What are you reading?


The Master
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Since I've begun taking public transportation to work, I now have lots of time to read. In the past two weeks I've read A Simple Plan by Scott Smith, and Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis. Next on my list is The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

A Simple Plan

I actually started this one years ago, after I saw the movie, but I was reading four other books at the time, so I wound up putting it down. Coming back to it, I can see why I set it aside. Don't get me wrong, I think Smith writes beautiful imagery that brings you into the world, his dialog is compelling, and you believe that his characters existed before the novel began. However, the actions of Hank and Sarah never felt honest to me. Without spoiling too much, Hank becomes very cold and distant, justifying his actions way too easily. And though Sarah never kills anyone, she too accepts what Hank has done without a sliver of remorse. If these are supposed to be normal folks, they shouldn't be so ho-hum about murder and scheming.

Oddly enough, I found Jacob to be the most compelling character in the novel, despite the fact that he was written to be sort of a fool. At first I disliked him, but as the book went on, I came to understand where he was coming from, especially once he asked Hank for the farm. He's a guy who doesn't know life outside of his very small world, and, really, he doesn't want to. It scares him. More than that, he's comfortable in his bubble. That he went from an annoying, prick of a character to the one I felt for the most speaks volumes about Smith's potential. It's just too bad he didn't make me care for Hank and Sarah in the same way.

Less Than Zero

Though I'm not keen on what Ellis was doing stylistically, I understand why he did it; the book is light on plot and descriptions because Clay simply doesn't care. He's directionless and empty inside, so the plot is that there's no plot. And the only time we really get any sort of description is when Clay's focused on someone sexy or a designer brand, nothing else matters. If it's not tan and fit, or in style and expensive, it's not worth his time. Had I known that going in, I think I would have enjoyed it more. As is, I might read it again. It's a quick 200 pages. Then again, I might wait until next year, after the sequel is released, then I can read both books together.

Like A Simple Plan, I found someone other than the lead more intriguing. Once the truth about Julian's life is revealed and we get the scenes with Finn, that's when I really got into it. Sadly, that's page 165 of 208. Hopefully we'll get more of Julian's life in Imperial Bedrooms, the forthcoming sequel.

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I don't read very much due to my random internet workload, but I'm currently re-reading a book in the Marcus Didius Falco series of detective novels written by Lindsey Davis (set in Ancient Rome if you couldn't guess from the name), called One Virgin Too Many. It centres on a young girl from a family of priests going missing on the eve of the next lottery to choose a Vestal Virgin, a well-known sect of Roman priestesses. I always enjoy these books, but I don't usually tend to read them in order.

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I tend to primarily read plays, rather than books, but it's literature all the same. I'm also in the middle of a book called "The Matter Myth" by Paul Davies and John Gribbin. It's a really cool look at chaos theory, and the way our universe is and might be laid out.

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Guest DCAUFan1051

I think I have 2 books I bought myself for my birthday back in February that are warming the shelf maybe I should get them out lol. One was Plum Spooky By Janet Evanovich a very funny series and the other was the latest Grisham novel, which I don't think I've even taken the dust jacket off to begin reading it.

It's very rare that I read books anymore... kinda unfortunate but I should get back into it. If anyone can find me a place to buy The Hardy Boys Casefiles books #1 to #100 I'd definitely read those again. That was something I always read as a kid.

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Last few books I've read.

What if Superman Was a Spy? - Great book full of random trivia and anecdotes about comics history, and the myths and legends that have formed over time.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Exactly what it sounds like. A study on the various experiments and tests performed on dead bodies. Strangely hilarious at points.

Bret Hart's Autobiography - Aside from being large enough to kill a small woodland creature with, it's also a fantastic read. The constant drama with his family and his batshit insane wife actually prove to be more interesting than the wrestling stuff most of the time.

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I am re-reading The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases. by E.J. Wagner

It is a fascinating book going though the history of forensic science while tying it into the cases of Sherlock Holmes.

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Fahrenheit 451

Though I appreciate the impact this book had on both the world and literature, I didn't love it. It was a fast, solid read that kept me turning the page despite seeing where it was going. I can relate to Montag having his eyes opened to another way of thinking, and then taking that thought process to the extreme. And I felt horrible for him when his world crashed down on his head. But, I don't know, I think I wanted each and every word to hit me like a hammer. Which, I admit, isn't the fault of the book; that's my expectations clearly getting in the way. Down the line I do intend to read it once more, because I feel this is one of those books, like Of Mice and Men, that needs to be read a few times to fully appreciate it. (And yes, this is the first time I've read Fahrenheit 451. Somehow I made it through school without ever having to pick it up.)

The Road

Still reading this one. Slowly. Very, very slowly. I'm not a fan of Cormac McCarthy's style. That's why I couldn't get into No Country for Old Men. But I'm trying. I'm really, really trying.

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The Road

Still reading this one. Slowly. Very, very slowly. I'm not a fan of Cormac McCarthy's style. That's why I couldn't get into No Country for Old Men. But I'm trying. I'm really, really trying.

What is it Lansdale said about him in my interview? "Guy could learn to use a comma."

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The Road

Still reading this one. Slowly. Very, very slowly. I'm not a fan of Cormac McCarthy's style. That's why I couldn't get into No Country for Old Men. But I'm trying. I'm really, really trying.

What is it Lansdale said about him in my interview? "Guy could learn to use a comma."

Apostrophes and quotation marks, too.

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The For Your Ears Online podcast has brought back all my James Bond interest, so I'm rereading all the Bond novels. While I'm at work I'm listening to the Dresden files audiobooks read by James Marsters, which is pretty good. I love me some audiobooks, sometimes with the right person reading them they can be so much better than the source material, ie James Earl Jones reads the Bible. Never has so many begats sounded so awesome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going through all the Jeeves and Wooster short stories by PG Wodehouse. They're just about the funniest books I've ever read. I never thought I'd find a more awesome butler than Batman's Alfred, but I think Jeeves takes the cake. That man knows everything.

Why is British humor so much more funny than American humor?

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So, I'm heading out to Montana on the Eighth to visit the family for about two weeks. Between the train ride and the entirety of the visit, I'll pretty much just have my iPod and whatever books I have in ways of entertainment since my mom doesn't have cable or an antennae and there's no internet. That said, looking for suggestions for books to read. Here's what I got so far in addition to all of the Batman Movie Earth-2 podcasts so far:

Books 2-5 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

Small Gods by Terry Prachett

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Sandman Book of Dreams edited by Neil Gaiman and Ed Kramer

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

BTW, I read a lot so trust me, this probably won't be enough. I can do about 300 pages in as little as a day, depending on how I go.

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