Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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I'm currently reading Way Point by Clifford D Simak, I'm not too far into it yet, but it is about a Civil War veteran who comes back home, and he is visited by an alien who wants to make his house a way station (duh) for alien travelers. He is nearly immortal now. Some are curious why, others don't care. They just think he is a good neighbor.

I also recently finished Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik.  A lot of times it is hard to make a non-fiction book interesting, especially a science book. Which is essentially what this is. The author does a great job of mixing history and science into each chapter. It explorers such materials like glass, concrete, and chocolate. It was very interesting, and I really learned a lot. It helps that Mark Miodownik is a Professor of Materials. Highly recommended. 

This summer I attempted reading all four volumes of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.

I finished Shadow of the Torturer and The Sword of the Lictor and just lost steam/interest. 

I tried. I really did...

THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran:

Last week I bought a used HC for a buck and yesterday I read it over lunch (most of it, anyway; I left off with the section on Good and Evil. This is one of those books I have always heard about but never read. I'm glad I did (or soon will have). It's short and thought-provoking. It gives me me new appreciation of the first (hadwritten) chapter of Richard Bach's Illusions: the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.

Found my mother's old copy of My Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. 

Just finished reading Doctor Who - The Target Storybook, by various authors, including the late Terrance Dicks, Colin Baker, Matthew Waterhouse and Vinay Patel.  The book consists of fifteen short stories mostly set begin, after or during TV stories.  I enjoyed it a lot, but I'd say you have to know the show's continuity well to get the most out of it.

I recently read "Communion" by Whitley Schreiber. This book was the talk of the town when it first came out; but, in spite of the subject matter, which at the time I found interesting, I never read it, back in the day. Now I know why.

Schreiber gets right to the point, describing his alledged abductions, making it a point to do his best to convince the reader that he is indeed completely sane. Of this, I have no doubt. It's his sincerity I doubt. His attempts to draw comparisons to other abduction stories, while personalizing his own, increasingly smacks of fiction as the narrative progresses. The supposed first hand accounts fall into repettitiveness less than half way through the book, at which point Schreiber begans to offer speculations that neatly fit his fatalistic, enviromental activist, views. I have no problem with heartfelt viewpoints; but, this is no way to call attention to them. Even worse, this book quickly dissolves into such fantasy, that reading it became a chore for me.

In closing, it doesn't surprize me in the least that the sequel, which I don't plan to read, was branded as fiction, as I understand it, much to the author's chagrin

I listened to an abridged audiobook of Communion years ago. I don't remember much of it, but the one thing that's stuck with me all these years is the reader, Roddy McDowell, grimly intoning the line, "Ever since I was a child, I had a terrible fear of Mister Peanut."* That freakin' killed me. It's something I still say, out of the blue, whenever I find a reason. (This rarely gets me anything but confused stares, or, in Kathy's case, rolled eyes.)

*Strieber suggests that his fear of the Planters spokesnut was due to his childhood abductions, and his brain translating the appearance of the gray aliens into something he could understand.

Oh, man, Jeff! I remember Illusions! I read that back in high school, and really enjoyed it. I wonder how I'd feel about it now, since I'm a little (okay, a lot) more jaded toward the spiritual journey bestseller genre.

I'll have to check out The Prophet. I've read sections of it, I'm sure, but never the whole thing. 

Currently I'm double-fisting science fiction. On paper is a relatively new one -- The Obelisk Gate, the second book in NK Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy. The whole trilogy is highly acclaimed, winning three consecutive Hugo Awards for each book as it came out (the first and only time that's happened). It's set on a post-many-apocalypses era of Earth, as some people are born to have essentially a mutant power over the earth -- basically, geomancers. And at the start of the first book, a new apocalypse is upon them. Each book takes me a little while to get into, and then I start barreling through. 

On the other hand, I'm reading Dune Messiah on my Kindle. And I liked Dune a lot -- more than I expected to, since I was kind of indifferent to it when I first read it in high school -- but MAN, is this one a slog. I don't think I'll carry on with Children of Dune when I'm done with this one. But I'll happily watch the new movie, and if it's good, I'll watch sequel after sequel. 

"Oh, man, Jeff! I remember Illusions!"

If you liked Illusions, there is a direct sequel titled Illusions II. (I say "direct" sequel" because A Bridge Across Forever and One were sorta sequels.) i read it in a single sitting one time; I think it took me four hours. there's also a "Messiah's Handbook," covered in blue suede, exactly as described in Illusions.

I read Dune for the first time when i was a senior in high school, and I found it to be the most difficult book I had ever read at the time. I continued reading the sequels up through Chapterhouse Dune, the most current one at the time. When I went back to read the entire series a second time, I found much easier. I attribute that in part to me being more familiar with the milleu and in part to being a more sophisticated reader. I haven't read any of the postumous sequels or prequels or interstitial works, but I've read all of the Dune novels written by Frank Herbert himself.

Well it only took me 5 years, but I did pick up the other two "Watch" books. I wasn't looking too hard for them but I did see them at a Half Price Books the end of last year. I already finished Day Watch, and I thought it was very good. I'm taking a little break before I read the last one. I'm now reading Cuba Libre by Elmore Leonard.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Ah thanks, Richard. I knew there was a series, but I didn't know the names of the other books.

Richard Willis said:

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I thought a nice segue of reading a novel about the Cold War was reading the Russian novel Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyaneno. The Nightwatch is basically a agency "the good guys" called The Light Ones of the supernatural who make sure the Dark Ones are kept in check. It focuses on what amounts to a guy in charge of the IT department of the Moscow office, who is also a low-grade magician, who is drawn into field work. I've read the first two stories in the book, and I've enjoyed them quite a bit. Also, recommended.

He also wrote two more books, Daywatch and Twilightwatch. There are two Russian Movies, Nightwatch and Daywatch, which were adapted from the series. They are on my Netflix list but I haven't gotten to them yet. They sound really good.

DARK SHADOWS: I finished #16 in the series (of 32) DS paperbacks.

JAMES BOND: I have read all 14 of the Ian Fleming ones in order three times: once in junior high school, once in college, and once when I was 35 years old, plus I’ve read odd ones on a “one-off” basis from time-to-time. I determined the last time I read them that I need never read them again. There are John Gardner ones I’ve read only once, and at least one toward the end of his series of 14 I haven’t read at all, plus I haven’t read any of the more recent ones by other authors. But I was skimming through many of them last night (looking for drink references for a possible discussion thread) and I decided I just might read at least some of them through yet again.

JUST HOW STUPID ARE WE?: this was my main read this past weekend. Subtitled “Facing the Truth about the American Voter,” it places blame for the current state of American politics squarely on the shoulders of the voters. I’ve this book once before, but I don’t recall a lot of details, only that I liked it. I could have sworn I read it in the run-up to the 2016 election, but no, it was written in 2008. It’s chock-full of facts regarding issues and events, mainly but not entirely, between 2001 and 2008. The facts are presented in an interesting and fun way, but I can see why I didn’t remember more of them.

I don’t feel like writing any more about it right now.

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