The Book Club.

Discussion in 'The Guru's Pub' started by The Laughing Ma, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Jdaisy

    Jdaisy Member

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    My teenage years were a bad time for me and my family. My parents were unhappy with each other, i fought with them non-stop. After they got divorced reading was sought of an escape and a form of asserting independence. Finishing a book was also about finally being able to accomplish something.
    Then i read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915) t’s about an outsider. A discontent. A sufferer. Kafka uses dream state and symbolism styles with the effect of making the situation even more grotesque. It is a much darker, more inactive and much more debilitating take on this outsider's feeling. This book was hard to understand, it took 4 reads to actually get the true message, and it absolutely changed my entire life!
     
  2. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Sorry for the necro but didn't see the point in creating a new thread on the same subject.

    Anyways... I was never a massive reader in my younger years, always one of those types who basically went "good book eh ? I'll just wait for the film!". Then I met my missus around 9 years ago and shes a big reader so naturally she tried to get me into it. I didn't have a smartphone and needed something to pass the time during my breaks at work so figured I'll dip into her book collection and read a few autobiagraphies and fantasy books and ended up liking reading but then I got a smartphone and just started using that on my breaks and it basically killed my reading hobby. Yet something always remained, a small niggle at the back of my mind basically yearning for a good read and I kept telling myself that I really want to start reading some good sci-fi, cyberpunk or fantasy.

    Fast forward to a few weeks ago and my missus bought a book by Bruce Dickinson ( the lead singer of Iron Maiden ) from the Kindle store for £1.99 on a whim and asked me to check her Kindle and make sure the books downloaded there. I ended up starting the book and was really enjoying it but what I was enjoying even more was the feel of the Kindle in my hand. I had been in the process of reading the first Witcher book a week earlier but I found the feeling of the "analogue book" in my hand awkward while laid in bed trying to read. I would be in awkward positions, my arms would get tired or numb, if I tried to read holding the book in 1 hand I would drop it occasionally and lose the page I was on and so forth. It was the combination the above 2 that made me realize I need an eReader in my life!

    Started researching and considered getting a cheap tablet or just using my phone but then I thought that if I'm reading I don't really wish to be pestered by notifications and such so a dedicated eReader made sense. I started looking at the Kindle Paperwhite and it ticked all the boxes. Yesterday I got an Email from Amazon and conveniently enough the Paperwhite was on sale so a trigger was pulled and it should arrive today and I'm excited. I even got onto Goodreads and started building a list of what I want to read, The Expanse series is definitely under my radar but I'm going to leave that till later as I'm in the process of rewatching the first 2 series on Netflix and didn't feel like going through the events again so soon. The first books I'm getting are Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Neuromancer by William Gibson and Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks.

    I welcome any and all suggestions for some good sci-fi and fantasy but with an adult tone, not interested in young adult/teen stuff. Some good gritty Cyberpunk would be cool too.
     
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  3. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    Ahhh so a fan of the same books, read The Expanse books, they are currently well beyond the events the TV show is going to reach any time in the next two to three years (thanks Amazon for the chance of another two or three years worth of The Expanse.) Some rumours kicking about that the TV show may skip the events of the fourth book, which I can see them doing and apart from one very big event at the end nothing much happens that really affects the overall story.

    I've also just started the third book in the Witcher series, technically this is the first complete book with a complete story as the first two are just collections of short stories but so far I am liking them. Getting some back story to the characters I loved in the game is great.

    Repo if you are looking for some fantasy then try the Grim Company books, their are three of them and weirdly for a series that starts off as pure sword and sorcery fantasy somehow manages to switch in to sci fi fantasy quite nicely by the third book.
     
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  4. airbud7

    airbud7 Ancient Guru

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    Cool Post Repo Man....I too have the itch to start reading again...

    The best thing I like about reading a book "vs" watching a movie is, I get to choose the backdrop.
    If there's a river in the book then its my river that I thought of in my mind.
    If there's a pretty lady in the book, she looks like what I thought of in my mind.

    "The Book Was Better" saying is true for readers.
     

  5. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Will add those to my list, thanks man. Also read about the cancellation of Expanse and that Amazon has picked it up so hopefully we'll see more. This is one of the very reasons I wanted to get into reading, you got channels like SyFy that can comission good shows but the only thing the channel is good for really is cancelling good shows. This actually applies to a lot of network TV these days, especially if its a niche genre even in the slightest so all the more reason to read instead so I don't have to put up with the networks dangling a carrot in front of me only for them to take it away midway through the journey so to speak.

    Yea thats what I like too, letting my imagination fill in the blanks for me and thats one of the reasons I'm trying to steer away from books that have been made to a film or TV series since I don't want something my brain will associate to that.

    The other thing I like about books is that they can be dirt cheap! Like that Children of Time I started reading yesterday, £1.89 in the Kindle Store... Bargain! They also had a few sci-fi and fantasy book series, actual series of 3-4 books going for £0.99p. Madness I tell you! Ok sure some of the cheaper stuff or the freebies might not be from the most well known authors but for that price I don't care, especially if the user reviews are good.
     
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  6. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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  7. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    I get you, especially since Syfy decided to cancel The Expanse right at the point were things start to get very interesting in the books.
     
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  8. scatman839

    scatman839 Ancient Guru

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    But its been picked up by amazon now
     
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  9. Texter

    Texter Ancient Guru

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    I've read a bunch of books from the Death Gate cycle in recent years...mystifying post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy adventuring with different levels of sorcery, magic based technology, various kinds of magic and a bunch of races. It's an OK and sometimes even great series to pass time. Definitely more serious than Terry Pratchett's Discworld saga, but also a bit absurd at times.

    The benefit of reading the Expanse is that you sometimes spend hours in the heat of the moment whereas the TV series just breezes through...and that's when/if it's actually following the books.
     
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  10. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    Oh I know that and I thank some none descript entity for that but it just seems ironic that Syfy would not only cancel a show that constantly scores well in the ratings (not the numbers but the actual quality of the show) but also decides to cancel it at a time when it is about to get really really interesting.

    Could be worse could be like the game of thrones books vs TV show, the ending is meant to be the same but how they get there looks like it is going to be totally different. The Expanse show at least seems to be for the most part following the events of the book. My main worry for The Expanse TV show is that they turn the events of Ilus into a season long run. I get that the ending to that book gives us a big intro and a back story to the proto-molecule but I dunno if it is worth more than a few episodes.

    I am still saddened by Sir Terry Pratchett's passing, you see not only do you loose the great author himself but you also loose the entire world he created, and yes while The Disc still exists in the stories he created it's the fact that their will be no more development no more continuation no further adventures that saddens me and while sometimes it is nice to think that someone may step up and continue the work, their is always the risk you get something along the lines of what happen when Douglas Adams (Hitch Hikers Guide) passed and you get someone try to continue the works who really shouldn't.
     
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  11. scatman839

    scatman839 Ancient Guru

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    Just finished the last pratchett book about half a year or a year ago. What's odd is that raising steam seems a far more fitting last book than the shepherds crown. When I finished raising steam I was genuinely a bit upset, I guess cause the recent news. Like many RPG games the end of the book does a sort of "what happened after" slide thing where it shows the effects of what has happened in the book.

    Pratchett quite clearly saw adams legacy being destroyed and was very anti carrying his stuff on, but it's a shame we don't have a possibility of a Salmon of Doubt like scenario to draw our own conclusions from

    The board on syfy must be super money orientated because they're basically infamous for cancelling shows now with no notice to give a proper ending

    The only times i've ever seen them let a show know and wrap things up are warehouse 13 and eureka
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  12. SerotoNiN

    SerotoNiN Ancient Guru

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    Ray Bradbury. I’m running out of stuff though.

    Lots of nonfiction. That I’m learning is fiction. Lol. Good knowledge though.
    Hard for me to read for entertainment anymore. Michael Crichton was another guy I enjoyed. If I’m spelling that right.
     
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  13. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Ok so with all this new stuff blowing my mind off, I was wondering what might be a good read if one wants some serious adult themed fantasy and by that I mean fantasy ( or sci-fi ) with sex, violence, bad language, general unpleasantness and cynicism ? Preferably not Game of Thrones as I'm invested on the TV series and I want to see how that pans out before picking up the books.

    Alternatively the above genres but with some good old dry British humour injected to it ?

    Quoting the immortal words of Homer Simpson at the candy exhibition "I feel like a kid in some kind of a store"... Its almost as if there are endless story options out there all of a sudden and I want to devour them all to see what I've been missing out on.

    Lastly, as a sci-fi fan, has anyone read any of the countless Star Trek or Star Wars novels and are they worth a look or are they just disposable tat cashing in on said franchises ?
     
  14. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Yea I got the first book in that series on my list as recommended by my step daughter, gonna give it a go eventually when I get there.

    Liking this Kindle though! Hadn't really left the house in 4 days, just been reading, reading and more reading basically. Had to drag myself out with the missus today just to get my body going properly again, 4 days of laying around... The human body isn't designed for that! Whilst the better half was browsing clothes I parked myself on a bench and the Kindle came out of the manbag, lo and behold! Women's clothes shopping is suddenly a tolerable experience.
     
  15. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Ok thought I would drop a quick update, the past month I've blown most of my spare time ( and change ) at reading and been loving it! Think I've devoured 5 or 6 books an I'll drop a few quick thoughts about them.

    - Bruce Dickinson's What does this button do ?: I started off easy with an autobiography of a person I admire. To those who may not know, Bruce Dickinson is the lead singer of Iron Maiden and he ( as it turns out ) has lived a pretty fascinating life. I went through this book in under 2 days which is pretty good going for a slow reader like me and I must say I didn't really get bored at all which made it a great introduction to my new hobby.

    - Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time: I really wanted to dig my heels at some sci-fi and this was a great introduction, some real out of this world concepts that all come together nice and neat in the end and I highly recommended reading if you're after something a bit different.

    - Corey Taylor's You're Making Me Hate You: When Corey Taylor isn't flexing his vocal muscles in Slipknot or Stonesour, he likes to write books. I had read his first book which was a Christmas present from years gone by and found it a good read so on a bit of whim I bought this one as it was going cheap and really enjoyed it! Nothing beats a man on a rant-wave about all things from airports to traffic to other peoples kids and so on, also he really dislikes Justin Bieber.

    - Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas: This was the Crown Jewel for me and it didn't disappoint! I had Banks under my radar as one of the best sci-fi writers and looked forward to diving head-on into the Culture Universe. I was a bit daunted initially as some people say they found the book hard to read and not the best in the series but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I cannot wait to read more of his works. The next book in the series, The Player of Games has been pretty highly rated and thus firmly on my scope.

    Mark Lawrence' The Broken Empire Trilogy: After sci-fi I really wanted some fantasy in my life but I didn't want any optimistic swords and wizards stuff so after some googling I discovered the "grimdark" sub-genre. There were many book series vying for my attention but the Broken Empire trilogy kept sort of popping up and I knew nothing about it so I took a punt and read The Prince of Thorns which I absolutely loved to a point that once I finished it, I immediately bought King of Thorns, the 2nd book in the series... then I finished that and immediately bought the 3rd and final book in the series, Emperor of Thorns ( jury's still out on the last one ). I love this series, it can be really grim and quite brutal in places with solid world building and a few twists and surprises. The story is mostly told from the lead characters perspective at first person, he is a bit of a prick but with glints of decency every once in a while that offset it. There are plenty of well worded reviews out there for the series, far better than what I could ever type up but I will say that its a series well worth checking out if you like a grim fantasy tale.

    Going forward: Once finished with The Broken Empire trilogy I look forward to reading Space Police: The Attack of the Mammary Clans as I yearn for something with a bit of humour, probably followed by Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself which is supposed to be right up there when it comes to grimdark fantasy and then I will probably start chewing through the next Iain M.Banks Culture book.

    To summarize, reading is awesome! But you can't force someone into it like I've been told all my life to read and read and read some more. It's all there to be discovered... when the time is right.
     
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  16. StewieTech

    StewieTech Chuck Norris

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    I bought the holy bible today. Should arrive in a few days. Funny, i carry a cross on my chest yet i have yet to read the bible. Anyway, its 1900 pages, should keep me busy alright.
     
  17. Repo Man

    Repo Man Ancient Guru

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    Pretty sure you could have got that for free so you've been scammed there :p

    Make sure to check out some of the youtube or even the TV channels, they give you better spots in the queue to the pearly gates against a small donation.
     
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  18. StewieTech

    StewieTech Chuck Norris

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    Gee, thanks......................
     
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  19. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    The Old Testament is alright gets a bit preachy here and there but the really interesting stuff only starts happening in the sequel (new testament)
     
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