The Odd Blog

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Recent, current and near future reading

Posted by That Other Mike on 10/01/2008

AKA, Watch Me Being Literary. With linkage for full benefit. A lot of scifi and fantasy lately, for some reason.

Recent
Revelation Space, by Alastair Reynolds. Hard scifi; watch as it flexes its intellectual muscles. Grrr!

Winterbirth, by Brian Ruckley. A good old-fashioned sword-swinging dark fantasy romp. Slightly uneven in patches, and it could go a little better with the pace, but it’s still definitely worth a go.

Current
Vellum and Ink, by Hal Duncan. Not for the faint-hearted; not if you like your head all in one place. Fascinating stuff, though.

The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood. Her first novel, which established her as a writer to keep reading. Sharp, witty and exploratory, it displays confidence but not as much comfort with writing as her later works, and is even more desirable a read because of that. Any flaws, I can forgive, because, well, it’s Margaret Atwood, damn it!

The Stone Gods, by Jeannette Winterson. Good so far; I’ve only just started it. It seems to be intelligent and meaningful in the way that all scifi/specfi tries to be but which so few manage to attain.

Spirit Gate, by Kate Elliott. Nearly finished this one. It’s good, with interesting characters and fantastic elements which are truly original, but, like some of her other stuff, it could be a little shorter. Nevertheless, an enjoyable read for all of that.

Near Future
The Night of The Triffids, by Simon Clark. A sequel to John Wyndham’s Day of The Triffids.

This Sweet Sickness, by Patricia Highsmith. Because I adore Highsmith. She describes creeping insanity, frailty, doubt, paranoia, insane passion and moral turpitude without peer. She was cranky, misanthropic and doubtless cracked in the head, but she was touched by genius, and I will always be a Highsmith-ite.

Plus some others, probably.

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13 Responses to “Recent, current and near future reading”

  1. Man, stop it, will ya? My Amazon basket’s just crashed ‘n’ it’s all your fault 😉

  2. Mike said

    What can I say? I love books and I want everyone to join the orgy.

  3. I don’t suppose I can really object to that… unless, of course, your recommendations turn out to suck like a Dyson.

  4. Mike said

    If there’s one thing I know, it’s reading. I’ve read between 5 – 10 books a month for nearly 20 years now. Sometimes more, in fact. At any rate, I’m probably somewhere between 1800 and 2000 total.

    Scary thought. I can remember most of them, too. Not necessarily instant or total recall, but if I pick up a book I’ve read, I can usually remember at least the rough shape of its characters and plot.

  5. That’s bloody impressive… I can manage three or four a month, when I’m not involved with a project. It slips when I’m writing, though — I tire pretty easily and lose focus, so at the moment it’s about a book a fortnight.

  6. Michael said

    Wow…I didn’t know that sort of rate and retention was possible. Looks like my own commitment to reading could use some work. There are just so many books though! And I really take my time with them…re-reading passages, going back and forth, etc.

  7. Michael said

    Wow…I didn’t know that sort of rate and retention was possible. Looks like my own commitment to reading could use some work. There are just so many books though! And I really take my time with them…re-reading passages, going back and forth, etc. But I think I do take too long with my reading. I watch movies the same way — on DVD, and with liberal use of the pause, stop, rewind and subtitle functions.

  8. Mike said

    Block reading, my friends – you can get through a book very quickly if you read by paragraph.

    I’ve been slowing down a little these past couple of years, though; taking more time, not doing it at a mad rush. It is, after all, not a race…

  9. Mike said

    Actually, while I think of it, my bibliomnemonicism* sometimes get really screwed up when I’m thinking about series of books.

    * Hehehe… I’m so impressed with myself over that coinage.

  10. Okay, mate, save me the effort of looking it up (I’m using a PDA with a lousy Bluetooth connection); “block-reading”? How does that work?

  11. Mike said

    Ummm… I don’t know. I just glance at a paragraph and it sort of reads itself into my brain all at once. It doesn’t work for anything beyond about three or four lines, but it does speed things up considerably.

  12. You’re not human… you’re a bar-code scanner!

    I bought a speed-reading course a few years back but never found time to do it. I needed a course to get me through the speed-reading course more quickly…. and a course to…

  13. Mike said

    Yeah… That volume of reading sometimes freaks people out a little.

    Heh @ speed-reading.

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