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I've been reading a lot the past few days and have read:

 

Susan Hill - Howards End is on the Landing
Maeve Binchy - Star Sullivan
Roald Dahl - Fantasic Mr. Fox
Penny Vincenzi - Love in the Afternoon and Other Delights
Banana Yoshimoto - Hardboiled & Hard Luck
W.J. Burley - Wycliffe 13: Wycliffe and the Quiet Virgin

 

I'm currently reading Temple Grandin - Animals Make Us Human on the Kindle and haven't started a new paperbook yet.

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Just started "Forward the Foundation" by Isaac Asimov, his seventh and last in the Foundation series. Having not read #s4-6 appears to be no hindrance; I put this down to Asimov's superior writing skills. The main character, Hari Seldon, is, by self-admission, Asimov's alter ego, and Asimov himself died a few weeks after committing Hari Seldon's death to paper. Scary ... and sad.

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My latest listen would also fit quite snugly on our recent thread on locations and reading. It is the first volume in Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series. As the name suggests, the books are set in the British capital and, as a resident of the city, it is filled with familiar place names. It is a good read, too.   

 

Grammath that series is far and away my favourite urban fantasy, Ben Aaronovitch is so multi talented and his imagination leaves me in awe.  The extra detail about London is so interesting and  I adore the particular fantasy characters he has chosen for light relief, but will not say more as it would be so easy to spoil.  I do hope you enjoy it and, if so a word of caution, you must read the series in order as apart from each individual story the back story running through is also important.

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Grammath that series is far and away my favourite urban fantasy, Ben Aaronovitch is so multi talented and his imagination leaves me in awe.  The extra detail about London is so interesting and  I adore the particular fantasy characters he has chosen for light relief, but will not say more as it would be so easy to spoil.  I do hope you enjoy it and, if so a word of caution, you must read the series in order as apart from each individual story the back story running through is also important.

 

Thanks, grasshopper, that's worth knowing as I wondered if these might be stand alone books all set in the same world.

 

I hardly ever read out and out fantasy these days, although it was a staple of my teens. However (and maybe its because I'm a Londoner!) what I've read in the genre with an urban setting I have found enjoyable. If you want to read more set in London, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is a well known example but I especially like China Miéville's work. Un Lun Dun, as the name suggests, is set in a version of the city, as is his debut King Rat. He also created the imaginary city of New Crobuzon and set three standalone novels there. I've only read the first, Perdido Street Station, but the others, The Scar and The Iron Council, are also well regarded as far as I know.   

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Have you read any of Crace's previous novels, chuntzy? He's quite a tough cookie, I think. Makes the reader work hard.

Just one other, 'Being Dead', some years ago. I meant to read one of his later books, 'Quarantine', but never got round to it. The theme of this ('Harvest') his latest novel interested me so I'll be prepared to put some effort in if necessary - only two chapers in and so far, so good. Which of his novels have you read BP?

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Just one other, 'Being Dead', some years ago. I meant to read one of his later books, 'Quarantine', but never got round to it. The theme of this ('Harvest') his latest novel interested me so I'll be prepared to put some effort in if necessary - only two chapers in and so far, so good. Which of his novels have you read BP?

Being Dead and Quarantine. Quarantine was more challenging;  a terrific, if punishing, read. I had to work out what it was about but these days the webosphere would give you lots of background to ease you in. Tell us what you think of Harvest when you've finished it. I'm tempted.

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Currently reading a (long) essay called England and the Aeroplane: Militarism, Modernity and Machines by David Edgerton - partly for professional reasons. And still chipping my way through The Mabinogion - knights and epic quests and what not. An interesting juxtaposition lol.

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. If you want to read more set in London, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is a well known example but I especially like China Miéville's work. Un Lun Dun, as the name suggests, is set in a version of the city, as is his debut King Rat. He also created the imaginary city of New Crobuzon and set three standalone novels there. I've only read the first, Perdido Street Station, but the others, The Scar and The Iron Council, are also well regarded as far as I know.   

 

Thank you for the recommendations, Grammath, have Embassytown on my TBR pile and have been planning to read  China Mieville.    

Have you by any chance read Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May detective series or his blog? These two elderly detectives  and their team are something else again and excellent for those who love London.  

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Have you by any chance read Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May detective series or his blog? These two elderly detectives  and their team are something else again and excellent for those who love London.  

 

No, I haven't. I wasn't even aware they were set in London.

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Was wondering where I had read about Christopher Fowler and realized it was a recent post.  Am reading his book 'Plastic' and it is really different, have a feeling it's going to get a lot stranger but finally had to put it down for the night or else I'd be dragging around tomorrow (this) morning.  Was actually trying for a Bryant and May detective one like you suggested Grasshopper but opted for a very inexpensive book to see if I liked the writing.  Not a Bryant and May one - next time for sure.  This one is set in London though.

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Was wondering where I had read about Christopher Fowler and realized it was a recent post.  Am reading his book 'Plastic' and it is really different, have a feeling it's going to get a lot stranger but finally had to put it down for the night or else I'd be dragging around tomorrow (this) morning.  Was actually trying for a Bryant and May detective one like you suggested Grasshopper but opted for a very inexpensive book to see if I liked the writing.  Not a Bryant and May one - next time for sure.  This one is set in London though.

 

I have seen Plastic described as "nightmarish", Momac, so look forward to hearing how you go  to see if I dare read it .  

 

I always try to recommend series  are read in order,  as although any Bryant and May will stand alone,  it is so much better if you know how the special  team has built up, and  how their interrelationships work. In this particular series all that and their fight for survival as the  Peculiar Crimes Unit itself I find just as intriguing  as the particular crime being investigated.  I suggest you start with either Full Dark House or The Water Room,  if you can, and perhaps borrow them from the library as you may not like them,  I do tend to over-enthuse about  books and authors  I like. :rolleyes:

 

This may be of interest

 

http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog/the-history-of-bryant-may/

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Hi Grasshopper:  I would say that Christopher Fowler's 'Plastic' is probably more unsettling than nightmarish although the two are maybe interchangeable.  It shows a woman whose addiction is shopping which is swallowing up any chance of her leading a 'normal' married life, although her husband's behaviour is off kilter too, and then places her in situations totally beyond her ken.

 

I read the link for the Bryant & May stories and the write-ups tend towards the creepy.  Thanks for posting that.  Maybe try the library rather than buying to see if I want to read any others.  :)

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I've just finished listening to Sacred Hunger by Barry Unsworth, it was excelent. If anyone has any other recommendations for Unsworth's work I would be very interested. I downloaded A Tale for the Time Being and will soon finish reading Ancient Light by John Banville.

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