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  #12061  
Old 11-16-2017, 05:47 AM
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Finished Lirial, which was both a much slower burn, and far less fun than Sabriel. The former book was a complete story that moved at a breakneck pace while also handling a lot of world building.

Two thirds of This one are about Sad Magical Teens with Sad Magical Problems (That are all clear metaphors for normal Sad Teen Things). Just sitting in their Magical Glacier-city/opulent castle being miserable for magical Reasons. And occasionally a skeleton will attack them.

The last third improves greatly because something happens to move the plot forward and the two Sad Teens meet one another and get over their individual miseries (abruptly) and mesh together fairly well as an Adventure Team alongside their Talking Dog and Talking Cat buddies.

I was planning on taking a break before starting the next book but the timing didn’t work out, so on to Abhorsen!
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  #12062  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:03 AM
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Walter Isaacson's new biography on Leonardo Da Vinci. If it's as good as his last one on Steve Jobs, I'm in for a treat
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  #12063  
Old 11-21-2017, 10:15 PM
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Oh hey, there was a third Wax and Wayne book. Guess I'll read that now.

Just finished a few passes through Romeo and/or Juliet. Fun enough, especially the nested adventures hidden within a few branches, but nothing made me chuckle quite as much as some of the To Be or Not To Be endings. I'm sure there's some gems in there, though, I'll keep digging.
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  #12064  
Old 11-25-2017, 09:07 AM
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The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter
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  #12065  
Old 11-25-2017, 09:48 AM
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Been rereading Words of Radiance since I want to be refreshed on the series before starting Oathbringer (its still going to take a week or two because the book is the size of my friggin’ head) and for the most part I like it more than the original. Plot doesn’t move overly quickly, but a lot of the characterization and bits of world-building I found a bit iffy have all been very nicely addressed.

On the other hand, the most main of the main characters has apparently forgotten every bit of his arc from the first book, and is kind of an unlikeable dink now, and seems to be mystified why his special abilities have stopped working even though it could not possibly be more blitheringly obvious (and explicitly stated) by this point.
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  #12066  
Old 11-25-2017, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Been rereading Words of Radiance since I want to be refreshed on the series before starting Oathbringer (its still going to take a week or two because the book is the size of my friggin’ head) and for the most part I like it more than the original. Plot doesn’t move overly quickly, but a lot of the characterization and bits of world-building I found a bit iffy have all been very nicely addressed.

On the other hand, the most main of the main characters has apparently forgotten every bit of his arc from the first book, and is kind of an unlikeable dink now, and seems to be mystified why his special abilities have stopped working even though it could not possibly be more blitheringly obvious (and explicitly stated) by this point.
Yeah, I don’t remember a ton about those books but I distinctly recall that the main character not understanding why his mojo had dried up was baffling to me.
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  #12067  
Old 11-27-2017, 06:57 AM
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Had to DNF that last one. I think the writing was too dry for my tastes or not enough action taking place. Anyway, on to The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman. Loved the first book, so I'm expecting good things
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  #12068  
Old 11-27-2017, 06:51 PM
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Just finished The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden which was super duper good and I need to read everything this woman has ever written now.
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  #12069  
Old 11-27-2017, 07:53 PM
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well, that was her debut. the sequel's supposed to come around next Tuesday
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  #12070  
Old 11-28-2017, 10:41 AM
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Finished Shriek by Vandermeer. Now to take advantage of my friend's collection to read Transmetropolitan while I'm house sitting.
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  #12071  
Old 11-28-2017, 10:43 AM
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well, that was her debut. the sequel's supposed to come around next Tuesday
Well that makes my job easier.
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  #12072  
Old 11-28-2017, 03:54 PM
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Kim Newman has done it again, The Bloody Red Baron was great. I'll probably get to Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha in the next few weeks. Until then, switching up gears big time with The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
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  #12073  
Old 11-28-2017, 04:02 PM
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Despite the amazing title, Dracula-Cha-Cha-Cha is a pretty big departure and not particularly great, but it does move a fair amount of plot forward.

Just forewarning.
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  #12074  
Old 11-28-2017, 07:25 PM
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consider myself forewarned
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  #12075  
Old 11-30-2017, 03:14 PM
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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
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  #12076  
Old 12-03-2017, 07:48 AM
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I have the overwhelming need to try to read one more big book before the close of the reading year. Enter Gotham: A History of NYC to 1898 by Mike Wallace and Edwin G. Burrows (it's a little over 1200 pages)
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  #12077  
Old 12-03-2017, 02:54 PM
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I found something to read between the Discworld books (as much as I enjoy them, I need to read something else after one of them). So I'm reading through Asimovs Foundation books, starting with the Robot short stories. I just reread the Caves of Steel, the first of the Spacer / Elijah Baley novels.

The short stories were still pretty enjoyable. Which is also true about Caves of Steel, but that one felt a bit long during he middle. No big deal though, it was fun on the whole. Earth feels like a bit of a horrible place, but not enough to really give it a distopian feel. The social pressure on single people seems to be high. I wonder if this was just there because these overcrowded cities make this necessary, or if there was a bigger social pressure during Asimovs lifetime than now, that influenced this assumption.

The main critisicm is probably not surprising, as a sci-fi book from the middle of the last century, but the only female character, Jessie, is awful (as his the behaviour of her husband Eliyah, the protagonist). She is whiny all the time, and Eliyah is dismissive, cold and sometimes just mean to her. She is mainly whiny because she is always afraid (not unreasonably). Baley never really listens - one time he just stops stops a conversation they have on the phone, because he doesn't want to deal with it. One part of the setup is that only important people are allowed to have there own bathrooms, most people use public ones. For the men, this is a place where no-one even looks at one another. For women it's the main gossip place. Stuff like that.

I know, nothing surprising, but still annoying. Elsewise it was a good read, and I'm looking forward to the later books. But now it's back to Discworld, with Witches Abroad, which I remember as a personal favourite.
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  #12078  
Old 12-06-2017, 04:14 AM
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Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
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  #12079  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
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Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
I read that as "Nazis Burning" and I thought "Yes, this is a good book to read in the current political climate".

I'm reading Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others and having so much fun. I love his imagination and how he takes different concepts (mathematics, linguistics, flat earth) mixes them and takes them to their logical conclusion. I just finished “Seventy Two Letters", which is about the Industrial Revolution in a world where Golems and pre-Friedrich Wolf's theories of embriology are real, and it is my favorite setting so far, although none has been as touching than the beautiful "Story of Your Life"
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  #12080  
Old 12-09-2017, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
I'm reading Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others and having so much fun. I love his imagination and how he takes different concepts (mathematics, linguistics, flat earth) mixes them and takes them to their logical conclusion. I just finished “Seventy Two Letters", which is about the Industrial Revolution in a world where Golems and pre-Friedrich Wolf's theories of embriology are real, and it is my favorite setting so far, although none has been as touching than the beautiful "Story of Your Life"
That book is fantastic. I loved everything in it. I agree that he's really inventive. Anybody that can write about the Tower of Babylon and give me vertigo knows how to write a description.
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  #12081  
Old 12-11-2017, 02:18 AM
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The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
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  #12082  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:13 AM
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Finished Words of Radiance; and my earlier statements hold true; every character except Kaladin was greatly improved and I found myself even more invested in the setting and storyline, but the actual guy I was supposed to be most invested in suuuuuuucked. Up until the last 100 pages at least when he suddenly got over being a total jerk. Now I just have to wait until Christmas to read the third book.

And in the meantime, and speaking of protagonists I dislike immensely, I decided to start reading The Magicians. I’m four chapters in and I already want to slap the main character until my wrist breaks.
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  #12083  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:28 AM
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That book tends to polarize readers between "Quentin sucks" and "Quentin sucks but that's the point."
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  #12084  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:47 AM
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It’s pretty clear that “this guy suuuuuucks” is the intended defining trait of Quentin, but that doesn’t make reading about him and his being a dude who suuuuuucks any more enjoyable.

I’m just going to wait until I’m more than ankle-deep in the book before I pass judgement.
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  #12085  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:52 AM
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He never really changes, if that's what you're looking for, but the books do ensure he gets his comeuppance despite his privilege.
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  #12086  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quentin is one of the biggest douchebags in literature
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  #12087  
Old 12-12-2017, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpfriction View Post
Just finished a few passes through Romeo and/or Juliet. Fun enough, especially the nested adventures hidden within a few branches, but nothing made me chuckle quite as much as some of the To Be or Not To Be endings. I'm sure there's some gems in there, though, I'll keep digging.
I haven't read Romeo and/or Juliet yet but I feel like it would be really hard to beat the book-within-a-book from TBoNTB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixSH View Post
I found something to read between the Discworld books (as much as I enjoy them, I need to read something else after one of them). So I'm reading through Asimovs Foundation books, starting with the Robot short stories. I just reread the Caves of Steel, the first of the Spacer / Elijah Baley novels.

The short stories were still pretty enjoyable. Which is also true about Caves of Steel, but that one felt a bit long during he middle. No big deal though, it was fun on the whole. Earth feels like a bit of a horrible place, but not enough to really give it a distopian feel. The social pressure on single people seems to be high. I wonder if this was just there because these overcrowded cities make this necessary, or if there was a bigger social pressure during Asimovs lifetime than now, that influenced this assumption.

The main critisicm is probably not surprising, as a sci-fi book from the middle of the last century, but the only female character, Jessie, is awful (as his the behaviour of her husband Eliyah, the protagonist). She is whiny all the time, and Eliyah is dismissive, cold and sometimes just mean to her. She is mainly whiny because she is always afraid (not unreasonably). Baley never really listens - one time he just stops stops a conversation they have on the phone, because he doesn't want to deal with it. One part of the setup is that only important people are allowed to have there own bathrooms, most people use public ones. For the men, this is a place where no-one even looks at one another. For women it's the main gossip place. Stuff like that.

I know, nothing surprising, but still annoying. Elsewise it was a good read, and I'm looking forward to the later books. But now it's back to Discworld, with Witches Abroad, which I remember as a personal favourite.

Yeah, man, Asimov stuff is so good, but you will experience that 50s sci-fi syndrome. A few of the Foundation novels have good female characters (Arkady from Second Foundation is a favorite of mine, and I, Robot has Susan Calvin), but returning to Asimov's writing in adulthood really showed me how much I've changed. Asimov changed a lot too, and you can see that in how different the latter Foundation books are from the earlier ones. Your mileage may vary.

The initial three Foundation novels are interesting in that nearly all of the dramatic action occurs off-page.

Speaking of female characters, I'm currently reading through Elizabeth Moon's space opera Once a Hero, which refreshingly passes the Bechdel on the very first page. So far I'm loving it lots.
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  #12088  
Old 12-12-2017, 12:16 PM
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I finished Deadhouse Landing. I continue to like the heck out of any book that's part of the Malazan universe.
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  #12089  
Old 12-12-2017, 12:25 PM
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The initial three Foundation novels are interesting in that nearly all of the dramatic action occurs off-page.
I always liked that about Asimov - he didn't really did action that well, and he knew it. His protagonists were scientists and detectives and orators, people who spoke first and shoot later. It was so different from the usual Sci-Fi adventure stuff I had been exposed to...

He also knew how to subvert expectations. One of my favorite moments in any novel is in Foundation and Empire, when the all-knowing recording of Hari Seldon starts talking about the latest crisis that Terminus is facing and the people of the Foundation - and us, the readers - find out he has gone completely off the script because the Mule has effectively derailed history. Great stuff.
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  #12090  
Old 12-12-2017, 12:56 PM
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I finished Deadhouse Landing. I continue to like the heck out of any book that's part of the Malazan universe.
I love the main series, but I've never read any of the ICE books, or any of the stuff that Erickson released after. I felt like I had my fill. Maybe I'll give them all a grand read-through when I retire and this next series is in the can.
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