📚 I am currently reading

:books: I am currently reading
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#21

I :heart: Made in Chelsea. Ask me any question! I have S Mathews on speed dial.


#22

OK, WTF are you two Geyers talking about?

And Sir Stanley is dead, have some respect FFS


#23

No currently reading, but just finished reading, The Circle by Dave Eggers. It is a fiction book, but not to far of becoming reality!


#24

There were over 150,000 books published in the UK last year. If you read one book a week every week between the ages of 20-60 you would have read a little over 3000 books in your lifetime.

Assuming I reach that ripe age I’ve got about 2000 books left in me.

I need some life changing fiction and, possibly Bletch’s recommendation aside, I’ve seen nothing that fits the bill so far on this thread. What do I need to read?

No historical fiction, please - I’m done in with all that.


#25

Finally finished Great Expectations (I really don’t sit down, stop and read enough) and have moved on to Chavs: The demonization of the Working Class. Some similar themes really!


#26

In the final volume of Simon Schama’s History of Great Britain. As I think I’ve remarked before, I’ve also been reading Churchill’s take on our history too, and needed something a little less jingoistic and religiously ordained. If you listened to Churchill, you’d be hard pushed to separate divine providence with our own history. He’s clearly a believer. What’s clear from both works is that religion, far from ever achieving anything, has been one of the key drivers in pretty much every important element of our constitutional makeup. Specifically, sectarianism has been responsible for a hell of a lot.

It’s an interesting revelation to anyone who lives in this tolerant age of gay marriage and freedom of worship. The age of reason we live in is largely built on religious deviation, and the rights that those deviants were looking for and fighting for within a largely religious framework.

One of the books more controversial sections is on Cromwell. The book argues that the massacre at Drogheda was never a mass cleansing of women and children, citing records after 1649 showing residents living before and after the attack. The oft-repeated claim is that Cromwell ordered his forces to kill everyone, which is incongruent with much of the rest of his character. It’s definitely true (Cromwell’s own account) that his forces put all of the military to the sword, but Schama argues that this probably saved lives later on as other towns gave up without resistance.

I’ve always been very patchy on certain parts of English history. I’ve enjoyed Schama’s take immensely.


#27

I’m about to embark on 'Go Set a Watchman - with trepidation


#28

Just noticed this thread:

I am currently reading (as in have read at sometime in the past month, have not yet finished, but have not given up on)

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross

Sports Analytics by Benjamin C. Alamar

Big Data Baseball: Travis Sawchik

The Secret Footballer’s Guide to the Modern Game by Anon

Corsair by James L. Cambias

The Dark Between the Stars by Keven J. Anderson

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark

The Year’s Best Military SF amd Space Opera by David Afsharirad

Dire Predictions by Michael E. Mann and Lee R Kump

I have finished reading in the past month:

Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant by Hy Conrad

The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross

Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

Money and Soccer by Stefan Szymanski

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

What If? by Randall Munroe

Vieled Alliances by Kevin J. Anderson

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

The Game by Jon Pessah


#29

So what are you, Loser D, the professor of reading or something?


#30

I know this might be an unpopular thing to say, but the Atticus Finch of Mockingbird isn’t necessarily inconsistent with the one in Watchman. Firstly, he’s a six-year-old’s interpetation in the orginal. But there was always, in my view, something of the lawyer standing by his principles (fair access to a jury trial, etc) rather than someone acting by his wider social beliefs in Mockingbird.

I read it (a long time ago) thinking how could Atticus take the outcome of the trial, and then the events of that night, with such quiet calm. Not that he would have condoned the murder - but it did seem odd at the time. He clearly wasn’t going to find himself on the barricades during any civil rights action (as unlikely as that would have been in the 30s).

He was a good man of his time (and idealised by a child) and the times changed - which is something a great novelist ought to reflect. I don’t get the outrage at his portrayal in Watchman.

(I’ve tried writing this without any spoilers - hard work!)


#31

Sounds like it was written by a professor of reading.


#32

Schama and Starkey are the best on British history, Starkey is un pc (I love that) but his seriously knows his shit.


#33

Originally posted by @Barry-Sanchez

Originally posted by @pap

In the final volume of Simon Schama’s History of Great Britain. As I think I’ve remarked before, I’ve also been reading Churchill’s take on our history too, and needed something a little less jingoistic and religiously ordained. If you listened to Churchill, you’d be hard pushed to separate divine providence with our own history. He’s clearly a believer. What’s clear from both works is that religion, far from ever achieving anything, has been one of the key drivers in pretty much every important element of our constitutional makeup. Specifically, sectarianism has been responsible for a hell of a lot.

It’s an interesting revelation to anyone who lives in this tolerant age of gay marriage and freedom of worship. The age of reason we live in is largely built on religious deviation, and the rights that those deviants were looking for and fighting for within a largely religious framework.

One of the books more controversial sections is on Cromwell. The book argues that the massacre at Drogheda was never a mass cleansing of women and children, citing records after 1649 showing residents living before and after the attack. The oft-repeated claim is that Cromwell ordered his forces to kill everyone, which is incongruent with much of the rest of his character. It’s definitely true (Cromwell’s own account) that his forces put all of the military to the sword, but Schama argues that this probably saved lives later on as other towns gave up without resistance.

I’ve always been very patchy on certain parts of English history. I’ve enjoyed Schama’s take immensely.

Schama and Starkey are the best on British history, Starkey is un pc (I love that) but he seriously knows his shit.


#34

Originally posted by @Barry-Sanchez

Originally posted by @pap

In the final volume of Simon Schama’s History of Great Britain. As I think I’ve remarked before, I’ve also been reading Churchill’s take on our history too, and needed something a little less jingoistic and religiously ordained. If you listened to Churchill, you’d be hard pushed to separate divine providence with our own history. He’s clearly a believer. What’s clear from both works is that religion, far from ever achieving anything, has been one of the key drivers in pretty much every important element of our constitutional makeup. Specifically, sectarianism has been responsible for a hell of a lot.

It’s an interesting revelation to anyone who lives in this tolerant age of gay marriage and freedom of worship. The age of reason we live in is largely built on religious deviation, and the rights that those deviants were looking for and fighting for within a largely religious framework.

One of the books more controversial sections is on Cromwell. The book argues that the massacre at Drogheda was never a mass cleansing of women and children, citing records after 1649 showing residents living before and after the attack. The oft-repeated claim is that Cromwell ordered his forces to kill everyone, which is incongruent with much of the rest of his character. It’s definitely true (Cromwell’s own account) that his forces put all of the military to the sword, but Schama argues that this probably saved lives later on as other towns gave up without resistance.

I’ve always been very patchy on certain parts of English history. I’ve enjoyed Schama’s take immensely.

Schama and Starkey are the best on British history, Starkey is un pc (I love that) but his seriously knows his shit.

What would you recommend an American who read all four of Churhill’s volumes (but many years ago) read first from Starkey and Schama. It needs to be available on American Kindle.

Bah just noticed that only one Schama book is kindlized in USA: Rough Crossings. There is a bit more Starkey. In any case, what do you suggest?


#35

Recently finished All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

A thoroughly enjoyable book It intertwines the stories of a young and blind Parisienne (girl), and a young German, solider. It follows their individual stories in alternating chapters from birth as their lives become improbably linked in the dying days of the second world war around St Marlo. Beautifully written though it is, I was slightly put off by a mystical element of the plot. This surrounds a large diamond that the girl’s father is guarding and attempting to keep from the Nazis. The diamond is purportedly able to keep the holder from harm whilst simultaneously ensuring that those close to the owner expire horribly. Thankfully the story doesn’t rely on myth, but it was a distraction - purposely so I reckon. A bit of a weak ending, but I’d still recommend it.


#36

Just finished The Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov (A Country\Young Doctor’s Notebook, etc.)

A hilariously dark, short novel that parodies the early days of communism in the Soviet Union.

It follows stray dog who, near death, is befriended by a wealthy and successful professor (surgeon). He is taken back to the professor’s palatial apartment where for a couple of weeks he is treated like a king. Only then does he find out that the professor plans to remove and replace the dog’s testicles and pituitary gland with those of a dead human. The comical effect of this operation, which nearly kills the dog, is that he is slowly transformed into a ‘human’ that calls the professor dad and makes his life hell.

The book was not published in the Soviet Union until the 1980s - 60 years after it was written because the narrative allegorically lays into the concepts around eugenics and the New Soviet Man. It’s great fun and written with the same sneering honesty as A country Doctor’s Notebook. Worth a read for a chuckle.


#37

Just finished Go set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

I really enjoyed it, although if you come at it from the perspective of To Kill a Mockingbird, then you’re likely to be disappointed in more ways than one. As most people are unsurprisingly coming at it from that perspective, the reviews have been pretty mixed.

Slight spoiler follows.

The issue for me is that some sacred cows are slaughtered in the telling of this story that happens 15+ years after TKAM. Immediately after TKAM, Atticus Finch entered our language as a phrase that describes a man who sees no prejudice and lives and lets live. Without giving too much away, Jean-Louise (Scout) returns home from New York to find that the foundations of her life, which were built on the strength of her father’s tolerance, are crumbling.

The book is beautifully written, but some passages dwell too much and others don’t dwell long enough. I can see why it has mixed reviews, but I really loved it. This is mainly because it’s wonderfully written and the position Jean-Louise finds herself in looks irreconcilable, yet Lee manages to reconcile that position with credibility.


#38

The Maze Runner By James Dashner.

im looking forward to the 2nd film that is coming out this month.


#39

Just finishing Bernard Cornwall’s book about Waterloo. The battle could have gone either way at any time and both Naploeon and Wellington made mistakes throughout that could have seen a different outcome. The book is littered with anacdotes from those who fought and gives you a real feel for what it must have been like to be there. Interesting to read about the damage a cannon ball could inflict on packed infantry. One shot could kill or maime up to 25 soldiers, knocking them down like skittles with the gunners looking to skim the shot off the ground rather than fire higher. Anyone in the front line would have to face crippling artillary and musket fire and they must have nerves of steel.


#40

How did you get on with the prose? I read Tale of Two Cities earlier in the year and struggled with it. Not read Dickens before and found it hard going.