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On 6/20/2018 at 3:40 PM, FatherAlabaster said:

I've been really into China Miéville recently. I read Iron Council, Embassytown, and Kraken and just started The Scar. Iron Council is pretty dark (think Clive Barker) and unsatisfying in a good, thought-provoking way (lots of economic and political ideas), although the non-linear narrative gets annoying at times. Embassytown is a bit less dark, a thoughtful and moving novel about (among other things) language, betrayal, and alien contact. Kraken is pretty much just a fun urban fantasy novel, along the lines of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere - a semi-hapless normie protagonist entertainingly thrust into London's dark, magical underground.

Are you familiar with Perdido Street Station? I bought this one a while back but have yet to read it. I only read a couple of chapters,  but it seemed interesting.  

 

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On 7/1/2018 at 9:51 PM, Vampyrique said:

That's a given, but I can't tell you how many reviews of old books I glance at that are full of complaints, rated poorly or criticized harshly because the author's views were not - and couldn't possibly be - in sync with contemporary views, or if certain aspects of everyday life back then manifested themselves within the story. Why continue reading the author's works then whilst complaining about morals if the moral incongruity between then and now is so well known?

On the one hand, I see where you're coming from - it's annoying to read some article about how "Tolkien was a racist because the bad guys had dark skin and Italian fascists were inspired by his novels", or a hot take insisting that anyone who listens to Burzum is a Nazi apologist. On the other hand, it can be disturbing to find out that books you grew up admiring were written by a bigoted asshole; all the more so if you find that sort of outlook pervading their work when you approach it more critically. I don't see a problem with remarking on that. And let's not pretend that "contemporary views" are so enlightened. It's a mess out there.

On 7/1/2018 at 10:40 PM, Vampyrique said:

Are you familiar with Perdido Street Station? I bought this one a while back but have yet to read it. I only read a couple of chapters,  but it seemed interesting.  

 

I haven't read it yet - basically working my way backwards through the New Crobuzon books because of what's available at my library. I'm pretty sure they don't have it. I'm really enjoying The Scar and I'm very interested to get my hands on that one next.

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Now some 200 pages into Orlando Figes’ “A People’s Tragedy - The Russian Revolution”.  Only another 624 pages to go so with my schedule most weeks we are looking at maybe 2020 before I finish it.

It is really well written though, the focus it gives on the perspective of all social classes, social institutions and political cliques is really sharp and builds a strong and obvious narrative as to how the Bolsheviks eventually took power.  The disenchantment with the Tsarist regime virtually permeated all levels of society and civilisation eventually and the complete impotence of Nicholas II as a leader, decision maker and protector of the people bears stark contrast with some people in positions of power still today.

I have read most bios of Soviet leaders.  They have always fascinated me, not just because of my socialist leanings but more out of a morbid interest in how flawed they all were as leaders.  I have no doubts of the failings of the Russian Revolution already given my knowledge of the personalities and volatile tempers involved, most of whom were no better “choices” of leader than the Tsar they overthrew.  This book however pulls everything together nicely so far, sort of a real, before, during and after story.

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Reading ‘Empire - How Britain Made the Modern World’ by Niall Ferguson, a comprehensive and highly engaging exploration of the rise and fall of the British Empire.

A 21st century text already printed by Penguin Classics due to its authoritative and balanced view. 

Perfect poolside reading in a colonial setting, vertiginous mountains looming, azure Andaman Seas drifting salted sensual scent through the palms.

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O my brothers, come viddy and let feast thine silver-like glazzies on the heft of this haul, of starry worlds, horrorshow and all.

More on the way. Fancy me, dear droogs, all smarts in me gulliver now, scholar-like and oomny.

 

IMG_0515_zpsxkfpc1cu.jpg

 

 

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Passion burned, pages turned, and now with months behind, undead, some books of mine of splendid spine, causally were read:

Lempriere's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk (great, albeit challenging)
The Chemical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke (pretty good)
Ægypt by John Crowley (excellent)
Numero Zero by Umberto Eco (not bad but underwhelming)
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (mixed on some things, but enjoyed it overall)
It by Stephen King (excellent)
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (great, but wish it was longer)

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Vampyrique said:

O my brothers, come viddy and let feast thine silver-like glazzies on the heft of this haul, of starry worlds, horrorshow and all.

More on the way. Fancy me, dear droogs, all smarts in me gulliver now, scholar-like and oomny.

 

IMG_0515_zpsxkfpc1cu.jpg

 

 

Alex nods his approval :) 

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Re: Books? I'm an avid reader...to an extent. I like fantasy books, my favorite being Rick Riodan's fantasy series like Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase. (I finished all of them and are now reading his new series: The Trials of Apollo). I like reading fantasy and mythology (which explains why I am a sucker for Power Metal), but I also enjoy science fiction (H.G. Wells), a little mystery (Sherlock Holmes), and I'm now trying to "expand my knowledge" by reading some classics (literature). Right now, I'm also waiting for the new book in the Trials of Apollo series coming out next fall. 🤞

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