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What book are you reading atm?? CHAPTER TWO

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,686 ✭✭✭Danger781


    I'm currently listening to "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson, narrated by Robertson Dean.

    From what I remember of the movie adaption it's like comparing apples and oranges. These are two completely different stories.

    ---

    I am reading "god is not Great: How religion poisons everything" by Christopher Hitchens. This isn't meeting my expectations. I expected thought-provoking infallible arguments and this is not really what much of the book presents. It's more of a tirade.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,794 ✭✭✭Aongus Von Bismarck


    I'm reading Protestant and Irish: The Minority's Search for Place in Independent Ireland.

    It's academic in style, and could have done with some editing to move it away from the PhD thesis from which it came, but there's a lot to ponder in the work. It explores how the sizeable CoI minority in places like Dublin, Cork, and Monaghan found a context in the Irish Free State. What I like about it, is that it throws a spotlight on the stories on the working class Protestants of Dublin - a narrative that hasn't been adequately explored before. Their stories of loss, emigration, and deprivation are very worthy of more research.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    py2006 wrote: »
    Audio books is cheating! :P

    I can listen to non-fiction audio books. What's most important for me with non-fiction is absorbing the information. I prefer to read it, rather than listen to it, but I can listen to it.

    I prefer not to listen to audio books for fiction. I don't think you get that same sense of what the book is. For me, how the book says what it has to say is just as important as what it has to say. I don't think you get that same experience if you listen to someone narrate it.

    But, whatever works for people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    The last paper and Ink book I finished was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

    It is what it says on the tin - A look at the lives of five very unfortunate women. The historical research is very impressive and skillfully woven into a very readable whole. The book paints a very comprehensive picture of the misery and wretchedness of ordinary life for most people in the Victorian England of that time. Basically, you wouldn't have wanted to be working class back then. And the book manages to not be repetitive, showing how it was entirely different set of individual circumstances and history that led each of the women to their eventual end. And it is about the lives of these women, not about the manner of their deaths. It's a rare true crime book that can't be accused to being exploitative.

    Recommended.


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    Thursday's Child: The Story of the First Flight Round the World by a Woman Pilot

    Just completed this, I know mad , me a male with white privelege reading a book about an amazing feat by a woman :P

    One of the best adventure stories I ever read ,Richarda Morrow-Tait , english girl who signed up for pilot lessons the first day (jan 1946) after the war when commercial pilot lics were available and went on to circumnavigate the world in her plane, it took her a year and a day with many many stops along the way, some taking months. Great account of a feisty girl just going for it.

    I cant understand why its so rare and why few people have ever heard of her , she deserves to be up there with Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart as pioneers of flight and female flight.

    Its near impossible to get your hands on a copy, if you have $450 dollars you can pick one up on Abebooks.
    I have 2 copies myself, $451 dollars will get you one .. PM


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,279 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice


    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

    The themes of the book are really really interesting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,444 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk


    Finished Wolf Hall finally, really liked it, but not ready to read the next one in the trilogy yet.
    So now I'm reading Dune during the day which I'm not sure is my kinda thing but I'll keep going for a while, and High Fidelity in bed at night for something light hearted, it's very funny.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 76,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭New Home


    mariaalice wrote: »
    Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

    The themes of the book are really really interesting.

    I've only just started that myself! I like it, too, so far. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭Immortal Starlight


    Halfway through Darkhouse by Alex Barclay. Very good so far. Looking forward to reading some more of her books too.


  • Posts: 26,052 ✭✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    py2006 wrote: »
    Audio books is cheating! :P
    New Home wrote: »
    Audiobooks have their place, but to me they're like smelling food instead of tasting it.

    I totally agree with both of you, it's cheating and a lesser experience all round.

    BUT

    I've been buying the Audible companion to Kindle books recently because if I didn't listen I wouldn't be consuming books at all. I've a baby stuck to me about 90% of the time (or so it feels) so proper reading is off the table for a while. Audiobooks have gone some way to keeping me sane the last while. They're not all equal either, some are read/performed better than others.

    I do prefer the real thing though, tbf.


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  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    saturday morning to accompany my cup of coffee...

    THEY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY - by Ian Greig - Foreign Affairs Research institute, Whitehall ..Bit of dust on it as its 1981.

    A compliation of Soviet statements on ideology, foreign poilcy and the use of military force as translated .....

    page 31... " The class struggle of the two systems - Capitalist and Socialist will continue in the sphere of economics, politics and of course ideology. It cannot be otherwise, for the outlook and class objectives of Socialism and Capitalism are oppossed and irreconcilable" ...

    writing was so clear so precise and so lacking in worry about the readers sensitivites back then, just laying out a viewpoint and the reader could take it or leave it, refreshing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,729 ✭✭✭accensi0n


    Listening to Sapiens by Noah Harari.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,645 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    I have finished the ballad of songbirds and snakes the hunger games prequel.
    I have to say I was disappointed some excellent parts in it, but it's oddly paced some extremely big events are skated over incredibly quickly, some are pondered on too long a lot of the choices characters make are non sensicial, also enough with the bloody songs in it!
    Not a patch on the original books. I am not sure a book focused on a young president snow was the way to go.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    Arghus wrote: »
    The last paper and Ink book I finished was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

    It is what it says on the tin - A look at the lives of five very unfortunate women. The historical research is very impressive and skillfully woven into a very readable whole. The book paints a very comprehensive picture of the misery and wretchedness of ordinary life for most people in the Victorian England of that time. Basically, you wouldn't have wanted to be working class back then. And the book manages to not be repetitive, showing how it was entirely different set of individual circumstances and history that led each of the women to their eventual end. And it is about the lives of these women, not about the manner of their deaths. It's a rare true crime book that can't be accused to being exploitative.

    Recommended.

    Cheers, after a few heavy hitters this sounds like something I'd like to sit back and chill with.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    Instead of editing my last post I'll just add here that I love this thread.

    Every few pages I see a book I think I might like, I haven't been left disappointed and I've found some real gem's here. So thank you OP for giving us this thread and all who've contributed (except the audio book people... I kid :p )


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    Cheers, after a few heavy hitters this sounds like something I'd like to sit back and chill with.

    Yeah, a bit a light reading: deprivation, addiction and death...

    Anyway, here's something stinking of masculinity:

    Master and Commander by Patrick O' Brian.

    I had tried to read this before, but I could not get past all the arcane and ultra specific naval terminology, so I gave up after fifty pages. But I hate to be defeated by a book, especially if my reason for defeat is that I just don't understand it. That's embarrassing. So I resolved to pick it up and, by christ, I was going to finish it this time around.

    Well, after 400 pages, I still have no idea what the difference is between a mizzen topsail or a fore gallant studdingsail or about another 4000 nouns that seem to make up about 50% of the words of the novel, but I just kind of went with it after a while, with a rough understanding of what was happening in the naval battles.

    Despite the impenetrability, there's a lot to like here otherwise. The characters are well drawn, the world created is precise, but also evocative, and the guy could clearly write, with a very rich and poetic turn of phrase, but also impressive psychological insight. It is an entertaining read. I don't know if I'm going to try the whole twenty book series or anything like that, but I will give the next installment a go.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,995 ✭✭✭Ipso


    Arghus wrote: »
    The last paper and Ink book I finished was The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

    It is what it says on the tin - A look at the lives of five very unfortunate women. The historical research is very impressive and skillfully woven into a very readable whole. The book paints a very comprehensive picture of the misery and wretchedness of ordinary life for most people in the Victorian England of that time. Basically, you wouldn't have wanted to be working class back then. And the book manages to not be repetitive, showing how it was entirely different set of individual circumstances and history that led each of the women to their eventual end. And it is about the lives of these women, not about the manner of their deaths. It's a rare true crime book that can't be accused to being exploitative.

    Recommended.

    If you found that interesting, I’d recommend The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, by Phillip Sugden. Looks at the victims and everything’s known at the time about the crimes. No silly conspiracies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 285 ✭✭Samuri Suicide


    Just finished kill your friends by John Niven.
    What an amazing read. Couldn't sleep so started it tonight and it never left my hand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,863 ✭✭✭mikhail


    Arghus wrote: »
    Despite the impenetrability, there's a lot to like here otherwise. The characters are well drawn, the world created is precise, but also evocative. The guy could clearly write, with a very rich and poetic turn of phrase, but also impressive psychological insight. It is an entertaining read. I don't know if I'm going to try the whole twenty book series or anything like that, but I will give the next installment a go.

    I have read all 20, and a few more of O'Brien's books to boot. I'd still have to look up what a studdingsail is (I just checked again: it's like an extension of the main sails to the side, so I suppose it might be used in a chase); just let the jargon wash over you; it's more about mise en scene than detail. O'Brien was a translator, and a very highly regarded one at that, and has a marvellous ear for dialogue and accent. He was also a passionate fan of naval history, sailed recreationally, and owned a copy of the 1805(?) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, so those books are dripping with authenticity in the battles, science and medicine, and more. The central odd-couple friendship is one of my favourites in literature, both capable is such different ways, bonding over a shared love of music and opposition to Napoleon. I adore the Peter Weir film for capturing the tone of the books perfectly. Here's one of my favourite passages, a quiet moment from a later book:
    Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke at about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routine jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds that he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summer-house by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years.

    Like many other sailors Jack Aubrey had long dreamed of lying in his warm bed all night long; yet although he could now do so with a clear conscience he often rose at unChristian hours, particularly if he were moved by strong emotion, and crept from his bedroom in a watch-coat, to walk about the house or into the stables or to pace the bowling-green. Sometimes he took his fiddle with him. He was in fact a better player than Stephen, and now that he was using his precious Guarnieri rather than a robust sea-going fiddle the difference was still more evident: but the Guarnieri did not account for the whole of it, nor anything like. Jack certainly concealed his excellence when they were playing together, keeping to Stephen's mediocre level: this had become perfectly clear when Stephen's hands were at last recovered from the thumb-screws and other implements applied by French counter-intelligence officers in Minorca; but on reflexion Stephen thought it had been the case much earlier, since quite apart from his delicacy at that period, Jack hated showing away.

    Now, in the warm night, there was no one to be comforted, kept in countenance, no one could scorn him for virtuosity, and he could let himself go entirely; and as the grave and subtle music wound on and on, Stephen once more contemplated on the apparent contradiction between the big, cheerful, florid sea-officer whom most people liked on sight but who would have never been described as subtle or capable of subtlety by any one of them (except perhaps his surviving opponents in battle) and the intricate, reflective music he was now creating. So utterly unlike his limited vocabulary in words, at times verging upon the inarticulate.

    'My hands have now regained the moderate ability they possessed before I was captured,' observed Maturin, 'but his have gone on to a point I never thought he could reach: his hands and his mind. I am amazed. In his own way he is the secret man of the world
    They never speak of this. That's not how it worked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭Taiga


    Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany by Uwe Schutte

    Pretty decent overview of the mensch themselves. First part of the book does a good job at outlining all the cultural and social bits and pieces that made the lads appear in the first place. The middle third of the book is mainly a chronological history of the band, which is fine, but the book doesn't really delve too deeply into what makes the music work as it does or the nitty-gritty of how it was composed. The final section looks at their legacy and gets a bit fanboyish and repetitive, but not aggravatingly so. Not perfect; overall more perfunctory than amazing, but not a bad place to start if you want to know more.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,279 ✭✭✭✭Tauriel


    Endurance by Alfred Lansing.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton's incredible expedition to the Antarctic and the astonishing challenges that he and his men had to overcome in order to survive and escape their ordeal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,444 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk


    Finished Atonement last night, read it in 2 days. Wow, amazing book, and so sad. He's a really gifted writer McEwan, I could read his prose all day, which I did!
    I'm gonna read On Chesil Beach next, I believe it's short.
    Also reading Russell Brand's book on addiction which is kind of interesting, and I started Fight Club the other day, read about 20% and now I want it off my Kindle, it's shockingly bad, like it was written by a 12 year old trying to be edgy, but it probably just hasn't dated well. Also doesn't help it that I have been reading McEwan and Hilary Mantel lately!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    Arghus wrote: »
    Yeah, a bit a light reading: deprivation, addiction and death...

    Well I'm not the one doing the autopsies so I'm ok with a little bit of misery, once its not mine :)

    Started it, excellent read.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    Mort from the Discworld series by terry pratchet ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,645 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    I have started reading a book called "dry".
    Really interesting YA book about a massive drought in California.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,363 ✭✭✭✭EmmetSpiceland


    I started Fight Club the other day, read about 20% and now I want it off my Kindle, it's shockingly bad, like it was written by a 12 year old trying to be edgy, but it probably just hasn't dated well.

    Yeah, it’s not his best work.

    When it comes to Palahniuk I’d recommend starting with ‘Invisible Monsters’ or ‘Choke’. Although, ‘Diary’ and ‘Lullaby’ are work a look too.

    I did enjoy ‘Haunted’ but I don’t think that one is for everyone.

    The tide is turning…



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    I went through a Palahniuk phase at one stage. Couldn't get enough of him, but after four or five books I found them all to become very samey. What seems bracing and fresh at first gets very repetitive after a while. I wouldn't say he's a bad writer, but he has a particular furrow that he's mined fairly close to exhaustion by now.

    The last book I finished was -

    Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari - To tell you the truth, I wasn't mad keen to read this book. It's one of those mega-seller popular science books and it has an endorsement from Chris Evens on the back cover; I had a feeling in me waters that it wasn't going to be all that. But I was stuck for a third selection in a buy three get one free deal, so, I thought fck it.

    Anyway, it turned out to be pretty close to what I was expecting. The first part of the book dealing with prehistory and the origins of Homo Sapiens is quite good, but once he moves into the agricultural revolution it all gets a bit pat. The book has lofty ambitions, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was getting a seriously compressed and even dumbed down version of human history. His conclusions and arguments felt flimsy and he has a pithy, jokey style which made me feel I wasn't reading anything close to a serious and scholarly work. At times it reminded me of the kind of essays I used to cobble together for college, using a few carefully selected sources to hammer an argument together. And it's not all that objective, it gets increasingly full of personal opinion and even polemics towards the end. It is readable, but it's not rigorous. It pales in comparison to similar books like Why The West Rules For Now or Guns, Germs and Steel. If you want to read books like this there's way, way better out there IMO.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,995 ✭✭✭Ipso


    Arghus wrote: »
    I went through a Palahniuk phase at one stage. Couldn't get enough of him, but after four or five books I found them all to become very samey. What seems bracing and fresh at first gets very repetitive after a while. I wouldn't say he's a bad writer, but he has a particular furrow that he's mined fairly close to exhaustion by now.

    The last book I finished was -

    Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari - To tell you the truth, I wasn't mad keen to read this book. It's one of those mega-seller popular science books and it has an endorsement from Chris Evens on the back cover; I had a feeling in me waters that it wasn't going to be all that. But I was stuck for a third selection in a buy three get one free deal, so, I thought fck it.

    Anyway, it turned out to be pretty close to what I was expecting. The first part of the book dealing with prehistory and the origins of Homo Sapiens is quite good, but once he moves into the agricultural revolution it all gets a bit pat. The book has lofty ambitions, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was getting a seriously compressed and even dumbed down version of human history. His conclusions and arguments felt flimsy and he has a pithy, jokey style which made me feel a wasn't reading anything close to a serious and scholarly work. At times it reminded me of the kind of essays I used to cobble together for college, using a few carefully selected sources to hammer an argument together. And it's not all that objective, it gets increasingly full of personal interpretation and even polemics towards the end. It is readable, but it's not rigorous. It pales in comparison to similar books like Why The West Rules For Now or Guns, Germs and Steel. If you want to read books like this there's way, way better out there IMO.

    Have you heard of this book? I've been meaning to read it, seems to be in the same vein as what you mentioned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_the_Grain:_A_Deep_History_of_the_Earliest_States


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus


    Ipso wrote: »
    Have you heard of this book? I've been meaning to read it, seems to be in the same vein as what you mentioned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Against_the_Grain:_A_Deep_History_of_the_Earliest_States

    No, first I've heard of it, but it does sound interesting.


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