Books The BOOK thread

Moriarty

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Back to the 1970s for me with Firefox by Craig Thomas. a cold war classic about the plot to steal the Soviet Union's latest and greatest fighter jet that is invisible to radar and has a thought-guided weapons system. The British SIS and American CIA hatch a plot to smuggle a pilot into the USSR and steal the plane as it undergoes its final trials. The pilot is aided by the underground and by some of the Jewish scientists who are working on the project and all who are willing to die to see the mission accomplished. However, the only man that can fly the jet is a burned-out American veteran with mental issues and a weak stomach for fighting. The book is pretty tense and a good page-turner. If you like techno-thrillers, this vintage piece is well worth a read.
 

Jippy

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John Wyndham wrote some good stuff didn't he? Chocky was a pretty good yarn about a boy who communicates with an alien consciousness.
The Kraken Wakes was good too and Day of the Triffids. The Chrysalids was kinda interesting as a riff on alienation and targeting of those different.
 

Boycott

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I'm really enjoying a historical fiction thriller series written by Rory Clements. It starts in 1936 with fascism on the rise and the main character we see the story through is a History professor at Cambridge University called Tom Wilde. Finished the first book Corpus last month and just finished the follow up Nucleus late last night. I shall be picking up the third book in the series called Nemesis this week.
 

Solius

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Any good books released recently? I'm flying tomorrow and looking for something not too lengthy that would be a good relaxing holiday read.
 

Roger

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Any good books released recently? I'm flying tomorrow and looking for something not too lengthy that would be a good relaxing holiday read.
Man Citys Trophy list over the entire clubs history. That should keep you going till your plane reaches altitude.
 

Boycott

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I finished a book called First Person by Richard Flanagan. I was taken by the front cover labelling it as the winner of the Booker Prize a few years ago but I found it infuriatingly hard to get into. Some of it is brilliant insight into human nature and the struggle of ambitions, dreams and the reality of just trying to live day to day on the hard challenges and grind of life. But the storyline those insights was very dull until the last few chapters.
 

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Finally read “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke. A truly original novel whose images stay in your head. if I were being critical, I’d say the ending was a bit abrupt. 9/10
 

Moriarty

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Echoes in the Air by Jack Currie. It's an anthology of aviation ghost stories. Currie was a bomber pilot in WWII and shares one of his own experiences with the unexplained.
 

Jippy

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Just read Pynchon's Inherent Vice. It's ok and rattles along at a decent pace, but the plot wasn't that interesting, more kinda linear with little misdirection or few major twists of note. The comedy elements were gentle at best too.

The book's readable, but I was expecting a bit more depth and wordplay. It's my second Pynchon after The Crying...
 

Cascarino

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Just read Pynchon's Inherent Vice. It's ok and rattles along at a decent pace, but the plot wasn't that interesting, more kinda linear with little misdirection or few major twists of note. The comedy elements were gentle at best too.

The book's readable, but I was expecting a bit more depth and wordplay. It's my second Pynchon after The Crying...
Are you going to read Gravity's Rainbow? It's the only Pynchon I've read.
 

Jippy

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Are you going to read Gravity's Rainbow? It's the only Pynchon I've read.
Maybe V next, but Gravity's Rainbow is on the list. I read a NY Times review of Inherent Vice after I'd finished it which said Gravity's Rainbow and one of his other ones were great and it's bollocks that they're extremely difficult reads.

@oneniltothearsenal is a fan of GR, but others in the thread have given up c100 pages or less, so who knows?
 

Nickosaur

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Just read Pynchon's Inherent Vice. It's ok and rattles along at a decent pace, but the plot wasn't that interesting, more kinda linear with little misdirection or few major twists of note. The comedy elements were gentle at best too.

The book's readable, but I was expecting a bit more depth and wordplay. It's my second Pynchon after The Crying...
Gravity's Rainbow and Mason & Dixon are outstanding. Two of my favourite books, couldnt recommend them highly enough.

Haven't read Inherent Vice yet, my next Pynchon will be Against The Day hopefully later this year.
 

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I'm reading Peter Straub's "Ghost Story" as it is one of those books I've been meaning to read for years, and I loved "The Talisman."

It's a bit verbose and slow, TBH.
 

Jippy

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Gravity's Rainbow and Mason & Dixon are outstanding. Two of my favourite books, couldnt recommend them highly enough.

Haven't read Inherent Vice yet, my next Pynchon will be Against The Day hopefully later this year.
That's good to hear. Hopefully I can pick them both up in the UK when I next go.

Against the Day is Dickensian in length. I need to mix it up and read a bunch of shorter books after a super-long read, eg David Copperfield earlier this year.
 

Solius

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I know it's literally a famous phrase but does anyone get put off by the fact that almost every book has the same style cover these days?








It drives me mad and makes me way more unlikely to pick it up. It's the equivalent of when every movie trailer used that BWAAAA noise for about a year. Does it really sell more if they conform and have a generic cover? If I was releasing a book I'd want it to stand out on shelves.
 

)_(

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@Solius It's pure marketing. If book X did well in a certain genre other books in the genre will try to emulate that vibe and get people to pick it up. It subconsciously probably does work. And there's just genre conventions in general, if you do something completely different the audience doesn't know what they're looking at so they're less likely to gravitate towards it.
 

Solius

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@Solius It's pure marketing. If book X did well in a certain genre other books in the genre will try to emulate that vibe and get people to pick it up. It subconsciously probably does work. And there's just genre conventions in general, if you do something completely different the audience doesn't know what they're looking at so they're less likely to gravitate towards it.
I hate it. One thing works once and the entire industry piles on and overdoes it to death.
 

Thaumaste

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I recently got a gig writing book reviews for a newspaper, which has forced me to read brand new releases for the first time in my life.

Of the books I've read most recently, there are a few that have really stood out as worth reading:

The Baudelaire Fractal - Lisa Robertson
When we were Birds - Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Joan is Okay - Weike Wang
Checkout 19 - Claire-Louise Bennett
The Candy House - Jennifer Egan

I particularly loved When we were Birds, though it got the least fanfare of all these novels.

Oh, and if anyone suggests you read The Maid, by Nita Prose, kick them and run away.
 

BD

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It's nearly as bad as when a book has "Now a major Netflix series/Motion Picture" plastered all over the front.
 

Solius

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It's nearly as bad as when a book has "Now a major Netflix series/Motion Picture" plastered all over the front.
I've always actively avoided books with pictures of actors on the cover. Genuinely think I'd rather die than buy one of those and anyone who does is a serial killer.
 

BD

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I've always actively avoided books with pictures of actors on the cover. Genuinely think I'd rather die than buy one of those and anyone who does is a serial killer.
A friend bought me a copy of The Martian with Matt Damon's big head on the front. The book was pretty shite at least, so I had no qualms about passing it on.
 

Loon

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I recently got a gig writing book reviews for a newspaper, which has forced me to read brand new releases for the first time in my life.

Of the books I've read most recently, there are a few that have really stood out as worth reading:

The Baudelaire Fractal - Lisa Robertson
When we were Birds - Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Joan is Okay - Weike Wang
Checkout 19 - Claire-Louise Bennett
The Candy House - Jennifer Egan

I particularly loved When we were Birds, though it got the least fanfare of all these novels.

Oh, and if anyone suggests you read The Maid, by Nita Prose, kick them and run away.
I have Egan's "A Visit From the Goon Squad" on my TBR pile.
 

)_(

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I hate it. One thing works once and the entire industry piles on and overdoes it to death.
Yea they definitely overdo it but I guess they're just trying to sell books and playing it safe. It does get oversaturated and boring quickly though and then the next trend comes along that looks good initially until 500 new books appear with the same cover slightly different and so the circle of life continues.

It's nearly as bad as when a book has "Now a major Netflix series/Motion Picture" plastered all over the front.
It's one thing if it's a removable sticker but nowadays most of them just print it on the book ???????????? Why in the world would they think anyone wants that? Ruining perfectly good covers.
 

Thaumaste

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I have Egan's "A Visit From the Goon Squad" on my TBR pile.
I actually haven't read it (which I guess is proof that The Candy House works as a standalone novel), but I am definitely going to after how much I enjoyed her new book.
 

Jippy

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I know it's literally a famous phrase but does anyone get put off by the fact that almost every book has the same style cover these days?








It drives me mad and makes me way more unlikely to pick it up. It's the equivalent of when every movie trailer used that BWAAAA noise for about a year. Does it really sell more if they conform and have a generic cover? If I was releasing a book I'd want it to stand out on shelves.
I buy most of my books in secondhand stores and got five on Saturday, four of which were old c60s Penguin ones with the orange spine and arty covers. They had way more style then.
I recently got a gig writing book reviews for a newspaper, which has forced me to read brand new releases for the first time in my life.

Of the books I've read most recently, there are a few that have really stood out as worth reading:

The Baudelaire Fractal - Lisa Robertson
When we were Birds - Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
Joan is Okay - Weike Wang
Checkout 19 - Claire-Louise Bennett
The Candy House - Jennifer Egan

I particularly loved When we were Birds, though it got the least fanfare of all these novels.

Oh, and if anyone suggests you read The Maid, by Nita Prose, kick them and run away.
Nice gig. How did you land that and where? Years a back a colleague went to The Bookseller, which was a cool move.
 

Thaumaste

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I buy most of my books in secondhand stores and got five on Saturday, four of which were old c60s Penguin ones with the orange spine and arty covers. They had way more style then.

Nice gig. How did you land that and where? Years a back a colleague went to The Bookseller, which was a cool move.
It's fun, but nothing as impressive as that. I realised that the English language daily where I live (The Cyprus Mail) didn't have a book review column so I got in touch and asked if they wanted one. Submitted a couple of samples, and now they print one a week. Keeps me on my toes and makes sure I can't slack off with my reading.
 

Jippy

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Reading, again, The War Against Cliché by Martin Amis. Tremendously entertaining nonfiction collection, so good that it makes subjects which barely interest me (chess, for example) fascinating.
Wikipedia said

Like Amis's previous collection Visiting Mrs Nabokov, the book is composed of many pieces written over the course of the author's career, beginning in the mid-1970s as a journalist and following up to his period of recognition as one of Great Britain's most acclaimed novelists. Among the many authors considered are John Updike, Anthony Burgess, Saul Bellow, Iris Murdoch, Elmore Leonard and Philip Roth.

Many of the essays also touch on pet topics of Amis's, such as chess, poker, football (soccer), cue sports, masculinity, and nuclear weapons.
I've nearly finished Visiting Mrs Nabokov and agree with Steve (hope you're doing ok by the way), the guy's a fantastic writer. I know his novels get a mixed reaction on here -I've had Money and London Fields for ages but not got round to reading them- but the guy crafts fantastic sentences and I've been pleasantly surprised by how much I've enjoyed the book.
 

BD

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I can forgive that cos it's a great book. I didn't realise Oprah was including books from the '60s in her club, thought those book clubs were a new release thing.
Good stuff - have been looking for a copy the last while in the second hand book shops here, but nothing yet. I've heard many good things
 
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