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  #11881  
Old 08-06-2017, 02:52 AM
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Continuing down the path of hoping to find a scary book to read I'm currently about halfway through with King's Cujo which, despite an excellently eerie introduction and setup has so far been rather disappointing. The first full third of the book is just setting up characters and scenarios and the horror that was promised in the beginning has totally failed to manifest to this point.
Finished Cujo. After a very slow first half the scariness factor did finally start to come into play in the second half. Still, I was looking for a really terrifying book to read and Cujo only managed to get my spine tingling in two brief places. Oh well, next I'm onto some Edgar Allen Poe I got from the library. Perhaps Mr. Poe can set my spine to tingling.
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  #11882  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:24 AM
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Just a couple chapters into it, but I think Borne is one of those books that grabs you intently by strength of the first sentence.
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  #11883  
Old 08-06-2017, 12:06 PM
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Just a couple chapters into it, but I think Borne is one of those books that grabs you intently by strength of the first sentence.

He brought a giant Mord woodcut to all his readings for the book and had his readers sign it
.
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  #11884  
Old 08-07-2017, 06:32 PM
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Nifft the Lean is a good fucking book.
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  #11885  
Old 08-10-2017, 06:07 AM
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Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon
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  #11886  
Old 08-10-2017, 07:10 AM
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Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon
This sounds fake
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  #11887  
Old 08-10-2017, 08:47 AM
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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...wn-of-the-jedi

it's the earliest book set in the EU universe
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  #11888  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:39 AM
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Nifft the Lean is a good fucking book.
I will have to look into this one.

The author also did an authorized Jack Vance sequel I've always been a little curious about.

(For "always been a little curious about," read "bought for a dollar at a used bookstore, congratulated self on finding a cool little-known book, and then proceeded to neglect for years.")
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  #11889  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:46 AM
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That's a lucky find! I'm listening to the audiobook which is very well produced, but I'm enjoying the story so much I'm going to start scouting for a physical copy.
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  #11890  
Old 08-10-2017, 10:59 AM
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I'm trying to branch out into nonfiction more, so I'm reading October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville.
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  #11891  
Old 08-10-2017, 11:19 AM
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Finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Man, does this book whipsaw between some hugely different subjects and tones! I enjoyed reading it but I'm kind of amazed that it went on to become an international mega-franchise with multiples films made from the series. To a certain extent it feels like Larsson had an idea for two or three separate stories but instead mashed them all together into one very long book. I don't even know how they made a movie out of this or how many hundreds of pages they had to cut for the screen adaptation. It's a book that would have made more sense as an adaptation in the form of a eight or ten episode mini-series. And the way the novel is bookended by the story of Wennerstrom is a little weird. The whole middle section is about the Vangers and unraveling their mystery that coming back to the Wennerstrom issue at the very end feels a little anti-climactic.

Still, it was an enjoyable enough book. I just don't imagine it ever becoming one of my favorites.
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  #11892  
Old 08-10-2017, 11:41 AM
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I'm starting Gwenda Bond's Lois Lane: Triple Threat. Just two chapters in and I can't stop smiling (and guessing what part of the Superman mythos she'll sneak in is half the fun).
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  #11893  
Old 08-10-2017, 02:00 PM
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I just finished reading The Bear and the Nightingale and realized that I want to know a lot more about Russian folklore.
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  #11894  
Old 08-11-2017, 06:21 AM
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I'm starting Gwenda Bond's Lois Lane: Triple Threat. Just two chapters in and I can't stop smiling (and guessing what part of the Superman mythos she'll sneak in is half the fun).
Done. I can't believe only Rascally Badger and I are reading these books, they are the best take on the Superman characters right now.

Consider the following scenario: young Clark, a farmer, gets his wallet stolen on his first visit to Metropolis. People whose last name rhymes with Schmyder would probably have him pursuing the thief and then hanging him on his leg over the edge of a rooftop or some other scenario of obvious bat-envy. Gwenda Bond has him calmly taking his wallet back, talking to the perp to find out why he did it *and* giving him $20 for food.

On top of that, we have Lois acting as a love-sick teenager, the Kents meeting the Lanes, a Lois Lane Revenge Squad and an appearance of the Contessa, of all people - an obscure choice for a villain, but logical once you realize that the Superman universe has few other morally bankrupt zillionaires, and the other, more obvious candidate to the Contessa's role in the book works much better in the other role Bond has for him.

The book ends with a sense of conclusion that saddened me. Most running subplots are neatly tied and Clark even hints he's planning his trip around the world. I really want Gwenda Bond to keep writing these characters - her Lois is a great character and Bond's point of view is badly needed right now, particularly with people whose name rhymes with Schmyder running the most visible aspects of the franchise.
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  #11895  
Old 08-11-2017, 02:04 PM
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Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
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  #11896  
Old 08-11-2017, 09:10 PM
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Daggerspell, by Katherine Kerr. In an effort to read more fantasy stories with interesting female characters as the protagonist, I started reading this one based on recommendations from lists. It's pretty gripping, but it seems like the main female character, Jill, isn't exactly the protagonist of her own story. That role seems to be occupied by the wise old man, Nevyn. I don't really mind that, but I feel like I was sold a bill of goods.
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  #11897  
Old 08-11-2017, 09:28 PM
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I really want Gwenda Bond to keep writing these characters - her Lois is a great character and Bond's point of view is badly needed right now, particularly with people whose name rhymes with Schmyder running the most visible aspects of the franchise.
I wholeheartedly agree with nearly everything you said. These Lois Lane books need to be more than a trilogy. Outside of just getting the characters right, Bond does a terrific job of making Metropolis seem like the city of tomorrow. They are just great all around.
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  #11898  
Old 08-12-2017, 07:19 AM
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Finished Borne which, in true Vandermeer tradition is weird as hell and didn't explain anything, but you just go ahead with it and let your imagination run with it.

The shortest, simplest description of the plot is that it's ET, if the alien was The Thing (the John Carpenter one, not Ben Grimm). With the added complication that it's set in an extremely post apocalyptic world (no idea what happened to make it post apocalyptic but, apparently, a lot of stuff did), and the city is ruled by a bear-kaiju.

Also in true Vandermeer style, things that are exceptionally weird are treated as no big deal, and things that are only slightly weird is mindbending. Borne is a amorphous, shapeshifting mass of flesh that compulsively eats people and is treated as an inquisitive child. Mord is treated with awe and horror usually reserved for Cthulhu and he is a bear. A bear with a handful of unbearlike traits, granted, but a bear.

Anyway, I liked it! Not as much as Southern Reach, if were being honest, but that's a high bar to hit.
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  #11899  
Old 08-14-2017, 02:32 PM
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I just finished Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway, winner of a Nebula in 2016 and an Hugo Award in 2017, and I gotta say: the hype is real.
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  #11900  
Old 08-14-2017, 06:35 PM
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I just finished Seanan McGuire's Every Heart a Doorway, winner of a Nebula in 2016 and an Hugo Award in 2017, and I gotta say: the hype is real.
Yep, I read it as part of the Hugo nominations and totally dug it. There's another story that was released in June and one coming in January.
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  #11901  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:36 AM
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Yep, I read it as part of the Hugo nominations and totally dug it. There's another story that was released in June and one coming in January.
Oh, yeah, my copy came with a preview of "Down Among The Sticks and Bones" and it looks amazing. The first chapter alone is full of epic verbal barbs from the narrator (my favorite, "All babies are an ambush"). I'll take a pass for now, though, because I know how much Jack and Jill will suffer and there's only so much heartbreak my heart can take, so maybe in a few months. I still have the latest InCryptid novel from the same author in the queue , anyway.

And speaking of queues... I'm now re-reading Carl Sagan's Contact. I hadn't touched it since I was fifteen and, man, it is even better than I remembered. Sagan's prose and experience as a scientific writer makes the book so easy to read, even if their characters do have to pull off the "as you know" trick every now and then. Sagan doesn't pull off any punches behind the real science in this book.

But the real star is the characterization. There are so many touches in Ellie's characterization that make her feel so real. What amazes me, though, is how much of Sagan's denouncement of mysoginy in the workplace went over my head the last time I read this book, and it is heartbreaking how little we have moved forward on this.
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  #11902  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Büge View Post
Daggerspell, by Katherine Kerr. In an effort to read more fantasy stories with interesting female characters as the protagonist, I started reading this one based on recommendations from lists. It's pretty gripping, but it seems like the main female character, Jill, isn't exactly the protagonist of her own story. That role seems to be occupied by the wise old man, Nevyn. I don't really mind that, but I feel like I was sold a bill of goods.
I've only read the first couple of these, and that does get a bit better in the second book (note: not an attempt at persuasion). In the second book, Jill gets more face time and becomes a badass which was kind of disappointing for me, though that character type being a woman was maybe unusual back then. I do want to see how things turn out so I'll finish the first arc, at least...
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  #11903  
Old 08-15-2017, 11:09 AM
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My wife's first book got published.

It's a contemporary fiction romance with a main character struggling with addiction and the difficulty of becoming a better person. If that's the sort of thing you'd find appealing, we'd really appreciate it if you bought a copy. Requesting your local library pick it up would be super rad too.

As the first book from an author published through an independent press, an optimistic outlook for sales is "a couple hundred". So every copy that sells is meaningful, in that pretty-good sales figures will make it more likely that her next book gets published too.

Amazon Link | B&N Link | Play Store ebook | Kobo ebook | Indiebound paperback
I picked up the kindle version. Congrats to her for getting this done!
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  #11904  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:12 PM
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The Stone Sky: I binged the earlier books more than 6 months ago... I have no idea what is going on here. Hope that changes~
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  #11905  
Old 08-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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Going back to fiction and Henry II with Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman
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  #11906  
Old 08-16-2017, 08:06 PM
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Finished Born a Crime. The last chapter is incredibly harrowing for a book that, despite dealing honestly with apartheid, was mostly composed of more humourous personal anecdotes. The whole book is good, but that last chapter is powerful stuff.
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  #11907  
Old 08-16-2017, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Thanks to Drac and Pos for recommending Meddling Kids, as that was a fine piece of literature (already picked up Supernatural Enhancements by the same author). As noted, it's IT by way of Scooby Doo (specifically Mystery Inc., the book oozed Mystery Inc), but it works by playing with both the obvious inspiration (the titular meddling kids are all different people as adults then when they were children) and fourth-wall breaking jokes in the narration. Once you get used to the weird decision to insert stage directions mid paragraph, it's fantastic. One of the most enjoyable books I've read this year.
Octo, do all the extra limbs make you a faster reader, too?

I just finished this book not 20 minutes ago, and I'll offer a hale and hearty +1 to your review. The book was good and I expect it'll stick with me for some time. I hope Cantero decides to write a sequel.
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  #11908  
Old 08-17-2017, 05:46 AM
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Apparently so, as I just now finished another one; Canteros earlier work Supernatural Enhancements, which was fine but a harder recommendation.

The first half the book was a standard, found-footage (or the literary equivalent thereof) haunted house story that was so by the numbers I was just going to drop the book in sheer disinterest. Then, suddenly and thoroughly the plot started zig-zagging all over the place, and wound up changing genres a few times.

I enjoyed it, but I wasn't as engrossed as I would have liked.

Anyway, next up is one of the few Brandon Sanderson books I didn't read; The Rithmatist, which I infer to be about Pokemon battle fought with Spirograph drawings.
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  #11909  
Old 08-17-2017, 05:58 AM
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The first half the book was a standard, found-footage (or the literary equivalent thereof) haunted house story that was so by the numbers I was just going to drop the book in sheer disinterest. Then, suddenly and thoroughly the plot started zig-zagging all over the place, and wound up changing genres a few times.
Uh. So it was just not me.

The first third of the book is so slow and by the numbers, as Octo has put it, that it has to be a deliberate choice, because the moment the real plot emerges the book becomes much more interesting by orders of magnitude and it becomes something else entirely. But up to that point, it is a hard book to soldier through.
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  #11910  
Old 08-20-2017, 04:34 PM
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The Rithmatist was a lot of fun. It's a YA story from Brandon Sanderson that, on its surface, is Harry Potter; a dopey kid has a distinctive scholarship at a magical school where he befriends a girl who doesn't fit in with other students and a weird faculty member, and suspects the resident overly arrogant professor-who-hates-him of a string of magic-murders.

And then every single aspect of that is inverted; the Magic School is almost entirely dedicated to geometry (albeit, magical geometry), and if something comes up that can't be solved with math and appears to actually be magical, everyone gets annoyed. The Dopey Kid is kind of ignored by the entire student body because he's kind of an ass when he's making himself standout at all and possesses no secret talent save for an obsession with geometry, The Girl has no magical talent whatsoever and is excessively melodramatic about everything (and also the most likeable character by a mile), the weird faculty member is well liked and respected by everyone in the school and while the dopey kid assumes the Arrogant Professor hates him, he straight up doesn't recognize him because he's very arrogant. Also everyone else also suspects he's a magical murderer because nobody likes him.

Also, the magical duels are a combination of League of Legends and Arkanoid, and I kind of love that.

I immediately hopped on to amazon to try to buy the next book in the series but it seems that even at the ridiculous rate Branderson writes books, he hasn't followed that one up yet. Dang.
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