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Thread: What Are You Reading Now?

  1. #2101
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Doesn't look like I'll be getting to anything new before the year ends, so here's my end of the year "Best Of 2017". Most years I have trouble with the top of this list, but for me this year was easy. The hard part this year is listing 10 that I really liked. Keep in mind, I'm only including books published in 2017. While a very solid reading year at the top of the list, the bottom of this year's list contains books that wouldn't have sniffed the list the past several years. I'm going to leave a gap in the list where I feel like the quality between two offerings is significant enough to warrant more than one slot in rankings in most other years. As always, your mileage will vary.

    So here goes, my "Best literary fiction 2017"

    1. Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
    2. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
    3. Autumn by Ali Smith
    4. Human Acts by Han Kang

    5. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    6. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
    7. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
    8. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
    9. American War by Omar El Akkad
    10. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

    Honorable Mention:

    Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (I feel like he's written the same book several times now, whiskey, a lonely dude, a cat and lots of awkwardly described sex (but not with the cat)).

    The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh (technically crime fiction but it's literary enough to qualify for the list)

    And my "WTF?" award goes to:
    Homesick For Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
    Last edited by SteelBlue; 12-05-2017 at 12:58 PM.

  2. #2102
    Striving for mediocrity Art Vandelay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    Doesn't look like I'll be getting to anything new before the year ends, so here's my end of the year "Best Of 2017". Most years I have trouble with the top of this list, but for me this year was easy. The hard part this year is listing 10 that I really liked. Keep in mind, I'm only including books published in 2017. While a very solid reading year at the top of the list, the bottom of this year's list contains books that wouldn't have sniffed the list the past several years. I'm going to leave a gap in the list where I feel like the quality between two offerings is significant enough to warrant more than one slot in rankings in most other years. As always, your mileage will vary.

    So here goes, my "Best literary fiction 2017"

    1. Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmin Ward
    2. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
    3. Autumn by Ali Smith
    4. Human Acts by Han Kang

    5. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    6. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
    7. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
    8. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
    9. American War by Omar El Akkad
    10. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

    Honorable Mention:

    Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (I feel like he's written the same book several times now, whiskey, a lonely dude, a cat and lots of awkwardly described sex (but not with the cat)).

    The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh

    And my "WTF?" award goes to:
    Homesick For Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh
    Thanks. This what I was hoping you and couple of the other board bibliophiles would comment, when I started the other thread.

  3. #2103
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    My favorite books from this year:
    1. Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmin Ward
    2. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

    3. Autumn by Ali Smith
    4. Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
    5. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

    6. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
    7. The Leavers by Lisa Ko


    I like the "WTF" category:
    The Seventh Function of Language: A Novel by some french guy
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders - mainly I list this here to bug SB

    Best books I read from prior years:
    The Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro (1989)
    Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (2012)
    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016)
    The North Water by Ian McGuire (2016)
    Miss Jane by Brad Watson (2016) - I cant remember if I listed this last year, but it was a beautiful book.

  4. #2104

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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    Just finished Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Yes, he actually wrote it himself. He goes into great detail about the early days of Blue Ribbon Sports and how NIKE came to be. For 18 years he was on the verge of going out of business without enough cash flow, and trying to grow the business. He shares some things that must have been difficult for him to disclose.

    A very poignant moment was the death of Steve Prefontaine, and he goes into great detail of his last race. I found this part most interesting, because I was in Eugene that night as a 15 year old kid for the State T&F Championships at Hayward field the next day. I was at Pre's last race and my friend Dave got his autograph. I got the autograph of Mac Wilkins. We woke up the next morning to the news, and the whole city of Eugene was in shock. To say the Pre was a beautiful man would be an understatement. He was a 24 year old god.
    this one is great
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  5. #2105
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    My favorite books from this year:
    1. Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmin Ward
    2. Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

    3. Autumn by Ali Smith
    4. Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman
    5. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

    6. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
    7. The Leavers by Lisa Ko


    I like the "WTF" category:
    The Seventh Function of Language: A Novel by some french guy
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders - mainly I list this here to bug SB

    Best books I read from prior years:
    The Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro (1989)
    Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (2012)
    A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016)
    The North Water by Ian McGuire (2016)
    Miss Jane by Brad Watson (2016) - I cant remember if I listed this last year, but it was a beautiful book.

    Ha ha, it’s like the only one we’ve ever really disagreed on. I like listing books you read this year from others. I’m going to edit mine when I get a few minutes. Still need to read Reservoir 13.

  6. #2106
    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    Thanks for the lists... I'm pining for a good book. I'm halfway through Origins by DB... and I have to turn it off after an hour because it puts me to sleep - which is not a good thing when you're driving. My least favorite book this year was Steve Bezos... way boring, and after listening to it... I return it to Amazon for a full refund and another credit. Now... for you irony police... isn't that irony?

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  7. #2107
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    Thanks for the lists... I'm pining for a good book. I'm halfway through Origins by DB... and I have to turn it off after an hour because it puts me to sleep - which is not a good thing when you're driving. My least favorite book this year was Steve Bezos... way boring, and after listening to it... I return it to Amazon for a full refund and another credit. Now... for you irony police... isn't that irony?
    Sorry. Not irony.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  8. #2108
    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    I posted this in AV thread, but I think it should be posted here also

    These are books I read in 2017, not necessarily released in 2017

    Books I gave 5 stars on Goodreads

    NF

    High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic by Glenn Frankel (Goodreads Author)
    Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen (Goodreads Author)
    The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
    Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick (Goodreads Author)

    FIC

    Judgment at Appomattox (Civil War #5) by Ralph Peters
    The Frozen Hours: A Novel of the Korean War by Jeff Shaara

    Books I didn't feel were quite 5 star reads, but really liked none-the-less

    4+ star

    NF

    A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben Macintyre, John le Carré (Afterword)
    Dodgerland: Decadent Los Angeles and the 1977–78 Dodgers by Michael Fallon
    Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
    The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain: Life in the Age of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and The Great Fire of London (Time Traveller's Guides #3) by Ian Mortimer (Goodreads Author)
    Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry
    Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben Macintyre
    The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation by Ian Mortimer (Goodreads Author)
    The Legends Club: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein

    Fic

    The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French (Goodreads Author)
    Hannibal: Enemy of Rome (Hannibal #1) by Ben Kane
    The Commodore (World War 2 Navy) by P.T. Deutermann

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  9. #2109
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyone View Post
    I posted this in AV thread, but I think it should be posted here also
    Lol @ Art. Has to have his own book thread!
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  10. #2110
    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Lol @ Art. Has to have his own book thread!
    Book thread "for the rest of us".... sounds stupid if you ask me.

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  11. #2111
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Just finishing Thomas Mann's classic "The Magic Mountain". About a young German man who goes to a (ritzy) TB sanitarium in the Swiss Alps to visit his cousin for 3 weeks and ends up being diagnosed as ill and staying 7 years. Beautifully written (I'm reading the Woods translation which is supposed to be the best) and touches on many of my favorite themes especially that of time. Highly recommended.

  12. #2112
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Recently finished Heart of Darkness by Conrad. A story about a mission to retrieve an executive of an ivory trading company in the Congo. If you don't know, it's the book that was adapted into the film Apocalypse Now.

    Next I read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a novel written largely in response to Conrad's (and others). I enjoyed both books and reading them together provides a stark contrast in the way natives are portrayed (by design of course, Achebe's novel was published in 1958 and Conrad's in 1899). Both are quick reads and highly recommended.

  13. #2113
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    Recently finished Heart of Darkness by Conrad. A story about a mission to retrieve an executive of an ivory trading company in the Congo. If you don't know, it's the book that was adapted into the film Apocalypse Now.
    I thought everybody was forced to read this in HS. The horror!
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  14. #2114
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    I thought everybody was forced to read this in HS. The horror!
    I wasn't. I wish I had been, I liked it.

  15. #2115
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Started listening to The Nix yesterday.
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  16. #2116
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    I wasn't. I wish I had been, I liked it.
    So did I.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  17. #2117
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    I am just finishing Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow. Fascinating story. His old man was a literal snake oil salesman and left John D. (eldest child) and his mother and siblings to become a bigamist and live a dual live. That event and having to support the abandoned family helped shape his character. Then he was in the right time at the right place as the petroleum industry was born. The guy seldom made the wrong move and was ruthless. At the same time, he was ultra-religious. Never touched alcohol and was very generous late in life. Recommended.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  18. #2118
    Strikes and Gutters chrisrenrut's Avatar
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    I finished Artemis, the 2nd book by Andy Weir. It was a fun little sci-fi book, but not on the same level as his first book, The Martian.

    It’s about a 20 something female who’s grew up in Artemis, a city built on the Moon. She is an under-achieving minor hooligan, who gets caught up in a power play for economic control of the moons resources. There is some interesting scientific speculation about living on the moon. The story itself is entertaining, but not as compelling as surviving on Mars. Maybe it’s because the antagonist is not just the environment itself, but various people and groups of people.

  19. #2119
    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    I'm 80% done listening to Born to Run... Read in the voice of Bruce Himself. I've enjoyed this as much as I did Shoe Dog. There's a lot of talk about mental illness in his family, and I think his own personal bipolar manic depressive tendencies shaped a lot of his work. So many inside stories about his early life...

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  20. #2120
    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    I just finished High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30038933-high-noon

    I thought it was a great read, I five starred it on Goodreads. In addition to the story of the making of the movie, This is the story of Hollywood and the Blacklist. The author looks a how so many in the entertainment industry got envolved with the Communist Party in the 30's and how most drifted away during the 40s and how that came home to roost in the 50s with the Communist scare and HUAC. Highly recommended.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  21. #2121
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This one ended up at the top of a lot of people’s lists this year and I finally got a copy at my library. Didn't live up to the hype, a three star read for me, and would probably have ended up somewhere in the 8-10 spots on my 2017 list.

    Finished my first 2018 release today, The Largesse of the Sea Monster by the late (May 2017) Denis Johnson. He writes beautifully about pain and suffering, especially that of addicts and the mentally ill. In addition, I enjoyed the reflections on death by middle aged characters beginning to sense their own mortality. Highly recommended, Jan 2018 release.
    Last edited by SteelBlue; 12-23-2017 at 03:28 PM.

  22. #2122
    Board Bookworm happyone's Avatar
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    My first read of the 2018 is a new bio of Luther

    Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...-martin-luther

    considering it is the 500th anniversary of his nailing the 95 thesis on the cathedral door, I thought is was apt.

    I may be small, but I'm slow.

    A veteran - whether active duty, retired, or national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to, "The United States of America ", for an amount of "up to and including my life - it's an honor."

  23. #2123
    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    We Are Legion (We Are Bob), by Dennis E. Taylor. A riotous read that uses only half a brain.
    Last edited by Katy Lied; 01-09-2018 at 09:39 AM.

  24. #2124
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Finished Ready Player One last week, now I'm reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  25. #2125

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Finished Ready Player One last week, now I'm reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
    Was ready player one any good? I've had it sitting unopened on my kindle for a couple of years.

  26. #2126
    Senior Member SteelBlue's Avatar
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    Finished The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I believe it comes out today. Held my attention, but I couldn't shake the feeling I'd read it before. It reminded me quite a bit of Chabon's Moonglow. Would be rated hard R as a film (which I believe is in the works).

  27. #2127
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Was ready player one any good? I've had it sitting unopened on my kindle for a couple of years.
    What?! Its great! Its not high literature or anything, but its a really fun read.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

  28. #2128
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Was ready player one any good? I've had it sitting unopened on my kindle for a couple of years.
    I really liked it. Fun read.

  29. #2129
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    I'm reading Reamde by Neal Stephenson. I got it on my kindle app, so I had no idea how long it was. Its over a 1000 pages! This is my first Stephenson novel. Man, the guy is long-winded. Still only about 300 pages in.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

    "The only one of us who is so significant that Jeff owes us something simply because he decided to grace us with his presence is falafel." -- All-American

    GIVE 'EM HELL, BRIGHAM!

  30. #2130

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    I'm currently reading three books, depending on my mood.

    The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared - very entertaining story. The author has a very subtle but poignant sense of humor. just over half way through.

    The Road the Character - About 1/3 through. Loved the introduction. Brooks is an excellent story teller who has explored a couple of historical figures (so far) that I wasn't all that familiar with.

    Superfreakonomics - for some light reading on the kindle when I have a few extra minutes while waiting in line.

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