What are you currently reading? (part 2)

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What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby kibo » 2014-06-18, 21:38

What are you currently reading? And if you are not, what was the last thing you read. Whenever you start a new book, you can share it with us here.

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Continuation of What are you currently reading?. The old thread can now be found in Forum Archives.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby johntm » 2014-06-18, 22:23

Starting Killing Floor by Lee Child. First of the Jack Reacher books, I'm giving them a test run because the movie was awesome and it's nice to turn my brain off and read some good, badass fiction every once in a while.

Also, FIRST!
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-06-19, 23:40

I'm reading The Iron Heel by Jack London, it's supposed to be a dystopian novel, but I've read the first 40 pages and there isn't much dystopian so far... but at least there are many socio-political and philosophical considerations that I kind of share.

I also bought 8 sci-fi megapacks (collections of sci-fi short stories) for my kindle on amazon, since they cost just 0.50 euros. I've read 6 or 7 of them, and most of them didn't convince me that much, more precisely the end of most of the stories was quite disappointing even though the idea around which they developed seemed quite interesting.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Dormouse559 » 2014-06-19, 23:55

I'm reading Pooh and the Philosophers, "in which it is shown that all of Western philosophy is merely a preamble to Winnie-the-Pooh". It's somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it gives brief introductions to several schools of philosophical thought, using Winnie-the-Pooh passages as examples.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby johntm » 2014-06-23, 23:00

I've also worked my way through John McWhorter's Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, which is a history of English. Very interesting. Still working on the other aforementioned books.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby johntm » 2014-06-26, 23:36

Casino Royale and A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-06-28, 17:49

I've been reading two novels in Malayalam that I mentioned a few times in the old thread (Chemmeen and Malagal), and at long last, I have only two chapters of each left to read. :)

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-07, 15:08

Not sure why it took me so damn long to finish reading Mosquitoes, but I have and I'm making rapid progress on The handmaid's tale so I've decided to throw a French novel into the mix: «Des feux mal éteints» by Philippe Labro, about the Algerian war. As I suspected, I'm getting killed by all the dated slang.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby johntm » 2014-07-12, 21:39

Finished up some things I'm too lazy to put down here. Started The Power of Habit as well as Speak Without Fear. The latter I only have because I had to go to and evaluate a speech for a communications class and my roommate dragged me one he had to see for one of his classes. Ironically it was about public speaking, and the first 50 (i.e. everyone that showed up) got that book free, because the speaker was the author. It's okay so far, nothing super but it's short and won't hurt to read. After that I'm thinking these will be my next three, more or less in this order: Robert Greene's Mastery, then what is I think the 8th or so Jack Reacher book published but is actually a prequel chronologically to the first one published. The Enemy, and then that classic investment book The Intelligent Investor, which has a bunch of commentary and whatnot added on the the original version.
Still reading Science and Practice of Strength Training, at a rate of maybe 5-10 pages a week.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Halfdan » 2014-07-14, 23:15

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Lada » 2014-07-21, 17:43

Recently I've bought three books in English - A Portrait of Dorian Gray, Three men in a boat and A portrait of the artist as a young man. I started to read all three simultaneously just to find out which one of them is more interesting and easier to read.

I stopped on Dorian Gray. I can't say that language is very easy but it's an example of that good literature I'm fond of that I can understand and define unknown words according to the context.

As for others... Three men in a boat seems to be a humorous book, but the places where the author wants me to make laugh even don't make me smile. I wonder is it really not that funny, or is my humour perception so much affected by the environment?

A portrait of the artist as a young man... Joyce's language is difficult for me, is it difficult for native speakers? Some sentences are totally obscure for example. And I'm not sure that I will read the book till the end.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-21, 17:58

Lada wrote: As for others... Three men in a boat seems to be a humorous book, but the places where the author wants me to make laugh even don't make me smile. I wonder is it really not that funny, or is my humour perception so much affected by the environment?

I would say the latter. Most of the other people I know who have read it consider it a delightfully funny book. What we all have in common is long acquaintance with and appreciation for British modes of humour.

If it's any consolation, I read Leskov's «Сказ о тульском косом Левше и о стальной блохе» (in English translation) recently and didn't laugh once. I could see what he was trying to do, but it never rose above the level of mild amusement.

Lada wrote:A portrait of the artist as a young man... Joyce's language is difficult for me, is it difficult for native speakers? Some sentences are totally obscure for example. And I'm not sure that I will read the book till the end.

Joyce is notoriously difficult to read, but Portrait is generally considered his most accessible work. The only thing I found difficult about it was all the ponderous Catholic theology exposited in the final third.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby johntm » 2014-07-21, 21:52

Mastery by Robert Greene. Bought quite a few books at a used bookstore to go into the to-read pile. Now I have 18 books I have yet to touch sitting on my nightstand.
Also started Babel No More
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Lada » 2014-07-23, 19:16

linguoboy wrote:If it's any consolation, I read Leskov's «Сказ о тульском косом Левше и о стальной блохе» (in English translation) recently and didn't laugh once. I could see what he was trying to do, but it never rose above the level of mild amusement.

I haven't read this book and never heard that Leskov was a humourist writer... He's better known for thriller/detective story "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk district". Some satirist authors that come to my mind are Zoshchenko, Veller and Bulgakov, namely his "The Fatal Eggs", at least I remember myself laughing.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-23, 19:25

Lada wrote:He's better known for thriller/detective story "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk district".

I have a copy of that on my dresser, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

Lada wrote:Some satirist authors that come to my mind are Zoshchenko, Veller and Bulgakov, namely his "The Fatal Eggs", at least I remember myself laughing.

Of the three, I'd only ever heard of Bulgakov before. I tried reading his «Мастер и Маргарита» but I couldn't get into it.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like Veller's been translated into English at all.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-07-25, 8:14

Yay, now I only have one chapter of each of those two books left to read! (Yeah, that's right. I took a month to read one chapter of each. But that's because I was really dragging it out. I didn't feel like finishing both books off just yet, so I decided to time it so that this event coincided with the end of another language-learning cycle. Hopefully I'll finish these books off...sooner than I did those second-to-last chapters). :lol:

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-07-27, 13:08

Castaneda. It's interesting, even though his style of writing is dull. I really like the philosophy behind it, the way Don Juan understands the world and acts. I'm not sure how ''Indian'' his philosophy actually is, because it is very modern and Western in some sense, with the addition of drugs-induced spiritual mysticism. I like the fact that it is essentially a self-help book that teaches you how to live in an absurd, meaningless, ever-changing world.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby lazyaficionado » 2014-07-27, 15:56

linguoboy wrote:I read Leskov's «Сказ о тульском косом Левше и о стальной блохе» (in English translation) recently and didn't laugh once.

I read it long ago but as far as I remember it was in actuality a very depressing book. I don't know maybe it's just me but there's a certain kind of satire that makes me sad.

Lada wrote:I haven't read this book and never heard that Leskov was a humourist writer

He was a satirist. And to be fair, his Story of The Two Mouzhiks and The General is far more well known as it is a part of the school literature course.

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-07-27, 16:14

Finished reading Chemmeen earlier and just finished Malagal, too. The ending of Malagal was not quite what I was expecting it to be. It's a bit sad, actually. (Actually, it may even be very sad, but at least E. M. Kovoor didn't overdramatize the ending. And sure, the ending of Chemmeen is sad, too, but it's impressive how faithful the movie was even to the sequence of the narration at the end. Like when they say something like "there were two bodies in an embrace, and not far away, there was a dead shark as well," that's exactly what we see in the movie, in that order. We see first those two bodies, then the camera moves a bit to the right and shows us the shark, too. And the drama at the end was pretty exciting).

Not entirely sure what I'll read next right now. I was thinking of reading Babel No More (which johntm's also reading), but I was also thinking I might start Pithaamahan, which promises to be an awful lot more lighthearted than these other two books. Or maybe I should read Anubhavangal (which does not promise to be lighthearted at all). Or maybe I should read some stories in some of the magazines we have. Or maybe I should even just read a bunch of lighthearted short stories in Malayalam. Whatever I do, I am sure as hell not attempting to read two Malayalam novels in tandem again. Jesus Christ, I must have taken at least a year and a half to read these two! :shock:

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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-27, 16:48

I started Edward P. Jones' novel The known world, about a free black slaveowner in antebellum Virginia, but it didn't seize me so I picked up Guy Vanderhaeghe's The Englishman's boy. We'll see if I continue with both books or just one of them. Still reading the Labro, but I only just passed the one-quarter mark.

ETA: The problem I'm having with the Jones is that he's digressive to the point of distraction. I just read a paragraph to my spouse from a chapter where a man gives his abolitionist cousin's new bride a slave as a gift in order to embarrass him. The man's wife has just introduced the slave to her new mistress--then Jones goes off on a tangent about what will happen to the woman's former personal slave, current personal slave, her children, and the daughter of the woman at some indefinite time in the future when the woman dies. So, in one paragraph, he's just gone and introduced five new characters, none of whom is likely to appear in the narrative again, and who have fuck-all to do with the subject of the chapter, which is how the abolitionist found a wife.

I'm not up for several hundred pages of this nonsense. Either he settles down to focus on a core group of personages or he's going back on the shelf.
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