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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

Sconset Sat 03-Aug-13 20:42:20

Now, I do love Neal Stephenson!

Arf! at 'cocky'... I'm anything but grin

Just find 'Dune' interminable and boring- not a good combination!

But yes, of course, each to his own. smile

I'm on page 257. I am still bored.

And I want to strangle that smug bitch Jessica with her own hair.

CoteDAzur Tue 06-Aug-13 15:00:41

Harder - I said DT wasn't for me as I can't stand (1) fantasy and (2) cowboy crap stories. If you like those, you would probably like DT. Lord Of The Rings isn't for me, either.

What I called "silly" was the moronic giant lobster that moves at a snail's pace and says "lub-a-dub", "chick-a-dick" etc. Do please try to aim your criticism correctly wink

I've read most SK and DT is not his best work by any stretch if the imagination. If there was a "cowboy fantasy" genre, I guess it could be one of the best there because SK is such a great writer but as it stands now, it's just about an ill guy shooting some people and avoiding giant seafood. Yawn.

SK is a great writer but Neal Stephenson is God smile Read Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Anathem, Cryptonomicon and then let's talk about how brilliant DT is in comparison (not very).

CoteDAzur Tue 06-Aug-13 15:06:38

Sconset - If you find Dune interminable, I guess you shouldn't try it's 5 sequels. I think they are all great, some more so than others. I wish FH had written more smile

CoteDAzur Tue 06-Aug-13 15:16:25

ITS sequels, even.

Sconset Tue 06-Aug-13 23:13:33

Hahaha- I would never go near any other Frank Herbert book, sorry!

I agree re Neal Stephenson's god-like status though smile

I love Snow Crash so much <sigh>

pointythings Thu 08-Aug-13 21:36:21

Remus, have you read any Tim Powers? (sorry, was just posting on another thread about non-Twilighty vampires and thought of you)

Thanks Pointy. I haven't. The page on Wiki about him isn't selling it to me much,but I'll keep an eye out in the library for him.

pointythings Thu 08-Aug-13 21:53:25

The Wiki page is crap. The thing about Tim Powers is that he isn't tied to a particular genre. I can't unreservedly recommend everything he did - some of it is so off the wall I can't engage with it at all (think 'Earthquake Weather'). However, his 'classics' are very very good. I'd recommend the following:

The Stress of her Regard (non twlighty vampires, Byron and Shelley)
The Anubis Gates (fascinating take on time travel and lots of mythology)
The Drawing of the Dark (you may have to look for an e-reader edition, it's definitely out of print - this one is a rip-roaring adventure and very funny)
Dinner at Deviant's Palace (classic dystopian fiction) (also likely to be out of print)
On Stranger Tides - forget the film, Disney only wanted the title. The book is fascinating.

I have to confess one of the reasons why I like Tim Powers is that he is clearly a fencer - his sword fight scenes just reek authenticity.

Thank you. smile

KurriKurri Thu 08-Aug-13 22:15:17

A friend of mine just recommended Peter Godwin to me (haven't read any yet, but thought I'd pass on the rec. - looks quite interesting) the two she has read and liked are Mukiwa and When a Crocodile eats the Sun.

About growing up in what used to be Rhodesia, and also dealing with life under Mugabe's regime.

Thanks Kurri. That sounds like the sort of thing that my dd1 would like too.

Brillig Thu 08-Aug-13 23:23:17

If you like Victorian medical non-fiction, OP, I'd recommend Druin Birch's 'Digging up the Dead.' It's a biog of Astley Cooper, surgeon to various royals and a notorious anatomist. He lived locally to me so I found it fascinating, but it's a rattling good read anyway.

Thanks, Brillig. I've read it and it's EXACTLY the sort of thing I love, so if you can think of any in a similar ilk that would be fantastic. smile

Brillig Fri 09-Aug-13 14:52:37

Right, so I'm assuming you've also read 'The Italian Boy' by Sarah Wise....slightly off the topic but still medical-ish is Gail Bell's 'The Poison Principle'. It's half-memoir, half-history of poisons and poisoners, with a bit of family scandal thrown in. Quite an unusual book, and fascinating.
Will try and come up with more!

I've read,'The Italian Boy' but not the Bell. Thank you. smile

Mumbledore Fri 09-Aug-13 15:26:05

I was going to say that I'm enjoying Sepulchre by Kate Mosse but I'm not sure that's quite what you're after. Instead I wanted to say thank you for bringing Melmoth to my attention - I've never heard of it but just looked at it on amazon and it sounds fantastic! Think I'll order it for when the nights start drawing in...

I read the Kate Mosse in desperation on holiday once, but really didn't like it.

Hope you enjoy Melmoth. I haven't plucked up the courage yet!

CoteDAzur Fri 09-Aug-13 20:41:58

I read Peter Godwin's When A Crocodile Eats The Sun. It was OK.

I read Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, which was very mediocre and made me want to just stick to male authors in the future. Some good descriptions of daily life of the times and that was it, really. The plot was ludicrous.

Melmoth looks very interesting. Thanks for the recommendation smile

pointythings Fri 09-Aug-13 20:45:36

I didn't like Kate Mosse either, though I'm a bit hmm about condemning all female authors based on one bad one. I mean, Mary Gentle, Sheri Tepper, Elizabeth Chadwick, Sharon Penman, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Susan Cooper, Daphne du Maurier... Do I need to go on?

CoteDAzur Fri 09-Aug-13 21:18:27

I didn't condemn all female authors. "Made me want to stick to male authors" doesn't mean that.

Thankfully, as I read Susanna Clarke's brilliant Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell afterwards.

Must admit that the last few novels by females that I've read have been shockingly bad, so I'm reluctant to try any at the moment.

CoteDAzur Fri 09-Aug-13 21:37:18

I read two very good books written by female authors in the past two years:

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
The Lotus Eaters - Tatjana Soli

There is no escaping the fact that men write much better books in the genres that I read.

I really like Liz Jensen's, 'The Ninth Life Of Louis Drax' and I've read quite a few good non-fiction books by females, but generally I agree that men are better novelists, for the kinds of books I want anyway.

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