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  1.  (9362.661)
    Okay Whitechapel, I need help! I'm trying to track down a book that I only have a plot description for. I do not know the title, author, or any character names.

    It's a story about a young man raised in seclusion in a post-apocalyptic world. He is supposed to compete in a holographic contest against a girl and a crippled boy who is a genius. The prize for winning the competition is the last island on Earth that's not radiated/destroyed.

    I know it's vague, but I'm hoping someone has read it. It's not new, it's been out for at least 10 years.

    Thanks everyone!
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    • CommentAuthoredyhdrawde
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    @warped savant. I was thinking about Still Life of Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    I just picked up a old copy of The Drive In by Joe R. Lansdale.Reckon i'll consume it and have a good laugh.

    I'm English so any horror set in Texas tends to give me a buzz.I like hard-boiled writing that cuts to the chase.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    Currently re-devouring Atwood's Year of the Flood (first devoured in chunks sat in bookstores while waiting for Greyhound busses). I really do like her style in this series; there had better damn well be another one.

    Also When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten. Someone in here mentioned it, I'm sure, because I can't remember how I heard of it, but the first 20 pages are great. It reminds me of Portrait of the Artist except genuinely sick and fucked-up. But, you know, in an adorable child's way. Which can only mean it's going to get even more sick and fucked-up. Very excited.
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    I know I sound like a horrible Canadian here, but where's the best place to start with Atwood?
  2.  (9362.667)
    Don't worry, OldHat, you sound like a better Canadian then I'm about to...
    Where to start with Atwood? At the end. That way you don't have to read any of it.

    “Where to start is the problem, because nothing begins when it begins and nothing's over when it's over, and everything needs a preface: a preface, a postscript, a chart of simultaneous events.”
    -Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride

    Oh, and apparently "The Handmaid's Tale" is a good start as it's probably her most famous.
  3.  (9362.668)

    Lansdale is one of my favorites - weirdly enough, the translations to Finnish are excellent and capture Lansdale's wacky language really well.
    • CommentTimeDec 17th 2011
    @warped, cheers. I most likely won't read anything, but still good to know.

    Decided to pick up God is Not Great by Hitchens.
  4.  (9362.670)
    Not a problem, Robin. I've never read any, but I know a couple of people that have and that was the main one they suggested. (And they told me about the quote which made me laugh so I had to share it.)

    A couple of chapters in to Early Mourning. It's... odd. And not at all what I was expecting.
    That being said, I don't really know what I was expecting, all I know is that this wasn't it. Don't get me wrong here, I like it, it's just... yeah.... different. Odd. Intriguing.

    I'm going to go read more of it now that my house is nice and clean.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2011
    @Oldhat: Seconding Handmaid's Tale. I haven't read anything else of Atwood's, but Handmaid's Tale is a good creepy dystopian tale. The book's theocracy seems more plausible these days than Big Brother (at least in the US) where evangelicals still hold a frightening amount of sway.

    And Speaking of theocracies...I'm also finally digging into Hitchens' God is Not Great. It's been sitting on my nook for a while now, and suddenly I'm feeling as though I shouldn't have neglected it as long as I did. In the same atheistic vein, I highly recommend Hitchens' The Portable Atheist, an excellent wide-ranging anthology of essays.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2011
    /The Blind Assassin/ is my favorite work of Atwood's, but I would also really recommend /Cat's Eye/.
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2011
    Robin, I didn't really like the older Atwood stuff I read (which was Handmaid's Tale and not much else). But I'm a huge fan of Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood, which is easier to stomach as speculative/apocalyptic/satirical fiction than the more politicized stuff.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2011
    More Joe R. Lansdale for me.FREEZER BURN.I read most of it years ago but i was laughing my head of so much i didn't want to finish it.That's when i know i'm really enjoying a book.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2011
    A buddy of mine lent me Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey. "Read this," he said, handing it to me. It had been read once already, possibly twice, judging by the discoloration of the pages and the creases in the spine. "Trust me. You'll love it."

    It's very close to a 600 page book, and I plowed through it in four days. I just finished it. I'm still shaking with how good it is.

    Here's the quick pitch - this book is like if Arthur C. Clarke had written Alien, and then handed the manuscript off to Iain M. Banks for the second draft. Good, smart space SF mixed with a pretty decent detective story, and just enough horror to make it really scary because it shows up when you don't expect it. I had sorta figured out the twist about fifty pages before I was supposed to, but that actually only increased my enjoyment - I kept reading to see if I was right.

    The best part? It's the first in a series. YUSSSSS.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2011
    @Anchorbeard: Mate,that sounds excellent.That's the sort of sci-fi i like and hopefully i will get to read it soon.

    Thank you for the pitch.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2011
    On the train from Newark Airport to Long Island, I turned my tablet on in hopes of finding some free mass-transit WiFi. No deal. Started reading The Great Gatsby, which I'd downloaded last year but never started. I'd never read the book before. It's set on the part of Long Island where I grew up, but 50 years earlier. Great so far.
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2011
    I just rolled up a $50 Kindle gift card and snorted "The Magician King", "Reamde", "Robocalypse", and "Best Served Cold".
  5.  (9362.679)
    Currently reading Truman Capote's "Breakfast At Tiffany's," which I still can't believe I'm reading for the first time.

    Taking Jared Diamond's "Collapse" and Studs Terkel's "Hard Times" slowly, as there's only so much depressing history I can absorb at a continuous go.
  6.  (9362.680)
    Finished the new reprint of The Incal this morning after a long session with it last night. Plot makes little to no sense, there is barely any character development, and there's a lot of vague spiritual bullshit that would normally wind me up the wrong way. It often just reads as if Jodorowsky is simply giving Moebius cool things to draw. But I loved every page. The artwork is astonishing, the pace of new crazy ideas never lets up. And although the characters are barely disguised archetypal heroes, those archetypes exist for a reason, I think. The Metabaron's stoic dedication and Animah's selflessness is surprisingly moving. And Difool, while often extremely annoying, is also a symbol for bumbling humanity thrown (literally) into the chaos of life.

    I've got a Kindle for xmas, so I'm gonna be reading lots of free ebooks in the new year. Found the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft somewhere, so far looks really great!