Read any good books lately?

I'm just curious to see what people are reading these days. I remember last year there was a summer reads thread going, and I really enjoyed that thread and seeing what kind of stuff people were into. 

For me, I'm currently reading Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. It's got a great premise in that Earth is long dead and on a colony planet, a group of men and women has gained control of technology and made themselves immortal, and rule the world as Hindu gods. I don't have much knowledge of the Hindu religion, so I'm sure I'm missing a bunch, but it's really enjoyable so far, even if I'm having difficulty wrapping my mind around what's going on at times. This is my first Zelazny book, but I know he was tremendously influential on writers like GRRM and Neil Gaiman and I'm eager to check out more once I'm done with this one.

The other book I'm reading is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. The premise is your typical "humanity nearly wiped out by a virus" story, but I'm really loving the book so far. I'm only about a quarter of the way through it, but it views the whole event through just a few characters, most of whom belong to a traveling theater troupe/symphony in the post-virus world trying to survive and entertain people at the same time. There's a lot of emphasis on art and culture and I love the devices Mandel uses to connect and move between the pre-virus world the post-virus world.  

Anyway, anyone else reading anything good these days?
JoshKristEine Frau
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Comments

  • I've been on non-fiction lately. Nothing too interesting. Big fan of John Keegan so reading his book on the American Civil War. Already read his work on WW2 and highly recommend to anyone who wants a pretty comprehensive history but also under 1000 pages.
    DaveyMac
  • Great question. I mainly do audio. In the last few months: 

    • The whole "Expanse" series. Super fun, maybe not life-changing, but quality genre.
    • "11.22.63" by Stephen King. His most science-fiction/time travel full length story to date. Loving it, about 73 percent of the way through.
    • "Thinking Fast, and Slow" great non-fiction book on how we think, and the errors we make. Daniel Kahnestam won a Nobel for some of his ideas.
    • On Jim and A.Ron's recommendation, "World War Z"
    • "The Three Body Problem" *amazing* if you like a lot of science in your sci-fi. Starts during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Fascinating and can't wait for the other two to get translated from Chines.
    • "Aurora" KSR's latest, and maybe his best.
    DaveyMac
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    I'm almost through Devil in the White City and holy shit things were different in the early 20th century. If you're into true crime stories or want to read about what it took to get the Worlds Fair built in Chicago you should definitely ready it. They're making a movie so there's copies of it everywhere right now.
    kingbee67nikkimarie918
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited March 2016
    I've been working on Ready Player One for quit a while. It's a great read so far, not a new book and it was popular when it was a new release. I would like to finish it before it becomes a movie. If you havn't heard about it is a sci fi tale somewhat like Willy Wonka. Maybe better, depends how much you like Wonka. Seems when I could be reading I always find something else, like playing Fallout.
    I was reading this series of books about all these factions trying to out maneuver each other to gain power of the land. It seems that the well has dried up on that one.
    DaveyMacDoctor_Nick
  • TheEconomistTheEconomist Chattanooga, TN
    I haven't inhaled and mainlined a book so quickly in a long time as I did "The Martian." If you saw the movie and liked it then go for the book. There's more detail and scenarios not covered in the movie.

    Non fiction wise a book I immensely enjoyed is "Once Upon A Car" about the fall and bailout of the American auto industry. Superbly researched and quite fascinating all the intricacies and factors that made the industry so vulnerable.
    DaveyMacEine Frau
  • kingbee67 said:

    I've been working on Ready Player One for quit a while. It's a great read so far, not a new book and it was popular when it was a new release. I would like to finish it before it becomes a movie. If you havn't heard about it is a sci fi tale somewhat like Willy Wonka. Maybe better, depends how much you like Wonka. Seems when I could be reading I always find something else, like playing Fallout.
    I was reading this series of books about all these factions trying to out maneuver each other to gain power of the land. It seems that the well has dried up on that one.

    I read Ready Player One a couple of months ago; I could not put it down. The dialogue is terrible but the world it builds and the story it tells was extremely addictive. Steven Spielberg is directing the movie and I could not be more excited for it.
    DaveyMacNathan
  • I've heard great things about "Ready Player One" and it has been sitting on my Kindle for ages. I'll have to give it a shot soon. It looks short and breezy, so I'll probably pick it up after a dense, tough read. Definitely before the movie comes out at least. 

    I've also heard great things about "The Expanse". How many books are in that series? It seems like a rather daunting thing to jump into if a bunch of the books have already been published. Especially, as I saw thick the first one was at the bookstore the other day. Plus, I've got a ton of books just sitting on my shelf waiting to get read as well as a ton more on my Kindle.

    Good pick with "The Martian" as well. That is a great read. Some find it a bit too technical, but I didn't have a problem with all the mathematics and stuff. If anything Weir just made me wish I had studied harder when it came to science and math. 

    I haven't read much non-fiction recently, but I did pick up "World Undone" on a kindle sale a couple months back and it came highly recommend from Dan Carlin on his WWI podcast. It always takes me ages to read through non-fiction books, though. I often enjoy them, but I lose focus rather easily and have to take them in smaller chunks.
  • DaveyMac, Five expanse books. Thing is, they're really fast reads. World Undone was amazing. Heard of it from can Carlin too. I did an hour or two a night on audio and that was perfect.
    DaveyMac
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited March 2016
    I finished Ready Player One in January.  Good stuff, mainly the plot and the nostalgia.

    I somehow never read Sandman, I just finished volume II of the collected run and am on collection III now.

    In between I read The Friends of Eddie Coyle, which is a 1970s Boston crime novel that was made into a movie starring Robert Mitchum in the 1970s and is distinctive in that it is written almost as a screen play; you can count on one hand the number of times the reader is apprised of the internal life of a character through something other than dialogue or action.  I wanted to read it because it was apparently Elmore Leonard's favorite book.  
  • I'm into suspense-thrillers.  My SO gave me the "Three Body Problem" and "Ready Player One" to read.  I guess based upon what I read here, I should actually read them.

    I recently read "You" and the follow up "Hidden Bodies" by Caroline Kepner.  "You" is written in 2nd person, which is jolting at first since it's normally not done.  However, it works well here, especially since it's about a man that becomes obsessed with this college student and proceeds to stalk her to gain knowledge he can use to date her.  It's terrifying, creepy, and yet intoxicating.  The author gets you to root for the stalker to actually get the girl in the end.  That's just messed up.

    I just finished "The Kind Worth Killing" by Peter Swanson over the weekend.  It was really good and a different take.  It had alternating first person narration, which normally I do not like.  It was somewhat of a feel of "Strangers On A Train",  Lots of twists I didn't see coming.  Book is a somewhat short and a quick read.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @BourbonQueen I like suspense thrillers too, couldn't get into You though because I hate books written in the second person. I just finished Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon. Owes a lot to The Girl On The Train but a pretty good, page-turning read.
  • WonderedObjectWonderedObject SAN Francisco, CA
    I'm late to the party but got around to finally finishing The Leftovers. I had given up around halfway through the book but wanted to get back on it after how much I've come to love the show. Needless to say, I didn't miss much. 
  • @Hatorian and @bizmarkiefader

    I can highly recommend In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.  He does an excellent job of describing how so many people didn't "see" what was really going on in Germany before WWII by using the point of view of the German Ambassador's daughter.  From what you guys have been reading lately it seems like you might enjoy it.


    By far best book I've read in the last six months is The Narrow Road to the Deep North.  Its fu*&%#ing brilliant.  Existential, sad, and beautiful all at the same time.  

    Anyone who is looking for a good mystery, I recently read Ordinary Grace-it was good.

    Oh!  and one more thing-for anyone who likes history but sort of soft history I was really happy with Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth.  Excellent detail about medieval cathedral building-which sounds weird, but it is amazing!!! And from what I have read and checked into-pretty darn accurate historically AND super entertaining.
    Hatorian
  • Dee said:

    @BourbonQueen I like suspense thrillers too, couldn't get into You though because I hate books written in the second person. I just finished Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon. Owes a lot to The Girl On The Train but a pretty good, page-turning read.

    @Dee    I couldn't get into "The Girl On The Train".  I had it figured out very early on.  It seems like anything they're touting as "The next Gone Girl!!" (e.g. The Luckiest Girl) ends up being the biggest disappointment so far.  

    That being said about "The Girl On The Train", I will still see the movie because it have my boy, Justin Theroux in it.  I'll watch anything with his heavenly body in it.

    @WonderedObject "Leftovers" is on my TBR list.  Do you think it's worth the read?

    Dee
  • WonderedObjectWonderedObject SAN Francisco, CA

    Dee said:

    @WonderedObject "Leftovers" is on my TBR list.  Do you think it's worth the read?

    In my opinion? I'd say not really. But if you love the show it really wouldn't hurt. But you're definetely not missing out on anything if you don't 
  • @Doctor_Nick I just caught up with Sandman a couple of years back and it instantly became one of my favorite pieces of fiction I'd ever read. I just love the breadth and the scope of the whole thing and just how well woven together all of these disparate myths, historical figures, and original characters are. It's a lot of stuff that you wouldn't necessarily think should work, but he makes it all fit and feel of a piece. When you're done with the series proper, I'd also recommend "Endless Nights", "Dream Hunters", and "Sandman Overture". All worthy additions to the Sandman universe.
    Doctor_Nick
  • Getting through Transmetropolitan. Really good comic with compelling universe. I'm surprised it hasn't been adapted for TV or film yet. I could see Netflix, Amazon, or HBO picking it up eventually.
    DaveyMac
  • I've heard great things about "Transmetropolitan", but for some reason haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited March 2016
    I'm about 10% into Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and am a fan so far. It's the first of a space opera trilogy ... Came highly recommended from some of the sci fi sites I frequent. Excellent world building for the little that I've read up to now. It explores AI, power structure, and collective society themes, not unlike say the Borg storylines in Star Trek, but from perhaps a more sophisticated and character level perspective. Looking forward to reading the whole trilogy.
  • @DaveyMac I am really impressed with Sandman. Not sure why I never got to it before now. Guess I need to check out Preacher too.
    DaveyMac
  • DaveyMac said:

    I've heard great things about "Transmetropolitan", but for some reason haven't gotten around to picking it up yet.

    You definitely should. I pitch it as Hunter S Thompson covering the various societal machinations of a futuristic dystopian universe, ala Blade Runner or Fifth Element.  Absolutely worth checking out the first issue to see if it's up your alley. It will be made into a TV show or movie in the next 5 years, IMO.
    DaveyMac
  • @Doctor_Nick I've actually not read "Preacher" either. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for mentioning it.
  • CoolHandLukeCoolHandLuke Texas
    edited May 2016
    Currently reading The Way of Kings.
    Last read: a collection of old A.J. Liebling boxing essays called A Neutral Corner, which I couldn't recommend more highly for anyone with even a passing interest in the sweet science. 
  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    On my third re-read of Finnegans Wake.  Lord help me, I'm starting to comprehend some parts of it.
    kojiattwood
  • Re-reading some Philip K. Dick, including Martian Time Slip and Ubik.  Utterly brilliant stuff.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    John Dies at the End. Absolutely brilliant horror comedy by David Wong of Cracked.com fame. One of the most entertaining books I've ever read. (They made a disappointing movie for it that I definitely wouldn't recommend until you've at least read the book)
  • @kojiattwood I read Ubik for the first time recently and I really enjoyed it. Aside from The Man in the High Castle it's the only Phillip K. Dick I've read. I'm really interested in checking out more.

    @Murderbear I haven't read John Dies at the End, but I have seen the film. Is the book drastically different? I saw the film before I knew it was a book. I'll have to pick it up at some point. 
    kojiattwood
  • I've finished the two books I posted about when I started this thread and thought both were great. 

    Now I'm reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and I think it's brilliant so far. I went in with absolutely no knowledge of what it was about and that has made for a really interesting read. I'm only about halfway through.

    I also just started In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch (editor of Apocalypse Now and The Godfather 2 among other films). It's a book about film editing, but it is not dry at all and is actually quite philosophical and really fascinating for any film buffs/film makers out there.

    I'm slowing down on reading at the moment though due to an addiction to a particular video game. 
    kojiattwood
  • A shame, Margaret almost has a really cool last name, heh.
    DaveyMac
  • edited November 2017
    Just read Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer in preparation for the movie adaption coming in 2018.

    It was a very short (208 pgs) novel with a creepy atmosphere. It's told in the first person. It follows 4 scientists on their expedition into the mysterious Area X, an area that nobody seems to know anything about. They are the 12th expedition of this sort. Things start to go awry, people may be keeping secrets, and fear and paranoia abound.

    It's a pretty tight read. People may think it's a slog because it's mainly world building, but I enjoyed the atmosphere and the creepiness that came along with it.

    It's also the first of three novels in a series.
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