November 2021 Reading Thread

Simbelmynë

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Those are the only two I've read and I've loved them both. I prefer Kafka with it's almost whimsical nature, 1Q84 is much darker. But I'll certainly be reading more of his - quite probably all of them eventually.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is quite a whimsical one as well if I remember. Another favourite was Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki, one of those books I just devoured. There’s something a little bit mesmerising about Murakami’s writing. I wonder what he’s like to read in Japanese…
 

Vertigo

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The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is quite a whimsical one as well if I remember. Another favourite was Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki, one of those books I just devoured. There’s something a little bit mesmerising about Murakami’s writing. I wonder what he’s like to read in Japanese…
That last question is one I always ask myself after reading a good translated book; this includes Zafon, Marquez, Bolano, Schultz and Gombrowicz to name just a few. Translating such authors must be an awesome responsibility.
 

tobl

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That last question is one I always ask myself after reading a good translated book; this includes Zafon, Marquez, Bolano, Schultz and Gombrowicz to name just a few. Translating such authors must be an awesome responsibility.
try Saramago. you will freak out.
 

HareBrain

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Finished Elidor (1965) by Alan Garner. Wasn't at all as I expected, but it improved as it went on, until its very abrupt ending. The weirdest thing about it is: it's a portal fantasy in which the other world is visited only in chapter 1.

Now reading Treacle Walker, a strange little book publish by Garner this year.

So that's two books published by the same author 56 years apart. There can't be many writers who have done that.
 

Av Demeisen

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A new 2 hours 40 minutes podcast with Neal Stephenson by Lex Fridman (released 11 November, 2021).

Neal Stephenson: Sci-Fi, Space, Aliens, AI, VR & the Future of Humanity​

 

Bick

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Someone said that about Dune...
To be fair, most people say that about Dune.

Speaking of which, I just re-read Dune Messiah. I enjoyed it, and while its certainly less expansive and action-oriented than Dune, the discussions, court intrigue and ideas are mostly well-handled. By making some of the dialogue and ideas ambiguous or by obscuring their meaning, Herbert manages to convey political complexities and the strangeness of the Emperor and his powers quite well - employing a dreamy, uncertain tone can be challenging (though it was not uncommon in SF books written toward the end of the '60's), but it can also be appropriate and fitting, as here. And ultimately, Dune Messiah rounds off Paul's story in a satisfying way that makes a lot more sense than one necessarily expects from the middle section of the book. I think it takes some trust from the reader that Herbert will make it work out clearly as one reads through this novel, but I felt that trust was deserved. Dune Messiah manages to both complete one story cycle and start another, while also creating further depth to the Dune universe. I wouldn't recommend to it anyone who struggled with Dune though, which is a more immediate, direct and transparent story.

I'm now starting Children of Dune.
 

Parson

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I read a three book series by J.M. Anjewierden in The Black Chronicles Series. The Long Black, Black Holiday, and Running Black, over the weekend. I guess it wouldn't be too surprising to say that I liked them. Basically the books are the adventures of a young girl who is set free from a "slave" planet by the heroism of her parents. It then follows her as she makes her way in the world. By the end of Running Black, ,Morgan, the young woman, woman is 18 years old and part of the crew of a star ship. The things I liked best about the book were how often people helped others with little other agenda than simply helping someone in need, Second, that although Morgan is not a person who believes in a deity, many of the people who help her are, and they are Christian; third, the way Morgan is portrayed as someone who is often clueless about what is going on but not shown as being stupid; and Fourth, as I read the book I know that there is a lot going on that is not apparent, but still the story lets me feel good about the fact that some things will be revealed later, and some may not, and that's okay too.

Next up, a book which is the beginning of a series reported to be "Better than Honor Harrington." Charles E. Gannon, Fire With Fire.
 

Ray Zdybrow

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Can't remember the quote exactly but Brian Aldiss defined SF as asking the questions "Who are we? And how can we live?"
"The Dawn Of Everything: A New History Of Humanity" by David Graeber and David Wengrow is not SF or Fantasy but attempts to answer these questions, based on new findings in archaeology and anthropology. I'm about halfway through this enormous tome and it's CRACKING.
 

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