_guy: I would definitely read The Night Circus before The Starless Sea. The Starless Sea, while good, is not up to the same standards as The Night Circus.

I also read The Princess Bride recently, and was likewise disappointed (though in my case, I was comparing it to the film, which I love and have seen dozens of times, and highly recommend if you have not seen it).

Agreed with you on Kavalier and Gentleman in Moscow, although of Towles’ books I thought Rules of Civility was better. I think I’m going to pick up the FS Kavalier to replace my paperback copy, and I’d love to see them do one or both of Towles’ books.

238shkenney
Oct 19, 2020, 10:50am

>46 CarltonC: Sorry - haven't checked back. I liked it a lot. Highly recommended. The entire series A Century Of Conflict is excellent. The most striking thing being all of the plots to divide up the world in different ways depending on the situation/alliance. House of Glass sounds like a great one. I'll definitely check it out.

239RRCBS
Nov 14, 2020, 9:30am

Finished the Farseer Trilogy. Enjoyed it and definitely glad to have it in my collection. Just finished White Teeth, loved it! Next up is Independent People, just read a few pages. Love the reading experience of EL books!

240abysswalker
Nov 14, 2020, 3:50pm

>152 Charon49: regarding Lord of the Flies, I remember at some point reading an interview with or essay by Stephen King where the question was posed: which book by someone else do you wish you had written? (Strange question, when you think about it.) In any case, King’s answer was Lord of the Flies.

241BionicJim
Nov 16, 2020, 11:21pm

I’m reading The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett. Though this was a 2004 Folio offering, I am reading the 1941 LEC which was printed in two volumes. I just finished Anna Karenina last week and was looking for something a bit lighter (though I absolutely loved AK). I’m half way through so far and I’d compare this story to something by Charles Dickens without as many characters and plot threads. The story takes place in a small town and is about 2 sisters raised in a small town in England and Bennett keeps my interest with excellent story-telling and fun, eccentric characters. I’m looking forward to the 2nd half now, which is about the “wild” sister that elopes and goes to Paris.

Anyone have any thoughts on this novel? It was very popular in ~1905 when it was first published, but no one I know has ever heard of it. I’d like to know anyone’s thoughts on the Folio edition, too.

242coynedj
Nov 16, 2020, 11:42pm

Recently finished:

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams. Mostly good, but not up to the level of the Hitchhiker's Guide books. My problem with the book was it's finish. It seemed as if he planned on a 400 page book, but got bored with it around page 275 and decided to make it a 300-page book. Unfortunately, he didn't revise any of what he had already written, so it came across as a slapped-on finish that didn't do justice to what had come before.

The Overstory, by Richard Powers. It is very well written and has An Important Message, but when it needed to come together as a story, it simply didn't. I never thought of giving it up despite it's 500-page length, a testament to the quality of the writing, but as a novel it fell short.

The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton. I was cruising along, had already figured out the major reveals, and then it got crazy. I'll have to think about that finish for a while - it certainly wasn't anything I expected, and it certainly isn't anything that a poor weak mind like mine can make sense of right away (I finished it about 20 minutes ago).

Next up:

Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie. It's time to read the last of the four Poirot FS novels I have, and I expect a much more straightforward story than Chesterton provided.

Do Dice Play God? The Mathematics of Uncertainty, by Ian Stewart. I like this type of book, so I am very much looking forward to this.

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy. My big winter read. I'm not sure exactly when I'll gather up the courage to start it, but maybe this public announcement of my intentions will force my hand.

243Sorion
Nov 17, 2020, 3:15am

Currently reading The Queen of Spades and Other Stories. Pushkin is my favorite Russian by far.

Also taking bits and bites out of Easton Press's W.H. Auden. I am a fan.

244JacobKirckman
Editado: Nov 17, 2020, 5:05pm

Trollope's Dr Thorne; re-reading Gibbon's first book (Rome still at its peak), and needing to delve into O'Brien's Ruckers on a short-octave question.

245EdmundRodriguez
Nov 17, 2020, 5:20pm

Recently finished Steppenwolf, now onto toilers of the Sea. Both great folio editions.

246CarltonC
Nov 18, 2020, 2:56am

Just finished The Remains of the Day which I enjoyed, although the style took some work to get into, as it is an interior monologue of convoluted circumlocutions that emphasise the first person narrator’s professional pride but also his detachment from a personal social life.
I really like the FS cloth and blocked edition, printed by Cambridge University Press, and a lovely reading size.

247wongie
Nov 18, 2020, 4:22am

Finished Jurassic Park. After initially having doubts about the cover on the website, to feeling won over upon receiving it, I can now say I'm fully won over with the cover art. Being a full piece of art stretched across the entire binding rather than a motif or sorts adorning just the front (or in some cases replicated in exactness on the reverse board) like most other Folios makes JP one of the more stand-out bindings. The main raptor has a nice glossy texture to it differentiating it from the background scene that has a rubberized feel. It's a tactile book though still being paper it's one to be careful with compared to the more hardy buckram bindings.

The illustration style also works very well with an obvious focus on dinosaur scenes, all but one illustrated page in fact, but who can blame them. I actually do wish there were maybe a couple more illustrated pages, a distinctive exterior shot of the visitor lodge would have been a welcome addition just for a nicer balance.

I've only read the book once a few years back, many years after watching the film, so a lot of the details have been lost to me. I remember the odd scene here and there (from the book, not the film) so went in with semi-freshness of mind. I've been in a reading slump since the start of the year and there is something in Crichton's writing style that allowed me to go through this book at a pace faster than a Raptor can disembowel scientists and engineers. I don't really too many techno thrillers but JP still stands out as one of the very best of that small bunch I've read having it all from moments of philosophical introspection to raptors being blown up by rocket launchers.

While the focus is on the book I will quickly add that although being wholly absorbed in my second reading of JP I still think, and always have, the film to be far superior to the book in being more ground breaking cinema than the book was ground breaking literature. I know JP is just one of a number of recent books to have been published by the Folio Society that many don't agree with. Even upon my first reading of JP many years ago I didn't think it to be either ground breaking or great literature and that still hasn't changed this second time; it's extremely entertaining literature. Despite that I'm wholly supportive of some of these modern pop lit titles being published by Folio and given some premium treatment in their standard line up. I don't think it diminishes my Folio shelves one bit.

I've now gone onto Norse Myths. I've bought myself the 1989 edition a while back and am in the mood for a relatively short book being 200 pages (minus notes) and am already loving the thick 128 matt cartridge paper. I wish they still printed on this kind of thick stock paper even if it makes the volume more thicker.

248Conte_Mosca
Editado: Nov 20, 2020, 2:36am

I have three books on the go at the moment. I am enjoying re-reading one of my favourites, Cider with Rosie, which is this quarter's Slightly Foxed Edition (and also an FS publication too). The writing is just so beautiful. These opening lines are amongst my favourite of any book:

"I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began. The June grass, amongst which I stood, was taller than I was, and I wept. I had never been so close to grass before. It towered above me and all around me, each blade tattooed with tiger-skins of sunlight. It was knife-edged, dark and a wicked green, thick as a forest and alive with grasshoppers that chirped and chattered and leapt through the air like monkeys. I was lost and didn't know where to move."

Next quarter, the Slightly Foxed Edition is the second in the Laurie Lee trilogy of memoirs, "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning", which I am looking forward to (although I already own the FS edition).

I have also just finished reading "Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man" by Emmanuel Acho, which is an excellent addition to the literature addressing one of the most important topics of today (and the last 350 years).

Finally I am slogging my way through "Master and Commander" by Patrick O'Brien. I really want to like this book, but the endless descriptions of rigging is pretty tedious, and I haven't yet warmed to either Aubrey or Maturin. I am about 2/3rds of the way through, so hopefully things will improve. At the moment the jury is out. Someone convince me the series gets better!

249Chemren
Nov 20, 2020, 11:03am

>248 Conte_Mosca: I first read the Aubrey/Maturin books in the early ‘90’s. There were 15 in the series at that point. It took me 2 weeks to get through the first two. M&C has the unfamiliar settings, language and characters that makes it a bit of work to get through. PC spends much time on shore and much as he might want to be, PO’B is not Jane Austen. By the third book, the writing started to gel for me. I had actually learned enough of the navy terms that they were no longer a hindrance. The character baselines were set and O’Brian started riffing on them in entertaining ways. I actually sped through the final 13 in the next 2 weeks (taking vacation time from work in order to do so) and then turned around and read the whole set again (something I had never done before). Needless to say, I snapped up the FS editions as they were released.

Bottom line: If things haven’t gelled for you by the third book, it’s probably not for you.

250Conte_Mosca
Nov 20, 2020, 11:35am

>249 Chemren:

Thanks. That is encouraging. I shall persevere!

251Jayked
Nov 20, 2020, 12:19pm

>248 Conte_Mosca:
The introductory volume of most series tends to spend an unavoidable amount of time establishing the background of characters and milieu, dull stuff which can later be taken for granted, and the early Aubrey/Maturin novels had a lukewarm press. I came to them mid-series in paperback and was hooked right away. I preferred reading the paperbacks to the later Folio editions, which somehow spoil the magic. Perhaps those awful postcard illustrations?

252Charon49
Editado: Nov 21, 2020, 5:13am

I much prefer the folio editions of the O’Briens in my opinions some of the paperbacks looked like really cheap romance novels. I also found the first novel to be a little bit of a slog but as the books tick by it truly begins to feel like spending time with old friends. Post captain and HMS surprise were much more entertaining and enjoyable and if it’s not clicking with you by then I’d throw in the towel.

253Conte_Mosca
Nov 21, 2020, 6:14am

>251 Jayked:
>252 Charon49:

Well I have the first five volumes (picked up for a grand total of £25 from a charity shop several years ago before these became as popular as they seem to be today). So I will persevere, based on your observations, and look forward to reaching Post Captain and HMS Surprise, by which time I hope to have assimilated by osmosis all I need to know about rigging, or O'Brian will have stopped banging on about it all the time ;-)

254drasvola
Nov 21, 2020, 10:41am

>253 Conte_Mosca:

You may find helpful A Sea of Words by John B. Estes. It helped me with all the nautical terms, but not enough for me to read the whole series.

255Retronaut78
Nov 21, 2020, 11:08am

The Prince In Splendour by Richard Barber (FS). Disappointing, frankly. It's an easy read, to be honest too easy in a sense: the clear majority of the work is either long quotes from original sources, or simple descriptions of feasts / tournaments / events (more or less paraphrases of original sources, it seems). It's enchanting, but I feel a bit like I'd gone to Buckingham Palace or St Paul's without bothering with those little i-Pod things they give you, I'm looking at lots of pretty things but none the wiser about any of them. I'm determined to get to the end, but... I just think it would be great if someone were to take it and make it into a book ;-)

256Conte_Mosca
Nov 21, 2020, 11:52am

>254 drasvola: Antonio, good to hear from you and thanks! Although, actually... no thanks. I want to know less, not more ;-D

257Charon49
Editado: Nov 21, 2020, 4:18pm

>256 Conte_Mosca:

I thought that too but The Wooden World by N A M Rodger which the folio society did an edition of is a great read and will provide an understanding of the politics and running of England’s maritime workings.

258Jeremy53
Editado: Nov 22, 2020, 7:53pm

Currently reading Thea Astley's Drylands, which won the Aussie Miles Franklin in 2000. She was quite a prolific author of novels and this was her last - I haven't read any of hers before and am really loving it. Just one more section to go, and I'm feeling sad that it will be over soon. I haven't had that feeling for a while when reading, but this novel really did take me on an emotional journey. Not a super easy read, but it just built and built. A sad tale too - a country town and its residents in decline; but so poignant.

Before that I read Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends, after having loved Normal People. I love them equally. So perceptive and fresh in their style and worldview. I know she's copped some criticism from some of the literati, being a little derivative and using old gender tropes...but it's just so well written and the characters and their lives are so engaging.

The last Folio edition I read was O'Brian's Post Captain. After having read some of the comments here I may give the series one more go just to be sure (I have the first 5 in the series after having purchased them on eBay last year for $110). And I had a friend who raved about them - I wanted to love them, but only 'like' them...the pacing just seems off...

Before that I read Trollope's The Warden in FS - loved it. Will certainly persevere with the next books in the series. Similarly, I bought the Barchester and Palliser sets (and a couple of stand-alones) on eBay for $100 a while back.

My next FS read will be Anna Karenina, I think. I have four weeks leave, so it's a good time to immerse. But I have often struggled with Russian novels due to the huge cast of characters...

259Jeremy53
Nov 22, 2020, 7:57pm

>242 coynedj: Interesting reaction re: Long Dark Tea-time. My recollection was that it was a modern masterpiece (overlooked by its genre, perhaps). I've been meaning to read it again - I may be disappointed! I stopped at the third installment of re-reading the Hitchhiker's series, as it was so underwhelming (I love the first two books). In fact, it stopped me from buying the last two Folio editions of the set - something I may regret...

260kcshankd
Nov 23, 2020, 10:01pm

It has been a banner few days for this reader, was able to escape to a coastal retreat last weekend.

She Come By it Natural is a modern day reassessment of Dolly Parton's work. Sent a copy to my mother & sister back home when I was finished.

The Golden Spruce takes place in my adopted Cascadian home, though further north. One man's obsession and failure to balance his livelihood with his ideals leads to disaster for all of us.

The Color of Air moves slowly, deliberately, through a few week in pre-war Hawaii. The only downside is the now common authorial affect of seemingly randomly pivoting between memory, flashback, and narrative to complicate the telling. Please just give us a story.

Finally, tonight finished The Last Great Road Bum a semi-historical account of an American discovering the world before perishing while caught up in the El Salvadoran Civil War in the early 1980s. The author draws heavily from unpublished letters and journals, and at points uses footnotes to interject the view of the Road Bum himself on the ongoing narrative. Fun, well done, and earned a favorable review from Paul Theroux in the NYT.

261bookish_elf
Dic 1, 2020, 10:44pm

I'm currently reading Europe, FS edition and also Christmas Carol, a Folio Collectible. I'm enjoying reading Europe and as for Christmas Carol it has always been a tradition to usher in the Christmas spirit by reading this book every year in the month of December.

262Cat_of_Ulthar
Dic 2, 2020, 12:49pm

Having run out of Pratchetts for the moment (I need to go shopping to fill several gaps), I have turned to Peter Ackroyd's Hawksmoor. This has been on my to-read list for a long, long time, since the BBC adapted it for radio back in the nineties but I only have a vague memory of that version.

It is something of a detective story and something of a historical novel (but only loosely) and also has something of old Dennis Wheatley novels.

There is murder and diabolism and architecture. It involves two possibly interconnected timestreams in which characters seem to experience the same, or similar, events in their own personal ways.

One thing that stands out is Ackroyd's use of historical spelling and grammar (think Johnson's dictionary) in the earlier timestream. It took me a bit of time to get the feel of how the characters speak and think in these chapters, much as I have to adjust my mind to the likes of Shakespeare or Dickens.

Once I did, though, it got me gripped (again) :-)

263Pellias
Dic 2, 2020, 2:04pm

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, looking forward too it.

264CantileverStout
Ene 17, 8:04pm

Master & Commander - Patrick O'Brian - FS edition. Beautiful book!

265Sorion
Ene 18, 2:12am

After a long time away from it back reading FS Focault’s Pendulum and also “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium” by Martin Gurri. The lattter is fantastic. A fabulous writer and very insightful whether you’re in agreement with him or not.

266LesMiserables
Ene 18, 2:49am

Currently reading The War of The Roses by Desmond Seward.

267coynedj
Ene 18, 9:38am

>265 Sorion: - I bought the Gurri book a while ago but never got around to reading it. Your comment has pushed it toward the top of my TBR pile.

268stopsurfing
Ene 19, 2:29pm

Currently halfway through ‘We‘ by Yevgeny Samyatin. It’s shaping up to be my book of 2021. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, it’s a better, more evocative book than both 1984 and Brave New World.
It always takes me by surprise to learn of an author completely new and unknown to me (like Zamyatin) and find out he was not just some obscure Russian, but a writer who influenced so many others as he himself drew on those who preceded him, writing within a society and a language in which he could not even publish until many years later, someone whose work was 'broadcast' in multiple translations before coming back home to his native land. It's also quite stunning to realize he was writing this book just three years into the Russian Revolution, before the Civil War had even ended and the Soviet Union had been established; he clearly ‘had its number’ already.
Highly recommended even if it wasn’t such a lovely FS edition.

269coynedj
Ene 19, 11:17pm

Recently finished:

Sh*t, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema, by Lindy West. A fun set of reviews of popular movies, mostly from the 90's and 00's. Not deep stuff, but it has lots of good lines, some of which I have since used to good comic effect.

Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague, by Maggie O'Farrell. Very good, deserves the praise it has gotten, but didn't resonate as deeply with me as I thought it would.

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, by Adam Tooze. More detailed than I was looking for, but quite well argued and informative.

Working On:

All For Nothing, by Walter Kempowski. Excellent so far, but I'm only 100 or so pages in.

I need to start something else - only one book at a time isn't my normal way of doing things!

270Chemren
Ene 20, 6:33am

Just getting started with Guns, Germs and Steel, bought in the sale.

Just finished Circe on Kindle. I'd buy a Folio edition, were they ever to publish it.

271Joshbooks1
Ene 20, 6:56am

>269 coynedj: All for Nothing is fabulous! What a wonderful novel. Another book recently published in English by him is Marrow and Bone which isn't as good but a very interesting novel. I plan to start Swansong by him soon.

272ranbarnes
Ene 20, 1:21pm

The Glass Cell, Patricia Highsmith and Brensham Village, John Moore. Agree with >269 coynedj: always have several books in hand

273CJR93
Ene 20, 1:50pm

I’m 100 pages into reading “Brothers Karamazov” for the first time. I’m loving it!

274CarltonC
Ene 20, 3:49pm

Just finished The Stars my Destination (underwhelmed) and started Desert Solitaire. My recent Folio purchases are in internal quarantine!
>270 Chemren: I agree that Circe would be an excellent choice for an FS edition.

275LesMiserables
Ene 21, 6:48am

Just finished The Crusades: The World's Debate by Hillaire Belloc.

Outstanding read.

276podaniel
Ene 22, 8:23am

>275 LesMiserables:

I love Belloc too (particulalry his biographies and multi-volume history of England)--I have The Crusades on my bookshelf and have not read it yet. I'll put it in my "to read" pile.

277dar.lynk
Ene 23, 8:53pm

>268 stopsurfing: Same here. I am usually reluctant to read a translation if I am able to read the original but I've never even heard about We until I came to USA. The irony ....

278Metrobolist
Ene 25, 7:16am

I'm having a Kate Atkinson binge since the stat of the New Year. I have read Life After Life & A God I Ruins so far. I have just started Transcription.

279DCBlack
Ene 25, 4:49pm

Have resumed the Aubrey-Maturin series after a fairly long break. About half-way through Treason's Harbor, and enjoying it very much so far.

280N11284
Ene 25, 5:02pm

Not FS The Quincunx , and enjoying it so far.

281whytewolf1
Ene 25, 6:19pm

>280 N11284: I always meant to read that! Do come back and tell us what you think once you finish it.

For myself, I just finished reading The Island of Doctor Moreau which was actually quite compelling and horrifying in equal measure. I had read Wells' other major works years ago but somehow had never gotten around to this one.

Currently, I'm going back and forth between two books (something I do frequently):

We Cast a Shadow, a contemporary satire focused on race that takes place in the near future in a city quite like New Orleans (but which isn't, exactly) that was quite well-received when it was published in 2019, and...

Casino Royale, the first Bond book. I had read a couple of Bond books way back in the 90s and was, frankly, underwhelmed, but Folio's new editions are so nice, I thought I might have another go with Mr. Bond to see if I now thought the books were engaging enough to justify purchasing. Still deciding, but leaning toward "yes." :P

282Charon49
Editado: Ene 25, 6:32pm

Just finished Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which I hadn’t read since a kid and was very enjoyable. I am now half way through a Wizard of Earthsea and loving it. I’ve read Le Guin sci fi which is brilliant but never any of her fantasy and so far I think it’s wonderfully done.

283RuefulCountenance
Ene 25, 7:18pm

>281 whytewolf1: I recommend skipping Goldfinger. I was shocked by not just how had it was, but also offensive. One of the unusual instances where the movie was much better than the book. The other Bond books, however, I have found to be pretty fun :)

284whytewolf1
Ene 25, 7:43pm

>283 RuefulCountenance: Thanks for the tip. I'll keep that in mind. :)

285English-bookseller
Ene 26, 6:00am

At stressful times books really prove their worth as those that you find interesting can take your mind away from cares to ... wherever you wish it to dwell.

So I have put aside my usual books about the 18th century (i.e English history, the Church of England and literature) and have read intensively both favourite and new historical novel and thrillers.

Robert Harris has provided me with Munich, Pompeii and Engima.

While two writers new to me - Alan Furst and Charles Cumming - have written first rate historical, spy and/or thriller novels:

- Alan Furst writes convincingly (most unfair: he is American) about the Resistance movements in various European occupied countries in the years 1940 to 1944;

- and Charles Cumming writes about MI5 and MI6 activities in both the UK and abroad in the past 15 years or so.

286LesMiserables
Ene 26, 6:03am

>283 RuefulCountenance: What offended you?

287RuefulCountenance
Ene 26, 11:20am

>286 LesMiserables: Fleming's homophobia (and sexism) was on full display. For instance, there's this passage about the gay Tilly Masterson: "Bond came to the conclusion that Tilly Masterson was one of those girls whose hormones had got mixed up. He knew the type well and thought they and their male counterparts were a direct consequence of giving votes to women and 'sex equality'. As a result of fifty years of emancipation, feminine qualities were dying out or being transferred to the males. Pansies of both sexes were everywhere, not yet completely homosexual, but confused, not knowing what they were. The result was a herd of unhappy sexual misfits - barren and full of frustrations, the women wanting to dominate and the men to be nannied. He was sorry for them, but he had no time for them."

There are other unflattering instances involving Masterson, especially when the also gay Pussy Galore comes on the scene. And I believe there were multiple derogatory comments about Koreans, although I don't have the time to hunt any down. All of this is not unusual for the Bond novels overall. While I like the books for their escapist action, and to compare them to the movies, Fleming's issues with people who weren't like him is jarring in this day and age.

288l.gallagher
Ene 26, 4:07pm

I’ve just started Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark. I thought Piranesi was a great book so I have high hopes.

289LesMiserables
Ene 26, 4:41pm

>287 RuefulCountenance: But that's a matter of historical record and his own views. As a wildly successful author, does that mean that the millions who bought his book have offended you too?

And given that these opinions may have found consensus across the wider population of that time, did that mean that that particular society offended you too?

And given that until fairly recently, these opinions have held currency for thousands of years, does that mean that all previous society and history up until now has offended you?

And what of the Folio Society, have they offended you by publishing Fleming?

And without debating the issue itself, would it be interesting to reflect upon, in general term across a whole raft of issues, whether today's society is too quick, perhaps, to write off opinion and customs of our ancestors as offensive?

To return, I think using a term like offended in this instance is problematic, because it necessarily places one in relativistic bubble peculiar to one's own time and place.

Having reactions of agreement or disagreement may be more apt.

All the best.

290Jeremy53
Ene 26, 5:06pm

>270 Chemren: I love Circe - just started Song of Achilles, her first one...

291Jobasha
Editado: Ene 28, 6:38pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

292whytewolf1
Ene 26, 7:51pm

>287 RuefulCountenance: I'm almost finished Casino Royale, and I had read The Man With the Golden Gun and Moonraker back in the day (it wasn't so easy to look up the reading order of a series in the early 90s), and all have had significant passages reflecting racist, sexist, xenophobic, and homophobic views.

Then, there are things that are just howlingly funny, such as:

"His face was wooden and grey, but his eyes flickered and gleamed like a conjurer’s. His whole long body was restless and his hands shifted often on the brass rail. Bond guessed that he would kill without interest or concern for what he killed and that he would prefer strangling. He had something of Lennie in Of Mice and Men, but his inhumanity would not come from infantilism but from drugs. Marihuana, decided Bond."

Lol... there you have it, folks. If you want to become an emotionless, stonecold killer, dose yourself with some "Marihuana!" ;)

293coynedj
Ene 26, 10:53pm

>288 l.gallagher: - I also thought Piranesi was wonderful. I'm almost done with my current novel (All For Nothing, mentioned above) - maybe I too should try Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I have a copy not 10 feet from me, after all.

294kdweber
Ene 26, 11:46pm

>290 Jeremy53: Sad to say, that though I loved Circe (which I read first) I was disappointed with the Song of Achilles.

295l.gallagher
Ene 27, 12:52pm

>293 coynedj: I had seen the BBC adaptation, which I enjoyed, but the book is far more rich.

296Cat_of_Ulthar
Editado: Ene 28, 12:47pm

It's been quite a long read but I have almost finished Foucault's Pendulum.

To try and sum it up: a couple of guys working in a publishing house get sucked into various conspiracy myths about the Templars and decide to create their own version of Templar history only to find that it all gets a bit more complicated than they thought.

Very good although I find the text a little lumpy at times, possibly because it's a translation. And the quotes at the top of chapters are often lost on me because they haven't translated them. French I can just about cope with; Arabic text is another matter. (I guess I'll have to do some googling for those.)

It's not half as funny as Illuminatus!, mind, IMHO. Please, Folio, can you get Sam Webber to do an Illuminatus'! boxset LE? I will sacrifice my firstborn (if I ever have one). If ever there was a book we needed now, this is the one. Of its time but ahead of its time. :-).

Edit A: If Sam's not available, I think Jonathan Burton would be more than capable of doing this one justice.

Edit B: Illuminatus! was written by a couple of guys working for a magazine (Playboy's letters page, I think) who got caught up in various conspiracy myths and decided to write their own book about it. Hmm. Was Eco cribbing?

All good clean fun, I'm sure :-)

Edit C: typos

297BionicJim
Editado: Ene 27, 9:30pm

I'm just starting my first Josephine Tey novel, the FS edition of The Franchise Affair. I'm looking forward to it.

I just finished Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan, which I read along with my daughter and her friend who are Arabic Studies students at university. One of them called it "A Monk Romance Novel," while the other was a bit more favorable with her take that it is "an early church history with details to attract a modern reader." I had never heard of this book, which I don't believe has been printed in the US, but was translated into English (from Arabic) and published in the UK in 2011.

It's a story that takes place in 5th century Egypt that reminded me a lot of The Name of the Rose in that it is the (supposedly discovered) journals of a monk who witnesses church history as he has interactions with Bishop Cyril and Bishop Nestorius during the rise of Christianity in Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople. It's a quick read and it inspired me to learn about this subject.

298ubiquitousuk
Ene 28, 2:54am

I just finished, in their Folio Society editions, Atlas Shrugged, which I enjoyed and reviewed at length on my blog, and Fahrenheit 451, which was okay but fell short of my (admittedly high) expectations.

Now I'm reading Kidnapped in its LEC edition, which I'm enjoying much more than my first time around.

299LesMiserables
Ene 28, 5:00am

>298 ubiquitousuk:
I agree that Fahrenheit 451 did not live up to it's hype. I have found that with some American classics, including Moby Dick.

Atlas Shrugged I enjoyed, though it ended somewhat similar to Fahrenheit with this fantastic fugitive community holding the wisdom of life in its hands.

Kidnapped is one of the best adventure novels ever written.

300coynedj
Editado: Ene 28, 9:07am

I've finished All For Nothing, and can heartily recommend it. A terrific book.

As hinted at above, I've started Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. This will take me some time, but her Piranesi was excellent and I'm expecting no less from this book. I'm also reading Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe, by Steven Strogatz. Not a book for everyone, I admit, but so far it's quite good and deals with calculus on a more intuitive than formulaic manner.

And I agree with ubiquitousuk and LesMiserables that Fahrenheit 451 wasn't quite up to snuff (though I disagree about Moby Dick). It has a great concept but falls short in the execution, which I'm finding to be more common with the science fiction classics that I've read than it is with other genres.

301Joshbooks1
Ene 28, 10:41am

Atlas Shrugged is enjoyable and along with The Fountainhead I find Rand's books entertaining and worthwhile reads. I read them both in my early twenties and although I don't believe in all of her philosophies, she has her place in literature. I feel she gets too much criticism from the far left. I believe Knut Hamsun is a wonderful author but that doesn't make me a Nazi sympathizer.

Disagree as well about Moby Dick. To each their own but I think it is one of the best books ever written. It's certainly in the likes of Don Quixote, Brothers Karamazov, In Search of Lost Time, etc.

Coynedj, if I may ask how did you come across All For Nothing? Just curious. I discovered him via NYRB which I think is the best literature publishing company bar none. Only if they made luxury books like Folio. If you haven't read many of their books and love literature, it's a must.

302DCBlack
Ene 28, 11:15am

>301 Joshbooks1: A number of NYRB books have also been published by FS such as Anatomy of Melancholy , Siege of Krishnapur and The Cretan Runner as well as a number of others I am sure.

One NYRB that I would love to see in an FS edition is Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, an absolute favorite.

303kdweber
Ene 28, 3:00pm

Rereading Fahrenheit 451 (Suntup edition) I was amazed at how well this story has stood the test of time. Atlas Shrugged, on the other hand, has always been unreadable. A first time reading of Blazing World (Beehive Books) was the most tedious read I've had in a long time. The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard (LEC) was a fun book to reread. Can't get enough of Anatole France. Almost finished reading War of the Worlds (Suntup again) in family book club. I hadn't read this book in almost 50 years. Well written and a fun insight into the late 19th century as well. I realize that I've hardly read any Folio Society books in the last three months with the exception of some nice escapist Maigret singles and Sharpe's Tiger.

304coynedj
Ene 28, 6:05pm

>301 Joshbooks1: - I too love the NYRB books - I have quite a few. I discovered All For Nothing by simply looking to see what my local library (Sioux Falls, SD - not one of the premier library systems but pretty decent) had that they published.

An NYRB book that I can strongly recommend, and which I have listed among my top "I wish FS would publish this" books, is The Book of Ebenezer LePage, by G.B. Edwards. Please, Folio Society, publish this book.

305Joshbooks1
Ene 29, 8:13am

>302 DCBlack: I think I own all of those books from both publishers. Unfortunately there is not much more overlap and to me those are some of the weaker NYRB titles (off the top of my head I can only think of Akenfield.) I loved The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. It's rare to fine a book thats over 700 pages and the entire story is captivating. One of my favorites by them - it is a gem and I never heard of it until it was published by NYRB.

306Joshbooks1
Ene 29, 8:19am

>304 coynedj: I am stunned Folio has not published Ebenezer. It was one of the first NYRB titles I read and, to me, one of my favorite UK novels. A quote I always remember from the book is something like: don't put your faith in doctors or lawyers or you'll end up dead and broke. It is such a charming novel. God, it must have been around 15 years ago but I did a cross country tip by myself in the US and was hiking in Yellowstone when I met a British couple from Guernsey. It was when The Guernsey Society was popular and they said I would probably recognize their island from that book. Sadly I told them I never read it but recently finished Ebenezer. They were stunned. Unfortunately neither of them ever read Edward's novel! Oh well.

Another book in the UK which i'm surprised doesn't get more recognition is The Root and the Flower. I thought that book was fantastic.

Some of my other favorites are Beware of Pity, As a Man Grows Older, Augustus, Stoner, The Road, Everything Flows, Life and Fate (I tried Stalingrad last year but had to put it down - too much Soviet propaganda,) Proud Beggars (a wonderful book to read when the absurdities of life pile on too thick), The Case of Comrade Tulayev, The Tenants of Moonbloom, The Door, Kolyma Stories (different but as good as The Gulag Archipelago), and a few others I have forgotten. What would I do without books!

307coynedj
Ene 29, 9:22am

>306 Joshbooks1: Our tastes seem to be fairly similar. Of the favorites you listed, I've read and thoroughly enjoyed four (As a Man Grows Older, The Road, Life and Fate, Comrade Tulayev), have others on my TBR list, and was disappointed with only one - Stoner. I just couldn't get myself to care what that character thought or did.

308Joshbooks1
Ene 29, 6:40pm

I hear you on Stoner. I'm not sure if you've tried Butchers Crossing and especially Augustus which we also favorites of mine by Williams. Ugh a few months ago I just ordered like 20+ of theirs on sale so I have some reading to do. If you have any other recommendations by them I would love to give it a try - i've been on a slump the past couple of books.

309Lady19thC
Ene 29, 8:01pm

Doctor Zhivago....the latest edition with the 2 volumes. A bit beyond the halfway mark in the 2nd volume. Loving it even more this time than the last several times I have read this book. I really hope FS publishes even more Russian Lit. I am completely addicted!! Dead Souls would be nice!

310coynedj
Ene 30, 12:32am

>308 Joshbooks1: We must have bought from the same sale - I picked up 15 including Butcher's Crossing, adding to the 25 or 30 I already had. They've published a good number that the FS has also published, but of the others, I liked Fat City, Young Man With a Horn (I'm a jazz fan), The Wedding of Zein, An African in Greenland (just the title was enough for me!), and especially Kaputt. Others that I didn't really enjoy are The Siege of Krishnapur and Short Letter, Long Farewell.

311Retronaut78
Ene 31, 3:00pm

I'm reading Paradise Lost at the moment, not having read it since university, and although I remembered how Satan comes over as uncomfortably plausible and God less so (something our tutor warned us not to take too much away from!) and what Blake said about Milton writing in chains when he wrote of God because he was a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it, I'm still surprised at just how many imaginary arguments I've had in my head with Milton's God.

312Charon49
Feb 1, 5:08am

I am about to undertake starting The Three Kingdoms after getting my hands on the lovely folio edition.

313Jobasha
Feb 1, 6:09am

>312 Charon49:

You weren't the one who bought that ebay listing from Tasmania were you!?

Just missed it!

314Charon49
Feb 1, 6:49am

>313 Jobasha:

I’m not sure if it was from tassie but I got it on Aussie eBay today so most likely the same one I’m sorry. I’ve been looking for this one for a while so very happy to get it finally and for a decent price as I have seen some copies going for 450-500 pounds lately!

315LesMiserables
Feb 1, 7:42am

The Great Heresies by Hillaire Belloc.

Magnificent and prescient.

Written by a truly outstanding intellect.

316podaniel
Feb 1, 10:28am

>315 LesMiserables:

Stop that--I have The Great Heresies staring at me from my book shelf and now I need to add it to my TBR shelf (along with The Crusades).

317MillicentI
Feb 2, 5:13pm

I started 2021 with Great Expectations. Now I’m sucked into I Am Legend.

318whytewolf1
Feb 2, 6:21pm

Alternately working my way through the Annotated Lovecraft on Kindle (first time reading Lovecraft) and the Folio edition of The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey.

319affle
Feb 3, 7:41am

Inspired by watching 'The Dig' (Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan) about the finding and excavation of the great Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, I picked up the FS edition of James Campbell's The Anglo-Saxons, to consult if not read at this stage. Campbell has written a short essay, within the book, on Sutton Hoo. But the essay has led to a couple of chapters, and a lot of looking at Volume Two, the plates. As well as Campbell's appealing direct style, this is a really good piece of book-making by the FS. Only published less than three years ago, it has sold out, and I can see no copies for sale; one was sold at the end of last year for £240, double publication price.

320kcshankd
Feb 9, 9:23pm

Foliowise, have recently completed Eagle Against the Sun and Songlines.

Spector has written the best one volume account of the Pacific War I have come across, especially the intricacies between the different commands and characters in the theater.

I really enjoyed Songlines, but again Chatwin seems at his best telling someone else's stories. I would have rather heard more about his impressions of the NT than read his commonplace book.

Also enjoyed Wax Pack, in which a writer chases down the players from the baseball card pack he opened thirty years after the fact. At some points it was more memoirish than his 32 year old life justified, but the interviews with the old players were wonderful. It probably helped that this was the same year the 12 year-old me invested all my after school money into the same set of cards!

Finally, just re-read Kerouac's Lonesome Traveler for the first time in a long time. Remains my 2nd favorite behind Dharma Bums. Includes this dead-on passage:

'But oh so typical of seaman, that they never do anything - just go ashore with money in their pockets and amble around dully and even with a kind of uninterested sorrow, visitors from another world, a floating prison, in civilian clothes most uninteresting looking anyway.'

Damn Jack, that cuts close to the quick!

321RRCBS
Feb 11, 8:46am

Just had to put down History by Elsa Mornante. It’s an amazing book, but too dark for me right now. There are a few scenes that stay in my mind and are so disturbing even though I’ve read a lot of WWII books. My current trouble might be that I have a very young boy and had some health struggles (nothing too serious but hard for me nevertheless) and the boy brings my son to mind too much. Will definitely come back to it, it really is a powerful novel.

Started some Aickman stories last night. Thoroughly enjoying them and just the right type of story to keep me engaged but not depressed right now!

322Joshbooks1
Feb 11, 9:19am

>321 RRCBS: What a wonderful novel. I agree it is dark at times but worth it in the end. I always wonder why Morante never received more recognition. Was it because of gender? Being Italian? Maybe she's just not popular in the US? For History alone she should have won the Nobel but I've also read a few of her other books and they're great. Who knows.

323Joshbooks1
Feb 11, 9:37am

On a side note I've always wondered why Folio hasn't embraced more female literature in their canon. Sure we get the generic Austen, Bronte sisters, Eliot, some Woolf, but how about something different, and dare I say better (with exception of Woolf in my mind.) Lessing's The Golden Notebook, Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian, Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter, Morante's History, Szymborska's Poems, Gordimer, Morrison Muller, Munro, amongst others.

324LesMiserables
Feb 11, 3:41pm

Just finished

Lost in Thought : The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz.

325foxtrot345
Feb 11, 3:51pm

Finishing 3rd volume of Tolstoy’s Collected Stories (FS 2007)

326assemblyman
Feb 11, 4:20pm

In the middle of Of Mice and Men (Folio edition). First time reading it and I am really enjoying it so far. I have also been dipping in and out of Anton Chekhov Short Stories.

327whytewolf1
Feb 11, 5:43pm

Finishing up two short works: Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler on Kindle and Breakfast at Tiffany's in the Folio edition.

(Incidentally, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a bit pricey at $64.95 for such a slim volume, but the artwork is terrific, and overall, I find it to be just an exquisite little volume, so I'm quite pleased with the purchase.)

328Charon49
Feb 11, 7:08pm

Finishing The Yangtze Valley after being enabled in the last sale and it is an excellent insight into the setting and period full of fascinating details and excellent photos a real gem.

329Jeremy53
Editado: Feb 11, 9:55pm

After finally finishing Anna Karenina - I *really* loved the first third of this (amazing+), and the next two thirds had lots of great stuff but I felt it was less consistent and compelling (maybe my fault - likely), I'm now halfway through The Song of Achilles. Not loving it as much as Circe, but time will tell.

Next Folio read shaping up to be The Ascent of Man. Got this in a sale a couple of years ago and I really like the edition.

330coynedj
Feb 11, 11:14pm

>321 RRCBS: This isn't the first time I've heard great things about Morante's History, but it may be the one that pushes me to finally read it. It goes near the top of my TBR pile, though I must admit it's not at the very top. It'll make it's way there, eventually.

331emgcat
Feb 12, 6:21pm

I've just started reading A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (FS). Wow! What a wonderful book, so beautifully written. I'm hooked and will only be surfacing for cups of tea to keep me going...

332lethalmauve
Feb 13, 6:08am

Started Far From the Madding Crowd a day ago and I'm already halfway. Considering how much I hated Tess of the d'Urbervilles, I'm surprised by how much I ended up liking Far From the Madding Crowd so far.

333RRCBS
Feb 13, 7:03am

>330 coynedj: Definitely a weird recommendation to say I had to pause it, but it is definitely to the book’s credit. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

334RRCBS
Editado: Mar 1, 5:25am

Having gone on a Tartarus Press binge a few months ago, which was mainly Aickman, Machen and a few classics, I randomly decided to buy their January release, Ezra Slef: The Next Nobel Laureate by Andrew Komarnyckyj, even though the book was new and unknown.
Just finished it and loved it. Reminiscent of Pale Fire in some ways (though I think PF is definitely better mind you, probably one of my favourite 20th century books), it’s clever and funny. Would definitely recommend.

335Chemren
Mar 1, 9:39am

A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. This one would make a great complement to Folio's S.O.E.. It tells the story of Virginia Hall, one of S.O.E.'s initial agents in occupied France, who was instrumental in setting up the French Underground.

336LesMiserables
Mar 2, 6:18am

Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham.

337ASheppard
Mar 3, 6:11am

Hello. Here's my first posting on the group. I've just started to reread The Genius of James Thurber.

338foxtrot345
Mar 3, 8:57am

Finally getting to my red leather Democracy in America from 2002.

339whytewolf1
Mar 3, 12:35pm

Reading Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry after seeing the 1961 film adaptation for the first time. Also, re-reading Neuromancer for the first time since I first read it in 1988!

340coynedj
Mar 14, 11:51pm

Recently (more or less) completed:

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. A thousand pages was too much - it would have made for a terrific 600-page book. The middle dragged, but by the end it became quite a page-turner. I don't regret reading it at all, I just wish it had been edited down to a reasonable length, which I don't think would have resulted in excessive loss.

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe, by Steven Strogatz. I quite like books about mathematics, especially ones that illuminate their subject without relying too heavily on formulas - explanations stick better in the mind. This fit the bill.

American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins. Ignore the drummed-up controversy. This was a gripping read and well worth my time.

I'm past the half-way point in Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World, by Tom Holland. Superb so far; I'm expecting this to land on my "best reads of 2021" list.

341whytewolf1
Mar 15, 12:30am

In the midst of reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy which is a challenging book on a number of levels but which I am enjoying. I've previously read McCarthy's The Road and No Country for Old Men, both of which I enjoyed a great deal. Blood Meridian is a significantly less accessible book, and I wouldn't recommend it for someone interested in trying his work for the first time.

342jeremyjm
Mar 15, 1:26am

>341 whytewolf1: - I don't disagree, but do think it's a book worth tackling. There is a good Yale lecture series available on YouTube that includes a course on American novels post 1954 by Prof. Amy Hungerford. If features two lectures on 'Blood Meridian' that I found worthwhile. I'd watched it a few weeks back and seems to be on folks radar at the moment (even though the series is a decade+ old now). I saw Christopher Brown mention it in his weekly 'field notes' this week.

343whytewolf1
Mar 15, 3:38am

>342 jeremyjm: Yes, good mention. I'm familiar with the lecture series, and I look forward to watching the lectures on Blood Meridian once I'm finished. And I do agree that it's a worthwhile read (I'm just over halfway through), as there's an astonishing depth and complexity to the prose. I certainly wasn't trying to put anyone off of reading it, just trying to be forthright about it not being an easy read. Also, I'd still probably recommend The Road, rather than Blood Meridian, for someone wanting to try McCarthy for the first time.

344RRCBS
Mar 29, 5:24am

I’ve been working my way through Sir Walter Scott’s less popular books (many rereads) for the past few weeks and loving it. Learning a lot about the kind of collector I am too, as I’m really enjoying the simple reading experience of my Edinburgh University Press editions, which are a lot like Everyman’s Library in look and feel.

345L.Bloom
Mar 29, 6:11am

A Promised Land by Pres. Obama. Whatever your politics, the man can write and his depictions of what life in the White House is like are very candid.

346assemblyman
Mar 29, 7:27am

I recently finished The Left Hand of Darkness which I have read before. Great read but then I am a Le Guin fan in general. I think the Folio Le Guin editions are really lovely. I am currently a hundred pages into Anna Karenina (the Folio edition with the Maude translation). Its my first time reading it and I have to say I am really enjoying it. I have read Tolstoy before with War and Peace years ago and to be honest it did not leave a lasting impression on me. I could not tell you what translation it was which may have been one factor and my reading tastes have changed since then could be the other. I think I might give it another go later in the year if my impression of Anna Karenina is the same by the time I finish it.

347Joshbooks1
Mar 29, 8:50am

>346 assemblyman: I consider War and Peace a tad overrated. Some parts are good but it's a bit too preachy, drags on for far too long and his repeated narrative of Napoleon's success as simply luck is absurd and tiresome. I think its a worthwhile book but enjoyed Anna Karenina more. I always view Tolstoy and his earlier works a step up from Dickens but what makes him one of the greats is his last novel, Resurrection, short stories, and religious treatises. I don't consider myself religious but Tolstoy is the only author who has made me question and delve further into faith.

348coynedj
Editado: Mar 29, 4:37pm

I finished Dominion, and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk. The latter was quite good but in my opinion not quite up to her previous book, Flights; the former I've mentioned before as being excellent.

I just started Circe, by Madeline Miller, and Arguing With Zombies, by Paul Krugman. I'm only a few pages into each, so I haven't formed any opinions on them yet.

349adriano77
Mar 29, 9:46am

Wodehouse's Jeeves in the Offing. Sadly, I'm nearly finished the series.

Blandings seems quite popular, does it stand up to Wooster's antics?

350DCBlack
Mar 29, 10:55am

>349 adriano77: definitely, IMO. Highly recommend 'Pigs Have Wings' and the short story "Crime Wave at Blandings", and many other hilarious stories in the Blandings series.

351assemblyman
Mar 29, 12:19pm

>347 Joshbooks1: I will see if I share your views on War and Peace once I finish it. His short stories are on my TBR pile though I will now also include Resurrection to my ever growing list.

352CarltonC
Mar 29, 3:28pm

>349 adriano77: I would second >350 DCBlack: ‘s commendation, although my favourite of the Blanding books is Uncle Fred in the Springtime, with Leave it to Psmith close behind.
Currently reading The Stones of Venice in the gorgeous FS abridgement, with lovely thick paper and a wonderful introduction by Jan Morris.

353red_guy
Mar 29, 4:43pm

I am just about up to Chapter 11 of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, and am an instant total convert to The Cause and will gladly join any picket outside the Folio offices to bring this beautiful work to Devotees!

I also read Max Porter's The Death of Francis Bacon, which while not as approachable as Lanny (you have to know a little about Bacon and his life) is still very striking.

354coynedj
Mar 29, 5:08pm

>353 red_guy: Just wait 'til you get to the finish!

355whytewolf1
Mar 29, 5:23pm

>345 L.Bloom: Listened to that on audio recently and really loved it.

Just finished reading an excellent classic noir novel Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes. I was very impressed. The story is engaging almost from the get-go, and the novel has substantial literary merit, as well. I will definitely be reading more of her books.

As an aside, if you enjoy the types of classic mysteries that Folio publishes but feel they don't publish enough of them, I'd suggest checking out publisher Otto Penzler's series American Mystery Classics. That's how I discovered the novel mentioned above.

https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/collections/american-mystery-classics

356LesMiserables
Mar 29, 6:45pm

Finished Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham.

Anyone else read this and think it as bordering on brilliant?

357Mr.Fox
Mar 29, 7:37pm

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

358coynedj
Mar 29, 11:31pm

I'm posting like crazy here, but I just talked with my son who told me he's reading the Iliad. I guess I may have raised him well after all - this is my son, in whom I am well pleased. His sister, though.....

359LesMiserables
Mar 30, 4:32am

Yes my oldest son read the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Les Miserables, Gilgamesh and many more when he was 14-15 years old.
Better than me!

360wcarter
Mar 30, 4:50am

I first read the Iliad when I had a holiday job as a sheet metal worker when I was 17. My job was to punch holes in pieces of metal. I propped the book up on the machine and read the book as I automatically fed the metal plates through it (there was a safety finger guard). The other workers were amazed that I could read and work, so called me "Prof". Hve re=read it several times since.

361LesMiserables
Mar 30, 7:48am

Nice anecdote Warwick. I've read it twice but due another read.

362coynedj
Mar 30, 8:29am

I'll trot out my other story of him - he read Moby Dick during the summer between first and second grades. But in the years since he's spent more time with video games and science fiction, and I was happy to hear that he was swinging back to the real stuff.

363Joshbooks1
Mar 30, 9:07am

>353 red_guy: Ebenezer Le Page is a fantastic read. I probably push the publishing company too much but it's the first NYRB title I read and it's bar none the best publishing company for world literature. I am halfway through one of their newer titles, Temptation, by János Székely and currently it's one of the best books I've read in years. Whoever compiles and chooses the titles for the company is brilliant.


>356 LesMiserables: I loved The Razor's Edge and Of Human Bondage. A lot of his other books and short stories I never found the same liking as those two novels but what a great author.

364EdmundRodriguez
Mar 31, 2:23pm

Just finished The Third Policeman. Enjoyed it.
The FS edition is a lovely little production.

365assemblyman
Mar 31, 5:10pm

>364 EdmundRodriguez: I agree. One of my favourites. Folio really did a great job with with it. I wish they would do more Flann O’Brien.

366N11284
Mar 31, 6:07pm

> 365

At Swim Two Birds would be a nice follow up.

367CJR93
Mar 31, 8:50pm

Working my way through Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha novels. I’ve finished The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying and Sanctuary.

I’m now reading Flags in the Dust. It may be the funniest Faulkner I’ve ever read...

368red_guy
Abr 1, 7:10am

>363 Joshbooks1: The mention of Ebenezer here made me register it, and then listening to an episode of the sublime Backlisted ( https://www.backlisted.fm/index ) recorded in a hall on Guernsey with the audience singing along to 'Ebeneezer Goode' at the end of it (!) made it a must read.
Anyone who hasn't come across Backlisted should investigate, BTW - such a great resource for the discussion and promulgation of old books.

369Lady19thC
Abr 1, 5:57pm

Just finished The Real Beatrix Potter, by Nadia Cohen. Very good, and sad. She had a hard life with her parents and desire for freedom of choice.

Presently reading Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Vernes, and loving it so far!!

370Mr.Fox
Abr 1, 6:01pm

Currently reading You Only Live Twice with The Road up next.

371robertbruceferguson
Abr 1, 6:22pm

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, it's fascinating look into the history of Australia thru the eyes of the first European settlers.

372whytewolf1
Abr 1, 9:57pm

I'm wending my way through Lovecraft for the first time this year. Currently in the midst of reading his novella The Whisperer in the Dark. Next up, is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

373LesMiserables
Abr 2, 3:01am

>371 robertbruceferguson: Read with a dose of salt and some scepticism.

374EdmundRodriguez
Abr 3, 12:11pm

Just finished the folio edition of the murder of Roger Ackroyd. First Agatha Christie novel I've read and thought it was pretty good. Nice edition too, would like to pick up "And then there were none" but doesn't seem available, fingers crossed for a reprint...

375LesMiserables
Abr 4, 2:58am

Okay big claim here but I've just read one of the most profoundly important, authentic and inspirational books in my life to date...

The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods - A.G. Sertillanges O.P.

376kermaier
Abr 6, 1:23am

Re-reading Beowulf (Heaney, 2010) while binge-watching Vikings.

377stumc
Abr 6, 5:21pm

FS edition of The Mauritius Command by Patrick Obrian

378kcshankd
Abr 7, 8:49pm

Masked up and browsed a new (to me) bookstore in a new (to me) town relatively close-by.

The little corner displays were obviously well curated, and I walked away with Going After Cacciato and and new (to me) version of the Tao Te Ching presented by Ursula Le Guin.

From FS I recently finished Kavalier and Clay - wow, what a ride. Took several turns I didn't expect, which is always welcome.

Also added a copy of The Hill We Climb, the Biden inaugural poem from January. Brought tears to my eyes live, and fantastic to hold in my hands the explication of the ideals I believe my country can embody.

379thisGuy33
Abr 7, 9:58pm

>378 kcshankd: I absolutely love Kav and Clay. Started with the EP signed edition ... then grabbed a copy of the FS version ... such an amazing title and modern writer!!!

380kcshankd
Abr 7, 11:46pm

>379 thisGuy33:

The only other Chabon I've read is Moonglow, which to be honest I enjoyed more as it was of 'my' world & experience moreso than the world of K & C.

381whytewolf1
Abr 8, 3:25pm

>379 thisGuy33: Okay, you and >378 kcshankd: are forcing me to move Kav & Clay up on my TBR list. I purchased that very cool Folio edition during the spring sale, and if I like the book as much as I expect to, I will likely follow your lead thisGuy33 and will purchase a signed Easton edition, as well.

382JedediahG
Abr 9, 9:48am

>373 LesMiserables: Just out of curiosity, what should one be skeptical about when reading it? (I haven’t read it yet but I just read the FS edition of Empire by Niall Ferguson and I’ve thought about delving a bit deeper into the history of specific areas of the empire.)

383thisGuy33
Editado: Abr 9, 3:04pm

>381 whytewolf1: Glad I can help enable. lol

So my situation with Kav & Clay is a bit strange. I work in several different aspects of entertainment field. One is design and development of theme parks. One day I was talking with one of the writers from one of our projects ... and I said ... 'I love and can't get enough of Dickens and the way he writes ... are there any modern writers who have a similar style?'.

Without hesitation he walked to his desk and gave me his paperback copy of Kav & Clay. Then proceeded to explain why he thinks I would enjoy it.

I read a bit of it and immediately searched out my EP copy to purchase on ebay (at the time I was only really looking at EP books ... not yet really discovering the wonder of FS).

Then a year later I found the FS version and absolutely loved the design. I sat on the fence a while in purchasing it cuz I had already spend about $300 - $400 on my EP (ebay aftermarket prices ... gotta love 'em) but finally pulled the trigger (if there is a book I love to re-read over and over at least once a year, I often enjoy having several nice/different versions of it).

Long story long ... The 'bit strange part' of my relationship with this title is ... I have never read the whole thing.

lol

I have made it thru a third of the book ... then got distracted with work stuff or just one of my many other hobbies (guitar, woodworking, 3d printing/painting/airbrushing, tennis ... I'm all over the place ... don't judge me ... just living my best life ever ... hahaha).

So every few months I pick it up again and start over ... and get thru a little more or a little less then somehow get distracted again ... maybe by another title I start reading. But I ABSOLUTELY LOVE ever word I 're-read' of Kav & Clay.

In a weird way I think my assessment as to why I allow myself to continually get distracted to a point that I never get thru reading the book is ... I like Chabon's writing so much ... that I don't want it to end. Doesn't make sense but that's what I'm sticking with. Hahaha

So >381 whytewolf1: enjoy reading! Don't get stuck in my weird matrix loop!

384thisGuy33
Abr 9, 3:04pm

>380 kcshankd: Moonglow added to my list! thank you!

385LesMiserables
Abr 9, 4:29pm

>382 JedediahG:

Only to say that I would be cautious reading anything from him.

He was a notorious demolition critic with an axe to grind and was well known for his ad hominem attacks.

He was unashamedly hyper critical of Australian Conservatism.

But his real bias and vitriol was reserved for religion especially Catholics and Jews. The former more so which is often the case from cradle Catholics.

His hatchet job on everything British speaks for itself.

I don't think I would be going too far by saying that he built his reputation through notoriety.

386kcshankd
Abr 9, 10:48pm

>383 thisGuy33:

Working on theme parks may be appropriate, as the novel takes some turns and plunges after the first third!

387JedediahG
Abr 9, 10:51pm

>385 LesMiserables: Ah, good to know. Thanks for the heads up!

388Quicksilver66
Abr 10, 3:42am

I have been reading the excellent FS edition of A Man on the Moon. I had been hoping for a few years or so that this book would be Folioised and they’ve done a great job. Anyone on the shelf about this book should get it on their shelf.

389LesMiserables
Abr 10, 6:23am

This week, Sunday through Saturday I read the Psalms according to their hours: matins to compline.

Reading all 150 psalms during a week was a beautiful experience.

390Cat_of_Ulthar
Editado: Abr 10, 7:12am

Talking, as we were elsewhere and elsewhen, of actually reading our Folio volumes, I have recently finished Folio's edition of Starship Troopers and am approaching the end of the FS Strangers in a Strange Land.

Difficult to sum them up succinctly because Heinlen covers a lot of ground, especially in Strangers. Politics, economics, religion, sexuality, language, militarism - they're all in the mix. There is some technobabble but I can't say it's any more confusing than trying to get to grips with Shakespeare or Le Morte d'Arthur. Or, indeed, your average human trying to make sense of a typical medical research paper.

I had somehow missed out on Heinlen back when I was a teenager reading lots of Asimov, Clarke, etc., but Folio's editions tempted me in and I'm glad they did. :-)

391Quicksilver66
Abr 10, 7:17am

>390 Cat_of_Ulthar: Heinlein is a bit of a mixed bag. His later novels were self-indulgent and rambling. The earlier books were more adventure driven and rattling good reads. My favourite is the Door into Summer. Well worth tracking down.

392LesMiserables
Abr 10, 7:54am

>390 Cat_of_Ulthar: Are you referring specifically to Folio Books and this thread(s)?

I believe that this was a non exclusive discussion about anything one is reading.

Apologies if I have misunderstood the intent of your post.

393Quicksilver66
Abr 10, 8:33am

>392 LesMiserables: I think the thread is about anything you are reading. Always interesting to hear people’s thoughts and recommendations.

394Cat_of_Ulthar
Abr 10, 9:29am

>392 LesMiserables:

I was referring primarily to what I have been reading recently. I alluded in passing to the thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/330631#unread (Do you read your books?) but I wasn't trying to be cryptic.

Sorry for any confusion.

395coffeewithastraw
Abr 10, 12:58pm

Reading FS Sophie’s World which I had been eyeing for a while and am enjoying the philosophy review as well as the story so far. The quality of the book is adding to it and I love how the print is two colors to differentiate things. A good value as a standard edition.

396LolaWalser
Abr 10, 1:27pm

>387 JedediahG:

Getting a second opinion wouldn't be amiss. Some people's "up" is where other people situate their "down".

I haven't read his books on topics other than art (except for the polemical and, ironically, rather "right wing" Culture of complaint) so can't help with that title specifically. But I do know that Robert Hughes was a brilliant art critic and an uncommonly gifted writer whom no one can reasonably dismiss as this individual tried to. As for criticising Australian conservatism "unashamedly", LOL!--considering the makeup and effects of that tradition, all the shame is on the side that endorses it.

397cronshaw
Editado: Abr 10, 2:35pm

>371 robertbruceferguson: >387 JedediahG: I loved 'The Fatal Shore' by Robert Hughes. So much so I've read it twice now. It's phenomenally well researched, I learned a lot from it. The Folio Society edition is beautifully illustrated and presented to boot.

398cronshaw
Editado: Abr 10, 2:40pm

Am currently reading The Complete Stories of Philip K. Dick, in Folio of course...

I don't at all regret this LE purchase, though it took me a while to take to it on the Folio website, and though I'm still massaging the pang of guilt that always pricks me when I spend quite so much on a single edition. I love the whole presentation, particularly the fluorescent all-round text block edges, they provide a strikingly effective, surreal sci-fi ambience while you're reading. I'm a bigger fan of Dick than ever now. The illustrations are superb too, I only wish there were more of them.

Edited to add: I've just noticed that inside the top of the box, within the seemingly random arrangement of hundreds of tiny blue, pink and yellow squares, is hidden 'F O L I O S'.

399Cat_of_Ulthar
Editado: Abr 10, 3:27pm

>398 cronshaw:

I concur, it is a very impressive package.

Yes, it is a lot of money, £100 more than the Book of the New Sun LE, but the PKD gives you more than twice as many story pages and weighs nearly twice as much. It also offers six illustrations per volume whereas the BotNS only had five per volume. That seems reasonable to me. Others might disagree.

I hadn't spotted the hidden 'F O L I O S' yet.* I had wondered if the box lining might be a nod to Conway's Game of Life (https://playgameoflife.com/) although I don't know if anyone has made a four-colour version of that.

*I wonder if they have hidden a 'F N O R D' in somewhere - It's not actually from PKD but it would be quite appropriate.

Edit: I haven't spotted a 'F N O R D' (yet) but I have spied a 'L A B O C A' :-)

400kcshankd
Editado: Abr 18, 11:15pm

Finished Going After Cacciato mentioned >378 kcshankd:

It won a National Book Award when published, but before my time.

This is an extraordinary novel, building upon the idea that US grunts in South Viet Nam would cover enough ground while patrolling to reach Paris. O'Brien takes this seriously in a magically realistic way, following a squad on a imagined march to Paris.

Though it predates it by a few decades, it reminded me of The Underground Railroad in taking it's metaphors literally.

401laotzu225
Abr 18, 11:21pm

>60 bookish_elf: Incomparable.

402rdentrekin
Editado: Abr 19, 1:34pm

Empires of the Nile-FS, slow with an abundance of archaeological detail. We-Zamyatin-FS, The Iron Heel-Jack London-EP. Pliny: A Self Portrait-FS & Dickens London-FS, both are my can’t get to sleep go to’s. I just finished Keay's "Sowing The Wind."

403ASheppard
Abr 20, 2:00pm

Starting on W. Somerset Maugham Of Human Bondage. I've not read any of his work to date. Also, my interest was piqued to discover that a film based on the book was made with Bette Davis & Leslie Howard. Could be a very good week ahead!



404RRCBS
Ago 3, 9:13am

An eclectic mix of fantasy and classics lately:

Book of the New Sun (reread)
The Legend of the Wars of Montrose - Sir Walter Scott
The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson (in progress)

Next up - another SWS The Pirate

Thoroughly enjoyed/enjoying them all. Very happy with my SWS lesser known novels.

405jsg1976
Editado: Ago 3, 10:19am

I’m re-reading two books at the moment, to refresh my memory before I see the new shows/movie. I’m re-reading the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, though for the first time in the FS version, which is lovely, before I go see the new film, about which I hear very good things. And I’m re-reading the first book of the Wheel of Time before the new show comes out in November. After these, a re-read of Dune, though the first time in the FS version, before the new movie comes out (hopefully) in October

406Lady19thC
Ago 3, 3:48pm

Recently finished The Bear and The Nightingale, by Katherine Arden, the first in a trilogy, which I am loving!

Presently doing a fun reread of Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, FS 2017 ed.
(in spite of having several complete collections of his works, I really wish they had continued this one)

Also some Icelandic Fairytales!

407coynedj
Ago 3, 5:32pm

Been spending a lot of time reading, and watching the Olympics.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (FS) - like jsg1976, I wanted to re-read this before seeing the movie. A great edition, fun to read, and now I'm wondering just how they'll handle some of the items in the movie.

Writers and Lovers (Lily King) - quite enjoyable. Not a classic for the ages, but there was something in it (I won't say what) that is rare in novels these days and I was very happy to see.

Y: The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughan) - I don't read many graphic novels, but this was very good.

How to Prepare for Climate Change (David Pogue) - I wish this wasn't necessary, but it is.

A Children's Bible (Lydia Millet) - had one big out-of-the-blue problem resolution, but otherwise enjoyable. It's a "the adults become the children, and the children become the adults" book, if you like or dislike those types of things.

Inge's War: A German Woman's Story of Family, Secrets, and Survival Under Hitler (Svenja O'Donnell) - good but not as engaging as I had hoped for. Maybe I've just read too many similar stories.

Currently Reading:

Homeland Elegies (Ayad Akhtar) - just started it, so I can't comment on it.

The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous (Joseph Patrick Henrich) - the book I've looked for. I've read other books addressing the same question, but this one (so far) explains things much better than the rest.

408boldface
Ago 3, 7:06pm

Having recently seen the 1953 film of 'The Heart of the Matter', starring Trevor Howard, Elizabeth Allen, Denholm Elliot, Maria Schell, Peter Finch, etc., I'm now reading the eponymous 1948 Graham Greene novel. Greene is a master of the concise and telling detail, sometimes given in a throw-away line, which perfectly underpins the mood of his story.

409DCBlack
Ago 4, 8:29am

William Scoresby Jr.: Memorials of the Sea - My Father. A short but fascinating memoir of his father's successful career as a mate and eventually captain in the Greenland whale fishery, hunting whales in the vicinity of the ice above the arctic circle.

If the rest of the "Memorials" series is as interesting as this, I would love to see a Folio combined edition in a single volume.

410Forthwith
Ago 4, 4:35pm

I have just read The Man Who Lived Underground written by Richard Wright. This was just published for the first time by the Library of America. It was written in 1942. A much briefer version was published much earlier as a short story. This full version also has a non-fiction essay "Memories of My Grandmother" that the writer wanted to be published along with the novel.

In a way, I was reading into it "The Road" along with a dash of Kafka or even, yes, a touch of Dante.

If you are willing to let an author lead you into his world, this could enlarge yours.

411CJR93
Editado: Ago 4, 5:03pm

I’m nearing the end of “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”.
After enjoying “Dubliners” I jumped into his next book. A copy of the 2004 LE edition of “Ulysses” is on its way in the mail.

I’m also reading “The Red and the Black” by Stendhal.
I believe it was on a podcast that I heard that Leo Tolstoy was somewhat influenced by this novel. I’m really liking the story so far. It has also been interesting to see the similarities between Julien Sorel in this book and Stephen Dedalus from “Portrait”.

Finally, I dip into “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain”
by George Saunders now and then. A nice classic Russian short story and his analysis.