What Are You Reading?

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  • @kalcedonka Dec 4

    Verne and Lovecraft 😀

  • @sonia98 Dec 13

    High Five! Just finished "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

  • @andygetch  Dec 13

    Patti Smith - M Train (just finished)
    Vera Mattlin Jiji - Cello Playing For Music Lovers

  • @paulhenry  Dec 14

    "Sapiens," by Yuval Noah Harari.

  • @nuerdetjuligen  Dec 15

    A Canticle for Leibowitz
    by Walter M. Miller Jr.

  • @tcelliott  Dec 15

    I read that book a long, long time ago @nuerdetjuligen. How did you like it?
    I just got two songwriting/song business books that I'm kind of going through slowly. Lots of books on the 'to read' list, though.

  • @philkmills  Dec 15

    "The Calculating Stars" by Mary Robinette Kowal. I'm only a few chapters in but it's becoming obvious why it won Hugo/Nebula awards.

  • @howthenightcame Dec 16

    I'm reading Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf - and I'm hoping to write a short FAWM album based on it. Fingers crossed!!

  • @headfirstonly  Dec 16

    @philkmills I enjoyed The Calculating Stars, but the fact that the Chesapeake Bay impact really happened - roughly 300,000 years ago - took a little of the edge off the plot's plausibility...

  • @nikke88 Dec 19

    Short stories from Ivan Turgenev and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Usually before I go to bed, I tend to read Russian short stories, like example from Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Alexander Pushkin.

  • @oldlostjohn  Dec 30

    Recently finished James Cain's Postman Always Rings Twice (never read it before though I've seen the films) and Olga Tokarczuk's Flights. Currently reading I En Skog Av Sumak by Klas Östergren (in Swedish, hence the strange title) and glancing through Paul Zollo's More Songwriters on Songwriting. Yes, already gearing up for FAWM I guess!

  • @scottlake Jan 2

    Just finished The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
    Reading through the Bible again this year.
    The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke
    The River Why by David James Duncan
    New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry

  • @kanttila Jan 2

    I've been reading through Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. I started with the two prequels and am on the last book of 7, Foundation And Earth.

    It's a pretty good series. The old books are harder to get through since they lack focus and jump ahead a lot. The first book Foundation will introduce you to characters, have an event and boom 100 years later. Asimov is not great at making memorable characters either. However his writing is remarkable and my eyes just rip through the pages. They can be very slow. There was times in Foundation's Edge where it was painful how he'd stop the plot to go over pointless things for entire sections. But overall I quite like the books especially Prelude To Foundation.

  • @toms Jan 2

    The first Foundation book was assembled out of a series of short stories; would that explain some of the jumps? That "trilogy" is among my favorite things ever written, up there with Tolkien and Twain. 😀

  • @donna  Jan 4

    Great to see the thread is still going strong. 😀 Pity it'll vanish when the site is updated this year before February 1st. Oh well. I'll just start another. 😉

    Couple of months ago, I read the absolutely fascinating 'There Was a Fire' by Ben Sidran, an American jazz and rock keyboardist.

    I'm about to tackle Stephen Sondheim's 'Finishing the Hat' again, now that I've got my new prescription glasses and can actually read the small typeface.

    For the life of me, though, I can't imagine why the humungous book (as well as the sequel) was published with the typeface in darkish silver rather than normal, easy-to-read black. Jeez! Bad marketing decision.

  • @nikke88 Jan 5

    The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely. Interesting topic to read about.

  • @jamesstaubes  Jan 6

    Been re-reading, "The Inner Game Of Tennis." It's a great book that's about a lot more than tennis. A lot of it applies to music as well.

  • @ayehahmur  Jan 7

    @mkd Ru is a really, really good writer. I really enjoyed his October Song. It's a thriller set in a war-torn near-future Scotland and is gripping right up to the last page.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 7

    Enjoyed "High Weirdness" by Erik Davis - an examination of the visionary inspirations of Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Philip K Dick. And that's inspired me to dig out and re-read RAW's "Cosmic Trigger" trilogy...

  • @apertome  Jan 8

    Currently reading "Permanent Record" by Edward Snowden ... it's eye-opening, for sure. Not sure whether/how much it might influence my FAWM album this year. If I were to do some sort of dystopian concept album, it might come into play.

    I have a couple books that have stuff about fractals, sacred geometry, etc. Those might be interesting if I find time to read them.

    OH. Also Scott Russell Sanders' "A Private History of Awe." Read that earlier this year and loved it, could be inspiring musically as well.

  • @kirjis  Jan 9

    I'm re-reading Ann Leckie's Ancillary-trilogy.
    @johnstaples, how do you find those songwriting books? Can you recommend them?

  • @silvermachine  Jan 9

    Was it here I said I'd got the complete works of Dickens for 50p?
    Well I'm still reading it and still loving it, and will be sorry to finish it.
    It's funny, my mum and dad always took us to Broadstairs for our summer holiday and it always coincided with their Dickens week, the town being full of people dressed as Dickens characters. (I presume he had lived there). Anyway somehow I went though life managing to avoid his books, till at an advanced age and looking back I was curious what all the fuss was about in the streets of Broadstairs and decided to find out. Best 50p I've ever spent.

  • @donna  Jan 9

    @kirjis, if you google the names of those songwriting books, they'll pop up. Check out book depository.com as well, as shipping is free. And amazon might have a few used ones at a very low price.

    Pat Pattison's 'Writing Better Lyrics' is good as well.

    One book I can strongly recommend is 'Songcrafters' Coloring Book' by Bill Pere.

  • @paulhenry  Jan 9

    "Sapiens," by Yuval Noah Harari

  • @tsunamidaily  Jan 9

    Concerning the spiritual in art by wassily Kandinsky

  • @johnstaples  Jan 9

    @kirjis I finished The Addiction Formula but felt like it over promised and under delivered! Seemed like some really good ideas but not fully explained. Maybe I'll read it again.

    If I were asked to recommend books on songwriting I would almost always suggest Robin Frederick! https://robinfrederick.com/ Her books are all really good. I'm currently working through her Song Starters book.

  • @donna  Jan 10

    @miltz I've just been re-reading the poem you'd mentioned much earlier. Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you. 😀

  • @gubna Jan 10

    I read 17 books last year. A few were music related, mostly art. Victor Wooten Music Lesson is a must read for all musicians or aspiring musicians.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    I got a Kindle back in September 2019 for my birthday. I have always shunned the Kindle because I just thought printed books would always be my preference. But now I am Kindle all the way!!! OMG, I have read more books in the past 3 months than I had read in the past 3 years!

    Recently Read or In Progress(on Kindle)
    The Stand by Stephen King
    Elevation by Stephen King
    The Institute by Stephen King
    The Outsider by Stephen King
    We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter
    1922 by Stephen King
    You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It's Making the World a Weirder Place by Janelle Shane
    Study the Hits: Learn the Secrets of Today's Chart-Topping Hits by Robin Frederick
    The 30-Minute Songwriter: Write, Develop, Polish & Pitch Your Songs in 30 Minutes a Day by Robin Frederick
    The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman
    Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow
    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner, William J. Winslade
    Infinity Born by Douglas E. Richards
    American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman
    The Red Knight of Germany: The Story of Baron von Richthofen, Germany's Great War Bird by Floyd Phillips Gibbons

    On my Kindle to be read soon
    Answers In Simulation: Simulation Hypothesis as a story by Iurii Vovchenko
    Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
    Those Who Wander: America's Lost Street Kids by Vivian Ho
    The Ultimate Book of Song Starters: 501 Powerful and Creative Ideas for Writing New Songs by Ed Bell
    The 30-Day Speed Songwriting Challenge: Banish Writer's Block For Good in Only 30 Days by Ed Bell
    The 30-Day Music Writing Challenge: Transform Your Songwriting Composition Skills in Only 30 Days by Ed Bell
    Is Real

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    Is Reality a Simulation?: An Anthology by Antonin Tuynman, Dirk Bruere, Alex Vikoulov, Matt Swayne, Knujon Mapson, Tim Gross, Donald King, Dante Rosati, Sean Byrne, Eva Deli
    Drowning with Others by Linda Keir
    Thin Air by Lisa Gray
    The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game by Rizwan Virk
    The Things you find in Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett
    Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Condition of the North American Indians by George Catlin
    The Last Dance by Martin L. Shoemaker
    Spilled Milk by K.L Randis
    Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling
    Gutenberg Guide: An introduction to the new editor for WordPress by William Clarkson
    The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
    How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    @johnstaples love my kindle paper white. In fact there are probably some books I would not have bothered with due to their weight but of course on the little kindle no problem!

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    Songwriters on Songwriting volume II by Paul Zollo

  • @cts  Jan 13

    The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century. A pretty good read, too!

  • @konemake Jan 13

    Some collection of rare short stories by Ursula Le Guin (Pimeälipas, probably only available in this form in Finnish).
    Supercrash by Darryl Cunningham.
    @johnstaples this sounds really interesting:
    The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game by Rizwan Virk

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @konemake I have recently become fascinated with this wild idea that we are actually "living" in a very large, very complex computer simulation! Now admittedly, I've not seen sufficient evidence to be able to believe such a thing. But honestly, it makes more sense than all the creation myths believed by so many! Wild!

  • @oddbod  Jan 13

    I read a lot - mainly contemporary fiction although I’m currently reading A Parisian Affair and Other Stories by Guy de Maupassant.

    These were my favourites from 2019; all cracking good reads...

    Love is Blind - William Boyd
    Now We Are Entirely Free – Andrew Miller
    Once Upon a River – Diane Setterfield

  • @konemake Jan 13

    @johnstaples Yes, it reminds me a bit the old Plato's cave, that we can only see shadows of the reality. Of course we could see only shadows if we are really living only inside of virtual reality. 😁 It really would explain perfectly some things, especially related to quantum physics. I've seen this kind of claims in couple of places, but I haven't seen that book yet. Gotta try to read it too.

  • @philkmills  Jan 13

    "Red Seas Under Red Skies" by Scott Lynch - Second volume in a series about thieves trying to survive in a world where they seem semi-noble by comparison. Reminds me a little of Fritz Leiber stories I read many decades ago.

    "Midnight Riot" and "Moon Over Soho" by Ben Aaronovitch - First two books in a series about a London policeman who is assigned to a division that investigates magic-related crimes. Fairly light and enjoyable due to the humour in the writing style.

  • @sw1n3flu  Jan 13

    The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    @konemake @johnstaples, Plato’s cave philosophy is reflected in New Testament teaching in Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. It talks about how we don’t have a fully clear view of reality, but when we see God face to face the clarity will arrive. I can see a parallel to the idea of vector spaces in Linear Algebra theory, as C.S. Lewis eludes to in “Mere Christianity”. As for living in a computer simulation being more believable than believing in God, that seems to take more faith in abstraction of human or alien ability to deceive than it would to believe in a supreme creator. At least if we have the same definition of what the word ‘believe’ means.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @scottlake, there is insufficient evidence for the computer sim hypothesis so I do not accept it as true (or even likely). I am fascinated by the concept though.

    Likewise, there is insufficient evidence for the multitude of creation myths (including the various Christian versions). And I do not accept these as true either.

    As for which is more "believable" that debate isn't likely to produce meaningful results. Is Zeus more believable than Thor? Is Wóȟpe more believable than Catequil? Is Moinee more believable than Áine? Is Jesus more believable than any of these?

    They are all fascinating stories created by humans to try and explain their world in the absence of better information/evidence.

  • @atitlan  Jan 13

    Having recently finished watching the first part of BBCs excellent TV adaptation of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials", I'm currently re-reading the rest of the trilogy "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass" - I've also got the first two parts of "The Book of Dust" to read, but I'm likely to sneak something else in after "The Amber Spyglass". Probably "Aurora" by Kim Stanley Robinson.

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    @johnstaples I was referring to your statement that this computer simulation hypothesis makes more sense than creation ‘myths’. This computer simulation ‘myth’ only make more sense to you because of your background and cultural references.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @scottlake the computer simulation at least has existing evidence of its possibility, admittedly, only very primitive evidence currently. I've watched (and played) sims since the 80s and the improvements are astounding. They are tangible, measurable. They provide evidence of the possibility.

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    @johnstaples read through your reasoning and if you don’t see how you just restated my point with evidence about my point, then no further discussion is beneficial.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 13

    @scottlake you are misunderstanding my point. Unlike those who choose a mythology and decide to believe all of its fanciful stories and promises without a shred of evidence, regarding the computer simulation hypothesis, at the beginning of this conversation I stated unequivocally, "I've not seen sufficient evidence to be able to believe such a thing." For more on my opinion check the lyrics to God by John Lennon and simply add "I don't believe in computer simulation hypothesis"! 😁

    P.S. If you wanna discuss this further let's start another thread and stop the hijacking of the reading thread! 😁

  • @paulhenry  Jan 13

    Just finished "The Winter Soldier," by Daniel Mason. Fairly typical plot, but fascinating historical detail (World War One).
    Just started, "Lincoln in the Bardo," by George Saunders. So far, it's like a novel written in homage to Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology." Beautiful writing.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 13

    Currently on the go: "Principia Discordia" by Malaclypse the Younger, "The Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James, and the SFWA Writers' Cookbook.

    Make of that what you will 😀

  • @scottlake Jan 13

    @johnstaples Easy question to answer: 5000 years from now, do you think what you point to as tangible evidence will exist in tangible form to those living 5000 years from now?

  • @jamkar  Jan 14

    The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene and the H.P. Lovecraft collection of classic tales of cosmic horror.

  • @tsunamidaily  Jan 14

    @jamkar -- love the elegant universe. if science reading is your thing, try the moral animal by robert wright. the first third analyzing darwin's life through evolutionary criteria is less than thrilling, but once the book hits the third section, the conclusions he draws make it worth the read. i thoroughly recommend it.

  • @konemake Jan 14

    Excellent reading! Hail Eris! All hail Discordia! 😀

    @scottlake @johnstaples
    I think think that if we would be really living in the computer simulation, the "god" would be definately real, probably omnipotent in our simulation world, a personality etc, so for example praying and otherwise trying to do what "god" wants would absolutely make sense.
    Also I believe that in this simulation metaphor the "god" could be actually many different entities: programmer, player, system operator, whatever automated bot program or combination of all these.
    I think also that the "simulation" or "virtual reality" could be something far more complicated than we think. Actually, the "virtual" part could be so good that it becomes real even in the other world where this world was created. 😀

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    @konemake yes indeed, a simulation would imply a "god"! Unless the original player/god abandoned the simulation long ago. Maybe went extinct and left the sim running on an organic computer? So many fascinating possibilities to ponder.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    And perhaps we are in a simulation inside a simulation! (Rick & Morty already pondered this!)

  • @scottlake Jan 14

    Just finished The Truth About Animals by Lucy Cooke. Highly recommended.

  • @jamkar  Jan 14

    Thanks @tsunamidaily! Will check it out. I am especially interested in multiverses as well.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 14

    And maybe, @johnstaples, yours is the only real consciousness and the rest of us are all just programs in the computer simulation....

  • @johnstaples  Jan 14

    Hmmm...maybe yours is the only real consciousness @fuzzy cause that is what the player character might say to an NPC like me! And what is "real" in that context anyway? I'd guess we are all NPCs!

  • @emkaydeebee  Jan 14

    @ayehahmur that’s ace re Ru Pringle! Glad you like his stuff!

    Hello everyone, happy new year! 😍

  • @gslade Jan 14

    If I posted what I'm currently reading it would likely be incorrect by the time you read this. I finish a few books a week, but if you're interested, you can add me on Goodreads here >> https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2...

  • @donna  Jan 14

    Well, this is strange. My annual 'What are you reading' thread was only partly eliminated during the re-boot this year. So we can continue where we left off a week ago. 😉 I'm currently reading one of Ru Pringle's books but, to be honest, I'm finding it tedious going. I reckon at least a quarter of the text could be dropped without losing the storyline. However, I do love the descriptions of Scotland.

  • @gubna Jan 15

    A book on Dali. Weird.

  • @scottlake Jan 15

    @donna I slogged my way through Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth November-December 2019 and I estimate 30-40% of that book could have been stricken without any loss of story, character development, etc. I won’t ever read anything by him again. Too much wasted time.

  • @roadreg Jan 15

    Probably like my 7th read-through of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, as I generally like to do at the start of the year. I think it might be my favourite book ever. It gives me genuine chills.

  • @ayehahmur  Jan 15

    @donna Reading is such a personal experience. Sorry to have given you a bum steer in this instance.

  • @ayehahmur  Jan 15

    @mkd He's a cracking musician too!

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 15

    Lucy Ellmann - Ducks, Newburyport. It lo-o-ng.

    Also just finished the audiobook of Record of a Spaceborn Few, which is the third book in Becky Chambers' Wayfarers series.

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 15

    @scottlake @johnstaples I also really enjoy how easy it is lugging a Paperwhite around! I'm reading a 1000+ page book which would, in paper form, have no chance of fitting in my handbag

  • @vomvorton  Jan 15

    I didn't read much last year so I'm trying to fix that. So far this year I have read:

    The Last by Hanna Jameson - fun / bleak post-apocalyptic thriller, not hugely well written but very compelling.

    If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor - beautifully melancholy, poignant story about a tragedy in an urban street and the effect it had on the residents. I love this guy's writing, very poetic.

    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie - I watched a bunch of Poirot films over Christmas and thought I should check out one of the books. Engaging mystery, fun characters, sudden lapse into wild anti-semitism somewhere in the middle - the peril of vintage crime fiction, it seems.

    I'm sure I'll slow down during FAWM but enjoying being back on the book-wagon!

  • @adforperu  Jan 15

    Ashamed to say I barely ever read. However, I am currently reading "Yes Ve-gan!" (yes I know) in an effort to guilt myself into going vegan. Aiming for 1st Feb, but we'll see...

  • @barbara  Jan 15

    Thanks for pointing out If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. All you had to say was “very poetic” and I had to go take a peek. Page one was all it took to convince me to plunge in with both feet. Thanks!

  • @konemake Jan 15

    @adforperu Support for going vegan! You can do it! 😀

  • @fuzzy  Jan 15

    Hey @roadreg, Solaris is one of my favorite books, as well. I just wish someone would publish a proper English translation, though; the present one is an English translation of a French translation of the original Polish.

  • @vomvorton  Jan 15

    @barbara hope you enjoy! This was my second of his books, I also really enjoyed Reservoir 13 last year, which follows the day-to-day goings on in a small town for thirteen years after the disappearance of a local girl. He really has a fascinating way of exploring big events via the small ways they affect everyone around them. Excited to read more from him!

  • @tiller2  Jan 15

    Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight (founder of Nike). The Universal Christ, by Richard Rohr. Recently finished The Heart of the Sea: The tragedy of the whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick.

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 15

    @adforperu did you see that Boris Johnson interview where he pronounced it vegAN. It wasn't the weirdest thing about the interview even.

  • @johncrossman  Jan 15

    Lots for me too. Always pleasantly surprised to see books in common here and pick up a recommendation or two. At the moment...

    Finding My Elegy - selected poems by Ursula Le Guin
    Summer Lightning in P.G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle series
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Twain
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
    Next up: Ringworld by Larry Nivens

  • @roadreg Jan 15

    @fuzzy Yay, some Solaris love! I seem to remember Lem himself having some qualms with the English translation. I know when I read it for the first time, I thought the opening segment in particular (before the research station) was very awkwardly written.

  • @toms Jan 16

    Ringworld. Awesome. @johncrossman . As for Twain, well, I've read...let's just say, lots. Most favorite author. 😀

  • @alonetogether Jan 16

    I just finished the handmaids tale, and now im about to read the homestuck epilogues and the discworld book soul music on my to-read list

  • @tsunamidaily  Jan 16

    just added "more songwriters on songwriting" by paul zollo to my reading of the kandinsky.

  • @hornesgiftshop  Jan 16

    Evelyn Waugh & Nancy Mitford - Correspondence.
    John Mernick - Adventures Of Johnny Lovebus (memoir of a road trip that we were both on. I appear as a sour, repressed loner, so thin and pale that another character asks if I have scurvy.)
    Philip Pullman - Northern Lights (daughter's bedtime reading)

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 16

    Have finished the Chambers audiobook and have downloaded Olga Tokarczuk's 'Flights'.

  • @haim Jan 16

    "Mindset" by Carol S. Dweck. She's talking about people who have a fixed mindset and people with growth mindset, it's pretty moving and challenging.

    @andygetch I read Patti Smith's "Just Kids", was a pleasurable language reading journey for me as my native language is Hebrew and her English is superb..

    @jamesstaubes that's interesting. I read a book by a Tennis player, Andre Agassi - "Open" and I found it one of the most inspiring books I've read. His mindset is incredible, the way he grew up, all of the practices regimens his father put on his, and everything that led him to be the best Tennis player of his time. So I can perhaps see what you are talking about when you say that it can be applied with music as well. I recommend it to you if you ever get a chance, it's one of the books that I would recommend to anyone who wants to strive for more.

    @gubna that's a great achievement. I also read a lot of books last year, but not like I wanted to, this year I'm planning to read 24 new books.

    @sw1n3flu I heard about this book a lot, what do you think of it so far?

  • @sync  Jan 16

    I Put a Spell on You: The Bizarre Life of Screamin' Jay Hawkins. I'm sorry to say it seems like he was totally full of shit and kind of a dick. Made me sad and I haven't picked it up in a while...

  • @marvsmooth  Jan 16

    I’ve got three things prepared for reading at the moment, which is tricky with a 65 hour working week;

    1. Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe
    2. Elevate by Stephen King
    3. Me by Elton John

    One thing I’ve hated over the last few years of changing from on-site security to mobile response is losing the time to do things while I was sat on sites between working, when I did a lot of reading (and music)!

  • @gslade Jan 16

    Has anyone else read the Pine Cove trilogy by Christopher Moore? I'm on part 2, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. Pretty absurd but fun and entertaining. Reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk.

  • @toms Jan 16

    This week the philosophy reading group I run in our local correctional facility will be starting a collection of readings on political philosophy. Excepts from Plato to Foucault. We just finished inter alia Marcus Aurelius and Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Also, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. I generally hate reading groups but these guys know how to critically assess a text like you wouldn't believe. It's wonderful to go back to such rich texts again, esp. in this context. I strongly suspect this will figure into my FAWM. (Apologies for the humble brag 😀 ).

  • @scottlake Jan 16

    Songwriters on Songwriting volume II by Paul Zollo

  • @adforperu  Jan 16

    @frenchcricket haha, no! He must be reading it too.

  • @donna  Jan 17

    @gslade Yes, I've read the Pine Cove trilogy. Great stuff. Over the years, I think I've read the Lust Lizard at least three times. Moore's other books are good as well.

  • @delta214 Jan 17

    Currently reading "The Three Musketeers" and the first witcher book "Blood of Elves".

  • @konemake Jan 17

    Just finished "Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus", a graphic novel by Chester Brown, that was... interesting and thought provoking.

  • @alyxanderjames  Jan 17

    I’ve been working my way through “Devotions,” an anthology of Mary Oliver’s poetry.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 17

    @johncrossman ahhh, Ringworld! Might be time for me to read that again! Maybe a little Frank Herbert (pre-Dune) too!

  • @gslade Jan 17

    @donna I'm on the Stupidest Angel now. Enjoying it so far. Pretty funny. Have you read Doomed or Damned or other Chuck P novels? (Fight Club author)

  • @unpronounceable Jan 17

    So many things, cuz thesis! But main book right now is the body keeps the score by Bessel van Der Kolk. You know, light reading.

  • @looprication  Jan 19

    Just finished Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, highly recommended for lovers of the absurd. Before that it was The Last Holiday by Gil Scott-Heron. Currently reading Space Opera. @gslade - I've read a bunch of Chuck's stuff including Damned. Was probably most affected by Haunted. Will have to check out Moore.

  • @johnstaples  Jan 19

    @gslade Stupidest Angel is such a fun book!

  • @zxcvbnm  Jan 19

    1984 George Orwell but in Spanish.

  • @carlos Jan 19

    Our mathematical universe by Max Tegmark ... I’m forever hooked on cosmology and anything related to the study of the universe ..

  • @jamkar  Jan 20

    Applied Mathematics a very short introduction by Alain Goriely. Thought provoking.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 20

    I'm presently finishing up "A Brief History of the Roman Empire" by Stephen Kershaw.
    What I'm learning is that it was not a good idea to upset the army or especially your own family members or you're probably gonna get stabbed and thrown in to a sewer.
    The Roman Empire seems to have been a very stabby place.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 20

    @haim My boss at my last job insisted on using Dweck's work heavily in some of the training courses we designed together. It's a lovely idea, but... The problem is that nobody else has managed to replicate her findings, and other studies on students whose learning was subject to mindset-based training interventions have seen no significant effects at all.

    @toms The thing with the Ringworld books is: stop after the second one. The first is a classic, the sequel's okay, but by the time I'd waded through the sixth sequel, it was just a mess of retconning to work in plots from Niven's other greatest hits. I think he's on the eighth or ninth sequel now. And I'm still waiting for Amazon's TV series; what happened to that?

    I think I'm going to read Finnegan's Wake again, because I read a funny story somewhere online this week about a book club disintegrating into arguments after reading it...

  • @toms Jan 20

    @headfirstonly - I only read the first two, and by that time didn't have much time for fiction of an sort, so...I had no idea that there were so many sequels and prequels and whatnot. 😀

    I confess that last week, while waiting for the semester to actually get going and while I should have been reading stuff for that work, I read through the LOTR, which I have read multiple times but last time was maybe 20 years ago. It was most interesting. I still don't understand Tom Bombadil, but he's still my favorite character. Well, maybe Treebeard is. 😀

  • @oddbod  Jan 20

    @headfirstonly I've heard that reading Finnegan's Wake is the literary equivalent of self-flagellation 😉
    Treat yourself to Diary of a Nobody instead if you haven't already read it

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 20

    @toms The thing I love most about Treebeard is that he's Tolkein taking the piss out of his dear friend C. S. Lewis, who apparently HOOM HOOM spoke like that in real life 😀

    @oddbod Will do! (But as an inveterate punster, FW is my sort of bonkers thing. Oh, and Alan Moore references it heavily in his 1600-page magnum opus "Jerusalem" which I read last year...)

  • @sailingmagpie  Jan 20

    @gslade Absolutely love Chuck P, so definitely need to read some Moore. Doomed/Damned are both good (and grim!). My favourites are probably Choke, Invisible Monsters and Survivor. Pygmy is quite an out there one too.

  • @sailingmagpie  Jan 20

    I've just finished Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut and I've just started Meet Me in the Bathroom by Lizzie Goodman. It's an oral history of New York's post-punk revival scene in the early 2000s - The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem etc.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 20

    @sailingmagpie, I loved "Pygmy". All his stuff is good.
    What a great author.

  • @gslade Jan 21

    @sailingmagpie I laughed my ass off at Pygmy

  • @bradbrubaker  Jan 21

    I saw Sleep No More in November which inspired me to read Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Just getting around to it now.

    Recently finished the Ex Machina graphic novel collection. The series started strong and kinda fizzled for me, but should make for a good movie.

  • @gslade Jan 22

    Currently Reading:
    1. Horns - Joe Hill (Audiobook - Overdrive App)
    2. Prey - Michael Crichton (Physical Hardback)
    3. The Frame Up - Meghan Scott Molin (Kindle)

  • @haim Jan 22

    @headfirstonly hi! honestly, the book has helped me so far and I'm only half way through. It motivated me to challenge myself. I see a lot of her examples to be correct even if it's not proven, when she talks about the mindset of Michael Jordan and other athletes for example, and about people failing lots of times before succeeding in something, it really motivated me to try and I feel better now. I don't take so seriously some books that I read and make them my life's purpose, I just take what I can learn from it and move on to the next book usually. I'm interested what did you find wrong or missing with her material? She seems like a nice intelligent woman.

    @scottlake do you find it helpful? Would you recommend it to other singer-songwriters?

  • @valeriecox  Jan 22

    The Law Of One: The Ra Material -Super weird stuff. Very interesting.

  • @scottlake Jan 23

    @haim the first chapter was not very useful, it’s an interview format with Elvis Presley’s songwriters: Lieber and Stoller. They don’t provide any tips and it takes 50 pages to say that they just worked together naturally and wrote songs several in a day. That point is made probably 10 times in the chapter. If the second chapter is similar I will probably put that book on the back burner.

  • @scottlake Jan 23

    @toms yes Tom Bombadil is my favorite character as well and his deletion from Peter Jackson’s rendering of LOTR was the only big disappointment I had with those movies. The Hobbit movie (I only bothered with the first, which was awful) was a pure money grab with one of the worst and inexcusable CGI mistakes of modern times: the coin movement around Smaug at the end. It was a smelly fart, in a buffet line of cooked cabbage and Limburger cheese.

  • @toms Jan 23

    @scottlake I agree 110%! 😀

  • @gubna Jan 23

    This Wheels On Fire, Levon Helm (The Band). Plan to finish it before feb!

  • @burrsettles  Jan 23

    Right now, Edith Hamilton's Mythology.

    Probably my best reads of 2019 were the "Broken Earth" trilogy starting with "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemison

  • @owl  Jan 23

    I will have to go through this whole thread later and add all these to my library wishlist... looks like lots of interesting stuff!

    I just started "Universal Harvester" by John Darnielle--I love his songwriting in the Mountain Goats, and so far the book is a pleasure to read. It's the story of a video store clerk in a small town in Iowa in the late 90's whose customers keep coming in and complaining that someone's been taping weird stuff over parts of their movies (scenes of writhing, hooded figures in a barn...)

    My parents also sent me a belated Christmas present today, a natural history of milk, that looks pretty interesting.

    And I recently finished Philip Pullman's The Secret Commonwealth, the latest in the Book of Dust/His Dark Materials series. It's a good fantasy novel, though more adult and more real-world political than the others in the series = less escapist.

  • @complexissimple  Jan 23

    Just went to the library and checked out a couple Discworld books we don't already own and The Science of Discworld (which for anyone who doesn't know, is actually about real-world science). Also a book called Inside the Victorian Home which apparently goes room-by-room through a typical house of the period, describing everything in it and how it was used.

  • @philkmills  Jan 23

    @burrsettles - Love the "Broken Earth" series...even got a song out of it in FAWM 2018. 😀

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 23

    William Gibson's new novel "Agency" was released today. I'm thirty pages in, and hooked. He just makes writing look effortless (although I know this one was a difficult write). Beginning to think I should have reread "The Peripheral" beforehand, though.

  • @lowhum Jan 23

    Finnegans Wake

  • @fuzzy  Jan 24

    @complexissimple, that Victorian Home book sounds fascinating. I love that kind of thing.

  • @donna  Jan 25

    @ayehahmur No problem at all. 😀 As you say, reading is subjective. Although I found the book overly wordy, I absolutely loved the descriptions of the various places in and around Scotland, especially as I'm familiar with many of them.

    I particularly enjoyed the landscape- and ocean-related descriptions.

  • @zuza Jan 25

    Homo Deus. I never thought I'd enjoy Sapiens as much as I did, so I thought I'd give Homo Deus a try. Great and engaging writer with vast knowledge and attention to detail. I learned a lot from just one book. Hoping it'll be the same with the second one.

  • @ayehahmur  Jan 25

    @donna We do have some pretty landscape, and Ru does describe it well. I'm glad you got some enjoyment out of the experience. 😀

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 25

    Finished Agency. I think it's the best thing Gibson has ever done. Tight, kinetic writing that feels effortless.

  • @donna  Jan 25

    @ayehahmur, indeed the storyline itself was quite novel and interesting (and sinister in the way that '1984' was), and I liked that as well. I skipped the overly wordy bits that I felt weren't driving the story along, so it all worked out. 😉 I may in fact give Ru Pringle another shot.

  • @atam94 Jan 25

    I'm slowly making progress in 7 Seeds... It's a Japanese manga that was never released in English. The vocabulary isn't too difficult so far, but some of the grammar is still over my head. Maybe I'll have to go back to my intermediate Japanese textbooks soon.

  • @berni1954  Jan 25

    "The Quarry" by Iain Banks
    A lad on the spectrum, his dying father and his father's old friends from college in a house about to fall down (shades of Usher). A dissection of England during the noughties.

  • @berni1954  Jan 25

    "I've just finished Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut"
    Excellent book and how relevant it must read today with the political situation worldwide being what it is.

  • @sailingmagpie  Jan 25

    @berni1954 Definitely. The parallels are quite frightening. I literally devoured it in three days!

  • @ayehahmur  Jan 25

    @headfirstonly Ooh, exciting. I'm hearing great things about Agency from all over.
    @donna Yay!

  • @johnstaples  Jan 25

    Just starting to reread the Otherland series by Tad Williams.

  • @w1n  Jan 26

    Rereading The Witcher books after watching the Netflix series. Both are entertaining in its own way, but neither are amazing. Apart from that I'm reading the Rob Young book Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music, that I've been enjoying so far 4 chapters in.

  • @majormajormajormajor  Jan 26

    Some ghost stories. First FAWM back in a bit, so I'll plan to go a tried route from the past and adapt another MR James story for a part of it at least. Suggestions welcome on that score though.Le Fanu and Lovecraft are favorites too.

  • @uvejeff Jan 26


  • @peternh Jan 28

    Currently reading Carole King's autobiography. Excellent read. She's a great writer and has some excellent stories to tell about her career. Highly recommended.

  • @elainedimasi  Jan 28

    Ha! Books with cheesy blurbs. Here's one:

    ~The First Novel of Telzey Amberdon~
    a beautiful young genius-telepath whose only problem is

    @peternh the Carole King sounds like an amazing read!

  • @redgypsee Jan 28

    I have been reading The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. And for the first time in a long time, I have ordered two books; The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music-Wooten, Victor L. and The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning-Steven Pressfield.

  • @fuzzy  Jan 28

    Hey @redgypsee, I found "The Music Lesson" to be a really interesting approach to making music. It was a great read.

  • @headfirstonly  Jan 28

    Working slowly through Finnegan's Wake. Um, yeah...

    In addition I'm now reading "Dead Astronauts" by Jeff Vandermeer, which is nearly as weird, and Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" for the first time, which is turning out to be nothing like what I expected and very enjoyable.

  • @alyxanderjames  Jan 28

    I pulled Italo Calvino's "Invisible Cities" off the shelf last week, and am most of the way through it. I was supposed to read it for a class in college, but never did...I'm really enjoying it now, though!

  • @sw1n3flu  Jan 28

    @haim nearly finished it, some interesting parts, pretty in your face but in a good way!

  • @kcoop67 Jan 28

    The Twelve Caesars by Michael Grant

  • @redgypsee Jan 28

    @fuzzy good to know! I am expecting delivery today!

  • @miltz  Jan 28

    @donna Glad you like it. Richard Hugo is good. (I think I'm remembering correctly that it was Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg.)

  • @miltz  Jan 28

    Currently reading A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin, which is very good.
    The two before that were Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerrilla by Ann Hansen and The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin.
    Next will be Agency by William Gibson.
    Oh, and on my phone on breaks at work I've been reading Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy by Lynne Segal, but I've been on leave since 1/3 so it's been a bit since I've read any of it.

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 29

    Flights was superb. Highly recommended

  • @frenchcricket  Jan 29

    @alyxanderjames I adore that book! We actually study it in poetry class sometimes

  • @donna  Jan 30

    As many of you know, I love intelligent, well-written crime thrillers. Just finished 'Black Summer' by M.W. Craven. Worth reading, including for the atmospheric descriptions of the landscape (Cumbria). Makes me want to go there. (I loved similar types of landscape & oceanscape descriptions (Scotland) in Ru Pringle's 'October Song'.) I've just started a second book by Craven, 'The Puppet Show'.

    @miltz I love Ursula LeGuin. Think I've read just about everything she wrote. One of my favourite novels is 'The Left Hand of Darkness', as my dog-eared, falling-apart copy of the book can testify. She was way ahead of her time in terms of the 'gender' theme.

    Still need to get back to reading Stephen Sondheim's fascinating 'Finishing the Hat' memoirs once I'm over my current crime-thriller phase. 😉

  • @gbg2016  Jan 30

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

  • @beat  Jan 30

    @kalcedonka , Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.

  • @beat  Jan 30

    @philkmills , liked Aaronovitch too, Jasper Fforde has his figure Thursday Next running around in different Classics... you might like it.

  • @dzd  Jan 30

    Story of your life and others by Ted Chaing think I've read most of it before, remembering as I go, but still a good read.

  • @beat  Jan 30

    @gslade , got Moore on my list, thx. Read about everything by Palahniuk. Finished Eileen and all the other Moshfegh books just a while ago.

  • @beat  Jan 30

    Right now it’s Alban Nikolai Herbst, Wanderer - Erzählungen l

  • @philkmills  Jan 30

    @beat Love Fforde's stuff. Characters escaping into the footnotes is exactly my style. 😀

  • @berni1954  Jan 30

    Finnegan's Wake? Masochism your thing, then? 😈

    Ulysses is a masterpiece, but FW demands far too much of a reader.

  • @sjbatavia  Feb 1

    Reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. I would highly recommend this book.

  • @corinnecurcio  Feb 1

    "Leonardo Da Vinci" Biography by Walter Isaacson

  • @frenchcricket  Feb 1

    I finished Ducks, Newburyport. I think I enjoyed it and was frustrated by it in equal measure. Now reading Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

  • @cuzinchuck  Feb 1

    I'm on an anthropology/politics kick. "no time for fiction," says the grumpy old man.
    "Sapiens," Yuval Noah Harari.
    "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers," Michele Gelfano
    "The Secret of Our Success," Joseph Henrich
    "Republic of Lies," Anna Merlan
    "Education of an Idealist," Samantha Powers
    working towards "Against the Grain" James C. Scott (though I hear it's very depressing)

  • @gubna Feb 2

    Finished This Wheels On Fire yesterday! The story about The Band. Was pretty good! 2nd book so far this year.

  • @dasbinky  Feb 5

    Our book club book this month was James Baldwin's "If Beale Street Could Talk", which was beautiful and fluid. The kind of prose I could just live in. Very affecting. The emotions he captures will be working their way into my lyrics.

    I'm adding a few of his other books to my list for the year.

  • @corinnecurcio  Feb 5

    I've laid "Leonardo Da Vinci" to the side, as I own this my book, and have borrowed "The Body" by Bill Bryson from the library

  • @nateger  Feb 5

    Everything is Fucked by Mark Manson and I'm reading about the enneagram. I find these personality type things fascinating and also they can pull me down a rabbit hole.

  • @alyxanderjames  Feb 5

    I picked up "Upright Women Wanted" by Sarah Gailey yesterday (which was the release day)! I'm so excited for this book and am hoping to dive into it this weekend. Gailey was a favorite new author discovery of mine last year - they write brilliant, heart wrenching, character-driven stories about interesting people.

  • @scottlake Feb 5

    Songwriters on Songwriting volume 2 is getting better as Zollo interviews more writers that record their own material.

  • @devinhill Feb 7

    Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins and been reading various short stories from Stephen King, HP Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe

  • @bithprod Feb 7

    A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss.

  • @konemake Feb 7

    I was reading some Alastair Reynolds' scifi novel, but it's a bit boring. I don't if I am going to finish it.
    Last night I started reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer and at first at least that is just great. I've seen the movie which I liked really much too, but as book this seems to be a bit different in a good way.

  • @fuzzy  Feb 7

    Hey, @konemake, "Annihilation" is a great book; the film seems to be "inspired by" the novel rather than a faithful version of it.
    I found the book to be really Lovecraftian and actually really creepy and disorienting. The followup novels kinda explain what's going on, but in my opinion "Annihilation" can stand by itself.

  • @fuzzy  Feb 7

    I'm finishing up "Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits" by David Wong, the guy who wrote "John Dies At The End", a really strange book (made in to a mind-bending film).
    "Futuristic Violence..." is a cartoonish romp involving billionaires, superheroes destroying skyscrapers, futuristic weapons technology, and a city with absolutely no laws. A total lighthearted laugh.

  • @miltz  Feb 7

    Finished Agency. Probably my least favorite Gibson.

    Started Our History Is the Future by Nick Estes.

  • @miltz  Feb 7

    @donna I've only read The Dispossessed and The Word for World is Forest, but I liked them both a lot. I'll read more Le Guin before long. Either The Left Hand of Darkness or The Lathe of Heaven will be next.

  • @karan  Feb 10

    "Happiness" by Aminatta Forna, a beautiful novel.

  • @kc5 Feb 26

    Hens and Chickens by Jennifer Wixson. Light-hearted so far, not finished with it yet. Also recently read Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Neither are books I would have picked for myself, but enjoyed (and enjoying) them. Great books to follow books that have more intense topics.

  • @dzd  Feb 26

    started "hollow kingdom" last night
    Kira Jane Buxton

    a former pet crow and a poodle finding their way through a post-apocalytptic world with no humans.....great read so far.

  • @robynmackenzie  Feb 27

    I started "Strength in Stillness" by Bob Roth this past week. An interesting look into Transcendental Meditation.

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