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Thread: What are you reading now

  1. #41
    Banned TheOneWhoKnocks's Avatar
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    The Beast in the Red Forest by Sam Eastland.

    Girlfriend got it me for me yonks ago. Only got around to reading it now and I have got to say, I am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Very well written and expertly paced.

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    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you have a girlfriend. Heh.












  3. #43
    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    You guys are making logging in here everyday even more worthwhile. Quality stuff!

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  5. #44
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    Why did it take me nearly five years to see that SkStu logging in is a perfect Canuck pun???

    I wonder if TOWK ever got round to colouring in that book he mentioned... Strange fellow...

    FWIW, I finished Robert Harris' The Second Sleep a couple of weeks ago - odd concept; he more or less pulls it off. Elizabeth Strout's Olive Again is just a perfect piece of writing, as was Yuko Tsushima's Territory of Light. Next up... can't decide between Limmy's Daft Wee Stories or getting back to work and reading a load of mildly interesting journal articles for a paper I have to write...

    And a few I read over the last five years of this thread's inactivity

    • Haruki Murakami Men Without Women. Just brililant - witty, fantastical, acutely observed.
    • JM Coetzee Age of Iron. Meh. Underwhelming, but to be fair I've always struggled with post-colonial or post-apartheid writing and Africa. My loss, I suppose.
    • Peter Hoeg The Susan Effect. I felt his last couple were obscure just for the sake of it, but this (while it has its moments obscurity and Hoeg showing off) is a pretty fast-paced thriller. Nowhere near Miss Smila's Feeling for Snow, but miles better than The Quiet Girl.
    • Markus Zusak - The Book Thief. I finally got round to it, and really enjoyed it. Good pacing, the idea of Death speaking directly to the reader builds a sense of impending threat.
    • Mike McCormack - Solar Bones. If McCormack wrote the phone book I'd hang on every word of it. I met him on a writer's course a couple of years back and had a severe case of groupie fandom!
    • Donal Ryan - The Spinning Heart. Worth every word of praise it got. One story developing with a different narrator in each chapter. Clever without being overwhelming or confusing, or clever for its own sake.


    And several cheap Piccadilly westerns, pulp crime fiction, more than a handful of Biggles books and a lot of short stories!
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

  6. #45
    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    A timely reminder that I need to get back to reading on the bus rather than staring at my phone. I think the last book I read was Jo Nesbo's McBeth, it was grand if nothing overly exciting. Have a good few thing lined up including one of Donal Ryan's that I must have bout nearly a year ago and still haven't started. I got a copy of Paddy Hoolihan's Hooligan for Christmas too (before the podcast controversies), should be an interesting read, despite the stupid things he said on the podcast, he's dedicated a lot of his life since the forced retirement from MMA to working for his community in Tallaght. He's MMA career in itself was fascinating particularly given he was hiding a potentially lethal medical condition for a few years.

    Tallaght Stadium Regular

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  8. #46
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    A collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories (so no The Raven, which is a poem)

    He's very - waffly. Lots of foreign phrases - Latin, Greek, French, German - which surprised me. And most of the stories so far have been about a dead person coming back to life. On to The Murders in the Rue Morgue now though - the first ever detective story - and it's a bit more accessible.

    Next in the pile is my own book! Haven't read it since the last proof read in July. Not entirely sure if I'll be able to separate business and pleasure though - I'll probably still be thinking in terms of finding weaknesses with turns of phrase or a word order... Still, something different!

  9. #47
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    Good luck reading your own work! I've two that I have to use regularly, and picking them up is equal part pleasure and grimace! Not to mention Gaiman's first law... All I want to do is leave them on the shelf and dust them off once in a while!

    Poe is very good. The Cask of Amontillado is a favourite but you're right that he has a tendency to go on. Nice and gothic, though. Have you ever read Saki's stories? A bit later and lighter, but still occasionally dark behind an Edwardian facade.
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

  10. #48
    Coach John83's Avatar
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    I'll do a bit of a dump of my best of what I read in 2019:

    • Africa: A Biography of the Continent, John Reader. It takes a while to get a sense of where this is going, because it's so crazily ambitious that it keeps changing genre. From geology to palaeontology to prehistory to history, this tells the story of the whole continent. Eventually, it settles down to the story of European colonialism (including slavery) and its devastating cultural and socio-political impact on Africa. It's an odd book, but I feel it's filled a big hole in my knowledge of the world in general.
    • One Night in Dudelange, Kevin Burke. This has been discussed elsewhere, so I'll just say this zips along and is a fun and essential read for anyone on this site.
    • 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople & the Clash of Islam & the West, Roger Crowley. I've read one of Crowley's each year for the past few years. He writes wonderful narrative history which seems to have reassuring scholarly underpinnings to make it feel like some of the most enjoyable education I've ever taken. He seems to particularly love sieges, and this is no different. You'll have learned in school that the Roman empire fell in the 400s, but the Eastern half, centred on Constantinople, remained a power for another thousand years until the Ottomans took it and made it Istanbul. This is the story of a pale shadow of the old city defending mighty old walls with too few men from a huge army. It takes in the historical context, the regional politics, the characters of the leading characters, the mood of the city, and weaves them into a thrilling story full of twists and turns.
    • The Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang. This is the story of the Japanese occupation of Nanjing (the spelling has changed) during what we call WWII. The story is vile, almost unreadable at times, but full of good people too - one of the heroes of the piece is a German nazi party member - a sort of Schindler figure who did what he could locally before smuggling film to Germany and being told by the Gestapo to stop public lectures and shut the **** up about what the Japanese were up to. The author, an American daughter of Chinese immigrants, strikes a good balance of statistics for scale and more narrative elements.
    • Caesar: Life of a Colossus, Adrian Goldsworthy. I mostly knew Caesar as a figure from the Shakespeare play. (It was on the Junior Cert back in the day.) Goldsworthy really brings him to life, and paints a picture of the political structure and machinations that lead him to breaking tradition, and crossing the Rubicon to march his legions on Rome. Several key battles in his career are also described in a lively and easy to follow fashion.
    Dental Plan

  11. #49
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    Poe is very good. The Cask of Amontillado is a favourite but you're right that he has a tendency to go on. Nice and gothic, though. Have you ever read Saki's stories? A bit later and lighter, but still occasionally dark behind an Edwardian facade.
    No, never read Saki. My reading pile is about 3 feet tall - should keep me going for this year and a bit of next - but I'll him to a list on Amazon and might have a goo when I'm next buying.

    Managed to solve the Rue Morgue story before the big reveal; always nice when that happens. You can tell it's the start of a genre; the story isn't as fleshed out as a Holmes or a Poirot story, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  12. #50
    Club Member ForzaForth's Avatar
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    A book that I've just finished and enjoyed greatly is Paul Rouse's, The Hurlers, which describes the early history of the GAA and particularly the first hurling final of 1888. Not too many references to the games of the "shoneen," but the text flows very well and I thought his writing was impressive. From a Wexford perspective, there are many references to Patrick Prendergast (PP) Sutton of Oulart, who was an important sports journalist with the "Sport" newspaper and more or less documented the early history of the GAA. He also became essentially the national handicapper and judge at sports events across the country. Unfortunately, he died in his mid-thirties in 1901 from pneumonia and is buried in Oulart. There was a national collection to place a memorial over his grave which was erected in 1904.

    Planning to read "One Night in Dudelange" next!

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  14. #51
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    Haruki Murakami Men Without Women. Just brililant - witty, fantastical, acutely observed.
    I'm midway through South Of The Border, West Of The Sun by him, read Norwegian Wood & Kafka On The Shore by him recently too. Enjoyed them all.

    Read the Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey recently also, Wool / Shift / Dust. For any post apocalyptic dystopia fans, this series, particularly Wool, I'd highly recommend.

    Put down The Sea by Banville recently, was 30/40% through it, it hadn't gone anywhere, aimless word noodling - yeah, sublime word noodling - but no hook. Anyone else find that ?

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  16. #52
    Seasoned Pro passinginterest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyToePoke View Post
    I'm midway through South Of The Border, West Of The Sun by him, read Norwegian Wood & Kafka On The Shore by him recently too. Enjoyed them all.

    Read the Wool trilogy by Hugh Howey recently also, Wool / Shift / Dust. For any post apocalyptic dystopia fans, this series, particularly Wool, I'd highly recommend.

    Put down The Sea by Banville recently, was 30/40% through it, it hadn't gone anywhere, aimless word noodling - yeah, sublime word noodling - but no hook. Anyone else find that ?
    I had to start The Sea a couple of times. I ended up enjoying it, but I think partly down to the fact it's set in Rosslare and it was a very familiar world to me. There's a nice sentimental story in there.

    Tallaght Stadium Regular

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  18. #53
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    I used to revere Banville. I discovered The Book of Evidence at 17, Birchwood is still the best, most blackly comic novel I’ve ever read. But The Sea… it didn’t hold me the way his writing used to. I don’t know how it got the Man Booker over Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way. It felt like a novella stretched to novel length, and the thrumming energy you’d always find in his work just wasn’t there. For me, his writing began to change after Ghosts and Athena into a slower more introspective style (though The Untouchable is magnificent and The Infinities is almost as farcically impeccable as Michael Frayne). Haven’t read his last three, though – they seem like too much effort for less of the reward of his earlier stuff. (I've two books on the go now - I'll try Ancient Light next. this thread is definitely a motivator!)

    If you liked the Wexford setting, PI, and you haven’t already read it, try his The Newton Letter, the comic counterpoint to his three science tragedies.

    Just don’t get me started on the Benjamin Black rubbish!
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

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  20. #54
    Seasoned Pro CraftyToePoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passinginterest View Post
    I had to start The Sea a couple of times. I ended up enjoying it, but I think partly down to the fact it's set in Rosslare and it was a very familiar world to me. There's a nice sentimental story in there.
    Don't think I'll pick it up again, but might go to some of the earlier ones EG mentioned.

    Finally read Junky by William S Boroughs this week, think its been with me through half a dozen house moves, in the box of gonna read some day books. Should have picked it up sooner.

    Started The Underground Railway by Colson Whitehead tonight, thirty pages in and hooked, could be one of those books where you're only away from it for as long as necessary while it lasts. Anyone read it ? (you probably all have, I'm usually way behind the curve on these matters, FFS I only just read Junky )

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    "Reading in the Dark" by Seamus Deane.
    Book's been in the house about twenty years, only settling into it now!!
    ...Schwanholz, Herisau: a little bit of heaven...

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