Books - What are you reading?

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  • Orwell’s prose has its place (see E.g. Homage to Catalonia) but that place isn’t in a novel like 1984. The tone is too bloodless and journalistic, I find it lacks the necessary affect to make the book what it should be. Classic formal error.

  • I'm reading Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed at the moment. Probably been suggested numerous times but I'm really enjoying it! Frightening and enlightening!

  • I haven't read 1984 in at least 10 years I don't think. The stuff of his I've read recently that I've enjoyed the most has been Homage To Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London which are more journalistic so you might have a point!

  • If Orwell had cared more about his prose, he would have started his story in October, and made that first sentence of 1984 more musical.

  • halfway through Lord of the Rings after reading The Hobbit...my attempt at reading "Science Fiction(?)".......and no, I've not see then film.

  • lord of the rings...hobbit...science fiction

    Swing and a miss, I’m afraid. You’ve landed in the Fantasy section, nerd.

  • hey, don't blame me.....I didn't want to read it!!!

  • Anyone read any Milan Kundera? Someone recommended me The Unbearable Lightness of Being (possibly someone in here actually, I can't remember). I popped into Oxfam to see if they had a copy and they didn't. I picked these two up though, partly because I really liked the design of the covers.


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  • You may notice some subtle editing on the photo to make it SFW for anyone with a prudish boss.

  • I actually like the occasional bit of fantasy (nerd!), but Tolkien really isn’t the best.

  • Laughter and Forgetting is ace. So is Immortality. I don't have much love for the rest.

  • There was a copy of Immortality in there as well, I might go back and pick it up!

  • Devoured Kundera in my 20s. TULoB is definitely worth hunting down. It had a lasting impression on me.

  • I'll see how I get on with these and pick up a copy if I'm into it!

  • I don't know the book you're talking about, but there clearly is some kind of a market segment for shit that exists only so that its consumers can feel that they're being clever when engaging with it.
    I would put about 70% of TED talks into that category, as well as anything by Yuval Harari, Ian McEwan and that muppet Alain de Boton. Stringing together just enough references from actual clever people to seem relevant, but ultimately adding nothing.

  • Black Dogs by Ian McEwan is one of my favorite books.

    But then I'm probably bang in the middle of the target market segment.

  • I’d have given you mine but I’ve lost it!

  • I don't know the book you're talking about, but there clearly is some kind of a market segment for shit that exists only so that its consumers can feel that they're being clever when engaging with it.

    Yeah, you've nailed it, that's exactly what this book is. I don't mean to suggest that the Blackmore book in particular is a stream of bigoted statements, because it's not - it's mostly just sophistry dressed up in the language of evolutionary science and genetics.

    I felt much better after my tipsy rant in this thread and I might even feel brave enough to delete this awful little pamphlet from my kindle later, thanks to the encouragement of you all!

    Since you mentioned Alain de Botton, I read his How to Think More About Sex a while back and it was quite the eye-opening experience. He was trying to build a philosophical theory about the nature of human love and desire, but instead he just splurted out all his own weird middle class fetishes and fantasies as illustrative of the human condition, bless him.

    I mean, that said, I do like a bit of poseur-reading. Which is probably why I keep ending up reading these horrible fucking books all the time.

  • I've read 4 or 5 Kunderas and I found "the book of laughter and forgetting" one of his best.

  • Just finished "a very ordinary life" from Karel Capek and "death on credit" from Louis Ferdinand Céline. The latter one is one crazy book full of swearing and other explicit hilariousnes (but with real "depth" when you look further than that). I loved it.

  • That's made me think actually. Would anyone on here be interested in a book swap? Maybe a few people post books they're willing to trade/lend/ give away and then just arrange to meet up or organise postage. I try and give away most of my books when I'm done with them, unless I think I'm likely to reread them or have somebody in particular in mind who would enjoy them. It'd be nice to pass something I've enjoyed on to somebody on here and see what they think!

  • That's made me think actually. Would anyone on here be interested in a book swap? Maybe a few people post books they're willing to trade/lend/ give away and then just arrange to meet up or organise postage. I try and give away most of my books when I'm done with them, unless I think I'm likely to reread them or have somebody in particular in mind who would enjoy them. It'd be nice to pass something I've enjoyed on to somebody on here and see what they think!

  • Great idea! I’ll post a list when I get home.

  • Nice! I'll get a list together as well. Maybe in a list it'd be worth including information such as whether or not you want the book back at any point, where you are or anything you want to read that someone might have a copy of to lend/give away?

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Books - What are you reading?

Posted by Avatar for chris_crash @chris_crash

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