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Thread: What are you reading? What was the last book you enjoyed?

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    I'm five books into The Expanse series. Watched the first season of the series on SciFi and liked it well enough. The books, however, are just incredible. Some of the best speculative sci-fi I've read in a long time.
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    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut



    Novel about a fictional member of the scientists who helped create the Atomic Bomb, Dr Felix Hoenikker. There is evidence that before he died, he invented ice-nine, a potentially destructive substance. Such leads to the path of Dr Felix Hoenikker's three strange children, an upstart Caribbean Sea country, and a religion known as Bokononism. It's basically a Cold War era story, but still works today largely since it's a great parody of science, religion, and politics.

    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind



    This is the story of one Jean-Baptiste Grenouille who is born with the keenest sense of smell, but surprisingly, doesn't elicit any smells himself. Raised as an orphan, he uses his talents to rise to the level of master perfumer and then things get even darker when he begins to think about using human parts to replicate human smells. This is a wonderfully dark and twisted novel.

    The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker



    This is a re-read. This is the story that served as the basis for the original Hellraiser movie. Creepy tale, but not Barker's best.

    Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut



    This one is about the son of a servant, Walter F. Starbuck, whose father's boss befriends him and makes sure he attends Harvard. From then, he holds down several administrative government jobs until he ends up working for the Nixon Administration and ends up in jail. Told as a biography, this book deals with social class, politics, and crimes. Some funny moments in this one as well.

    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut



    This one is largely about Billy Pilgrim, a WWII Dresden Era war veteran who among other things, is able to get unstuck in time (randomly time travels). This one goes deals more with WWII era politics, and overcoming the war, and while it also has some of the dark humor than the other two Vonnegut books I read, it is also much darker. I sorta do see why it gets compared to Catch-22, but that book is probably harder to read.

    I have been told that I should read Vonnegut and am glad that I finally did. Been enjoying his stuff.

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    I enjoyed Shantaram, didn't expect a book can be so interesting and catching all your attention!

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    I'm a sucker for the Ender series. I'm enjoying the first and second formic wars series more than I thought I would.

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    My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier



    An YA novel about a brother and his sociopath young sister. A feel good family story, haha. I liked this mainly because that sister does get under your skin, ugh. Most children are evil (Ha!), but some more than others.

    Howards End by E.M. Forster



    I have been meaning to read more Forster (I have only read A Passage to India) and since there is a new TV adaptation of this starring Agent Carter (Ha!), I decided to give this a go. I loved this, but I am really biased when it comes to British literature from Early 20 century. This story deals with a England that's going through social, economic, and gender changes. The Omnipresent Narrator of the novel has a rather cheeky voice. Dug it.

    The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs



    I don't think that I've heard of this until I read about the upcoming movie adaptation. It's a kids horror book about a young boy who goes to live with his uncle in an old and creepy mansion. He gets along with him, but strange happenings, possibly related to witchcraft, start occurring. As far as kids horror books go, it works, but yeah, I probably would've gotten into it more if I was a kid.

    Ring by Kōji Suzuki



    Basis for the original Ringu and then The Ring movies. Similar premise, that is, a haunted video tape leads to the death of its viewers in seven days, and here we have the protagonist trying to find a way to reverse the effect. Pretty creepy in parts and in its ending, but the book, in my opinion, feels largely like a detective type of novel than a horror novel.

    If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin



    This is the first James Baldwin novel I've read. It's about a young couple who's about to have a kid, but the father sits in jail as he's been false accused of a crime. The story then deals with how the rest of the family are trying to help him. I thought this was good, but pretty depressing.

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    About the last three months or so...

    Anthem by Ayn Rand



    I read this because Rush wrote a song about it. Ha! This is the first Ayn Rand book I've read. She's way too polarizing for some people. As I saw it, it's a Dystopia about a society where there is no longer any personal freedom or identity. It is heavy handed at times, particularly towards the end, but I thought that it was fine and had its moments.

    Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin.



    Speaking of being heavy handed. This novel does so in terms of religious imagery (mainly Old Testament) to the point that it sounds like a sermon at times. I didn't enjoy it as much as the other Baldwin novel I read, but it deals with a young man coming of age in Harlem in an interesting way, and I liked Baldwin's language so I can appreciate what he was going for.

    Confessions by Kanae Minato.



    This starts with a teacher confronting her students about the fact that she knows that some of her students murdered her daughter, but she doesn't reveal who. So the rest of the novel jumps point of view until we get to the bottom of the mystery. Disturbing.

    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami



    The general premise of this novel is that a man is hired by a rich and powerful man to find a mysterious sheep with a black star in its back. That leads him to bunch of strange events, traveling to rural Japan, seeking a lost friend, among other things. This is an earlier Murakami novel that helped him breakthrough and it has some of his staples, magical realism, enigmatic women, a man seeking out truth, and so forth, but I think he develops these themes better in later works.

    Almost Transparent Blue by Ryū Murakami.



    Another novel by this author which I read years ago, In the Miso Soup is more horror than this one which is more of a surrealist work. I could sort of appreciate the weirdness of it, but it was largely one drug infused moment or sex scene after another and I thought it was too much.

    The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin.



    I knew the story and have the seen the first movie adaptation, but had never read the book. Really effective and it's surprisingly short. I guess the ending is bleak depending on whether or not you're a man or woman, lol.

    The Terror by Dan Simmons.



    This was a well research and written book about the ill fated Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. But is IS HARD to read since it's largely about men stranded and suffering in the G-d forsaken Arctic. Think malnutrition, disease, betrayal, cannibalism, and on top of that, some Yeti like creature is on the loose butchering men. Definitely one of the most intense and dark books I've read in a long time.

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