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 Literature Thread

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AreYouAwake
A drop of red in the deep blue sea.
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Age : 40
Location : Munich
Posts : 163

PostSubject: Literature Thread   Mon 10 May 2010 - 8:08

We don't have a literature thread in the Books topic yet? Need to change that.

What are your favourite books/ authors?
What are you reading at the moment?
Any recommendations?
Any hyped books that disappointed you?

I love crime novels and thrillers.
Big fan of Dennis Lehane and Karin Slaughter (her name is so appropriate).

Also love Harry Potter. Favourite books in the series are The prisoner of Azkaban and The half-blood prince. JK Rowling is a genius. Go back and re-read the books and everything makes sense, it's amazing.

As I went to school in the UK, I grew up with Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Definitely prefer the Bronte sisters to Austen. My favourite is Jane Eyre. The thing I liked about it was that it could have got all sentimental and mushy (which wouldn't have fitted in with the rest of the narrative) but no. Just the wonderful sentence "Reader, I married him." No beating about the bush. Brilliant.

I did English A-level so I was "forced" to read a huge range of British and American "classics" with varying degrees of enjoyment.

For example:

Enjoyed: Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Rebecca, Shakespeare

Hated: To kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Thomas Hardy poetry, The Great Gatsby

Particularly recommend "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier. Very good novel. I wouldn't recommend her other book though (Mary Anne). It's appalling. I always dislike it when I have a real problem with the "heroine". It was the same with "Gone with the Wind". You're supposed to have some kind of sympathy with the main female character, in spite of her faults, and I just couldn't. Very irritating. I think that was one of my main problems with Jane Austen's "Emma".

I also recently read The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett and I really liked it, I'd like to read some more by him.

I've read all the Dan Brown stuff too and I think Angels and Demons is by far the best book. I also thought it was much the better film. I liked The Da Vinci Code but I don't understand why there was such a hype about it.

However, I was most disappointed by "The Swarm" by Frank Schätzling. It was top of the bestseller lists here for ages, everybody was raving about it, so I thought I'd give it a try. I never got through the first two chapters. I found it incredibly dull.

So, I've made a start, please continue if you'd like.
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songbird
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Age : 34
Location : Munich, Germany
Posts : 429

PostSubject: Re: Literature Thread   Mon 10 May 2010 - 11:20

Great idea and great start, AreYouAwake, thanks!

Unfortunately, after graduation from university and working full-time since then, I only manage to read "light literature", although I love the classics.
One of my favorite authors is Klaus Mann, "Mephisto" and "The Turning Point" are such great books. And I love his diaries, you'll get a perfect picture of his time and his difficult relationship to his father, Thomas Mann.
To relax, I love to read thrillers (at the moment James Patterson), "chick lit" (especially by Sophie Kinsella, the "Shopaholic" books are fun) and biographies.

I'd recommend the Stieg Larsson trilogy - the hype about the books is totally justified. It's fascinating, exciting, cruel and you just can't stop reading.
I'm also a huge fan of Philip Pullman and his trilogy "His Dark Materials". It's supposed to be children's literature, but I really enjoyed reading it.

I happen to be disappointed by most of the prizewinning books, e.g. Julia Franck's "The blind side of the heart". I found it so depressing and kind of boring.

Would be great to get together a list of recommendations here - so I can go to the bookstore again and again. cool
(btw, where do you buy your books - online or in a store?)
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AreYouAwake
A drop of red in the deep blue sea.
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Age : 40
Location : Munich
Posts : 163

PostSubject: Re: Literature Thread   Mon 10 May 2010 - 11:41

Thanks for your reply songbird!

I buy both online and at Hugendubel (or Waterstones when I'm in the UK). I also have a mixture of German and English books. I can't read Harry Potter in German, it's terrible! However, with a lot of the crime stuff, I buy the books in German so my other half can read them. He speaks English but he's too lazy to read in English. Except Harry Potter which even he admits is just not the same in German!

Thank you for recommending Stieg Larsson. I've heard a lot about his books and it's good to know the hype is justified.

I also recently read the Pullman trilogy. Did you read them in German? I think I might have to read them in another language. The English narrative really irritated me, I thought it sounded really contrived at times. The story was really good but I found myself skipping a lot of the dialogue because it was so cheesy.
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Lonelynx
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Age : 29
Location : Riga, Latvia
Posts : 104

PostSubject: Re: Literature Thread   Tue 11 May 2010 - 7:08

I really learned to read well even before the school.
So it was always exiting for me to read because it stimulated my imagination
and I hope it made me more interesting as a person.

My favorite book of all time - "Great Expectations" by Dickens.
It's no surprise that the movie "Great Expectations" with Ethan Hawke is one of my favorite movies.
Guess it is easy to excite me with the stories about growing up.
in love

My next favourite book is "Human Punk" by English writer John King.The novel presents over 20 years in the eyes of the narrator, Joe Martin, a massive fan of punk rock from the suburban town of Slough.
I think this book is really an epic! I can read it for 100 times and never get bored.
I have never been a fan of punk-rock, but this book is really about life and music is just a background.

Also I try to collect all books by Chuck Palahniuk. I know that this guy sometimes writes really disturbing stuff,
but still I find his works really intriguing.

But there are number of other books and writers I adore:
I really like all of John Steinbeck's works.I dont know why, but I find his writing style very unique.
I like some of Stephen King's novels and short stories.I have always been a fan of dark material and strong sci-fi.
Also I recently found that Truman Capote's short stories are also very exciting to read.
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songbird
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Age : 34
Location : Munich, Germany
Posts : 429

PostSubject: Re: Literature Thread   Wed 12 May 2010 - 8:37

AreYouAwake wrote:

I also recently read the Pullman trilogy. Did you read them in German? I think I might have to read them in another language. The English narrative really irritated me, I thought it sounded really contrived at times. The story was really good but I found myself skipping a lot of the dialogue because it was so cheesy.

Yes, I've read it in German. You're right, it's kind of cheesy in some parts (but in my opinion that's also true for Harry Potter) and maybe not "high art of writing", but I like how he composed the story, it's very compact and well-thought-out.
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