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Read my first Murakami at the beginning of June, 1Q84 and enjoyed it, have recently finished Norwegian Wood and thought that was fantastic - got a couple more coming today but not The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - am I making an error of selection?

 

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3 hours ago, OutByEaster? said:

Read my first Murakami at the beginning of June, 1Q84 and enjoyed it, have recently finished Norwegian Wood and thought that was fantastic - got a couple more coming today but not The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - am I making an error of selection?

They're all pretty good, but TWUBC is by far my favourite. 

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Just started the new David Mitchell, 'Utopia Avenue'. I'm a big fan of his books, and since it's about a fictitious late 60s rock band, I've really been looking forward to it. Unfortunately, 32 pages in, and it's really pissing me off with the cliches and anachronisms (and I'm talking virtually every page). It's a classic example of what people think the 60s were like if they didn't live through them. The language is all wrong, the characters are cardboard cutouts, and he clearly has no idea about music or how bands operate. Such a disappointment. I'll stick with it, in the hope that he pulls off his usual plot pyrotechnics, but it's going to be hard not to wish he'd let somebody a bit better informed proofread it for him. 

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On 29/08/2019 at 05:32, A'Villan said:

Blue Rage, Black Redemption.

Great read.

*Bump*

This really is worth a read, especially if you want to gain a greater understanding for the BLM movement.

Most people associate the Crips with a blood-spilling and callous street gang, and yes, that's what it became at times, but it's interesting to read the history.

Tookie (founder) was born the year before the first official call to end segregation in the USA, upon entering his teenage years the Black Panthers were formed.

I can only imagine the tension and animosity he faced as a black man taking steps into white America territory, and how he was received and perceived during those years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For some reason, there's no 'edit' option on my 'pre-review' of 'Utopia Avenue' (above), so here's my Amazon review in full: 

Very, very disappointing. I'm a huge music fan, I lived through the sixties, and I love Mitchell's novels, so I was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately, it's his worst book by some distance. He was born in 1969, and this is clearly based on 'research', rather than experience, and boy, does it show. Cliches, errors and anachronisms abound. The dialogue from the 'famous names', who just happen to be everywhere the protagonists go is excruciatingly unconvincing. And the plot is pretty much 'airport novel' standard, with some truly groan-inducing scenes. Typical example: at a "swinging sixties" party, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and Keith Moon just happen to be talking to each other. A little kid points his toy gun at them and says "Bang bang, you're dead". Seriously? It's the sort of thing a sixth-former would write and think was original. Not until halfway through does Mitchell remember to shoehorn in his trademark supernatural links to previous books (in this case, mainly "Ghostwritten", "Jacob de Zoet" and "The Bone Clocks"). I suppose anyone under 60 might be better able to read it just as a story, but don't for a minute think that it captures how things were in the sixties. It's a cartoon version of it. The world still waits for a convincing 'rock novel' (Iain Banks' "Espedair Street" is a better attempt than Mitchell's, but still misses the mark).

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I really don’t read very often if at all, but my girlfriend recently finished ‘The tattooist of Auschwitz’ as she’s a keen reader. We’ve come on holiday this week so forced myself to finish the book after I started it ages ago. 

Anyone who’s read the sequel ‘Cilka’s Journey’ recommend it or one to avoid? 

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Yes, recently read 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers, which I thought was very well written, but at the same time in places found it a bit boring, so I ended up taking quite a while to read it as I wasn't as motivated to pick it up, but at the same time can see why it's considered a classic.

Am now reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot which I'm quite liking so far.

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4 hours ago, chrisp65 said:

I use my nerdy books to get zoom calls at just the right height.

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I use a hefty "History of Christianity" for that exact same purpose. 

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12 hours ago, useless said:

Yes, recently read 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers, which I thought was very well written, but at the same time in places found it a bit boring, so I ended up taking quite a while to read it as I wasn't as motivated to pick it up, but at the same time can see why it's considered a classic.

Am now reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot which I'm quite liking so far.

My wife counts this as one of her favourite books by one of her favourite authors. 

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As somebody who rarely reads, I'm quite proud I'm flying through the LOTR books. Think it's safe to say fantasy is my preferred genre! Anybody have any recommendations on what to pick up next? Noticed the Game of Thrones books are going quite cheap on Amazon. After enjoying the series I'm tempted to pick these up next.

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1 hour ago, OutByEaster? said:

I'm reading No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai and finding it fascinating - but the bloke who did the translation has added a forward which is both pompous and riddled with spoilers, I hate that.

 

I've learned to only read the foreword after reading the book. 

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Read a couple of books from Cesar Millan.  He's a Mexican dog physiologist who has an amazing ability to read body language in dogs.   Since reading them I've been able to change some of the behaviour of our two dogs.

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On 21/11/2020 at 18:47, MCU said:

As somebody who rarely reads, I'm quite proud I'm flying through the LOTR books. Think it's safe to say fantasy is my preferred genre! Anybody have any recommendations on what to pick up next? Noticed the Game of Thrones books are going quite cheap on Amazon. After enjoying the series I'm tempted to pick these up next.

The Game of Thrones books are very good but be prepared to wait a long time (possibly forever) for George R R Martin to get around to finishing them.

The above comment on Harry Potter being banded with Lord of the Rings is true but I wouldn't really recommend Harry Potter unless its something which you've grown up with. I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books but would say that's largely due to being the right age to have grown up reading them. They're good books but possibly not what you're looking for.

Other fantasy series that I found particularly good are The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie and The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence. Both of these are probably a darker fantasy series than LOTR but I enjoyed both and do plan to get around to reading the later stuff by these authors. 

The Wheel of Time is a long series by Robert Jordan which has a TV series on Amazon Prime coming soon. I've only read the first few of these and found them to be pretty decent. Have the rest on a bookshelf and they may get read at some time.

If you're at all interested in Sci-Fi then The Expanse series by James Corey is also very good. Its often described as Game of Thrones in space and again the TV series is also supposed to be very good (I haven't watched any of it to confirm).

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