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Sat 30 Jun #1 
BBandicoot
Contributor


What are you reading this summer? Do you have go-to summer reads?

Most summers do not pass without me rereading Dune or Mists of Avalon (childhood favorites).  I was excited to read Killers of the Flower Moon, but my kindle decided to take a bath just as it finally was my turn at the library. 

Last good books I've read were George Saunders' short stories (I love short stories) and a Masha Gessen nonfiction about Russia. Would love nonfiction suggestions as I can probably count on my hands the amount of nonfiction I have finished! 

Helen are you still reading your classics? Austen is a fun summer read.

I read Don Winslow's The Cartel last summer and that was fun on the opposite end of Austen. Both great though :)




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Sat 30 Jun #2 
JMK
Editor

Winter here but it is always time for a good book. I love the Dune series although I wasn't so keen once Frank Herbert died and his son took over writing. I enjoyed The Mists of Avalon in the past and other books set around the Arthurian legend.

Currently I am reading Unseen Academicals, a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, will probably read some more of his when this one is finished, there are still a few I haven't read.




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Sat 30 Jun #3 
BBandicoot
Contributor

I will have to try the Discworld. Best to start at the beginning?




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Sat 30 Jun #4 
BBandicoot
Contributor

Agree about Dune series. Son Herbert did not inherit his father's talents.




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Sat 30 Jun #5 
JMK
Editor

With Discworld I'd start at the beginning initially till you get a feel for them, then you can read some of them out of order without too many issues. 




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Sat 30 Jun #6 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Pratchett is probablt the only fiction stuuf I read , very good , even the stuff he wrote for kids . 2nd or 3rd reading recommended because you are bound to miss a good joke 1st time around.




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Sat 30 Jun #7 
Bryn middleton
Member

Start Discworld at the beginning by all means, but really it's the fourth published title, 'Mort', where he really starts hitting his stride.  Just something to bear in mind if you're struggling with 'Equal Rites'!

One book that I find isn't read enough-in my opinion- is a book by Douglas Adams(of HHGTTG fame) called 'Last chance to see'.  Published in the mid-80's it charts his quest to track down a number of endangered species around the world.  It's non-fiction, obviously, but contains more original thought and more brilliant ideas than most fiction.  Written as it was before more modern concerns about the environment and the numerous threats to creatures across the globe, he nevertheless writes more amusingly, hauntingly and beautifully about those things than anyone I've come across.  It was his own personal favourite of his published works.




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Sat 30 Jun #8 
Bryn middleton
Member

It can be tough to find, though, as it was also his least successful published work!!!




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Sat 30 Jun #9 
BBandicoot
Contributor

Thanks Bryn! Never read Hitchhiker, but will have to look for Last Chance now. Sounds very good! 

JMK and Kev both recommending Discworld means it must be good!!




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Sat 30 Jun #10 
Bryn middleton
Member

I confess I'd almost forgotten 'Mists of Avalon'.  Read it looong ago and probably I was a bit too young to fully appreciate it as I read everything my older sisters liked regardless of whether I really understood it.  I will definitely revisit it this summer.




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Sat 30 Jun #11 
BBandicoot
Contributor

 Mists is a fun take on Arthurian Legend. After reading so many versions centered on men + christianity, it is nice to get the women + magic perspective. 

Another magical one I love is Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell". Grumpy Mr Norrell is such a fun character.




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Sat 30 Jun #12 
Bryn middleton
Member

I've picked up 'Jonathan Strange etc' a number of times but never taken the plunge.  I probably should.

One author that I do have my sisters to thank from those younger days, whose work I would recommend to anyone, is Ursula K. Le Guin.  It's all worth reading, but I remember' The Left Hand of Darkness' really got me both as a 13 year old boy and when I've ever subsequently reread it 




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Sat 30 Jun #13 
BBandicoot
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Agree about Le Guin.  She has so many quick fun reads.  The Earthsea books are good, I have Planet of Exile in my bathroom right now (LOL). Will have to find Left Hand.

Only Le Guin I would not recommend is Lavinia - maybe it gets better but I found the beginning impossible 




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Sat 30 Jun #14 
Ruby Franks
Contributor

I'm somebody who after having done a brainoff on the subject, always feels like declaring 'I hate sci-fi and fantasy', but then realise I shouldn't. I prefer dystopian sci-fi to other worlds sci- fi and although I preferred 'Bored of the Rings' to the Lord of that ilk I'm not immune to fantasy. I love Terry Pratchett, but see him more as a comic novelist, I'm an admirer of Ursula le Guin and loved Doris Lessing's sci-fi. Jonathan Strange is a great read.

My summer reading and constant light reading tends to be thrillers and detectives and I've read some awful stuff and some great over the years. I'm going through the Denise Mina canon at the moment - tough Glaswegian.

My most recent read has been 'Big Little Lies'. (Perhaps a good call as a summer read). A good read because it starts like some kind of chick-lit; yummy-mummies who live by the beach, who are witty, friendly and bitchy with each other, but there are slow reveals about how things are much darker, and as things get worse the light wit  remains. I haven't seen it, but it became an HBO series set in California, which is most probably a good transfer, but I liked the Australian-ness of the book.




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Sun 1 Jul #15 
BBandicoot
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Have you read Natsuo Kirino's "Out"? It might be up your alley but is pretty gruesome. I am way behind on the detectives, have read some Christie but not much else.

The McCall Smith ones are fun but basically all the same. 

I liked Smilla's Sense of Snow in the thriller category too.

Had to look up Big Little Lies, I was vaguely aware of the show but not the book.




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Sun 1 Jul #16 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Boredof the Rings, classic piss take , should be read instead of Lord  etc




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Sun 1 Jul #17 
BBandicoot
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What about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? I haven't read either. How many hundreds of pages of green trees and grass in Bored?




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Sun 1 Jul #18 
Bryn middleton
Member

Sorry people, but 'Bored of the rings' is terrible and the sort of pre-college humour that gives the noble art of parody a bad name.  LOTR is ripe for parody, and Pratchett sneaks in some funny stuff in that vein throughout his work, but 'Bored...' is just thuddingly obvious and terribly artless.  Good parody is tough to pull off, as anyone who has sat through 'Spaceballs' can attest.




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Sun 1 Jul #19 
Bryn middleton
Member

Getting back to summer reads... as a small, croched squid god I suppose I should recommend the works of HP Lovecraft if unending, universal horror is your preferred summer reading.  And also if you can successfully navigate the undeniable racism that erupts occasionally.




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Mon 2 Jul #20 
sally906
Contributor

Is winter here and now the surgeon has given hubby the all clear we are going on a 4 week road trip at the end of the month. There is now gentle arguments trying to find hearing books that we can both listen too. Not romances - not war books. The Prachett Disc books are top of the list - a few autobiographies, a couple of non fiction books and some Murder mysteries. Not Dark dismal Nordic mysteries either. And though I err on the side of cosy mysteries we’ve found common ground. It is possible for people with diverse reading likes to find middle ground. 




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Mon 2 Jul #21 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Only problem with hearing books is they don't sound like you imagine it . Same with TV adaptations . I think I prefer to live in my own made up world .




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Tue 3 Jul #22 
BBandicoot
Contributor

I haven't been able to get into voiced books either.  It feels too much like infidelity to me (transitioning to reading some e-books felt enough like a transgression). I will probably break soon though. Having a reading option for when my eyes are tired sounds wonderful.

Though I'm scared of the sound issue Kev mentioned.  Similar reason for why I don't like books with real people on the cover.  My imagination is overactive and wants to be in charge of what they look and sound like.




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Tue 3 Jul #23 
JMK
Editor

For once I agree with you Kev, I struggle with audio books, prefer reading them.




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Tue 3 Jul #24 
BBandicoot
Contributor

@Sally, a reading road trips sounds amazing! I definitely couldn't do that with paper books (way too carsick).

What format do you all read most often? Paper purists? E-book enthusiasts? 




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Tue 3 Jul #25 
BBandicoot
Contributor

JMK and Kev agreeing; think my heart just grew five sizes




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Tue 3 Jul #26 
Ruby Franks
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I enjoy audio books or hearing radio adaptations, but they are for when I'm doing something else, ironing, gardening, catching up on emails.  I had the same qualms as BB - somehow it's a cheat. (It's certainly not a cheat for those who've lost sight). I felt the same about my kindle at first, but I love it now, it's not such a heavy thump if I fall asleep whilst reading, and I don't lose the page when that happens.

We have audio books for long drives, we can never agree on music, it's a great way to catch up on classics that you know in your heart of hearts you'll never get round to reading on your own. We did think we'd do some Dickens at one time, but the conversation went something like - You've never read Oliver Twist, but you've read Martin Chuzzlewit? - And you, you've read Hard Times but never read Tale of Two Cities? I might start the conversation again, but we couldn't find one that neither of us had read, or wanted to hear enough. We've done a lot of Ian Rankin, we have various discs of old radio programmes like I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue, and Cabin Pressure, some P.G. Wodehouse, George Eliot and Just William and many others. Pack a selection for every mood and each of you pack something that could be a surprise and new pleasure (or hate) for your driving companion. Husband provided Paradise Lost a couple of years ago, I wouldn't say I'd do it again, but I did enjoy it.

Sally, I'm glad your husband has been given health clearance to drive off and squabble with you about literature. Have a wonderful time.




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Wed 4 Jul #27 
sally906
Contributor

BB - I read both electronically and paper based books. I do book reviews for a few publishers and I am more likely to get a book if I am willing to get an electronic version. 

I rarely listen to audio books - but in a car in outback Australia with miles and miles of nothing I need distraction. 




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Wed 4 Jul #28 
BBandicoot
Contributor

That is awesome sally! Are your reviews public anywhere, like Goodreads? 

And I think I will have to plan a reading road trip now. Sounds like the perfect way to get used to audio books. And no more nausea - despite my carsickness I always try to read in the car anyway.




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Thu 5 Jul #29 
sally906
Contributor

Yep to goodreads - same identity as I have here 😃




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Thu 5 Jul #30 
BBandicoot
Contributor

I'll have to find you.  I don't write many reviews but rate a few books on there.

I'm Kyle Gehringer on there I believe.




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Thu 5 Jul #31 
JMK
Editor

I came across one of your reviews when I was browsing Goodreads a while ago Sally :)




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Mon 9 Jul #32 
sally906
Contributor

I put them there when I remember. There is a link to my blog there as well. I am very much a social bunny on Goodreads and have a lot of fabulous friends there - some of whom shake me right out of my comfort zone :)




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Mon 9 Jul #33 
rmcmanus
Editor

Re-reading the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronvich, I needed something gentle




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Thu 12 Jul #34 
Helen McKenzie
Contributor

I enjoy reading e-books and also have Goodreads which i forget to check on. Im currently reading A man called Ove reccommended to me by Allan Matthes, it is a very enjoyable read with some humour.




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