Off Topic: What Are You Reading?

One of the things I want to do more of in 2016 is read. I don't read anymore. Not enough time, excuses like that.

What are you guys and girls reading these days?

Currently I'm reading The Republic Of Pirates — which is apparently a book that Ubisoft referred to quite frequently while making Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. It's a really well researched book about the reality of pirates and centres around a number of famouse pirates and how they met their end. It's really fascinating stuff.

Asides from that I'm about to start Consider The Lilies by Iain Crichton Smith, which is a book about the Highland Clearances in Scotland. Iain Crichton Smith is one of my favourite Scottish writers and I've been keen on reading this book for a while.

What are you all currently reading?


    While not game related I have just started reading "Shantaram" - Gregory David.
    Its a daunting thick book but already past chapter one. Very compelling reading that has been highly recommended many many times.

      That is an excellent book. Hope you enjoy it

        I'm about to tuck into the mountain shadow, Shantaram was phenomenal! Also I'm reading walk like a buddha

          YES! Shantaram is amazing! So good that I've actually been too nervous to read Mountain Shadow. My inner hype is too much for it to live up to. Prabakar forever

      Oh wow. Just yesterday I finished reading his next book The Mountain Shadow (which is basically just another 1000 pages of Shantaram).
      I'm feeling a bit lost now.
      I started into two new books last night but neither one grabbed me so I put each aside to read later.
      I think I'll catch up on some comics for a few days first.

    Currently reading Thief's Magic by Trudi Canavan. I really liked the other series she did The Black Magician Trilogy (and the other books set in that world).

    So far Thief's Magic has been decent.

    I'm wanting on books 4 and 5 of other series to come out and when I don't have anything to read I go back to getting through all the Tom Clancy - Jack Ryan books....

    Just finshed Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (not great, not terrible).

    Just started Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.

      I tried reading The City & The City and couldn't get into it. Found the writing to be a little... hmm it's hard to describe, pretentious maybe? I found the language to be more complex than was required. It wasn't that I didn't understand it, it just felt like China Mieville was flaunting his vocabulary unnecessarily. I might give it another chance though, perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind when I started reading it.

        I loved The City & The City - just the whole idea was so bizarre, and I thought he carried it off pretty well.

        I just read his new short story collection Three Moments Of An Explosion over christmas. Was ok, bit of a mixed bag, though. Some great stories and some... not so great ones :P I thought his earlier collection, Looking For Jake was more consistent.

      Man I loved Ready Player One, just for the references and stuff, and because it was a pretty easy read.
      I must have been in a dumpster for a couple years because hadn't heard about the Martian until the missus wanted to watch it,quite enjoyed it , so am reading the book now to see if the old adage of the book always being better is true ( this has held strong for everything but Dexter imo ).
      All You Need Is Kill was before that, cool book, very different to the movie adaptation though tbh.
      Just wanted to chime in on RP1, sorry if it looks like I am wanting you to hit back on my other choices there :)

        Your choices suck! :P

        No but seriously, I liked The Martian quite a bit. More so than the movie. It all just seemed a bit easier in the movie... My recollection of the book is that he had a few more hurdles to overcome. Although it's been well over a year since I read it, so perhaps my memory of it isn't so clear.

      I enjoyed Ready Player One. Loved all the 80's references and geek culture. Looking forward to what Spielberg can do with the movie!

    A Dance With Dragons.

    Am I wrong for enjoying this series more than the tv show? I haven't even made it to the Red Wedding episode yet in Seasonn 3(?) and don't really feel like it's doing anything for me. Anyway, I have some huge questions. Exactly how many characters got cliffhanger endings?

    God I hope that tag works. Testing it out first.

      In the vast majority of cases, the books are better than the TV show/movie. So its perfectly normal to enjoy the original source material more than the adaptation.

      I listened to the Harry Potter audio books a couple years ago (narrated by Stephen Fry). After finishing them all, I had (and still don't have) any desire in watching the movies!

        Oh I totally get that. Might track those down.

        Can any other GoT readers help me out here?

          Sure, shoot with questions. Just keep them spoiler tagged.

            See the first one I did. You can go all out on anybody's situation if you feel like. Was a bit frustrated how so much plots were left open-ended.

              Righto. Still unresolved plotlines:
              Tower of joy, obvs. What did Brienne yell to lady stoneheart? Jon Snow- is he Azor Azai? The Gravedigger at the monastery- totes the Hound, right? Varys- what is his actual deal? Bran totally ate part of Jojen Reed, right? WTF has Howland Reed been up to all this time?

                I only recalled one of those. Thanks!

    IQ84 currently. Love me some Murakami.

      Murakami is one that's been on my list of people to read for ages, but I have never got around to actually reading any. I do, however, have a few leftover book store vouchers from my birthday... is there on in particular that would be good to start with?

        Murakami is an author you may find simultaneously brilliant and frustrating. His novels always tend to end without an obvious conclusion and leaves much for you to interpret yourself. But his writing - oh my, so good.

        You have a couple of options. Kafka on the Shore is what I started with and found that to be a great introduction. The Windup Bird Chronicle may also be a good choice but is a bit lengthier. Norwegian Wood could also suffice. Enjoy ;-)

          Ending without an obvious conclusion....sounds like Philip K. Dick mate.
          He gets me almost every time, but I get sucked back in for more,the magnificent bastard.

      Never finished the first book. I mean to. I also love Murakami. His books always pack a punch. Norwegian Wood made me cry on a bus.

    The last volume of the How to Train Your Dragon series.

    In late-ish 2014, I decided to read every book from the Dymocks 101 List of 2014 (starting at book 101 through to book 1). I'm now up to book 58, which is "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman - which I've read before, but is such a great book that I'm really enjoying it.

    The whole experience so far has been really interesting. I've read some great books, some terrible, many I'd never heard of before, and I've definitely developed a much better reading habit and broadened my horizons a lot.

    I'm reading All the Birds in the Sky, the debut novel by Charlie Jane Anders. Ripped through the first third, have slowed a little bit now, but it's really very good.

    Also working through Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel. I loved Wolf Hall, and this one (the sequel) is really interesting.

    I'm doing the 2016 Read Harder challenge from Book riot to expand some of my usual genres, so lined up I have

    Sand, by Hugh Howey (post apocalyptic)
    Walter Isaacson's Einstein biography
    The Earth of Mankind (SE Asian author)

    haven't planned the rest.

    Going through my Warcraft books again. Currently reading Stormrage, going to re-read Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects next. Then I may have to pick up a few of the follow on novels from there.

    I never liked the slow, slow pacing of books.

    Main character looks up at sky and sighs. The sky is blue, trees are green, leaves are falling, rocks aren't moving, what is the weather like?

    Meanwhile my mind is screaming, "OH MY GOD, SOMETHING HAPPEN ALREADY"

    The book I managed to FINISH was Terry Pratchett's Sourcery, and that was during the release date.

    I've been trying to get into the BattleTech novels but they're boring as hell. The only thing that has kept me going is the fact that I love mechs.

      If you want a book that's paced like an action movie, try Matthew Reilly.

        Sweet jebus... my aunt gave me one of his for Christmas just over a year ago... The Great Zoo Of China.

        Quite possibly the worst book I have ever read in my life. Feels like the kind of thing a budding writer might write in his teenage years and then discard, never to see the light of day. Certainly not like something that would (or should) actually be published in a hardcover book that they charge money for. Just amateurish.

        I hope his other stuff is better, because that was just.... bad. The worst part was when my aunt asked me about it later and I had to pretend that I liked it. "It was... umm... good... yyyeeeaahhh..." *awkward silence*

          I don't read him any more, for similar reasons, but given the OP's complaint was about pacing it's one thing Reilly does very well.

          I'd never put him up as an author to be celebrated for his prose.

            Yeah, that's fair enough - if you just want a big, dumb action movie on paper, it may well fit the bill. Although I am surprised that he didn't get sued by the estate of Michael Chrichton :P

              Fuck Michael Crichton.


              Fuck Michael Crichton.

              I'll read Matthew Reilly six times over before I subject myself to Crichton again.

                Fuck Michael Crichton

                He's been dead for a fair while now... would be nice and squishy.

                  I'd fuck michael crichton in his present state before I read any more of his books and oh god that's disgusting maybe not eww eww eww gross

                Can you explain why? I'm curious?

                I read Jurassic Park, Pirate Latitudes and Prey, enjoyed them all, in particular Prey, the premise can seem a bit silly, but I loved it.




                  Michael Crichton made a career out of hacky technothrillers by picking a scientific issue, misrepresenting the science grossly, then saying essentially "man should not play god" ad infinitum. Prey is a stellar example of a shitty extrapolation of science into "man should not play god"

                  Also, State of Fear, his climate change one, is soooooo bad. Shitty climate denialist bollocks, also racist as all hell

                  I can't reply to your comment for some reason @redartifice? Fair observations, Jurassic Park and Prey were both loaded with that "man shouldnt mess with x" theme. However I still enjoyed them for what they are as works of fiction though.

                  Im definitely a casual reader so I honestly never picked up on any glaring concerns with the three Crichton books I read. Never been one to analyse a book that much after completion. But each to their own. The guy is dead now so he can do you no more harm haha.

          Oh lord... Yeah I could never in good conscience recommend Matthew Reilly to anyone. I read one of his books which, yes, read like an action movie. He uses exclamation marks to accentuate action sequences... Just... No. Perhaps I'm a bit of a snob, but I agree with you entirely, it's really amateur, perhaps suitable for early teens only.

            Exclamation marks and italics.

            That's just to make sure you know that this is the exciting part!

            I read his books when I get home from a party and having had to much to drink. I find them far more enjoyable that way.

        ...and then... ...and then... and then...

        Not great writing, but good brain fodder. Ripping pace. Excellent for airports... :)

          Pretty much the definition of "Airport novel." Buy it at takeoff airport, hand it to a passenger going the other way at landing ariport, don't think about it again.

            Indeed. The kind of book you give to people who don't read much. They'll enjoy the story, they'll think "hey, reading's fun" and then you get rid of the gateway shite and give them some good books... :)

    I finally visited a book store and actually bought something other than a printed version of a webcomic for the first time in two years. Determined to plough through some more Neal Stephenson after re-reading Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash (but not yet ready to continue the Baroque Cycle by picking up The Confusion) I settled on Anathem since Reamde wasn't on the shelf at Kinokuniya. Enjoying it so far, but have really only read through the prologue and I forgot to bring it with me on the train this morning. :(

      Anathem is my favourite Stephenson. Never finished Cryptonomicon, though I've tried it twice.

      I've been picking up and putting down his collection of non fiction/short works, but the real meat of that collection is a 100+ page essay on transoceanic telephone cabling which is a haaaaaaard slog

        I find it amusing you're reading an essay on transoceanic telephone cabling given that it's a major plot/discussion point in the modern-day half of Cryptonomicon (along with hacking, cryptography, world war 2, mining engineering, etc.).

        What made you put Cryptonomicon down? I know @McGarnical hates Cryptonomicon because of the wanky prose in the early chapters, but I maintain that's because at the start of the book both Bobby Shaftoe and Randy Waterhouse are colossal tools, and the writing changes as they have significant character arcs over the course of the story.

          He obviously wrote Cryptonomicon after writing this essay in the book.

          I just hit a bunch of essay prose in cryptonomicon about topics I was much, much less engaged with than he was, and the plot wasn't pulling me along at all to make it through. In the end, I didn't feel like I needed to pick it back up after I set it down for a bit.

            Fair enough. I felt a bit like that reading Quicksilver because he leaned on a few historical figures and didn't really bring his own characters (bloody Shaftoes and Waterhouses again) into the forefront quickly enough. I slogged through it on a first reading then towards the end I finally felt like I following everything more clearly and had to re-read it to appreciate the early chapters again. I've heard The Confusion is more of the same, which I'm looking forward to, just not with a great deal of eagerness.

            On my first reading of Crypto I skipped a lot of the math and graphs etc and didn't feel like I missed anything important. On a second reading I gave all of that more of my attention (since I already knew the characters and events) and was surprised by how much nuance it added. Still feel like it could focus a little bit less on the protagonists' ejaculation habits, but otherwise still one of my favourite books.

              I think I put it down last when the guy who was buddies with Turing was stuck off the north of scotland and obsessing over the landowner's daughter and it was just OMFG shut up and get on with it Neal

      Love love love Stephenson. The Diamond Age is my favourite of his. Cryptonomicon is wonderful.

      I read Anathem last year. Story left me a bit cold but bloody hell he can write.

    I've been reading Divinity: Original Sin. See what I did there?

    Been playing a lot of Rainbow Six Siege lately, so ordered the original Tom Clancy novel and been getting into that. Not too bad, big mo fo of a book.

      Love that book. Read it multiple times. Given the opening act of the book, you don't really expect it to end in the way it does.

    Just finished Tim Cahill's Legacy, inspiration plus.

    I've just started on Amy Poehlers Yes Please which I'm finding a pleasant read so far, best way to describe it so far is like reading your best friends memoirs that were written with you in mind: a lot of humorous anecdotes.


    The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (again, for like, the 4th time)
    Ready Player One (literally read it in two days. couldn't put it down)
    The Beach by Alex Garland (what a read! much better than the movie)
    The Wool Trilogy by Hugh Howey (surprisingly really good)
    Issues 1 - 5 of Nameless (crazy comic, dying for issue 6 to be delivered)


    Fight Club 2 (up to issue 5, not too bad so far)

      I've only read the first of the Wool Trilogy but totally agree on it's goodness.
      Was a great read. I have now read quite a few really good self-published books.
      Kudos to Amazon for doing a lot in that area.

        I still need to read the third book, but I have acquired the first two in dead-tree from discount booksellers so I need to do that with the third for completeness

          My dead-tree form purchases are limited these days due to my wife putting her foot down about the limited storage space we have. :)
          Also, easier to read things on the train on the kindle.

            I recently packed up all my old games and DVDs... so I'd have more book space on my shelves.

              Not a bad idea!
              I should look at packing up my old RPG stuff.
              Realistically I'm unlikely to play again.
              I would sell my comics too if I could do it in one or two goes.
              The cash would be useful as well as freeing up space.

    Currently reading Saga. I bought 30 issues on sale (digitally) a year or so ago, so I'm a bit behind.
    I've caught up on so many digital comics the past year and a bit thanks to the decision to read them at lunch at work instead of novels. My backlog was huge but now is dwindling :)

    to be honest, the only thing i read these days are Manga, so i hang on week to week on about 7 different series.
    One Piece
    One Punch Man
    Attack On Titan
    Black Joke
    Feng Shen Ji

    I've haven't read a book in a while. I'm not sure my quarterly Terry Pratchetts really 'count' because that's just... a habit/tradition. Including the collaborative works, plays, encyclopedia, kids' picture books, etc, there's literally nothing left of his that I haven't read and... *sigh* now there won't ever be.
    God. Dammit.

    I should catch up on everything I've missed from authors I used to read and enjoy. When I last read Robin Hobb, she'd only written six books under her own name. Now she's up to like... 20 or something.

    So I've gotta go digging back into my favourite fantasy authors from when I was a kid. Sara Douglass (who I just found out has died. Sigh). Janny Wurts, Raymond E. Feist, David Gemmell (also dead. Seriously? What is with fantasy authors dying in their fucking 50s?)...

      You should get into Moorcock or Fritz Leiber.

        After reading about Stella Gemmell contacting the publisher to continue her husband's work after his death, I kinda feel like I need get on to reading that series pretty damn quicksmart.

        But then, OK. Let's check that stuff out.

          Yeah I've had a recent hankering to read / re-read David Gemmell's stuff.
          I've read a few and loved them but I wouldn't mind going back and reading them chronologically (universe chronology not published)
          But I should probably finish a few of the series I have started first.

      Highly recommend reading all of Hobb's 'Realm of the Elderlings' novels!

      Stay away from the Soldier Son Trilogy...

    The cat in the hat.
    It's a tale about surviving a home invasion.

    I am knee deep in TV shows atm (over 2 1/2 hours in a train every day gives you a lot of watching time) but I read the Expanse just before the TV show came out. Loved it. Possibly a mistake though since I am struggling with the differences between the book and the TV show. I think I would have enjoyed the show a bit more if I had done it the other way around.
    Still once I am back to reading I think I will finish off that series. Then there is a few other series I should go back and finish (Hugh Howey's Wool Trilogy, Trevor H Cooley's The Bowl of Souls, Sam Sisavath's Babylon series and a few others.)

      I quite enjoyed the first Expanse book (watched the TV pilot, then read it). I'm keen to keep reading it when I get around to it.

        Yeah the book was great and so is the TV series but it's just the differences getting to me.
        The characterisation is a bit different, not to mention some different plot points.
        Really want to see what else happens in the books though.

    The Magician, at the moment. That series should keep me occupied for the next few months. I'm mid-series in Brent Weeks' Lightbringer, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn (just checked, apparently Bands of Mourning came out on the 26th, so I need to track that down), Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles and GoT.
    As for non-fiction, I picked up Randal Munroe's What If?, and Greg Fleet's These Things Happen toward the end of last year.

      Magician is excellent. Also enjoyed the adventure romp that is the Lightbringer series

    Just finished The Bands of Mourning, the new mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson.

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