JFF: What are the last three books you read?

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Just started Different Seasons by Stephen King
Before that read You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: And Other Stories by Alan Cumming
Before that read Isabella Blow by Martina Rink
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Jen, Champion

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Posted 3 years ago

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ArleneH

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Reading 'Neverhome' by Laird Hunt
before that 'A God in Ruins' by Kate Atkinson
and before that her 'Life After Life'
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Stephen Atwood

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Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce, #8) and As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7) by Bradley, Alan *

Currently reading:
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
by William Finnegan. The 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography.
Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor
, a popcorn memoir by Bruce Campbell.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Ways of Seeing by John Berger (re-read: I read it years ago and have picked it up, here and there, to read different parts but never re-read it completely until this past week.) 'Highly recommended.

Green Migraine, poems by Michael Dickman (I'm still trying to decide what I think of this book.)

Star- Blind In The Family of Fortune Keepers, poems by Melissa Atkinson Mercer
(Not just because she is my dear friend but also because no one writes like she does, and very few as beautifully and compellingly, I highly recommend it.)
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Stephen Atwood

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Audiobooks:
3/4s through Stephen King's It.
Prior to that, Rendezvous with Rama (reread) from Arthur C. Clarke.
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Pencho15

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

The Man Who Would Be King by Kipling.

And I just started Homer's Iliad

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cohort

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Good read Iliad, if you have a modern translation. Older ones are tedious.
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Obviously finished Stephen King's It.
Followed up by The Android's Dream by John Scalzi and Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition Book Three by Brian K. Vaughan.

Going to start Paper Girls Vol. 3 then finally getting around to plowing through Schlock -o- Rama: The Films of Al Adamson .
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cohort

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Steven King once critiqued It: "That book is a piece of crap." I agree, however, I did stick with it to the end.
(Edited)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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Albert Camus, The Stranger (re-read by many times)  10/10
Richard Siken, War of the Foxes (poetry collection) 7.5/10
Louise Gluck, Vita Nova (re-read; poetry collection) 9.5/10
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Stephen Atwood

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Gave up on Schlock -o- Rama: The Films of Al Adamson  and donated it to one of those free popup library boxes by the Prospect Park Q station stop alongside four volumes of Questionable Content webcomic collections.

Flown through the excellent Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters.  Prior to that, Y: The Last Man - The Deluxe Edition Book Three by Brian K. Vaughan.  Got the final two deluxe edition volumes of that series... praise to Amazon.com.  Now alternating between Vol. 4 of that series and Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman.

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Jen, Champion

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What made you give it up?
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Stephen Atwood

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Poor writing style.  Really cheesy chapter illustrations.  Just wasn't interested at all in what I finally end up reading.
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Jen, Champion

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Just started Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Before that read Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across American by John Waters
Before that read Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming

It's been too long since I've read a book - keep trying to get caught up on my magazines (Vanity Fair is a fattie every month).
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Stephen Atwood

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At the Mountains of Madness H.P. Lovecraft,: a short novel that catapults to my top horror read of all time.
Halfway through The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by British writer Mark Haddon.
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Stephen Atwood

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Finished:
Coraline by Neil Gaiman;
The Disaster Artist: My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made By: Greg SesteroTom Bissell

Reading the last volume of Y: The Last Man.

Just received I Am Legend for free on Audible tonight as a part of Audible's 20th anniversary celebration.
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Stephen Atwood

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I am Legend: finished.
Tore through The Call of the Wild, a short adventure novel by Jack London while crazily marathon walking around Queens and Brooklyn for about 28+ miles.
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Stephen Atwood

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Finished today:
  • Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania By: Erik Larson

Rereading New and Selected Poems: Volume One by Mary Oliver.
Keeping a paperback copy of When It's A Jar: Tom Holt in my backpack to start in the near future.
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Stephen Atwood

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2/3rd the way through Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats, a book of essays.
Sped through Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, the print collection of the webcomic that was nominated for a National Book Award.


Also, started Patti Smith's M Train memoir this morning.
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Jen, Champion

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In the middle of Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style by Tim Gunn
Before that read Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
Before that read Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
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Stephen Atwood

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Finished Gateway by Frederik Pohl. Really connected with the lead character spending a great deal  in therapy.  One of the best and most original works of science fiction ever.

A third the way through The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker.  My first Clive Barker as well as Hellraiser novel.  A Lovecraftian noir!
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Stephen Atwood

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Thoroughly enjoying the lastest Flavia de Luce novel:
The Grave's a Fine and Private Place (Flavia de Luce, #9) by Alan Bradley
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Stephen Atwood

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Currently reading the very enjoyable The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1) by Charles Stross.

Prior to that:
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, Marlon Bundo (Inspiration), E.G. Keller (Illustrator) [The children't book featured by John Oliver in which parodies the VP Mike Pence family bunny book that was also released this week].

Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga, #2) by Frederik Pohl.
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Stephen Atwood

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Finished:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel: Neil Gaiman.
Really simple and dark contemporary fairy tale.

Will start Paper Girls Volume 4 this week. Graphic novel that will be a breeze to fly through. Also have Ring, the classic Japanese horror novel by Koji Suzuki, best known for its movie adapations (both Japanese and Hollywood). This one will likely take me months to swim through (if I don't abandon it like a neglectful parent that I can be with many much longer books I tackle).
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Jen, Champion

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Just started Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film by Patton Oswalt
Before that read The Art of the Swap by Kristine Carlson Asselin and Jen Malone
Before that read The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible by A.J. Jacobs
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Stephen Atwood

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Of course, set aside the Ring... unread... once again.

Finished last week:
My Boyfriend Is a Bear by Pamela Ribon (a short mostly visual graphic novel)
Finished last night:
Joyride Vol. 1 by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly (another short graphic novel)
Finished this morning (read concurrently with the other books):
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. The audiobook being narrated flawlessly by Colin Firth.

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Jen, Champion

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Damn neglectful parents...
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Stephen Atwood

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There is a neglectful parent or two in Joyride....  Was that whom you were referring to...?
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Jen, Champion

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No...just referring to your post above from four weeks ago.
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Stephen Atwood

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Rereadng The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven as I got the sequel on sale from Audible.  Pretty frustrating read (taking from present day morales.  It's pretty damn sexist.  The scientist-civilians are using absolutes and human centric generalizations in trying to figure out a completely alien society.
The sequel was written 19 years later.  I hope the two authors address some of these timely issues.

Prior to that:
The Dead Mountaineer's Inn by Strugatsky, Arkady Not a particularly funny or effective satire of the crime noir/sci-fi hybrid novel??

14 by Clines, Peter. Modern day twist on a Lovecraftian plot of real estate.  I plan on reading more from this scifi author.

The Jennifer Morgue(Laundry Files, #2) by Stross, Charles.  Not a fan of his hyperbizarro hard science fiction.  Tried a couple of his books.  BUT I superadore his Lovecraftian take on the Bond spy genre.  Though it's a parody where agent Bob Howard... is a nerdy IT dept bureaucrat with all its uncouth sensibilities.


And a scattering of graphic novels (with varying degrees of quality and enjoy-ability).
Harrow County, Vol. 3: Snake Doctor
and Harrow County, Vol. 2: Twice by Bunn, Cullen 
Saucer State by Cornell, Paul 
Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie by Martinetti, Anne
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albstein

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Fabian, the Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner, who is most famous for writing childrens' classics (Emil and the Detectives as well as the original Parent Trap). But this 1931 book is decidedly adult, full of acerbic humor and stuff that was considered too "liberal" or "degenerate" by censors. It is remarkable that the characters clearly recognize they are living in an interim period, and they are positive about the imminence of another, even more horrible war and the doom of Europe.

The Castle by Franz Kafka. I have a feeling that Kafka wasn't concerned with boundless bureaucracy, but his own innermost fears. In The Castle, you never get what you want. Whatever you hope for you, you will be disappointed, but you will get something else that lets you hope just a little bit longer. You will never actually reach the castle, but maybe get just a little closer to it. (Spoiler) It makes perfect sense that the novel stops midsentence, even if Kafka had intended for the story to continue. In the world he describes, there is no dreadful ending, only dread without ending.

The Earthquake in Chile by Heinrich von Kleist. (Spoilers for a 1807 novella that nobody here is likely going to read) A terrible earthquake destroys a city but also saves a star-crossed couple that was meant to be executed. This makes way for a new start, tabula rasa, paradisiac conditions! Or so it seems... Kleist's language is so pithy and dry (in a good sense). He inspires hope for the redemption of all mankind, and completely destroys it also, all within just a few words. Kleist is the great precursor and role model of Kafka.
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ElMo

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Jacques Mesrine: Killer Instinct, more entertaining and insightful than the movie adaptation, which is saying a lot since I loved the films.

Don Miguel Ruiz: The Four Toltec Agreements: I avoided these sorts of books for a long time but this one was short enough to encourage me to give it a try, the four agreements are spot-on, all spirituality put aside, but old habits die hard and I'm not sure I can fully reach these agreements in a short span of time, at least I agreed with them, which is a first step.

Dan Harris: 10% Happier, How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, that 'voice' metaphor was reflecting my own experience and I liked how the author always insisted on how skeptical and how much he resisted meditation before trying... I never meditated in my life, but the book allowed me to contemplate my life and realize that the perceptions of our own achievements affect our lives more than the achievements themselves, can be positive, can be dangerous too, can be devastating!
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albstein

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Just looked up Don Miguel Ruiz. Wikipedia quotes, "Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive - the risk to be alive and express what we really are..." and "Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art".

There is some truth in these statements, but they can be dangerous, too. They are most true for people like Ruiz, who succeeded, who took a risk and made a beautiful piece of art out of their lives. But could there be for once a self-helper who explains how to pursue your dreams and express yourself, without ending up flipping burgers? I'm very much afraid of that.

It could be that he means something different, it's general life advice after all. But then how to implement it in real situations? A mystery... maybe he explains more in the book itself.
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ElMo

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The book starts with a lot of abstractions like that, but the four "agreements" are explained in less metaphorical terms, and with more examples set in the reality of our everyday world and that's what I liked about the film. What you quoted is typically the kind of stuff people love to put on their Facebook page, you're supposed to be "Wow, so beautiful" but it's definitely not the stuff that dreams are made of.
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lapoubelle

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  • A Simple Plan, Scott Smith
  • The Ruins, Scott Smith
  • Red, Ted Dekker