May Reading Thread

Same here. The third book was written when Peake was ill, was originally badly-edited, and doesn't feature the castle, which seems like a major flaw to me.

I haven't picked up on the irony aspect thus far but for me it's making a show of its intellect but is wholly lacking any heart, and the words that are springing to mind at present are pretentious and too-clever-by-half.

Maybe "irony" is the wrong word, but "too-clever-by-half" describes it perfectly. I suspect that if it was more clearly-written, it would look pretty thin.

I've started The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, but I'm not really getting into it. I'll persevere.
 
I got about half way with this very many years ago. It was long-winded. I'm wondering if I should give it another go?

A number of years ago Michael Dirda asked a listserv what obscure books they recommended to other readers. I'm not sure even then that Titus Groan was all that obscure, but this is how I described it:

Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan: If you can get past that nothing really happens during the course of this novel, except that lives change and a nation's future may hang in the balance, and if you can accept a prose as slow and stately as the barnacle-like growth of the castle Gormanghast, but a prose which is also an intense and exact translation into words of the vision of a painter/illustrator (which Peake was), then this book will bring magic into your reading life.

I'll stand by that.
 
I finished The Belgariad and Belgarath the Sorcerer a few days ago and I’m currently immersed in Pokhara the Sorceress. There’s nothing that I dislike about these books. David and Leigh Eddings were absolute geniuses.
 
Lately finished My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit and now reading Blair Worden's brief introductory book The English Civil Wars: 1640-1660.

I'm taking an English Lit course at the moment so I'm tending to go for non-fiction outside of all the literature, but this year I have especially enjoyed Robinson Crusoe, three of the books of Paradise Lost, as well Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce. Also a fairly modern novel which was new to me but made a strong impression: The Rape of Sita by Lindsey Collen. It's a story set on post-colonial Mauritius, built on themes from the Ramayana.

I'm craving a bit of good old escapism though... looking forward to getting back to some sci-fi. I read The Three Body Problem a few years back and hearing friends talk about the series has reminded me how much I liked the book, so I might read the sequel. I'm currently having fun writing a reading list for the summer while I briefly have agency over my own choices again...
 
Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith
Bloody weird book. Interesting world building, unreliable narrator. Starts of sort of detective-noir-cyberpunky but without the human-hooked-up-to-the-'net cybernetics and then veers off into Alice's "Wonderland" on hallucinogenics.
 
A number of years ago Michael Dirda asked a listserv what obscure books they recommended to other readers. I'm not sure even then that Titus Groan was all that obscure, but this is how I described it:

Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan: If you can get past that nothing really happens during the course of this novel, except that lives change and a nation's future may hang in the balance, and if you can accept a prose as slow and stately as the barnacle-like growth of the castle Gormanghast, but a prose which is also an intense and exact translation into words of the vision of a painter/illustrator (which Peake was), then this book will bring magic into your reading life.

I'll stand by that.
I want to get round to reading Peake soon. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe is one of my favorites and I feel like there might be some similarities?
 
Maybe someone else can say. Wolfe has always seemed like a mountain, and I've been slow to climb it.
 
I want to get round to reading Peake soon. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe is one of my favorites and I feel like there might be some similarities?
I have read both multiple times and have never connected or compared them.
 
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Finished the James White Sector General omnibus and have now started on Brian Aldiss's Non-Stop, which I believe is a 'generation ship' story. (No spoilers, please!) I'm about 20% of the way in. Everyone appears to live a squalid, futile, loveless life but just when you think you will probably top yourself before one of them does, a man of the cloth assembles a motley crew of unappealing characters and they set off into the ulu... So it's about to get more interesting. Wish me luck!
 
I am about to start Galaxy: The Best of My Years (1980) edited by James Baen, containing fiction and articles from his period as the editor of the magazine. (Not that long; all the pieces are from 1974 to 1977.) The most familiar stories for me are "The Day Before the Revolution" by Ursula K. LeGuin and "Overdrawn at the Memory Bank" by John Varley.
 
I think I might go for a Belgaraid reread
I read the Elenium first, and that has been my favourite Eddings series. I am afraid to re-read the Belgariad incase the Suck-Fairy hits. I have grown to dislike whiny children in my fiction.
 
I'm having a go at The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon.

Rogue mobile AIs and fractal gods at war with one another in a high tech landscape
 
Finished the James White Sector General omnibus and have now started on Brian Aldiss's Non-Stop, which I believe is a 'generation ship' story. (No spoilers, please!) I'm about 20% of the way in. Everyone appears to live a squalid, futile, loveless life but just when you think you will probably top yourself before one of them does, a man of the cloth assembles a motley crew of unappealing characters and they set off into the ulu... So it's about to get more interesting. Wish me luck!

Both terrific ! :cool:
 
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