Monday, July 11, 2005

Reading

Ok, so no one seems terribly interested in my reading posts, but it's my blog so I'm going to do them anyway.

I just finished the book I was reading (review), and I liked it better than the first book in the series. Mainy, because this one was able to focus on developing the story and did not have to do all the introduction that the last one did. If you're looking for a big science fiction epic, I would recommend this one.

Now, until I get the next book in that series, I am going to continue re-reading The Hicthhikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy with The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which I should finish quickly since it's not very long.

I'm also reading a novel posted online, by Shakespeare's Sister, which is surprisingly good. I'm only about halfway through with it at this point, but it's only going slow because I hate reading on the computer. It's not something that I would probably have read under normal circumstances, but seeing it on a site that I read regularly made me curious to see if it would be any good. And it definitely is, so check it out if you like to read, it's a good story (so far, anyway).

And as always, feel free to comment on anything you're currently reading or if you have read anything mentioned, or if you have any recommendations.

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18 comments:

Christiana said...

I just finished reading the newest novel by one of my all-time favorite writers: "Mammoth" by John Varley. I'm probably going to put a review up on my own site, but the short-hand is that it was very-good, yet I was sort of expecting super-genius.

Actually, my only real problem was that it was written more like a movie novelization than a regular novel, which makes sense given that Varley actually said that it was originally a screenplay. That doesn't make it a bad novel by any stretch, but I prefer some of his others.

John Howard said...

I never heard of him, I'll have to look it up.

Shakespeare's Sister said...

which is surprisingly good

LOL! ...because she's kind of a dumbass.

:)

Did I mention that I finished Life of Pi? It was amazing, best book I've read in awhile (and I've read some good ones lately). Right now, I've just started Kazuo Ishiguro's new book, and it's pretty interesting so far.

Chris Howard said...

Speaking of books, I know you can hardly wait for Friday at midnight. Want to come with us to Barnes & Noble?

Chris Howard said...

I've never read anything by John Varley, but I think I have The Ophiuchi Hotline somewhere. I'll have to see if I can find it.

I just started Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell, which I got for Christmas. It's good so far. It's set in a semi-historical England at the beginning of the 19th century. If you like these kind of historical fantasies, like I do, it seems promising.

John Howard said...

Shakes, I knew you had said you were reading it, but I didn't know you had finished it. I've heard good things about it, but I'm not sure it's something I'll like, but I'll probably give it a look, anyway.

John Howard said...

If the world ended on Friday at 11:59, it would obviously suck, but the silver lining would be that I wouldn't have to hear any more Harry Potter shit.

John Howard said...

I'm not big on historical fantasies, but I did like the first few of the Alvin Maker books.

Chris Howard said...

I just finished one that I need to give you - Idlewild by Nick Sagan. I'd been wanting to read it and I found it in the discount books at B&N. It's kind of a hard-SF mystery. And it's not one of those that I hate, where the author tries to get all cute and won't explicitly give you any information. You figure things out bit-by-bit and by the end you have the whole story.

John Howard said...

You should read this series I'm reading. It reminds me a lot of Peter Hamilton, not quite that good or anything, but similar in style and scope. I don't have the first one since I got it from the library, but I have the second one if you ever want it.

maurinsky said...

I'm currently reading Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. It's about a vicious murder committed by a Mormon Fundamentalist, but it explores the violent history of Mormonism, as well as the violence that all fundamentalism condones.

While Loki and I were waiting for a movie showing last week, I read 2/3s of Tom Perotta's Little Children. So far, it's very entertaining, and an easy read. I was won over on the first page when the first character introduced, a mom who doesn't fit in with the other moms in her daughter's playgroup, says to herself "This is just an anthropological study. I am not a boring suburban mother. I am merely observing boring suburban mothers." That's a sentiment I can relate to (although I am well aware that not all suburban mothers are boring).

This same character, Sarah, also comments on one of the other moms, a super efficient right-winger who is completely oblivious to the fact that other people might have differing opinions. Sarah notes that Mary Ann always has snacks, drinks, a change of clothes, and says "there is something fascistic about how she makes the trains run on time."

John Howard said...

I didn't realize there was a violent history of Mormonism.

Oh, jesus, please don't mention problems with mothers in playgroups, those things are ridiculous. I had never heard of them, but when my wife joined one, I thought it was for the kids to play together, but it turned out that it's so the moms can pretend they're in high school all over again.

maurinsky said...

I've never done playgroups, but I did join the PTA, and it is like high school all over again, except now I'm confident and I don't give a shit if Queen Bee likes me or not.

Christiana said...

John Varley is one of my all-time favorite writers, though I like some of his stuff more than others.

In particular, he's written one of my all-time favorite novels: "Steel Beach" and my absolute favorite short story: "The Persistence of Vision."

He writes science fiction and he has both an incredible ability to produce "sensawunda", as well as a real insight to character. (I think so, anyway. And a lot of his work has a nice bittersweet feel to it.

I've actually posted briefly about him before: John Varley post
Check him out if you're interested.

John Howard said...

That Steel Beach looks pretty good, I'll have to check it out. I love to find good new (to me) science fiction writers.

Christiana said...

It's excellent, and starts with one of the most audacious opening lines I've ever heard:

"In ten years, the penis will be obsolete!" said the salesman.

Varley inspires a lot of comparisons to Heinlein, so if you like Heinlein, I suspect you'll like Varley too, though I actually like Varley more, only because I find his characters more interesting.

John Howard said...

I'm not a big fan of Heinlen. He's ok, I guess, but I was never overly impressed with any of his stuff that I've read. I noticed in some of the reviews for that, people said it was a Heinlen rip-off.

Christiana said...

Personally, I would describe him as similar in tone and some themes to Heinlein, definitely influenced by Heinlein, but as I said, I prefer Varley.