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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

CoteDAzur Fri 02-Aug-13 23:04:00

Boredom is your enemy, Remus. That's how you threw Cloud Atlas away without reading a page of its brilliant dystopian & post-apocalyptic stories smile


I'm 150 pages into, 'Dune' but I Don't Like It At All. All that has happened is they've unpacked a few portraits and survived one murder attempt by catching a little flying thingie.

CoteDAzur Fri 02-Aug-13 23:09:33

Stay with it, Remus. If only to find out why it's the best sci-fi ever written smile

I've vowed to finish the damn thing, so you won't spend the next five years nagging me on here to do so! But is is soooooo bloody boring. Jessica with her strong jawline and internal dialogues and strange crones with blue eyes. Yawn.

MegBusset Fri 02-Aug-13 23:19:40

In a classic SF vein, would recommend Alfred Bester - especially The Stars My Destination but also The Demolished Man.

Have you tried Kurt Vonnegut's SF stuff - Sirens Of Titan and Cat's Cradle both utterly magnificent.

MegBusset Fri 02-Aug-13 23:20:22

I thought Dune was dull too. sorry Cote!

Thanks Meg and thanks, Takver too.

I've been meaning to read more KV. Slaughterhouse 5 was pretty good.

Thanks for that too, Meg. smile

MegBusset Fri 02-Aug-13 23:23:52

Also have you read any Iain Sinclair?

Sconset Fri 02-Aug-13 23:30:26

No! Dune is awful! The one book I've never been able to finish.

Oh, and Captain Corelli's Mandolin.

I also recommend Hyperion, Endymion etc.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

Have you read any Dianna Wynne Jones? (I expect you have btw)

Sconset Fri 02-Aug-13 23:31:11

Oh, and a Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge

CoteDAzur Sat 03-Aug-13 10:00:51

To each their own and all that, but it's a bit cocky to call "awful" a book that has consistently been #1 or #2 in every "Best sci-fi" list ever compiled.

Remus - A book written in 1965 will not have the same literary standards as one written in 2013, so yes, you will get some descriptions to roll your eyes at like strong jaws etc. You will see the same if you read Asimov's Foundation series, for example.

If it is the musings and deliberations that you find "dull" in Dune, then maybe it is just not for you, because this book is about the "inner space", in the words of J G Ballard, as much as the events and characters that make up a book.

In classical sci-fi, there are several books & authors you must read, and Dune is at the top of that list. There is also Arthur C Clarke (must read at least his 2001: A Space Odyssey), Asimov (Foundation and I, Robot, at least. I would also recommend Nightfall), and Heinlein (despite his now-ridiculous views on gender roles). Try not to judge these by current literary standards and just enjoy the ride & take in the grand ideas.

When you are ready for some modern sci-fi, I'll be happy to recommend some books that are probably more to your taste intellectually smile

I actually think that standards of literature were generally higher then than they are now tbh. Now, so much gets published that a vast proportion of it is inevitably going to be crap, and publishers want to dash sequels out and jump on bandwagons etc so that the editing process is weakened too.

It's not cocky to call something awful. That is an opinion - but we've been down that conversation many times before. Just because something has been voted something or other, doesn't mean that everybody must therefore adhere to that opinion.

You've made me nervous now - what do you think IS to my taste, intellectually? grin

Btw - I'm not finding, 'Dune' intellectually challenging at all: just boring. I'm at 200 pages now. They've seen a worm and had a dinner party.

LadyMilfordHaven Sat 03-Aug-13 11:45:11

remus. did you get my amazon list?



LadyMilfordHaven Sat 03-Aug-13 11:50:53

i will dm it to you.
I have a listmania thing. I update from the bottom, mind you


LadyMilfordHaven Sat 03-Aug-13 11:52:33

handsome Brute is a good read, everyone I know who read it liked it.

Red Joan too, although got a bit stupid towards the end.

I just finished Rachel Joyce's Perfect which i liked too

Yes, you mentioned, 'Handsome Brute' before. Will deffo read that.

HarderToKidnap Sat 03-Aug-13 11:57:12

Cote, didn't you dismiss Stephen King's DT series as silly? The magnum opus of the worlds best selling and most decorated and celebrated author ever? Bit cocky? wink

Hated dune too, didn't finish it which is rare for me. Just bought some Neal Stephenson which I'm looking forward to.

Oh gods - don't get her started on did a chee / did a chum again.


noddyholder Sat 03-Aug-13 15:43:28

Visitation st Ivy Pochoda really good.

LadyMilfordHaven Sat 03-Aug-13 17:09:37

got that sample noddo

noddyholder Sat 03-Aug-13 17:18:58

I really enjoyed. Just got the Professor of Poetry not sure about it yet

Thanks both.

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