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Summer reading recs for Remus please

(102 Posts)

Okay, so you all know how bloody fussy I am, but it is that time again.

I'm having a bit of a classic sci-fi moment, so anything in that line would be good.

Really well written classic fantasy might work too.

Quirky history books would be great, especially anything with a criminal or medical slant.

Anything to do with Victorian or Edwardian history is usually up my street, again especially if it's slightly off the wall - prisons, graveyards, medicine, crime etc.

Anything to do with historical exploration especially polar or mountains.

Anything random you think might be worth a punt might also just be the one too.

Tia. smile

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 22:29:33

Fun fact, by the way: Oscar Wilde called himself Sebastian Melmoth after the Wanderer when exiled after his prison sentence

I'm sorry I've hijacked your thread. I get a bit overexcited by book talk blush

I will deffo give Melmoth a go, if the library can get hold of it. I don't like red wine, good or bad! grin

Love The Monk.

Haven't read any Patrick H, and indeed had never heard of him until this thread.

Don't apologise for hijacking. I also get a bit hyper re books. smile

Oscar Wilde is one of my fantasy men - love him.

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 22:33:17

Ah that lets me off the hook then grin

If you love the Monk you should get on great with dear Melmoth. I'm in love with him: it's all terribly tiresome.

Patrick Hamilton: DO read Hangover Square. The plot shamelessly lifted and, indeed, ruined, by that Sebastian Faulks cad.

Re. sci fi - what about Nevil Shute (though I daresay you've read them)? I know he's fallen vastly from favour but On The Beach is wonderful (if sad and scary).

Have read pretty much all of Shute's - but don't get Cote started on, 'On The Beach.' 'A Town Called Alice' is my favourite.

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 22:38:56

Oh dear, does she not approve?!

I'm a huge fan of Iris Murdoch (or was until I had to read ALL of them for my PhD <wan>) - but I expect you've been there and have a Firm Opinion.

Have you read Fludd, by Hilary Mantel? I'm one of those people mildly annoyed by her stratospheric rise since I was a diehard fan loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong before the proles had heard of her <sniff>

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 22:39:46

Incidentally since I suspect you're more well-read than all of us me you might have to start a 'Remus Recommends' thread grin

HumphreyCobbler Sun 28-Jul-13 22:41:07

I love 'A Town like Alice'. But I think my favourite is 'Round the Bend'. I remember the thread about 'On the Beach' grin

HumphreyCobbler Sun 28-Jul-13 22:42:27

What about some Robertson Davies? The Cornish Trilogy, The Deptford Trilogy and The Salterton Trilogy would keep you going for a while.

Loathed Fludd - and loathed Beyond Black even more. Wolf Hall annoyed me, but had the advantage of half decent characters.

I didn't get on terribly well with iris, but dp likes her.

Remus recommends -
This Thing of Darkness
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
The Worst Journey In The World
A Handful of Dust
The Stand
The Dark Tower series
The Knife Man
A few of my favourites.

PatriciaHolm Sun 28-Jul-13 22:48:17

Philip K Dick? he wrote far more short stories than the obviously well known Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

I'm a huge fan of Kate Griffin and Ben Aaronovitch, both of whom write London-based urban fantasy.

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 22:50:41

Loathed Fludd?! <clutches pearls>

You like Lolita - have you read Ada or Ardor? Nothing like as good, mind.

Blee, Dave Fucking Eggars grin

The Worst Journey in the World sound ACE. I am hopeless at reading non-fiction: that might seduce me.

Is the Dark Tower series worth the investment (both time and money)? I'm a huge King fan and The Stand is one of my favourite books, but I am slightly intimidated by the demands of reading an entire series - mostly, will they get worse in quality as they go along, like the Howatch churchy novels, which broke my heart.

Ben A is The Rivers of London guy, yep? I read the first 2 but am bored of them now.

Have read all of Nabokov's, I think.

I know, I know re. dave E - but the book is really good, honest.

The Worst Journey is amazing - but it is huge and you need to work at it.

I love the King series, but am a massive King fan generally. I think it's better than The Stand tbh - but it has high and low points and again is a huge time commitment.

They don't get worse in quality - in fact, the final one is sublime imho.

NotAroundTheEyes Sun 28-Jul-13 23:01:38

OK, the phrase 'better than The Stand' has me reaching for my Amazon account: I'm going for it (I loyally read his recent output but more out of a sense that 'I owe him' than because I'm enjoying them, which I'm sure he's really grateful for hmm

Excellent! I'll report back! thanks


The first one may well feel v odd - just go with it.

HarderToKidnap Mon 29-Jul-13 16:26:05

Have you read the Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey? Amazing descriptions of Alaska.

I enjoyed Zadie Smiths NW, bit up its own bum but I'm in to London books at the mo, in the same vein I liked The Innocents by Francesca Segal.

Hyperion? If you're reading sci if classics then it must be on your list.

Have read The Snow Child.
Zadie Smith - gone off her. I quite liked her first one but the others haven't done much for me.
Will google the others, thank you.

Am about 90 pages into Dune btw.

pointythings Mon 29-Jul-13 18:28:51

Remus have you read any Sheri S Tepper? SHe's a female and feminist writer so I guess that's two strikes against, but she's written some really good stuff - specifically the 'Grass' trilogy (Grass, Raising the Stones, Sideshow).

Thanks, Pointy. I'll look her up.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 10:00:06

What Le Guin books have you read? They vary a lot, so eg not liking the Earthsea books wouldn't mean you wouldn't like some of her harder sci-fi. Having said that she is unquestionably a woman and a feminist writer.

CoteDAzur Wed 31-Jul-13 10:09:50

I second Harder on Hyperion. Written loosely in a Canterbury Tales format, it is the 1st person stories of 6 pilgrims grouped together in their journey. Quite a bit of poetry, references to Keats (incl. book title), and an ambitious story. It's very good.

Will try more le Guin. I think it was an Earthsea one I read. Will try Hyperion too.

Sorry Cote but I am failing horribly with Dune right now. I'm bored...bored, I tell you.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 13:49:01

The ones I would try in particular would be The Dispossessed, and the novella Paradises Lost (in the collection The Birthday of the World).

I do like The Left Hand of Darkness, but it feels very much of its time to me, in the same way that Woman on the Edge of Time does.

I like this review in the NY Review of Books, esp this quote "The Ekumen series may be said—very broadly—to concern itself with the nature of human nature: How far can we stretch and still remain human? What is essential to our being, what is contingent? " I guess that's what I look for in SF - something that will make me think - and Le Guin definitely fits that box. (If I want light amusement, I tend to read fantasy.)

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