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What book are you reading atm?? CHAPTER TWO

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,218 ✭✭✭bullpost


    Loaded. The Life (and Afterlife) of The Velvet Underground. Author. Dylan Jones.

    Hugely influential band who made four albums none of which charted at the time. Didnt realise their influence on The Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page .



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,373 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    Latest reads:

    Wellness by Nathan Hill: One of those big Johnathan Franzen type novels about all kinds of everything and contemporary American life, as seen through the eyes of a couple, Jack & Elizabeth, struggling their way through their ostensibly successful upper middle-class life. We see their formative years, the flushes of first romance and idealism and the eventual bone crushing, vitality crushing realities of ordinary life: getting a job, finding somewhere to live, getting older, having a child, losing the spark. Tbh, the book is a bit of a downer, but it is also pretty good, borderline great even. It's particularly good at evoking the bewildered state we're all in currently - deluged by information and data, unable to know what's objective reality, the incessant demands of capital, how every last moment of our lives is being increasingly technologized and we're all so fcking estranged from each other: God help us! There's a thirty-page segment of the book dealing with Jack's father's descent into Internet addiction that's absolutely amazing in its plausibility and terrifying in its matter of factness about the cold logical mechanics behind the attention economy. One of the better contemporary novels I've read in a good long while.

    Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan: A bit of a curious mix of a whodunnit and a kitchen sink type warts and portrayal of a damaged family in damaged circumstances. The heart of the novel about the fallout from a teenage pregnancy on a family in eighties Ireland is very well done and emotionally devastating. She's obviously a good writer - with nice poetic touches, a deep empathy for her characters and a healthy dose of realistic cynicism, but the framing narrative of a mystery that needs solving feels a bit tacked on and superfluous. The novel as a whole is a bit padded out, but pretty good as an exploration of warped family dynamics.

    Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar - a suicidal alcoholic Iranian American poet decides to make something of his life by engaging on a project about the concept of Martyrdom, as an attempt to deal with the trauma of losing his mother in a plane crash at a young age… Some of this I liked. The descriptions of being completely down and out and at your wit’s end felt painfully real and the fact that the author is coming from a totally different frame of reference and historical background gives the novel a unique flavouring to what I'd usually read: he's a hyper literate culturally informed urbanite, but one whose head filled with the myths and legends of Iran and Islam. But, overall, the whole narrative was a bit half-baked and the central conceit of the thing wasn't fleshed out enough for me to sufficiently care enough.

    The Years by Annie Ernaux - Annie Ernaux is fcking amazing. Like all of her stuff that I have read, this book - you couldn't really call it a memoir or a novel - is part biography, part social history. Basically, an account of growing up in France from the 1940's to roughly the modern day. It's at once highly subjective - focusing a lot on the direct sensory experience of things: the taste, the look, the smell of the times - and also at the same time purposely depersonalised - using the direct experience of one individual as representative of the wider social effects and changes of a given time on a society as whole. Ernaux is so amazing because she has this ability to be simultaneously inside and outside of things at once. She can describe how something felt with such unvarnished specificity that you'll wince reading it and yet she’ll always have this overall authorial position of seeing things from a sky-high perspective and how everything, no matter how individual and personal, fits into the wider maelstrom of social forces and change, that are usually inexplicable to those living through it all. And not one sentence that she writes doesn't ring true. I could go on, but these little reviews are already pretty indulgent as it is - I simply can't recommend her enough.

    In Ascension by Martin MacInnes - I don't usually read sci-fi. But this had got some pretty alright reviews, so I thought I'd give it a go. Long story short - an exploration of what it means to be human etc, etc - based around a story about a trip to an asteroid that may or may not contain the secrets to the origin of life. This one is a rare one for me: a did not finish. I usually plod on, no matter what. But I got about halfway through this and I realised I was reading page after page and not remotely giving a shyte about the nitty gritty details about how to prepare for interstellar travel or the intricates of molecular life, written in pretty leaden prose - so I just gave up. Some sci-fi fans might love it, but it just wasn't for me.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,476 ✭✭✭An Ri rua


    Invisibility, by Steve Richards.

    Some eye-opening, pardon the pun, material therein about sight / perception / seeing / being seen. Esoteric, not tax avoidance, so you're either susceptible to its charms or not. I care not either way.

    Also 'Buying a House in Ireland' by Terry Gorry. Terry is a Youtube friendly pragmatic late vocation solicitor. A rare thing and well worth consuming.

    Also revisiting Kinship with all Life by J. Allen Boone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,476 ✭✭✭An Ri rua


    @Arghus

    Very appreciative of the effort put into these reviews. Thank you.

    It takes guts and being truly awake (or awakening) to pull the plug on a book or a film. Thankfully another plus of getting older. Discernment increases.

    Watched the Northman until 20 minutes from the end and realised it wasn't post midnight fatigue but boredom I was feeling. I líoned the bearnaí and caught some Zs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,476 ✭✭✭An Ri rua


    You're perfectly placed to transition from a Simon Harris adviser to a Mary Lou adviser when, God forbid, we go from froying pan into ready aim fire...



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,808 ✭✭✭silliussoddius


    Dune, it's easier to read than I thought but I can tell there is going to be a lot to digest.



  • Registered Users Posts: 43,311 ✭✭✭✭K-9


    2 books I read recently by Rachel Donohue;

    Temple House Vanishing and the Beauty of Impossible Things. Enjoyed both, quite haunting and sad.

    Mad Men's Don Draper : What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons.



  • Registered Users Posts: 43,311 ✭✭✭✭K-9


    Also re-read Starter for Ten by David Nicholls, In Cold Blood by Capote and Brighton Rock by Graham Greene because......well, why not. Nicholls just nails college life, feeling out of your depth and/or league and the big decisions in student life, like what albums, posters and books to have in your room to impress the girl you fancy. Hilarious.

    86 years after publication and 20 years after first reading it, Pinkie in Brighton Rock still scares the **** out of me!

    Mad Men's Don Draper : What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,809 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost


    I’m currently reading “No hurry in Africa”by Brendan Clerkin.
    Got it in the charity shop. It’s a good read so far. Nice bit of wit in it.
    Tells the story of an Irish lad out of college and doing a year’s voluntary work in Africa.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,033 ✭✭✭BraveDonut


    I'm about 75% into Year of the Locust - around 600 pages.
    It started well but has descended into an absolute pile of unbelievable shite!
    Did he have a stroke during the writing?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,370 ✭✭✭✭Tauriel


    Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

    Only 550 pages into the first of this trilogy. Work is so hectic at the moment that it's been a very stop/start kind of read. I'm hoping to get through a nice chunk on Friday/Saturday as I travel on the Aircoach. But it is very interesting, I just would prefer not to read it over such a prolonged period with many long gaps in-between.



  • Registered Users Posts: 43,311 ✭✭✭✭K-9


    I couldn't see what the fuss was about with I am Pilgrim either. I wouldn't be that fussy but my God, that was poor writing.

    Ran into bad guy, beat him up, onto next bad guy, killed him, rinse and repeat

    Mad Men's Don Draper : What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons.



  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    If there's a series of books I could wipe from my brain so I can start it and enjoy it all again fresh, the Robin Hobb books is it.



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 12,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee


    I read a few of her books a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. I must go back and see where I left off, I've read The Fitz and the Fool series and the Farseer trilogy as far as I can remember. They are epic reads in every way!



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 12,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee


    Oh and currently reading 'I Found You' by Lisa Jewell, I only discovered Lisa's books last year and love them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 30,370 ✭✭✭✭Tauriel


    The Farseer trilogy was my introduction to her. Picked up Assassin's Apprentice for something like 1 or 2 euro on Book Depository and was hooked. The Liveship Trilogy will be my second outing.



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 12,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee


    Yeah I think I was at a bit of a loss as to which collection to read next. Also I can't read them too close together, I have to break them up with other books in between. I'm a bit like that with all collections, not just these.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,464 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    I'm currently reading Habitat by Caitriona Shine. It's reminding me a bit of Stephen King's original treatment for Under the Dome, only not as interesting. Taking too long to get going, imo.

    After that it's The Bee Sting by Paul Murray. Have very mixed feelings about this, I couldn't finish Skippy Dies so I'm really hoping his writing has improved since then.



  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭AMTE_21


    Finished Michael Connolly’s Nine Dragons. I got it from a relative when I was running out of library books and started it, then realised I’d read it before, but couldn’t remember how it ended so continued with it. Set in LA and Hong Kong around the murder of a Chinese store owner. The usual red herrings and theories you get with his books, but enjoyed it. The Lincoln Lawyer comes into it at the end. Can’t resist a Michael Connolly book.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,830 ✭✭✭Ceist_Beag


    For those who like collections, I can recommend the Ken Follett series that began with The Pillars of the Earth. I'm currently reading the latest in the series, The Armour of Light. I would state that they do become a little bit formulaic and predictable. The characters in the latest book are remarkably similar to characters in the earlier books (which are set 700 odd years earlier!). However with that said, he does know how to write a yarn and each book is very readable and enjoyable. What I love most about these is how he weaves historical fact into the fiction and informs the user along the way. The latest book is set around the turn of the 19th century and refers to Bonaparte's rise, the wars around Europe and also how laws in England were formed to protect the business owners and how the poor reacted.

    Post edited by Ceist_Beag on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,398 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    The greatest of These Francis McManus I picked it up in a second-hand book shop it is excellent and hasn't dated at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,573 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx


    Im reading nothing until I get proper reading glasses , but I’m after ordering an ‘acceptable’ copy of Karl Spindlers book , he was the captain of the SS Libeau ( disguised as the Aud in 1916 . He scuttled it in Cork harbour and moved to the US after wwi



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,367 ✭✭✭nigeldaniel


    Reading 5 evenings a week, The Ghostlight, by Kenneth Oppel. Think of the 'old schoool' horror flick The Fog.

    Dan.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,582 ✭✭✭✭EmmetSpiceland


    “It is not blood that makes you Irish but a willingness to be part of the Irish nation” - Thomas Davis



  • Registered Users Posts: 31,824 ✭✭✭✭Mars Bar


    The liveship traders took me a bit to get in to and some the characters need a slap but Malta's character development is the best I've ever read to be honest.



  • Registered Users Posts: 30,370 ✭✭✭✭Tauriel


    She's a pain, I'd love to give her slap and throw her father overboard Vivacia 🤣



  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Regional East Moderators, Regional North West Moderators Posts: 12,066 Mod ✭✭✭✭miamee


    About to start reading The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson, I've already read the other two in the series (The Darkness and The Island) but have read them completely out of order.



  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭Tigerbaby


    During a chronic episode of hip pain that has been lasting forever, I was forced to stay in the leaba.

    During that wonderful time, the only book within arm's length was The Year of the Locust.

    By the time I finished it ( with neither mobility nor choice being an option) I am sure that my head hurt worse than my hip.

    Exponentially worse than dire.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy


    Wait til ya finish the last 25%.

    Don't think I've ever read a book that veers so far from one category to an entirely different one. Was really enjoying it up to just after halfway too.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭AMTE_21


    Hawk Mountain by Conner Habib. This was a disturbing book, for me, anyway. It was about a man, a teacher with a young son. He was bullied as a teenager in school, especially in his last year when a new boy joins the school. Then, one day, out of the blue, he turns up and makes himself at home. He says he has left his wife and has nowhere to go. The kid really likes him and he manipulates him against the father. In the meantime, Todd’s wife, who left after the baby was born , 7 years before, is back and wants custody of the boy. Naturally it all ends horribly. I finished it as I had to know how it ended, but I found it an uncomfortable read. Maybe that proves the writing was good.



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