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What are you reading at the moment?

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Finished reading The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.

It made a bit of a splash when it came out a few years ago and I'd picked up a copy but never got round to reading it- basically it's about a time travelling serial killer. First hundred pages weren't doing it for me and I almost gave up, but things step up a gear after that and it all comes together quite nicely. And by the end the things that annoyed me about those first hundred pages turned out to be things that were deliberately set up to be wrapped up later. The actual nature of the time travel in it annoyed me at first, but by the end, as well, it was something that worked really well for the book.

Plus Beukes' decision to focus a lot on the victims means that there's some terrible moments of inevitability in there where you can't help but feel for the characters.

So yeah, very glad I finally read it.

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"Wellies and warders" which is a book about a local villain published on Amazon this week. It's not especially thrilling, but it's interesting to read given that it's by a friend of a friend. Weird to see my nephew's dad get a name check in the first few pages.

Some of the Amazon reviews are great. They basically say "I normally really read books, but I know the guy who wrote this so five stars".

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I read How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran over the weekend. The story of a teenage girl in the growing up in Wolverhampton in the early 90's. It's very good and channels the spirit of Sue Townsend in the best way. Funny and quite sweet.

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I finished Station Eleven last week. It's every bit as good as everyone says. Whether it was deliberate misdirection or me being a bit thick (or both), I was convinced I'd worked out who you-know-who was until the penny properly dropped about two pages before the actual reveal. And then when

(major plot spoiler)

he got shot

my jaw literally, actually, dropped. I don't think any book's elicited that particular physical reaction from me before.

Now I'm about halfway through Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks. I found the whole backwards-forwards timeline thing very confusing at first but I'm on top of it now and I'm enjoying it immensely.

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Who did you think you-know-how was going to be?

I should recommend a book since I'm here, best book I've read this year is The Bees by Laline Paull, about plucky little bee Flora 717 battling to survive in a beehive, fantastic read, wish I knew more about how bee hive works as I'm struggling to separate the fiction from the reality.

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Just finished The Tank War by Mark Urban which follows the 5th Royal Tank Regiment through the Second World War. It's trying to be a British Band of Brothers and doesn't quite succeed as it's focused on too long a time period. But still one of the better WW2 books I have read recently.

Also reading Napoleon The Great, which is great. Andrew Roberts is very solid, and Napoleon is such an interesting subject.

Picked up a load of old 70s horror books at a car book at the weekend, so will be going through them next.

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Andy McNabb's Silencer. If you want thrilling then you need to read this, great book, great fights, awful people, brilliant hero. :)

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Andy McNabb's Silencer. If you want thrilling then you need to read this, great book, great fights, awful people, brilliant hero. :)

I was hoping you were going to say "Pulsemynes new book! It's great and he is awesome."

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Right, just picked up Station Eleven yesterday thanks to this thread. Don't let me down rllmuk. :)

Has anybody read any of Kelly Link's stuff..? I picked up a book of her short stories as well (Magic For Beginners) on a whim as well.

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516EZkK-ptL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone with a passion for the Man of Steel, or the Hollywood machine in general. About a third of the way through and it's quite remarkable 70s Superman even made it to the silver screen.

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I was hoping you were going to say "Pulsemynes new book! It's great and he is awesome."

:)

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Who did you think you-know-how was going to be?

Jeevan. When he set off south on his own I thought he was going to go crazy.

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I've just finished the second book of Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy and now on to the final book Assassin's Quest. Really liked the first two, hoping for a satisfying payoff to the whole thing now.

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I decided to take some time off from watching films to catch up on the important novels that I’ve always neglected.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Knowing the film adaptation so well made reading the book an interesting experience. After a rather slow start I was gripped and its reputation as an American classic is well deserved. It is a wonderfully compassionate work with a fantastic protagonist.

Catcher in the Rye - I had to bail after 50 pages as life is too short to spend it in the company of such a loathsome twat-bucket. Perhaps if I was a teenager I’d feel more of a connection for Holden Caulfield but I managed to hate the prick within the opening page.

Of Mice and Men - Steinbeck is an author I’ve been meaning to read for years and I only wish I had discovered his work sooner. This was such an economical, gripping and emotional story. I was surprised how quickly I cared for each of the characters, even if they do fit neat archetypes. I’ll definitely be exploring his other novels soon.

As I Lay Dying - I don’t even remember buying this book but I’m glad I found it on my bookshelf. Whilst the stream-of-consciousness writing and multiple viewpoints take a while to adjust to the rich language and tightly focused story really drew me in. You get such a strong sense of the family dynamic, the character psychology and the world they inhabit.

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There is a special circle of hell reserved for people who don't like Catcher in the Rye, cookie! :quote:

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Listen, and you've got to trust me on this - read the book. Holden is an ugly arsehole of a character, but he's supposed to be. He is a scared teenager dying of a grief that is sending him mad. And at the same time, he is probably the most perfect cypher for the beauty of human empathy ever whacked down on a page by anyone.

Just read it, mang. Or don't. But you really, really should.

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I might go back to it once I've worked through my current pile of books. If I still hate it by the end I know who to blame.

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I think when I read Catcher in the Rye I related to the guy, but I hope that a decade of distance from that version of me has adjusted things.

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It's like the Breakfast Club. When I watched it as kid John Bender was someone to look up to, the cool anti-hero. Then as an adult I realised he's just this terrified kid who has lost his way.

Yup. Just compared Catcher In The Rye to The Breakfast Club. Sure Zok will approve.

the-breakfast-club-1985-01-630-751.jpg

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Catcher in the Rye - I had to bail after 50 pages as life is too short to spend it in the company of such a loathsome twat-bucket. Perhaps if I was a teenager I’d feel more of a connection for Holden Caulfield but I managed to hate the prick within the opening page.

Speaking as someone who read the book as a teenager I can assure you he still comes across as a poisonous cunt on every page. The only redeeming quality that book has is the fact that it's not very long.

Anyone read the new Irvine Welsh book yet? It's out this week to mixed reviews, I'm going to get it because I've got a soft spot for Welsh and I don't think I've missed one of his books at release since the Trainspotting film was released. This one features 'Juice' Terry who has been a particularly low brow but funny supporting character in a couple of older books. Not sure he can carry off a full novel by himself but I guess we will soon see.

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Just a heads up from the kindle recommendations thread, Conn Iggulden's Conqueror series is on offer for 99p each, a total bargain for an amazing series of books, covering the life of Ghengis Khan.

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I might go back to it once I've worked through my current pile of books. If I still hate it by the end I know who to blame.

Don't bother, it is the dog turd you described it to be.

On the note of hateful characters I just finished reading Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. As always the main character Henry is a loathsome git, but Bukowski does at least manage to get you on his side. I really enjoyed it, which has been true of all the Bukowski novels I've read.

On the still hating the classics theme I started reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and I'm on the verge of dumping it. I'm about a third of the way through it, but I've found it unbelievably dull and forgettable so far.

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Stick with A Tale of Two Cities. I found it hard to get into but it was worth it in the end. I must read it again some time and see if the beginning makes more sense knowing where it's going.

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If it doesn't get any better in the next 100 pages I'll hunt you down and kill you, or possibly have entered a coma!

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Have "things" started happening in France yet? That's when it took off for me. If you're already into the French action and still bored, it probably is just not for you.

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We're in France, but bugger all of interest has happened so far.

If anything I'm starting to think when it comes to well received literature I tend to enjoy American authors far more. Bukowski, Twain, Hemmingway and Fante I love. Just about every British or Eastern European classic I've tried I've came away from it seeing that it's written well, but the stories always fail to pull me in.

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