• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • Epaulet x Styleforum Alpine Loden Collection

    Loden wool, woven in Tirol for centuries, is known for its resistance to cold and wetness. Our project in collaboration with Epaulet introduces Alpine Loden, a modern 18oz fabric blend of 75% merino wool and 25% nylon, woven in Italy. It's lighter, more durable, wind-resistant, and more comfortable than traditional Loden fabric. Partnering with Rochester Tailored Clothing, we offer custom garments like sportcoats, suits, and overcoats, made to your specifications. Learn more about the Loden collection here.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

What are you reading?

edinatlanta

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
43,238
Reaction score
17,614
Sugar plantation theme? First, A Dissappearence in Fiji by Nilima Rao now this. I'll follow the thread and look for this.

I loved A Disappearance in Fiji. It would make a great streaming movie.
Finally! Someone respects me around here!
 

Kaplan

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
5,304
Reaction score
4,664
John Christopher: The Death of Grass, 1956.

"Those people are starving. When you're in that condition, it's the next mouthful that you're willing to commit murder for."

"It was the Chinese government's unwillingness to admit they were faced with a problem they couldn't master that's got them in the worst of this mess."
Ann said: "How did they possibly imagine they could keep it a secret?"


A post apocalyptic novel set in the near future of 1958. A virus starts in China, killing off all rice and leading to mass extinction there. An attempt at neutralizing the virus makes it mutate to kill all grasses - including all grains - as it spreads across the rest of the world. In the UK the prospects of famine have the government resort to drastic measures, including travel bans, and civilization quickly breaks down as we follow a small group trying to escape London for the promise of a refuge in the countryside. Better than I expected and every bit as bleak as Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

death-of-grass.jpg

Years ago it was named among the top 10 out-of-print books in Britain, but it's back in this edition from Penguin Modern Classics, that very nicely re-uses the original 1956 cover illustration.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
8,660
Reaction score
4,187
Finished this in a day. Highly recommended. Theres a sense though with old journalistic nonfiction that perhaps that moment has passed. Still, it was a well told story that is probably the only story told of West Indian sugar farm laborers exploitation in Florida. It sounds niche but it isnt. Interesting writing style of very short chapters alternating between narrative nonfiction almost gonzostyle journalism at specific moments oral histories and essay like features on the sugar industry. Honestly considering how limited the story is that was probably the only way to fill a book.

the book was based on his reporting for The New Yorker and sometimes it shows. Several chapters are word for word opened the same way. Also, the author's posession of a camera is a plot point multiple times and there are no photos accompanying the book. I don't know if that was harder to insert in 1989 but it would have been great to see the farms.
View attachment 2207023

ok so i have to start this by saying just how great libraries are. Im not sure when i heard about this book. I can't find it in my search history or amazon search. Im pretty sure it was this year that i heard about it (maybe from @Geoffrey Firmin idk but irregardlessly). The Atlanta-Fulton County Library System did not have a copy. A couple of clicks on the website later I requested an Inter Library Loan. Why? Doesn't matter I just wanted to read it for no higher aim than my entertainment. A few months later the book arrives from a library system in rural Utah. Why there and not one anywhere else? Who knows. Required no effort from me and no justification and no cost either. I even showed up to the branch like 2 minutes after closing. The librarian saw me in the parking lot I told her i was sad id have to wait another day for my book. She goes--oh are you the special order? I said yes she runs in and is clearly happy to have reopened for three minutes of her time.

The book itself was fantastic. I lived in Australia for three years growing up. Even went to visit my cousins farm in rural New South Wales. (Despite requiring nearly 15 hours of travel to get there the farm is apparently only on the edge of what could possibly be considered th Outback but is definitely the bush. And at iirc 1800 acres is small). So i have some familiarity with the bush but as Watson shows the bush has multiple meanings depending what part of Australia you are. Some of his musings are a bit old manish. He is a masterful writer but toward the end of the book, much like the end of a long trip in the bush, i couldn't have another description of spinifex or more flat open dry land and skimmed 20 of the last 30 pages or so.

View attachment 2207025

Don’t think it was me who recommended it @edinatlanta
The majority of my Oz reading is urban based..Don Watson is a great writer and was speech writer to Placido Domingo aka Prime Minister Keating.
Interesting reading this AM as last night at a dinner we had a very lively conversation about the bush, it’s beauty and monotony, the Hay plains and how a friend travelled from Melbourne to relocate in Canberra during Covid. She required a permit to do, and for hours on end was the only car on the Hume Highway expect for the Policias stopping her.

I’ll check the local library for a copy 👍🏻
 

barutanseijin

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
849
Reaction score
2,495
Having to do with sugar plantations:

Ronald Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii, 1835-1920. U of Hawaii Press, 1984. Academic, but very readable.

Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba, 2008.

This has more to do with the United Fruit Company and bananas, but if i recall correctly, there are some musings about sugar from some of the Cuban characters, maybe something about the rum business also, which is obviously linked to sugar.
 

edinatlanta

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
43,238
Reaction score
17,614
Don’t think it was me who recommended it @edinatlanta
The majority of my Oz reading is urban based..Don Watson is a great writer and was speech writer to Placido Domingo aka Prime Minister Keating.
Interesting reading this AM as last night at a dinner we had a very lively conversation about the bush, it’s beauty and monotony, the Hay plains and how a friend travelled from Melbourne to relocate in Canberra during Covid. She required a permit to do, and for hours on end was the only car on the Hume Highway expect for the Policias stopping her.

I’ll check the local library for a copy 👍🏻
Yup. We took the Indian Pacific train before we left which had 300 miles of uninterrupted straight rail tracks. I believe it wad 12 hours without a curve. And there are stretches of road that have to have curves put in them to prevent people from dozing off.

Honestly, even having experienced the vast nothingness it still is hard to comprehend just how little there seemingly is in Australia.
 

edinatlanta

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
43,238
Reaction score
17,614

HORNS

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Messages
18,560
Reaction score
9,365
Just started this:

1720023532402.jpeg


It's a facet of the war that I feel that I'm lacking in knowledge of. I've read some books by Max Hastings and Barbara Tuchman about the War in mainland Asia, but there was great drama and tremendous effort in so many lesser-known theaters.
 

edinatlanta

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
43,238
Reaction score
17,614
Started reading this in like early 2023 or late 22. It's an academic book. I honestly don't remember much of it because I read it off and on for so long. Kind of glad i finished. Fascinating subject.
20240703_172511.jpg
 

Kaplan

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2008
Messages
5,304
Reaction score
4,664
Fred Hoyle: The Black Cloud, 1957.

"Well, it's odd to think that every one of us probably only has a little more than a year to live. A couple of years hence, the mountains and the desert will be much the same as they are now, but there'll be no you and me, no people at all to drive along through it."

In the future of 1964 astronomers detect a huge cloud on an intercept course with our solar system. If it blots out the sun it may lead to the end of all life on earth. Written by maybe the most famous scientist to write science fiction (Fred Hoyle was a professor of astronomy at Cambridge and (dismissively) coined The Big Bang term), this is proper Hard SF - even incorporating mathematical equations to back up its science. Not my preferred style of SF, and it has the usual pitfalls - uninspired prose, light on physical descriptions (of both people and places), wafer thin characters, and lots of men standing around in rooms, talking - very Asimov-like. But despite this and a rather slow first half, I was glad I stayed with it - especially as it evolves from an apocalyptic novel to a first contact one.

cover.1566452469.jpg

Another nice edition from Penguin Modern Classics. It includes an afterword by Richard Dawkins.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
8,660
Reaction score
4,187
Calypso by Oliver K Langmead:

In terms of its originality it delights however the ending left me feeling discombobulated.

this is a Sci Fi saga told in epic verse wth a Homeric epic approach to storytelling.

At its heart is the grand voyage of cosmic discovery and loss. It presents a new utopia occasioned by planetary terraforming of both biomass and animal life(first thought was the opening of Prometheus) the potential humans have been in cold storage for centuries and are to awaken in paradise with no knowledge of the original sins of their creation or forefathers.
 

Geoffrey Firmin

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
8,660
Reaction score
4,187
IMG_0511.jpeg

Picked this up as a freebie from the local book table. Interesting trawl though an urban heart of darkness however the ending was something else…which however you look at it makes sense.
Highly entertaining read.
 

edinatlanta

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 17, 2008
Messages
43,238
Reaction score
17,614
View attachment 2212063
Picked this up as a freebie from the local book table. Interesting trawl though an urban heart of darkness however the ending was something else…which however you look at it makes sense.
Highly entertaining read.
Tokyo Vice was phenomenal. I see that this one has an October release date at least in the U.S.
If you liked Jake's style check out his podcast from two years ago "Gone with the Gods."
 

smittycl

Stylish Dinosaur
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
20,593
Reaction score
34,231
View attachment 2212063
Picked this up as a freebie from the local book table. Interesting trawl though an urban heart of darkness however the ending was something else…which however you look at it makes sense.
Highly entertaining read.
1720647631532.png

The first three Bernie Guenther novels.
 

Featured Sponsor

Invisible Socks: Convenience or Curse?

  • Convenience

  • Curse


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
511,663
Messages
10,634,050
Members
225,723
Latest member
doral9497
Top