What books are you reading for pleasure these days?

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Last night I finished Straken, Book Three of Terry Brooks's "High Druid of Shannara" series. I started reading the trilogy on May 16. So I've now completed 22 of the 32 books in the Shannara epic, beginning around the end of last October. I think I might complete my goal of reading the other 10 books by Halloween. After that, I'm thinking of wading back into the Asimov "Foundation" universe, beginning with the precursor novel Nemesis, then proceeding to the Spacer novels The Stars Like Dust, The Currents of Space, and Pebble in the Sky. Then the "Robots" novels, and finally the "Foundation" novels through the Second Foundation. Years ago I read the Third Foundation novels that were commissioned by his estate after his death, and I didn't like those at all, so I won't read them again.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I
His writing style definitely takes some getting used to, and he came across as too intellectual at times. The subject matter is definitely hard sci-fi, compared to someone like Terry Brooks.
It's a weird mix of highbrow and lowbrow, or at least when he's trying to write the "common man" it comes across as trying to be lowbrow. I did love the comedy of the scene where the robot programmed with empathy is lying to everyone about a potential romantic relationship because it wants to say things that make people happy.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
It's a weird mix of highbrow and lowbrow, or at least when he's trying to write the "common man" it comes across as trying to be lowbrow. I did love the comedy of the scene where the robot programmed with empathy is lying to everyone about a potential romantic relationship because it wants to say things that make people happy.
That's the word that was eluding me . . . "highbrow".
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
I plan to reread The Hobbit this year, it's been a little while. I did consume The Silmarillion last year, this time via audiobook. That version is quite good!

Yeah, Andrew. The Silmarillion adds great depth to The Lord of the Rings.
I have tried to read The Silmarillion a couple of times. I didn't get very far either time, maybe 100 pages. There's something about the book that just doesn't capture my interest.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I have tried to read The Silmarillion a couple of times. I didn't get very far either time, maybe 100 pages. There's something about the book that just doesn't capture my interest.
The Silmarillion may well be my favorite; along with the supplementary First Age stories in some of the books published by his son Christopher. I think it's because the elder days stories were JRR's labor of love. But I highly recommend the audiobook if anyone has trouble with the text - listening to all of the Elvish names read instead of reading them out yourself can be more pleasant, and the high style translates with the good narrator into a very Old Testament feeling, in the best way.
 
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KillRamsey

Hall of Famer
Location
Hood River, OR
Real Name
Kyle

John King

Regular
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
The Silmarillion may well be my favorite; along with the supplementary First Age stories in some of the books published by his son Christopher. I think it's because the elder days stories were JRR's labor of love. But I highly recommend the audiobook if anyone has trouble with the text - listening to all of the Elvish names read instead of reading them out yourself can be more pleasant, and the high style translates with the good narrator into a very Old Testament feeling, in the best way.
I have the entire collection, Andrew. What a mighty imagination!

I consider Tolkien's works to be on a par with the greatest works in the English language. The Lord of the Rings is almost 1,200 pages of blank verse - what an accomplishment!
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I have the entire collection, Andrew. What a mighty imagination!

I consider Tolkien's works to be on a par with the greatest works in the English language. The Lord of the Rings is almost 1,200 pages of blank verse - what an accomplishment!
I'm with you 110%! My father introduced me to The Hobbit and LOTR books when I was a preteen, and I've been hooked ever since. Read LOTR four or five times before the first movie was released. Silmarillion several times - and there will be more.

LOTR prose is insanely good. I don't even understand how he could be so eloquent describing scenery, but his words were every bit as good as New Zealand's scenery in the films. My vocabulary will never include that many words describing hills, fields and valleys.

Tolkien is an example of a Lost Generation man whose traditionalist traits grounded him in a way that so many modernists of the time were not. Someone whose worldview allowed him to continue to process and cope with drastic changes that upended so many others.
 

Aushiker

Hall of Famer
Location
Fremantle, Western Australia
Real Name
Andrew
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Tim Watts, 'The Gold Country: Australia's Changing Identity.'
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Virginia
Real Name
Steve
His writing style definitely takes some getting used to, and he came across as too intellectual at times. The subject matter is definitely hard sci-fi, compared to someone like Terry Brooks.
He’s a clever author and, I think, a good writer for action and explanations. I always found his presentation of interpersonal interaction more limited.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Since you share my enthusiasm for fantasy, have you ready any China Mieville? His The Scar is a true classic. Most of his work shares a universe that is a triumph of the imagination.

I haven't read The Scar yet, Andrew - but I've read quite a bit of China Miéville's other work and works - and I have to agree one thousand per cent with your opinion. As far as I am concerned, he is one of the great living authors in the science fiction genre - and, additionally, the quality of his writing qualifies him as one of the living masters of the English language.

For those not familiar with his work, a minor caution: often his writing, his story-telling, his characterizations and, indeed, his world-building... can be on the thoughtful - complex - and for some, dense - sides. It's good to keep that in mind for some (though definitely not all) of his works.

Thanks for mentioning The Scar - it's been on my want-to-read list for some time and now it's inching its way closer to the top.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I haven't read The Scar yet, Andrew - but I've read quite a bit of China Miéville's other work and works - and I have to agree one thousand per cent with your opinion. As far as I am concerned, he is one of the great living authors in the science fiction genre - and, additionally, the quality of his writing qualifies him as one of the living masters of the English language.

For those not familiar with his work, a minor caution: often his writing, his story-telling, his characterizations and, indeed, his world-building... can be on the thoughtful - complex - and for some, dense - sides. It's good to keep that in mind for some (though definitely not all) of his works.

Thanks for mentioning The Scar - it's been on my want-to-read list for some time and now it's inching its way closer to the top.
I'm glad you're a fellow Mieville fan! I'm honestly surprised that his books aren't more popular than they are, but I do get that they may seem slightly dense and inaccessible sometimes. The Scar is probably the most accessible and self-contained of his works set in Bas-Lag, though I haven't finished all of them (only Perdido Street Station in the series besides The Scar). It's also wildly imaginative, with some set pieces of such magnificence of description that I can't give a thing away. I reread it last year and enjoyed it even more than the first time.

I have The City and the City, have started it a couple times but really need to give it more time this year. Also hugely enjoyed the dark urban fantasy Kraken and want to reread that.
 
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