What are you currently reading? (part 2)

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

Postby md0 » 2023-02-03, 19:22

I am one-fifth into reading Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, and I'm disgusted, although not exactly for the reason which online reviews seem to have hated the book. I did read some spoilers intentionally to judge if I can finish this, so I'm pushing through for now.

Unfortunately it's for a book club that I wanted to join for a while, and although I wish I knew and skipped this month, if I drop out this late, they will ban me.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2023-02-03, 21:30

When the movie came out, I tried to read his autobiography. Seems like it should be right up my alley and yet I couldn't get into it.

In general, I'm finding it hard to find books I want to read. I thought I'd choose something easy and went with 『霧の旗』by 松本 清張/Matsumoto Seichō (Pro bono in the English translation by Andrew Clare). And I finished it in a week but only because I sped-read long passages. Matsumoto has as an odd habit of resummarising bits he's made explicitly clear in previous chapters, often several times. This was so consistent throughout the work that I began to wonder if it had been serialised originally. On top of that, he frontloads the work with the full text of various police reports and articles rather than just excerpting the most relevant bits. It honestly could have been two-thirds the length. On the plus side, it did subvert my expectations, taking things in a nihilistic direction I hadn't anticipated. And I was amused to find the aging lawyer at the centre of it being described as over the hill despite being my exact age.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2023-02-12, 10:46

I just decided to drop the book and cancel my participation in that book club. The book contents are more triggering than is worth it to force myself to read it just so that I don't get banned from the book club.

I actually had a much more enjoyable time finishing my first novel in German, although admittedly it was an Easy Language short story for young teens so my reading level is still not where I'd like it to be. Quite the confidence boost and the narrative although simplistic and cringey, it did hit some resonant notes with me.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2023-02-14, 18:15

Gratuliere!

I just ordered some new reading yesterday including a nonfiction book in German (Tod am Schauinsland, about an incredible incident I never heard about while living there) and a Sri Lankan novel in English called The seven moons of Maali Almeida, which should be arriving any day. Not sure whether I'll start that first or Rushdie's Victory City, which I plan to pick up on Thursday when my favourite local bookstore reopens.

I just finished up The water cure, a debut novel from a young writer named Sophie Mackintosh. It's interesting to think of it as a counterpart to Elmet, another debut novel from a young British author about the ultimately doomed attempts of a powerful male to protect his family from the evil designs of other men. Both very atmospheric and suspenseful.

ETA: Well, Maali Almeida is still in the mail whereas I made it to the bookstore today, so Victory City it is. Read the first chapter over lunch and I'm hooked.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2023-03-02, 21:42

linguoboy wrote:Gratuliere!


Danke!

* * *

Emboldened by the previous experience, I started Supergute Tage oder Die sonderbare Welt des Christopher Boone the German translation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. A friend gifted me a copy, saying it was ideal reading material for them when they were more or less at the same language level as me.

Well, definitely more challenging than the last book, but so far so good.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2024-01-27, 10:35

Just above, I wrote about starting to read Supergute Tage. I dropped that book eventually. The language might have been what it was, but the book itself was not rewarding enough to keep me interested.

But now I'm close to finishing another book, Ey, hör mal, a translation of a Norwegian teen novel. The language is also challenging, but the story much more appealing so it keeps me coming back.

One think that has to be said is that the gimmick of every sentence with a Bro, Alter, or yo gets old at some point. What saves it is that the POV character is genuinely funny outside of that verbal tic.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby loqu » 2024-01-29, 8:22

The lack of easy or graded reads in Serbian has pushed me to try to read Igre gladi, the Serbian translation of The Hunger Games. Even though the book is way beyond my level (I feel there is a whole lot of words I don't know, and it gets frustrating at times), the fact that I have read the book more than once and know what it is about makes it slightly easier. I'm on chapter 4, I try to read 2 or 3 pages each day (can't read more because I fall asleep quickly).

I'll copy md0's idea and try to find teenager books. I say try because finding any e-book outside of bestsellers is difficult, but it's still easier than getting paper books: even if I wanted to read on paper, getting paper books in Serbian in Spain is practically impossible except if you pay ~30 Euro in shipping costs from Serbia.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2024-01-29, 9:20

loqu wrote:The lack of easy or graded reads in Serbian has pushed me to try to read Igre gladi, the Serbian translation of The Hunger Games. Even though the book is way beyond my level (I feel there is a whole lot of words I don't know, and it gets frustrating at times), the fact that I have read the book more than once and know what it is about makes it slightly easier. I'm on chapter 4, I try to read 2 or 3 pages each day (can't read more because I fall asleep quickly).


Fantasy and Sci-Fi must be particularly challenging as second-language reading. They tend to have very stylised language. But I like the idea of picking up Hunger Games again, perhaps in Germany.

Off Topic
I never finished reading it in English, I started the last book shortly before I moved, and I left the copy with my brother back in Cyprus (it was his copy, to be fair). For this reason, I also decided not to watch the films yet, until I finish the books.


I'll copy md0's idea and try to find teenager books. I say try because finding any e-book outside of bestsellers is difficult, but it's still easier than getting paper books: even if I wanted to read on paper, getting paper books in Serbian in Spain is practically impossible except if you pay ~30 Euro in shipping costs from Serbia.


Perhaps a shopping trip to Belgrade is in order. There's some Greek books I wanted to buy for more than two years now, but the shipping costs never felt justifiable. I'll finally buy them when I go back to Cyprus for Easter.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2024-01-29, 23:23

md0 wrote:Fantasy and Sci-Fi must be particularly challenging as second-language reading. They tend to have very stylised language. But I like the idea of picking up Hunger Games again, perhaps in Germany.

This can be true of fantasy, but my experience with science fiction is that more often than not it exhibits the kind of straightforward prose I associate with thrillers (which, after all, is what a lot of SF is). The last science fiction novel I recall reading in a foreign language was Die Haarteppichknüpfer and I don't remember the language being particularly challenging, despite the oddness of some of the situations.

I've got a fairly simple novel lined up for my next German-language read, a detective story set during Fastnacht. My next non-English read will most likely be the book of Irish-language frontier stories which is due to arrive today.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby loqu » 2024-01-30, 8:47

md0 wrote:Fantasy and Sci-Fi must be particularly challenging as second-language reading. They tend to have very stylised language. But I like the idea of picking up Hunger Games again, perhaps in Germany.

Off Topic
I never finished reading it in English, I started the last book shortly before I moved, and I left the copy with my brother back in Cyprus (it was his copy, to be fair). For this reason, I also decided not to watch the films yet, until I finish the books.


You didn't watch any of the films? I liked them, but they are like 32312 times worse than the books. I suppose, like most film adaptations, haha.

I don't know about other Sci-Fi books, but at least this one isn't full of invented vocabulary, except for the couple dystopian concepts like the mockingjays and such. The rest of the vocabulary is quite simple and related to nature and everyday life, so it's being quite useful to read it. I guess the third book of the series would be much more difficult, you know why.

md0 wrote:Perhaps a shopping trip to Belgrade is in order. There's some Greek books I wanted to buy for more than two years now, but the shipping costs never felt justifiable. I'll finally buy them when I go back to Cyprus for Easter.


Yes, I was in Belgrade last October and I even visited the Book Fair, it was amazing, plus the city is full of bookstores. I only ended up buying a big-ass dictionary, a conjugation guide and a cookbook my bf liked, I didn't feel capable of reading any serious book. Next time I'll go for other books (and hopefully my language level will be better).

Aren't books in Greek easy to get in Germany? I thought it would be easier, with Greece and Cyprus being in the EU, and Germany being a big market.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Car » 2024-01-30, 21:40

loqu wrote:I'll copy md0's idea and try to find teenager books. I say try because finding any e-book outside of bestsellers is difficult, but it's still easier than getting paper books: even if I wanted to read on paper, getting paper books in Serbian in Spain is practically impossible except if you pay ~30 Euro in shipping costs from Serbia.


Have you tried looking on Croatian sites? Since they're in the EU, it shouldn't be as bad.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2024-01-31, 7:42

Good points about sci-fi books, both linguoboy and loqu. I was thinking exclusively of sci-fi with a lot of made-up technobabble, but indeed not all stories lean heavily on that.

I looked for the first Hunger Games book yesterday at the library, someone else was already borrowed it. The number of pages of the second book also looks daunting to me at the moment.
So, I picked up Eine Formalie in Kiew instead, which seems like it will blend well with my last book.

Aren't books in Greek easy to get in Germany? I thought it would be easier, with Greece and Cyprus being in the EU, and Germany being a big market.

It has proven surprisingly hard. Locally, I can only find material for learners and for young children - then there's an online general-purpose bookstore, but they focus on contemporary pop-literature and what I'm looking for is a bit older. Online bookstores from Greece ask for 20 Euro shipping fees on a 25 Euro purchase so that's a non-starter.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Antea » 2024-01-31, 11:13

I am reading a book called "The Atlas six" by Olivie Blake, in English.

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

Postby linguoboy » 2024-01-31, 16:37

md0 wrote:Good points about sci-fi books, both linguoboy and loqu. I was thinking exclusively of sci-fi with a lot of made-up technobabble, but indeed not all stories lean heavily on that.

Honestly, I don't find technobabble that challenging. First of all, I generally find technical writing easier to read than literary fiction in general. Second, if the author is creating neologisms or using terms in a nonstandard way, they usually have to explain this to L1 readers as well.

In the same shipment as the aforementioned book of Irish-language frontier stories, there's another book I added on a whim in order to get a discount. It's by a Nishnaabeg activist author named
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and the title is As We Have Always Done : Indigenous freedom through radical resistance. It's very lucidly written; I though I was just going to glance at it a bit and I ended up reading the first chapter.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby loqu » 2024-02-01, 9:05

Car wrote:Have you tried looking on Croatian sites? Since they're in the EU, it shouldn't be as bad.

After I saw your reply, I took a look in some bookstore websites, and it's not looking any better, the shipping costs are more or less the same. I'm afraid the only difference is that I won't have to handle customs.

md0 wrote:I looked for the first Hunger Games book yesterday at the library, someone else was already borrowed it. The number of pages of the second book also looks daunting to me at the moment.

Do you only read on paper?
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby md0 » 2024-02-02, 8:18

linguoboy wrote:Honestly, I don't find technobabble that challenging. First of all, I generally find technical writing easier to read than literary fiction in general. Second, if the author is creating neologisms or using terms in a nonstandard way, they usually have to explain this to L1 readers as well.


I should definitely give it a shot, probably I built it up in my head as way more difficult than it needs to be.

loqu wrote:Do you only read on paper?


Not strictly, I have a tablet too and I read a lot of books on it. But I'm more distracted on it compared to reading on paper (since it's a general purpose device and not an eBook reader), so all other things being equal, I prefer paper now.
I prefer eBooks when I'm travelling though, for the obvious benefit of volume.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby linguoboy » 2024-05-22, 20:34

Still trying to get through David Crystal's By Hook or by Crook (a.k.a. Walking English). It should have been a quick read--it's a chatty, discursive popular work about language after all--but I've been too distracted lately to get much reading done.
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Re: What are you currently reading? (part 2)

Postby Linguaphile » 2024-06-10, 14:22

In Estonian: For the summer I'm reading Indrek Hargla's Eestid, mida ei olnud, which is a departure from the norm for me since I usually read nonfiction; it's an anthology of alternative history and historical fantasy by a dozen Estonian authors. I'm also still reading Enn Kaup's Minu Antarktika (a travelogue-memoir of Antarctica). In between reading these books I'm also reading Kristi Jõeste's Kihnu kördid eile ja täna, a semiotic study of folk dress traditions of Kihnu Island.

In Spanish: I'm reading Los asesinos de la luna de las flores, the Spanish translation of David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon. I haven't seen the movie yet, and will probably watch it after I finish the book. I'm also slowly working my way through three slim volumes of articles about the Spanish language by Luz Nereida Pérez. The short articles were originally published in the Puerto Rican newspaper "Claridad" in a weekly column called "Hablemos Español" in the 1990s and then compiled into books of the same title. Since they are now about thirty years old, some are pretty dated (especially the articles that focus on the topic of "new" words and technology... of the 90's), but they're interesting to read. Many of the words she calls "new" are now so old that they're no longer used, which shows how transient some neologisms can be. I thought I had volumes 1, 2 and 3, but it turns out I've got volumes 1, 2, and 7. Fortunately, they consist of entirely self-contained articles, so it doesn't really matter that I'm missing volumes 3-6, which seem to be pretty difficult to track down.

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

Postby Antea » 2024-06-23, 9:29

I usually read in English. Lately I've been reading quite long phantasy novels: "Babel" by Kuang, "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel" by Clarke and yesterday I finished the second book of the Daevabab trilogy "Kingdom of Copper" by Chakraborty. I am now considering if should continue with the third book ("Empire of Gold") or take an interlude and read "A study in drowning" by Ava Reid :hmm:


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