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What'cha Reading?

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
The Bradbury didn't really work for me, so instead I'm getting a bit ambitious and reading Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe
Oh yes

I'm overdue to reread botns... I've been saying that for years and years though
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For some reason in the last month multiple people have brought up the fact that 1) there is a sequel to 101 Dalmatians 2) that shit cray so I checked if the library had it and I am so glad I could read this, but especially glad I did not pay money to. I've made a point in the past year of having a dumb, light book around to read right before bed and this delivers.

But that's what you must do, Father. You must imagine yourself swooshing and then you will swoosh.

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
For some reason in the last month multiple people have brought up the fact that 1) there is a sequel to 101 Dalmatians 2) that shit cray
That "some reason" is the Cruella movie, where we learn Cruella is set on a path on vengeance by her mom being killed by dalmatians who by the way happen to be Pongo and Perdita's parents. I honestly think that's almost as crazy as the book sequel.


Hashtag give it to gilly
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Life and Times of Warren Zevon is frequently an unpleasant read but it's never an uninteresting one.

My new joke is that the dude was so fucked up in the 80s that he fell in with a group of literary writers and it significantly improved his life.
One of the better parts of the book is revealing to me that this exists:
Well, I finally finished the Gene Wolfe. it was okay (gave it 4 stars, but a soft 4. More like 3.75), but when I take almost a full week to read 400 pages, that's not an entirely positive thing. I'll still read the rest of it, just not right away.

Excited to be reading Day Zero by C. Robert Cargill. Hopefully, it's as good as Sea of Rust


Yes, that Russian author.
When I take almost a full week to read 400 pages, that's not an entirely positive thing.
Personally, I feel like Gene Wolfe gets better the more you slow down. He is often writing for his audience to savor a moment or investigate an idea. That can take time for a reader to do.
The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman. Now that the series is done, I'm going to work my way through the whole series, like I did with Invincible earlier this year
Back to fiction with Covenant with the Vampire by Jeanne Kalogridis. It looks to be the start of a series set 50 years before Dracula. Already a quarter of the way done and really enjoying myself
Read The Picture of Dorian Gray for my classics book club. I thought I'd read it in high school, but in retrospect I think we just read a bunch of passages from this and The Importance of Being Earnest. There was a lot of this book that was unfamiliar and a lot of things I thought were in it but are actually in Earnest and vice versa.

Which is a really weird thing as they are very different! Yikes, I hadn't realized how dark this was. Very good though and we had one of the best book club discussions we've had in a long time. I'm glad we kept up with the virtual meetings.
Years ago, I fell in love with Let the Right One In and always wanted to read something else from the author, so I'm giving Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist a shot
That was a swing and a miss. Let's try Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir. I read his book on the SFF films of the 70s last year and quite enjoyed it, so hopefully I'll enjoy this


I read through Taran Wanderer, the fourth book of the Chronicles of Prydain. Short review: It was excellent. Thanks, Loki, for bringing it to my attention.

I knew about this series, a bit from that Disney movie I never saw, but probably more from people here talking about it, from time to time. At one point, let's say eight years ago, I read the first book. It was ok. Years later, I tried to read the series, and gave up in the middle of the second book. Too much standard fantasy, I felt.

Luckily, this was enough to read Taran Wanderer. I think it is necessary to read the first one, so you know the basics of the story and the characters. But that's enough. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the part of Taran Wanderer where you spend time with his earlier companions is the weakest part of the book. It is mainly the part, that reads like a mini version of a classcial fantasy story - character in need of help, evil sorcerer that threatens to take over the world (seriously, this story appears out of nowhere, and suddenly there is this guy who is super-powerful, and then gets defeated, and the world is saved). Honestly, I found it not really fitting for this book, which deals with way more interesting questions than the defeat of an evil overlord.

With the boring out of the way, the rest is excellent. I don't know how much the other books talk about how the lands of Prydain are in bad shape, and how it was better earlier, before horrible things happened (I vaguely remember stuff like that being mentioned in the other books), but here, we see it. The place where Taran grew up is basically an island of joy, where you have to work, but everything is fine (or maybe I misremember, you don't spend much time there). But we soon meet other people, and learn about stupid, local lords and their petty bullshit, which threatens the life of regular farmers. That alone has to be special, I imagine, with that focus. I assume most books of the time were strongly inspired by Lord of the Rings, and standard Fantasy stories.

But even that part is mainly ok, compared to the last third or so. The interesting part starts later, when Taran meets a guy who claims to be his father. Where the boy comes to terms with the fact, that he is not born a noble, and where he offers his life to this old man, who he hates, but is also inspired by. I feel like he learns here, already, about the actual, true important stuff in life - not adventure, but family (related or adopted) and real work.

Then, he travels on, and loses all his stuff. But this doesn't matter - he meets lovely people, who teach him that your blood doesn't matter. You become the person you shape yourself to be. It's all in your work. At first, I found it silly that he tries to trades, and he excelles at both. But then, he finds the thing he really wants and loves to do - only to find out, that he is bad at it. That was probably my favourite moment in the whole book, because it felt so true to real life, and had not a bit of fantastical enchantment in it. Sometimes, you just don't have to talent for something, and you can put your work into it, but still won't reach true mastery.

So, yeah, read it, if you get a chance. It's a good one. Just read the first book before it, so you understand the world and know the characters. But you can easily skip the second and third one.
Let's try Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir. I read his book on the SFF films of the 70s last year and quite enjoyed it, so hopefully I'll enjoy this
Boy, did I ever. Favorite book of the month so far, but let's see what Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff has to say about that. His Nevernight trilogy was a big win for me, so I'm expecting good things here

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Finished Alien: Phalanx, an Alien tie-in novel about Xenomorphs attacking a medieval kingdom.

It was a really fun read! Really enjoyed it.
Starting The Brothers Karamazov for my Classics book club which meets in December. The leader of the club made it very clear that this is a large book which was amusing. Definitely one that's been on my to-read list for quite a while.


can stop, will stop
I'm 100-odd pages into Richard Powers' new one, Bewilderment. It's definitely good, definitely a Richard Powers book (characters with big hearts, big reverence for the natural world around them, and big difficulty fitting into the rest of society). Should be wrapping this one up in the next few days.