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  1.  (10945.1)
    These and others god only knows...

    Nightmare Town, The Glass Key by Hammett
    Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Redshirts by Scalzi
    London Falling, Scream Of The Shalka by Cornell
    The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Call For The Dead by LeCarre
    The High Window by Chandler
    Between Parentheses, The Skating Rink, Monsieur Pain, N. Literature In the Americas by Bolano
    Snuff, Monstrous Regiment by Pratchett
    Ubik, Do Androids... by Dick

    Duane Swierczynski's work, I think is up your alley. Try The Blonde.
    • CommentTimeJul 9th 2013
    Angelmaker got awfully repetitive and dreary towards the end. I could've easily cut 100 pages of "My main character is so friggin' great."

    Now I'm reading Bleak House and enjoying it thoroughly. It's got an obnoxious number of footnotes, kind of like watching a movie with someone who won't shut up. Stupid academic versions.
  2.  (10945.3)
    Because I'M a boring music geek, i bought these last month...

    I've also bought and am working my way through THE BIG BOOK OF WOE, by Woebot AKA Matthew Ingram. It's an E-book of the collected digital writings of Woebot, who was one of the UK´s most prolific bloggers/music writers in the last decade as well as his time creating the Dissensus forum. Plus lots of the stuff he wrote for magazines such as FACT and Wire. Really good writing actually - very accessible and at the same time, bloody insightful.
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2013
    I finished Bleak House. Has anyone read Bleak House? I would love to talk about Bleak House.

    I think the only thing left on my to-read shelf for the summer is Embassytown and Middlemarch.
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2013
    Thanks for the suggestions, folks.

    For now I'm reading Kitchen Confidential.
  3.  (10945.6)
    Just finished Dead Pig Collector by Warren Ellis.
    Entertaining little story, odd, quirky main character. I can't wait to see what it does to the books Amazon suggests to my wife...
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2013
    Okay so my friend gave me an e-reader and I've now read every Jane Austen ever. Finished Emma last night. Can anyone confirm, is Clueless just an absurd 90s remake of Emma?
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2013 edited
    Reading Richard Stark's The Hunter. While I'm pleased to find that Mel Gibson's Payback is pretty much scene for scene the book (aside from the change of locatoin, times, names and a perplexing marketing campaign to label it as a comedy), I wish I hadn't recently seen the film before reading this.

    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2013
    So there's this dust-up about sexism in Toronto right now, centred on an English professor who doesn't teach female writers ... don't care to link it because I don't want to rehash a bunch of shitty discussion here.

    My main concern is that in a few hundred defenses of women writers, I've seen exactly six female writers used as examples - Atwood, Alice Munro, Austen, one of the Bronte (Emily?)s, Woolf, and George Eliot. Clearly some of these authors are dear to my heart, but isn't that pathetic? Not a single Mary Shelley, Radclyffe Hall, Djuna Barnes, Renata Adler, Joan Didion... (let alone all the great female SF writers that we obviously can't mention because SF isn't serious lit or whatever, except Atwood, obvs.) I get that these names are hard to rattle off the top of your head, but are people even putting in an effort?
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2013

    You're absolutely right. "Clueless" is an adaptation of Emma.

    Also re: the whole Dave Gilmour thing. you're right about the lack of variety of female writers. But I just think WHY should we actually have to defend the position of female. I mean female writers have been creating top notch writing for hundred of years. I see no reason to go down the whole "oh yeah? well what about..." route. there is nothing to have to defend in terms of the quality of female writing at all IMHO.

    As per Gilmour, I do find it sad and stupid the way he says that he "only relates" to white, middle aged male writers because he is one. A failing of imagination and intellectual rigor, as well as being a bit of a narcissistic, sexist, dickhead.
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2013 edited
    I would probably have thought that "defending female writers by listing them" was a weak defense, too -- but after reading opinion piece after opinion piece I realized just that it's a weak defense used weakly, which is even worse. That's what I'm confused about.

    ETA my other favourite response was someone whose column was "And this just goes to show why we shouldn't publicly fund the arts, look at the crazies, amirite."

    [I'm not going to talk about the courses U of T offers or the teachers they employ. Go read the course listings and you'll get an idea of how subjective everything is there. I don't think it's any surprise that this guy is sheltered and thoughtless.]
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2013
    So I picked up Rapture of the Nerds at the library and I'm loving it so far. It seems like Stross and Doctrow are just having a blast, throwing every crazy idea they can have it. Ripping pace, full of insane tech and downright hilarious.

    Also grabbed Sunny, a solid novel-sized manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, who did the Tekkonkinkreet book that the film was based on. Great little story about a bunch of kids growing up in an orphanage and their fantasies and adventures. It's a beautiful tight little world, strong characters and the art is lovely. Hard to describe, but very funny, sweet and human.

    I hadn't heard of either of these books, I just happened to notice them on the display stands at the library and had to have them. Got to love a good library.

    Hoping to get my hands on Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes next. Anyone read it yet?
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2013
    Reading Eugene Sue's Kernock the Pirate and Sjon's From the Mouth of the Whale, both of which I'm enjoying immensely. Also reading, intermittently, Luigi Russolo, Futurist: Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult, by Luciano Chessa.
    • CommentAuthorSuresh N
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2013 edited

    I read Shining Girls, and loved it. Between Shining Girls and Moxyland, Beukes seems to like using multiple POV characters. You get to see the story from the POV of the serial killer, the main character, and every victim.

    Beukes used the time travel and shifting POVs to create tension, and by the end of the story the time travel makes sense, as much as you can make time travel makes sense that is. She wraps it up well, and it all comes together neatly in the end.

    Kirby, the main character, can be pretty unlikeable. Though from I've read of Beukes, unlikeable characters seems to be a constant. I liked the supporting character Dan more than Kirby. Although given the trauma that the main character goes through? I can't fault her, at all.

    The book was a pretty fast read. Even with my lack of freetime I still managed to get through it in about 2 days. I ended up picking up and reading Moxyland ASAP after I finished it. Not as enjoyable, but still a good read, if you can get into a story where there's not even one likable character, IMO.
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2013
    @Suresh N - Excellent, thanks for that! Definitely keen to pick it up and report back. I had a great time with Zoo City.
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2013
    Loved ZOO CITY and MOXYLAND so I'm really looking forward to reading her latest as well. Glad you guys reminded me of it!
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2013
    About to start Old Mars, a collection of short stories edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Is it just me, or have really solid SF shorts collections been just coming out of the woodwork these last few years?

    I've been on a very quiet but very insistent '30's pulp SF kick for a few years now, so a collection of stories about Mars before we knew what the Mariner probes told us is right up my alley, pulled up to my loading dock, and unloading pallets of sheer joy.
  4.  (10945.18)
    Has anyone read Stoner?

    It's quite a good novel. The prose is to die for.
    • CommentTimeOct 16th 2013
    Just got Thomas Pynchon's BLEEDING EDGE, so everything else has been put on hold.
  5.  (10945.20)
    half way through This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong. Probably the funniest book I have ever read