The SMB Book thread

I've read a couple of articles about him. Proper life changing stuff.
The idea of the book is one of those where everybody goes 'why didn't I think of that'?
Winslow has been championing him for a long time on Twitter.
I've known Adrian online for years. He went through a really rough patch but has come through it in the most spectacular way possible. Saying you feel happy about a fellow writer's success isn't always genuine, but in this case I'm delighted. He thoroughly deserves it.

I hope he continues with his blog. It's introduced me to so many great books and films. the psychopathology of everyday life - Adrian McKinty's blog
 

cauldbairn

Central Defender
Godric -- Frederick Buechner

Bit of local interest here. It's a historical retelling of a twelfth century hermit who lived at Finchale Abbey by the Wear. The Wear is characterised remarkably, it almost becomes a River Jordan of the rustic British wilderness. Good mix of evocation and humour. Pulitzer nominee.



I'm now finally going to head through Middlemarch. Wish me luck.
 
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fyl2u

Striker
So, I got pissed last night and ordered Dante's The Divine Comedy and a month's free subscription to Amazon Prime.

It arrived this afternoon!

Anyone read it? What can I expect?
 
So, I got pissed last night and ordered Dante's The Divine Comedy and a month's free subscription to Amazon Prime.

It arrived this afternoon!

Anyone read it? What can I expect?
Which translation? If it's the one by Clive James, you're in good hands.
 
The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo by Peter Orner 8/10
There aren't many novels set in Namibia. No plot as such, just short chapters detailing aspects of an American teacher's experiences at a remote school just after independence in the 1990s. Often very funny, sometimes tragic.

 

riffraff

Striker
Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon 10/10
I've read plenty of Maigret books, but this is my first 'serious' Simenon novel. Set in Gabon in the 1930s, it's up there with Conrad's Heart of Darkness as an expose of colonial exploitation of Central Africa.

Read this just after Apocalypse Now was released!
The NME fillum review mentioned AN was based on Heart Of Darkness which lead me onto Tropic Moon via another review. Similarly discovered The End Of The Night by Louis ? which was apparently the inspiration for The Doors song of the same name on their first album which also features The End which kicks off Apocalypse Now......
I somehow ended up then reading a couple of books on the making of the Kariba dam which I loved for the animal rescue element from the areas about to be flooded.
 
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

Borrowed this from the library today and am about 100 pages in. It won lots of prizes. It's about falconry, the human relationship with falcons and hawks used for hunting, and the author's relationship with a goshawk that she trained while mourning her father. It's a fascinating subject, and very illuminating about one human-animal relationship I knew nothing about, but she's taking a long time to tell the story and I'm a little bored.

6.5/10

I stopped reading it

Recently finished WILDING by Isabella Tree. Fascinating, and awful how we have fucked nature up in this country with over aggressive farming pesticides and chemicals. BUT WE CAN GET IT BACK 9/10 lost a point because I wasnt interested in all the legal govermental shite to get the aid to make it work, even though it was needed
 
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SYB_DC

Winger
Three Seconds (Roslund & Hellström)

If you like crime novels with morally ambiguous protagonists, this is one for you. Piet Hoffman is a Swedish police informant, a family man, and also a drug dealer for his own account. Ewert Grens is the detective in this series and is the tortured old male detective that has become almost stock in Swedish crime through the Kurt Wallander series. Through a mess mostly of his own making and the corrupt machinations of politicians, Hoffman finds himself in an unenviable pickle with violence on all sides, with Grens trying to sort out the mess before it's too late for everyone. It's a little more hardboiled than a lot of Scandi crime (think Jens Lapidus, not Henning Mankell). 8/10.

The Black Swan (Nassim Taleb)

Taleb is a smart man who repeats the ideas of smarter men while thinking that he is adding something. He is not. It is subtraction by addition, and he accomplishes it in an arrogant, sarcastic tone as if that somehow validates him. If you're interested in reading this book, just read something by Daniel Kahnemann instead. You'll get all the ideas there straight from the Nobel winner without the hot air. 3/10.

The Blackhouse (Peter May)

This is the best crime novel I've read in years, and I read a lot of crime novels. It's set mostly on the Isle of Lewis, and May brings out the bleak winter of the Hebrides both in narrative and in plot. It's won or been shortlisted for several major prizes, and deservedly so. 10/10.

The Lewis Man (Peter May)

Second book in the Lewis Trilogy. It's not The Blackhouse, but it's still very good. Don't read it first, though: it'd be awkward as a standalone and also contains spoilers of the first one. 8.5/10.

The Depths (Henning Mankell)

Mankell wrote both crime fiction and literary fiction. This one is halfway between and fails to tick the boxes in either bucket or in none at all. If you like short chapters, you'll like it, but that's most of what it's got going for it. This is the type of book that gets published because the author is famous, rather than because it is any good. It's not. 4/10.

I recently got longlisted in a fairly major contest (not short story) although I think the longlist is created blind. The longlist was six female, four male. Will be interested to see what happens on the shortlist. That's an interesting data point.

(Edit: I should add that it's a UK-based contest, so it's not a difference caused by an ocean.)
Updating this, the shortlist on this one came out. I made it, and the gender ratio is exactly the same as the longlist was. @Monty Pigeon @RestlessNatives
 
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Godric -- Frederick Buechner

Bit of local interest here. It's a historical retelling of a twelfth century hermit who lived at Finchale Abbey by the Wear. The Wear is characterised remarkably, it almost becomes a River Jordan of the rustic British wilderness. Good mix of evocation and humour. Pulitzer nominee.



I'm now finally going to head through Middlemarch. Wish me luck.
Interesting stuff. I wonder if he ever visited.
 
Just finished Eye of the Needle, which Ken Follets first book. Decent read but a bit of a corny ending.

Him and Barbara must have a boring time in the sack as his sex scenes are like something out of a Mills & Boon
 

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