What are you reading?

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I've started And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer. I won't be finishing it. It's the newest (2009? I think?) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book since Douglas Adams' death, by the Artemis Fowl guy, and it's terrible. Not in a "It's not Adams and therefore heresy" way, but more of a "this is painfully, wretchedly unfunny" way.

If your lights go out, and you have nothing to do but read, and you get a few chapters into your book and realize that you would rather be staring blankly at the wall than continue what you're reading, then you are not reading a very good book.

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I'm taking three literature classes this semester: British Literature I, Literature of the British Renaissance, and Milton. I'm going to be posting in this thread a lot in the near future.

My Milton class - with Canada's leading Miltonist and the school's infamously hardest marker - was one of the most difficult and rewarding classes I ever took.

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I have finished Weston Ochse's "Empire of Salt." A zombie novel that takes place in the Salton Sea which is just plain fucking great! I hope to have him on the show soon.

I'm almost done rereading "Haunted Air" by F. Paul Wilson putting me almost halfway through the Repairman Jack books on my quest to read them all in a row culminating in the final book. A scene I blazed through on first read, had me in tears on the second. Great stuff.

Started Ten Cent Plague, Nightmare USA, and soon starting Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula"

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Been reading Chris Mullin's second volume of memoirs Decline and Fall. Mullin was an MP for Sunderland and former Africa Minister for the UK, and his detailed and very personal memoirs are tremendously interesting. He has some great personal perspectives on many of Britain's most significant political players from someone who worked alongside them, for them and against them. It's frankly brilliant, detailing his experiences from his local constituents to his personal relationships with Africa's most prominant leaders and his own fall from grace due to his unwillingness to fully support Blair or Brown during his party's transitional period in the mid to late 2000's. A must read for those interested in political life.

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Time to visit the parents again and you know what that means: A ton of books ready to read. This year we got:

Pressure by Jeff Strand

Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Straight Man by Richard Russo

The Point Man by Steve Englehart

The Crying of Lot 47 by Thomas Pynchon

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein (Haven't reread it since 5th grade. Same copy I had then even.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

You damn yankees and your free iTunes assortment! No Specimen 313 up here... :(

Pressure, I've said all I should about it. One of my favorite novels of all time. Absolutely heart-wrenching. Suspenseful as all fuck. And pretty funny at times too.

Jeff: "Suspenseful as all fuck" has to be on the the trade dressing of any future printings of Pressure. I command it.

Dweller is an equally heart-wrenching tale about a boy and his monster.

Benjamin's Parasite is a hilarious body horror novel.

Those are my three Strand recommendations for a place to start.

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Okay, got home and here's my update on what I read.

Pressure by Jeff Strand - Fucking awesome. I can see what the deal was and I'm kinda bad I haven't read this sooner. Thrilling and fucking emotional.

Side Jobs by Jim Butcher - A collected edition of Dresden Files short stories. Not bad.

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher - An exploration of the afterlife in a series that already had a pretty rich mythology. It ends on another cliffhanger. Don't know how I feel about that.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I can't wait for the movie. I thought it would be a Battle Royale rip-off and while it has elements of it, it's more than that also.

Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell - Still working on it. Funny, just had other things to do.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - Some more fantastic Gaiman. It's one of his children's books but that means little. It's still a great story.

One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde - Like the previous books in the Thursday Next series, it's porn for English majors. Its also so insanely meta that I can see it giving someone a headache.

Straight Man by Richard Russo - I got a couple of pages in before I knew this was fated for my next Half-Priced Books purge.

The Point Man by Steve Englehart - Didn't buy and it's still sitting in the store.

The Crying of Lot 47 by Thomas Pynchon - 50 pages in before I stopped this time.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein - Rereading for the first time since I was a kid. It's not as good as I remember. Really, The Lord of the Rings was the more mature book. It's not bad, its just that its writing for a younger audience sometimes.

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I can seriously count on one hand the number of books I've started and not finished. If I start a book, I see it through to the end. I am very seriously considering chucking Simon Pegg's autobiography, though. I'm halfway through and he's still in grade school. I'm a huge fan, but GOD is this book dull.

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The Catcher in the Rye. Had never read this before and while travelling through Laos and Cambodia over the break I had to buy a couple of books for the trip. Really enjoyed it and was travelling with a high school teacher who had just done it with his class the previous year (for probably the 100th time) so was good to discuss it with him.

Now on to 1984 in another classics catch-up.

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I just finished Ender's Game. I was a little hesitant to read it because of all the controversy around the author being anti gay marriage. I'm glad I did. The book wasn't that bad, but after reading it I'm convinced he is gay. If I didn't know ahead of time I might have not noticed all the allusions to male body parts, and naked fight scenes. The tender boy on boy kisses hidden as a cultural custom. The fact that there are only two female characters in the book, and it is specifically stated that it's ok that one is naked around everyone because she still looks like a boy. If you look too deep it gets creepy because these kids are 5-12 years old in the book.

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I tend to gloss over the personal politics of creative people whose works I read/watch/play. If they're lynching people in the streets that's one thing, but honestly, if I let myself get offended at everything everyone said, I'd never be able to read/watch/play the majority of media out there. As long as those politics don't cross over and start corrupting the story, I'm cool with it. Free country and all. Tolerance, right?

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I read pretty much everything, last couple of books I read were:

Let Me In

Lords of Chaos-Bloody Rise of The Metal Underground

With The Old Breed (WW2 memoir)

Iwo Jima (another WW2 book)

The Complete Marquis De Sade

The Divine Comedy

Assholes Finish First

Illiad and the Odyssey

So, as you can see, I read about every genre. So I'm open to any suggestions.

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If you haven't read it, Pressure by Jeff Strand.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher which is the first book of The Dresden Files

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Dubliners by James Joyce

Choke by Chuck Palahnuk

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