What books are you reading for pleasure these days?

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
I finished The Absolute Book last week. It was good in parts, in fact very good, but I felt the ending was a little weak and even silly. Hey ho. I'm now on David Mitchell's "The Bone Clocks" which my son recommended. It's been enjoyable so far at least.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
Full speed ahead. Just 6 days after mentioning I was starting "The Defenders of Shannara" trilogy, I'm now working on the final installment, The Sorcerer's Daughter. Within a week I'll be starting the 4-book Shannara finale, "The Fall of Shannara". I think I'm going to make my Halloween goal of reading all 32 books in a year. :D
I'm giving you a well-deserved trophy already!
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
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.

I have to totally agree with you: I loved Kraken.

One of his first books, King Rat, a standalone with elements of horror and elements of epic mythology, is rather remarkable too.

And, though Un-Lun-Dun is ostensibly a novel for young adults, it has layers of complexity and philosophy which are captivating and enthralling.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I started Perdido Street Station but haven't (yet) finished it. (I'm going to have to restart it from scratch, obviously.)

But I did finish The City and the City - and although it's a moderately dense read, it's worth it. The other weird thing worth mentioning is-- some enterprising English television producers actually adapted it into a semi-sci-fi-semi-film-noir series a few years ago. I started watching it and was very, very glad that I had read the entire novel first, since for me, the adaptation didn't come close to some of the weirder-but-cooler parts of the premise and the novel.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I did finish Perdido Street Station (it was very good - but The Scar is better), but Iron Council is the one where I petered out. Mieville is one of those authors where if the hammer strikes when the iron of the imagination is hot, the experience of reading is hard to beat. If you're "cool" and a little distracted, you may as well forget it. Or rather, set it aside and approach it again when the time is right.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
My quest to read all 32 of Brooks's "Shannara" timeline novels in 12 months is coming to a close with his tetralogy "The Fall of Shannara", the close of the Shannara epic. I begin today with Book One, The Black Elfstone. I have untill Halloween to meet my timeline. :D

BlackElfstone.jpg
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theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
I have to totally agree with you: I loved Kraken.

One of his first books, King Rat, a standalone with elements of horror and elements of epic mythology, is rather remarkable too.

And, though Un-Lun-Dun is ostensibly a novel for young adults, it has layers of complexity and philosophy which are captivating and enthralling.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I started Perdido Street Station but haven't (yet) finished it. (I'm going to have to restart it from scratch, obviously.)

But I did finish The City and the City - and although it's a moderately dense read, it's worth it. The other weird thing worth mentioning is-- some enterprising English television producers actually adapted it into a semi-sci-fi-semi-film-noir series a few years ago. I started watching it and was very, very glad that I had read the entire novel first, since for me, the adaptation didn't come close to some of the weirder-but-cooler parts of the premise and the novel.
I haven't read any of his books, but I did quite enjoy the TV series that you mention. Maybe I'll add some Mieville books to my to-read list.
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
There's too much current affairs in my life these days. I've been rediscovering the mid-century Americana of James Thurber. I have a hardcover collection of his writings that had been sitting on a bookshelf for years. It was time to read it. I have similar collections of detective stories by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler that I'll get to next.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
I've recently re-read The Thurber Carnival, which for those that don't know is a collection of his short stories and cartoons. I read it a couple of times as a young adult and some of those stories really stick with you (the Night the Ghost Got In, Portrait of a Dog, the Day the Dam Burst etc)

-R
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Once I've finished the Shannara epic, I'm going to delve into non-fiction and re-read American Canopy, the debut book by Eric Rutkow. Very well researched, it's a long book that explores the role trees had in shaping the culture, economy, and politics of the US from the landing of the first settlers all the way to modern times. Fascinating reading.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Location
Marlow, UK
I own a lot of books about the space race, particularly about the Gemini and Apollo programs (the best of which is Michael Collins' autobiography Carrying The Fire). When I remember, I like to read one of them at this time of year, which is the anniversary of the first moon landing (just about).

This year I'm re-reading the autobiography of Chris Kraft, who as well as writing this book, pretty much wrote the book on how early NASA missions were conducted and controlled. When someone referred to "Flight" during the Mercury program, that was a reference to the Flight Director and that was Christopher Columbus Kraft Jr. The Flight Director was in absolute control of the mission and could not be overruled by anyone for its duration - not even by those higher up in NASA management. During the Gemini and Apollo programs there were several flight directors working in shifts (one of which was Gene "failure is not an option" Krantz), all recruited and trained by Kraft, by then Head of Mission Operations at NASA.

The book is a good account of the American side of the space race by one of its giants and includes some fairly blunt assessments of colleagues he disagreed with, which makes for interesting reading.

-R

Flight.jpg
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Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
The Flight Director was in absolute control of the mission and could not be overruled by anyone for its duration - not even by those higher up in NASA management. During the Gemini and Apollo programs there were several flight directors working in shifts (one of which was Gene "failure is not an option" Krantz), all recruited and trained by Kraft, by then Head of Mission Operations at NASA.
I immediately knew which role you were referring to by the Flight Director, despite not being super well versed in NASA history (I should get that way). When I decided to double check my assumption, I realized it was Ed Harris's portrayal of Gene Krantz in the film Apollo 13 that I so vividly remembered and which forms the mental image I have of the Flight Director.
 
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