2017's What fiction or non-fiction book are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fiction (General)' started by Silvion Night, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    I'm reading We Shaped The Land With Our Guns by Louis L'Amour. It's about a man and his gun. Western/cowboy book. He's my go to author when I need a palate cleanser.
     
  2. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Journeyed there and back again

    That one is awesome!

    If you like that kind of stories using the comic genre to convey more important subjects, you might look up "Barefoot Gen", a first-hand account in comic book form by a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Thank you! I will check it out.
     
  4. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Book one of Bernard Cornwells The Saxon Tales. Previously read books 8 & 10. Historical Fiction. The main character never existed unlike the majority of characters . Cornwell fabricates a little to fit the story but researches well and I am learning much about the England's fascinating history .The norseman* too.

    *They were only called "vikings" when they went to battle or on raids. Also thought they really wore horns on their helmets. But they were too smart to give the enemy something to grab to yank their helmets off. Also, if what most of what I read was true they were damned close to taking over what is now England.

    Fun reads. Everything is from the protagonists POV and Cornwell tells a good story. It is funny listening to a pagan warriors perceptions on christianity and priests. It is hard to find fault with them.
     
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  5. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I'm not an expert, but I think 'Viking' is actually a verb, meaning 'to go raiding' in what we would now call 'Viking Style'.

    Victorian fiction - but so thoroughly ingrained (through the inadequacies of the English educational system) that most people associate horned helmets with Vikings.

    In effect, they did. They raided until coastal dwellers lived in fear or left. Then they moved in, settled, and became mercenaries where appropriate, otherwise traders & craftsmen. Pretty good ones too! Most of the eastern half of England has Viking settlements and a fair helping of Viking place names. So does Ireland, the Isle of Man, most of the Scottish islands, and large parts of the Normandy coast.

    Darth - where you from??
     
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  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    USA. Lived most my life in Michigan. 14 years in Ida-hell but back home. I think we Americans are very ethnocentric so I'm learning a lot from the diversity of cultures here.
     
  7. Nuomer1

    Nuomer1 Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    USA - Don't forget, they discovered you before Christopher Columbus (but he had a better publicist). Check out the archaeology of Martha's Vineyard - there are other sites, but I can't remember their names.
    It is even possible that the Welsh got across the Atlantic even earlier, but the evidence (last time I read it up, some years ago) was a bit thin!
    You might like to check out "The Brendan Voyage" by Tim Severin - a 'copy journey' of the recorded travels of a monk, crossing much of the Atlantic in a leather boat, back in pre-Viking days.
     
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  8. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Yes, I did read a couple of thrillers which touched on the Colombus stuff. I do believe he was not the first. At any rate, how can you "discover" a place inhabited by people for centuries. We conveniently forget to add the European part.

    I make light of other nations sometimes but I'm not sure people realize it is really with tongue firmly implanted in cheek and I'm making fun of my myself and by extension my perception of the blissful ignorance of my own country.
     
  9. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I'm currently reading The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray. The book mostly focuses on the UK, but it also extends to other countries in Northern- and Western-Europe (including my own country). As you can imagine with such a title the book is quite controversial. I have it in hardcover and it says a lot that after two days of reading it on the bus I removed the outer sleeve so as not to get verbally assaulted by my co-commuters.

    Anyways, Murray paints a vivid picture, which is more often than not backed up with facts and figures. However, they are often presented in such a way to back his predetermined opinion (namely that the things in the sub-title have a negative impact on Western society) and he skims over evidence to the contrary (although he does mention the contrary viewpoints). Here and there it is also lacking in references, especially when he makes bold statements.

    Nonetheless, the book is well written and tries to be scientific. Here and there it touches on being polemical, but it never crosses that line. And this is something that cannot be said about most books that revolve around this difficult topic. Having a blast reading it!
     
  10. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I've been reading few pages during my coffee break of Slavic Mythology by Jan Machal (half way through now). The book is actually an excerpt from The Mythology of All Races, a 13 volume book series from early 20th century. The Slavic myth portion was written by a Czech Slavic mythology professor Jan Machal in 1916, translated by another czech professor F. Krupicka and edited by an american orientalist Louis Herbert Gray (1875–1955).

    As you can see it was quite an international collaboration to get this thing printed. However, there are few things lacking. First it's old and it really shows. Second, editing is really bad, lots of grammar mistakes and the flow of text is weird to say the least. It reads more like a dictionary of Slavic mythology than a comprehensive overview. You get all these definitions of creatures, Slavic pagan believes and gods but no stories related to them. The last chapter was written on Louis Herbert Gray's request and covers Baltic mythology, specifically Prussians, Letts and Lithuanians (maybe you would find this interesting as well? @Andrew.J I can send you that chapter if you want).

    So this book is not bad if you have no clue on the topic, you get basic definitions and better insight into how the church started to influence Slavic pagan believes when it reached enough of a momentum in the Slavic population. But for me I already know decent amount about Slavic mythology creatures and gods so it doesn't really do much for me. I'm looking forward to the last chapter more because I have no clue on Lithuanian mythology.
     
  11. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I'm interested. :) Sources on our mythology are few and far in between, even in Lithuanian.
     
  12. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Just finished The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray. I think it is a very interesting book, and is refreshing to finally encounter a voice of Reason in the mealstrom of hate, vitriol and prejudice that surround the discussions about the topic of immigration. Highly recommended reading.
     
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  13. Carl

    Carl Got in a fistfight with Dresden

    Currently re-reading -
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    Next on the list to read -
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    Michael Crichton touches on that idea in 'Eaters of the Dead'. The invading North Men used rivers or waterways called 'vyks' and were referred to as vykings, if my memory of that 2002 read serves me right. :bookworm:
     
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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  14. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I'm currently reading The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, originally published in 1906. It is not as much about tea as it's about Eastern (specifically Japanese) culture and mentality. There're also some interior design (tea houses) and religious elements. Altogether, it's a very interesting book, especially if you are a tea connoisseur.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  15. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Completed book 6 of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. Winner of the most Agatha Awards. Best read in order but not necessary. A modern version of Christies' style. So if you love Agatha be certain to try Penny. My 4th and loved them all.
     
  16. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    on the recommendation of someone here (on the classics from all countries thread) I am reading Kundera's the Unbearable Lightness of Being
    so far very interesting, very up my alley as far as style and content

    odd thing I found is that apparently Kundera renounced his identity as a Czech author, and declared that he should only be thought of as a French Author.

    I'm not sure if I should acknowledge that or not.
     
  17. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    The 6th Extinction. My 2nd Sigma Force thriller by James Rollins. A cross between The Lost World and Jurassic Park but focusing on geneticaly engineered super adapted insects, plants, and sea creatures. Nothing special. No surprises. The bad guy's rationale was good but his methods were grossly "inhumane" and extreme.
     
  18. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I'm reading two thin books from two different Dutch authors. Herman Koch - makkelijk leven and Martin Bril - wat een man nodig heeft. The first one is the latest boekenweekgeschenk. That's a thing here in the Netherlands where a famous Dutch author writes a short book, which can be picked up for free at the local book shop. It's a great little book about a writer who writes self-help books. The second book is about everything a man needs; from cars to football, from beer to women. It's a humorous book, and I feel there is a twist coming at the end. We'll see.
     
  19. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Finished both of them. They were both well written, but had their quirks. The foreseen twist at the end of the first book sucked. Didn't much care for it. The second book was more of a collection of columns rather than an actual book with a story. Some columns were nice, others not so much (the author complained a lot). Still, I enjoyed reading both of these, so I rate them with a 7 each.

    Now on to Submission by Michel Houellebecq.
     
  20. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I finished the book. Houellebecq is a genius, but his books are always controversial. Controversial, but often turning out to be quite prophetic. This book is about a literature professor who works at the prestigious Sorbonne university in Paris. He is middle-aged, unmarried, has no kids. The only real comforts in life are his idol Huysmans (a 19th century poet) and having sex with his female students (relationships that last for weeks or months, but always end in disappointment). The year is 2022 and in France the general elections are underway. The parties in the lead are the Front National, led by Marine le Pen and the Muslim Brotherhood party, led by a charismatic guy named Abbas. The left and centre-right have joined forces with Abbas to prevent a far-right victory by le Pen. As the tensions around the elections increase France is inundated in civil strive and turmoil, taking our lead character with it. When the dust settles one party remains as the clear victor and takes the lead of the tormented country.

    This is an interesting and important book. I read the English translation, which was fine, but I still felt things got lost in translation and that I didn't get all nuances because I am not French. I think a native French person would understand it all a lot better. Still, I think it's one of the best and thought-evoking books I've read in a long while. I definitely recommend this piece of true contemporary French literature to anyone. Rating: 9/10.
     
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