What book are you reading right now?
Sep 13, 2015 at 7:38 PM Post #4,051 of 5,345
  Just Finished:
 
Vile Bodies (1930), by Evelyn Waugh
Funny book that goes from hilarity to sweetness to sorrow to pitch black despair, all in under 200 pages. It's like a super condensed Hitchhiker's Guide series (without the sci-fi trappings), at least tonally. If that sounds appealing to you, give it a shot.

Follow that up with the same author's The Loved One. That's what I did the first time I read Evelyn Waugh, It is gloriously tasteless and wonderfully written!
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 9:32 AM Post #4,052 of 5,345
  Just Finished:
Vile Bodies (1930), by Evelyn Waugh
 
Currently Reading:
Shakespeare (1970), by Anthony Burgess
 
 
Not sure what I'll read after this, but leaning towards a re-read of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

 
-Considering what you are reading just now and also some of the titles you've mentioned earlier in this thread, presumably you are a card-carrying member of the Folio Society?
 
(Just wrapping up their Cuckoo's Nest now - I haven't read it since high school. It is fair to say it has grown on me since then, not that I didn't find it enjoyable back then.)
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 10:58 AM Post #4,053 of 5,345
  Follow that up with the same author's The Loved One. That's what I did the first time I read Evelyn Waugh, It is gloriously tasteless and wonderfully written!

This is on my list to read, albeit quite a ways further down. I will make certain that it is the next Waugh I read, however.
   
-Considering what you are reading just now and also some of the titles you've mentioned earlier in this thread, presumably you are a card-carrying member of the Folio Society?

Well-spotted, indeed I am, albeit something of an off-and-on member for the last several years. However, I've just this year moved out of an apartment and into a house, with lots more space for books, so from here on out (until I run out of space again or until the girlfriend gets tired of me squeezing books in wherever I can), I'll be a very on member.
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 11:03 AM Post #4,054 of 5,345

 
Sep 14, 2015 at 11:20 AM Post #4,055 of 5,345
  Well-spotted, indeed I am, albeit something of an off-and-on member for the last several years. However, I've just this year moved out of an apartment and into a house, with lots more space for books, so from here on out (until I run out of space again or until the girlfriend gets tired of me squeezing books in wherever I can), I'll be a very on member.

 
-I only discovered the FS a couple of years ago, but since then they might as well have had a direct draft from my bank account; I really like how their editors are able to select books I had no idea existed along with classics - I consider myself reasonably literate, but still the FS have turned me onto several new (to me, that is!) authors.
 
The fact that the books are beautifully designed and typeset is an added bonus.
 
I strongly suspect I'll remain a member for as long as I am able to read.
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 11:30 AM Post #4,056 of 5,345
   
-I only discovered the FS a couple of years ago, but since then they might as well have had a direct draft from my bank account; I really like how their editors are able to select books I had no idea existed along with classics - I consider myself reasonably literate, but still the FS have turned me onto several new (to me, that is!) authors.
 
The fact that the books are beautifully designed and typeset is an added bonus.
 
I strongly suspect I'll remain a member for as long as I am able to read.

I first ran across their stuff years ago in a used bookshop, specifically volumes that they had printed in the 50s and 60s, though they looked as if they had just been printed yesterday. I've been a fan ever since--insofar as fine press publishing is concerned, they are pretty hard to beat. Granted, they're a lot more 'commercial' than many of the other exclusive publishers, but their prices are very competitive  and their more modern design sensibilities (compared to say, the Limited Editions Club or Easton Press) means that they age better and look a lot more interesting on the shelf. I've been slowly working on replacing some of my old worn down mass-market favorites with Folio editions (and the occasional volume from other similar publishers), and it's been a great ride thus far. Glad to see another Member here. What are some of your favorite volumes from them that you have?
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:06 PM Post #4,057 of 5,345
What are some of your favorite volumes from them that you have?

 
-Of their more recent offerings, I've enjoyed Leo Marks' excellent memoirs from his WWII service in the SOE, 'Between Silk and Cyanide' immensely - the binding is nice, though by no means extraordinary, but the story he has got to tell (He was in charge of the codes used by field agents communicating with the UK) is most fascinating and told with the most entertaining, self-depreciating wit I've read in years.
 
Also, Karen Armstrong's 'A History of God' was most readable, and wonderfully bound to boot - while for sheer entertainment, Crispin's (Bruce Montgomery's pen name) 'The Moving Toyshop' has probably been the most memorable during the last couple of years. (I have dipped heavily into their back catalog as well - currently trying to pick up the last few titles in their 'Epics of Exploration' series - titles like 'The Quest for the Northwest Passage', 'Secret Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina' and 'Captain Cook's Voyages' are perfect for traveling the world without leaving one's armchair!
 
Agree on the overall design ethos of the FS - their books never look boring, that's for sure!
 
Also agree that 'London Calling' is the greatest album there is, btw.
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:40 PM Post #4,058 of 5,345
   
-Of their more recent offerings, I've enjoyed Leo Marks' excellent memoirs from his WWII service in the SOE, 'Between Silk and Cyanide' immensely - the binding is nice, though by no means extraordinary, but the story he has got to tell (He was in charge of the codes used by field agents communicating with the UK) is most fascinating and told with the most entertaining, self-depreciating wit I've read in years.
 
Also, Karen Armstrong's 'A History of God' was most readable, and wonderfully bound to boot - while for sheer entertainment, Crispin's (Bruce Montgomery's pen name) 'The Moving Toyshop' has probably been the most memorable during the last couple of years. (I have dipped heavily into their back catalog as well - currently trying to pick up the last few titles in their 'Epics of Exploration' series - titles like 'The Quest for the Northwest Passage', 'Secret Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina' and 'Captain Cook's Voyages' are perfect for traveling the world without leaving one's armchair!
 
Agree on the overall design ethos of the FS - their books never look boring, that's for sure!
 
Also agree that 'London Calling' is the greatest album there is, btw.

None of which I have! So I reckon I'll have to give them a look, lol. I don't have any of the Exploration series, but that was the series that some of Darwin's work appeared in, yes? If so I at least require the Darwin volumes (I think Origin of Species is still available), and I'll attempt to accrue some of the others as I'm able. I think my favorite non-limited edition from them that I've got on my shelves are their Three Kingdoms set (which I have yet to read completely front to back, but which I've admired at length, regardless). Of the ones I've had the time to read, Dune stands out particularly in my mind as being an excellent version of the novel for fans of the work. I also particularly like their Qur'an and Robin Lane Fox's The Classical World, the latter being a particularly handsome volume, in a pleasingly old-school way. 
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:50 PM Post #4,059 of 5,345
  I don't have any of the Exploration series, but that was the series that some of Darwin's work appeared in, yes? If so I at least require the Darwin volumes (I think Origin of Species is still available),

 
-Yup, that's the one - On the Origin of Species and Voyage of the HMS Beagle are the two Darwin volumes of the series. I got Origin of Species direct from the FS this summer, so at the very least it was recently available - I believe it was part of the summer sale.
 
Currently in a mood to read up on the Arab peoples - wondering whether to start Burton's Secret Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina or Doughty's Travels in Arabia Deserta. Chances are I'll end up reading both back-to-back...
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 12:59 PM Post #4,060 of 5,345
The Pie at Night by Stuart Maconie, an ex-NME journalist who seems to be establishing himself as a British equivalent of Bill Bryson. Easy, entertaining reading, but full of interesting facts, this latest book covers the history and present of leisure in the North of England.
 
He's so good-natured, he even appreciates Yorkshire despite being a Woollyback. 
tongue.gif

 
Sep 14, 2015 at 1:13 PM Post #4,061 of 5,345
   
-Yup, that's the one - On the Origin of Species and Voyage of the HMS Beagle are the two Darwin volumes of the series. I got Origin of Species direct from the FS this summer, so at the very least it was recently available - I believe it was part of the summer sale.
 
Currently in a mood to read up on the Arab peoples - wondering whether to start Burton's Secret Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina or Doughty's Travels in Arabia Deserta. Chances are I'll end up reading both back-to-back...

 
That's a plunge into history I have yet to make, though it's certainly tempted me numerous times. Do you have the Travels in Arabia Deserta LE, or did they produce a non-LE version of it?
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 1:49 PM Post #4,062 of 5,345
Do you have the Travels in Arabia Deserta LE, or did they produce a non-LE version of it?

 
-I splurged on the LE after unexpectedly receiving a small bonus at work; they have not made a non-LE version, I'm afraid.
 
I read an abridged version years ago, and didn't realize quite how abridged it was until I stumbled upon a complete edition in a library. With regards to Doughty's prose, you either hate it or love it - no points for guessing which camp I am in - some call him a pretentious old fart, but I love how his writing paints the people and customs he encountered in at times almost painful detail, interspersed with transliterations of loads of Arab terms.
 
The LE is everything you'd expect an LE to be - large, heavy, beautifully bound in half leather with hand-marbled sides, wonderful photo reproductions and lots of Doughty's own drawings, a facsimile of his hand-drawn map covering the area he explored, etc, etc - while I don't expect any more LEs to venture onto my bookshelves anytime soon, I have no regrets with regards to Travels in Arabia Deserta - it is a most fascinating text, wonderfully executed.
 
Sep 14, 2015 at 2:11 PM Post #4,063 of 5,345
   
-I splurged on the LE after unexpectedly receiving a small bonus at work; they have not made a non-LE version, I'm afraid.
 
I read an abridged version years ago, and didn't realize quite how abridged it was until I stumbled upon a complete edition in a library. With regards to Doughty's prose, you either hate it or love it - no points for guessing which camp I am in - some call him a pretentious old fart, but I love how his writing paints the people and customs he encountered in at times almost painful detail, interspersed with transliterations of loads of Arab terms.
 
The LE is everything you'd expect an LE to be - large, heavy, beautifully bound in half leather with hand-marbled sides, wonderful photo reproductions and lots of Doughty's own drawings, a facsimile of his hand-drawn map covering the area he explored, etc, etc - while I don't expect any more LEs to venture onto my bookshelves anytime soon, I have no regrets with regards to Travels in Arabia Deserta - it is a most fascinating text, wonderfully executed.

 
I've got a few LEs, but this one isn't among them, primarily because I'm not familiar with the text at all, and when an LE is produced that isn't either of direct interest to me or is of a work that I have no particularly fondness for or familiarity with, I (obviously!) feel pretty justified in skipping it.  I will admit though that the production values of this one alone were enough to color me interested--marbled sides are a particular weakness of mine. I do plan on giving it a read eventually, but it is very far down my to-read list at the moment. Perhaps I can bump it up just a bit though--I know that Arabic history is a major blind-spot for me, as are travel narratives, and I have heard lots of good things about Doughty's work. Funnily enough, nearly all the praise I've heard has directly concerned his prose. 
 
I'm sorry to report that I'm rather 'addicted' to Folio's LEs. Not that I am making a concerted effort to collect them all or whatever, but I do try to grab at least one of them a year (usually coinciding with tax returns and/or bonuses). Unlike a lot of other pricey purchases (head-fi gear, for example), they are the one thing that I never feel a shred of buyer's guilt or remorse about, which is pretty dangerous. Especially with all the rumblings I'm hearing about forthcoming LEs for Alice in Wonderland, a facsimile of the Pearl manuscript, the Poetic Edda (possibly paired with the Prose Edda too!) and the Kalevala, all of which, if they turn out half as well as I'm afraid they will, will be must-buys. Much like you suggested, I may as well just give the Society direct access to my accounts, at least for the next year or two. 
 
Sep 15, 2015 at 11:50 AM Post #4,065 of 5,345
  A friend let me borrow Cat's Cradle - I have a lot of books I need to get to still.

 
A great book. Haven't read it in years, shall have to rectify that!
 
Just Finished:
Shakespeare (1970), by Anthony Burgess
Good book--if you've any interest in getting some context to Shakespeare's life, I'd highly recommend it.
 

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