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  #11341  
Old 12-05-2016, 03:46 AM
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Try to avoid reading the back cover, it really lays everything out.
It's an ebook, so it doesn't have a back cover.

Score one for digital culture!
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  #11342  
Old 12-05-2016, 05:08 AM
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I'm finally reading The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin and loving it.
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  #11343  
Old 12-05-2016, 02:56 PM
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My wife started reading Three Body Problem about a year ago. I googled the series and found a scholarly paper that spoiled the whole thing. I hear it's quite good!
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  #11344  
Old 12-05-2016, 03:54 PM
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Somehow, in all the times I've read Hogfather, I've never picked on the fact that Teatime and the Businessmens part of the story was basically Die Hard. Given how many other Christmas stories get shuffled in to the book, that aspect kind of gets lost in the shuffle and it's only a tangential connection anyway, but still. You'd think I'd have noticed that.

Speaking of things I'm surprised I'd never considered, next up is Tyrannosaur Canyon, a book that appears to be a cross between Jurassic Park and DaVinci Code and it's been sitting there on my shelf for over a decade now without being touched, despite me being Octo and it being a book literally titled "Tyrannosaur Canyon".

Some injustices can not last forever.
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  #11345  
Old 12-05-2016, 04:12 PM
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Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice
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  #11346  
Old 12-07-2016, 05:49 AM
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Wound up getting about a third of the way through Tyrannosaur Canyon before dropping it. The main "DaVinci Code except DINOSAURS!" aspect actually worked pretty well. Just dropping art trivia and Professor Layton puzzles for facts about mineralogy and fossil records was apparently a pretty good trade off, and there's enough infectious enthusiasm for the subject that chapter after chapter of Rock Talk was interesting instead of tedious.

The problem is that every human character is awful ranging from Overdone Stereotype (Evil British Aristocrat, Suspicious Detective after the wrong man) Boring Simpleton (Main character is on his quest for no damn reason), or total crap-dude (main villain is big on casual misogyny and super rapey).

When a book has me skimming ahead to see when it's going to be getting back to the exciting talk about mineral deposit layers and moving away from a mysterious treasure hunt worth killing for something is amiss!
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  #11347  
Old 12-07-2016, 08:23 AM
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Wound up getting about a third of the way through Tyrannosaur Canyon before dropping it. The main "DaVinci Code except DINOSAURS!" aspect actually worked pretty well. J

The problem is that every human character is awful ranging from Overdone Stereotype (Evil British Aristocrat, Suspicious Detective after the wrong man) Boring Simpleton (Main character is on his quest for no damn reason), or total crap-dude (main villain is big on casual misogyny and super rapey).
So it is *just* like the Da Vinci Code.

Except, apparently, with much better science.
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  #11348  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:49 PM
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The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
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  #11349  
Old 12-08-2016, 01:54 PM
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Decided to re-read Fury of Calderon, since it's nearly Christmas and I didn't really want to start on something new. And besides, if there's ever a bad time to read about the Roman Legion fighting with Pokemon, I can't imagine what it would be.
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  #11350  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:21 PM
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Here is the secret to enjoying Seveneves: once you reach the point where the book explains its title, you need to stop reading.
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  #11351  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:47 PM
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It helps to think that Neal didn't realize he had the start of his next book included when he sent in the manuscript, and no one caught it until after the book was published.
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  #11352  
Old 12-08-2016, 11:20 PM
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For what's worth, I just entered Part Two and I've noticed that Stephenson's prose is more redundant than usual. Some things that had been explained or established before are explained again... Since this is not something I remember from Stephenson's style, I was wondering if this means he has acquired the Immunity From Editors status - which is something, without exception, bad.

But I'm enjoying it so far.
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  #11353  
Old 12-08-2016, 11:37 PM
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I've finished Lost in a Good Book, which leaves a lot of things unfinished to lead into next one, The Well of Lost Plots. I still love Thursday and that world, though.

Now I'm moving on to Mornings On Horseback, the Teddie Roosevelt biography by David McCullough.
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  #11354  
Old 12-12-2016, 05:33 PM
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Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo
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  #11355  
Old 12-14-2016, 09:06 AM
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Burned through the latest Expanse (Babylon's Ashes? At least this time the title makes sense on both a literal and metaphorical level) book earlier this week.

I thought it was another relatively weak entry - "Corey" is cycling through too many viewpoint characters (I think there's ten over fifty-some chapters, with usual main character Holden being more of a side player for the half) in an effort to tell a more epic story, but the actual subject of the story this time is decidedly small scale. It feels more like the second part of the story from the last novel that is going to take another novel to complete... but then the main antagonist gets unceremoniously killed off with a chapter to go. There's no body, though, so he'll probably be back. It's a terrible letdown.

The strengths of the series were the great worldbuilding and the relatively high-stakes action (this is a series that had Venus being eaten as a warmup). Now, a lot of that worldbuilding has literally been wiped out and the action is more a series of small skirmishes.

The series has a clear direction - a lot of the book is spent specifically pointing to what the next book is obviously going to deal with - but the actual process of getting there is pretty laborious. Part of that is the lack of meaningful plot, part of that is that a few of the viewpoint characters just aren't that interesting. And when you do get interesting stuff - Avarasala's attempts to rebuild Earth, finally meeting Holden's family collective, etc. - it's largely ignored to double back to Naomi's mopey estranged son.

(Worse, a lot of the more interesting ones get shuffled to the sidelines this time - we spend hardly any time with Amos or Alex as the viewpoint character, for instance, in spite of both of them having reasonably interesting subplots.)
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  #11356  
Old 12-15-2016, 04:32 AM
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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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  #11357  
Old 12-16-2016, 04:25 AM
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The Nix by Nathan Hill
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  #11358  
Old 12-16-2016, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChris View Post
Here is the secret to enjoying Seveneves: once you reach the point where the book explains its title, you need to stop reading.
I spoiled myself accidentally because there was an article in a local newspaper about Stephenson and they translate the title, giving away the word play. What makes this idiotic is that the spanish editorial released the book in the spanish market under its original english title, which means the newspaper translated the title just to prove the read the book or something -_-
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  #11359  
Old 12-18-2016, 09:48 AM
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Decided to re-read Fury of Calderon, since it's nearly Christmas and I didn't really want to start on something new. And besides, if there's ever a bad time to read about the Roman Legion fighting with Pokemon, I can't imagine what it would be.
Aaaand done. It's the only real stand-alone Codex Alera book (not counting some foreshadowing and a couple of sequel hooks) and it's also probably the darkest in a weirdly disjointed way. Like it was something Butcher kept picking up and putting down and lost his train of thought each time. There's a sizeable chunk near the middle where it feels like he's trying to ride off ASoIaFs Moral Ambiguity And Everything Is Awful tone, which is then completely dropped and every vestige of it is erased as quickly as the plot will service. There's even a subplot running through the rest of the series where one of the main characters starts a campaign for social reform and equal rites (it kind of takes a backseat to the main plots of a looming war of succession between Pokemon Masters and also Roman Legionnaires v. Zerg, but I certainly cant criticize that.)
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  #11360  
Old 12-19-2016, 07:51 AM
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Currently reading Schindlers List, I can't put it down for some reason.
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  #11361  
Old 12-19-2016, 03:21 PM
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did you glue it to your hands?
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  #11362  
Old 12-20-2016, 01:10 PM
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Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
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  #11363  
Old 12-21-2016, 11:12 AM
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I just finished reading The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin. I felt really happy reading it. This was my first book by Le Guin - a friend just got me A Wizard Of Earthsea. I think i'll read that after reading Q.E.D. and the man who made it. Studying physics is funny - we never know who did what or in what temporal order. I look forward to finally understanding a little about the history of QED.
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  #11364  
Old 12-22-2016, 10:30 AM
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I actually just read The Left Hand of Darkness, which I loved. I was having trouble with the Proper Name Syndrome at first, but my wife just told me to think of it as "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra," which was perfect. Plus it dies down pretty quickly and becomes more universal and exciting, especially in the second half when the book becomes a road adventure. I recommend it for your Le Guin list.
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  #11365  
Old 12-22-2016, 09:19 PM
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Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
You'll be chewing on that morsel a while
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  #11366  
Old 12-23-2016, 04:21 AM
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Yeah, I know. Will probably be the last book of the year for me. I'm starting on a long range project, reading a bio (or auto) of a President once a month
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  #11367  
Old 12-23-2016, 06:38 AM
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Are you going to read the full suite of Caro LBJ books? Some of my favorites. I'd probably find them a bit overdramatic if I revisited them today, but that's part of the fun.
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  #11368  
Old 12-23-2016, 11:11 AM
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Finished with Seveneves. That was fun! True, the third act dragged a bit in the middle, but I did enjoy it a lot. And while I understand it could have been its own novel, I think the seven races work because we just spent quite a bit of time with the women they were patterned after - having the quest for the Diggers in its own novel would have cut a lot of that impact. Disclaimer: just as some people go gaga over the genealogies of the Silmarillion, I enjoy reading about crazy future tech, so I loved the heck of Cradle and the Eye and everything in-between, but I stand by my comment that Neal Stephenson is gaining immunity from editors.

Oh, and Stephenson really hates Hilary Clinton, doesn't he?
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  #11369  
Old 12-23-2016, 11:33 AM
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Well, he did make an entire subspecies of humanity based on her. So his opinion runs hot and cold.

Oh, also finished God Rest Ye Merry Gentlepig a few days ago, which only took so long since I was only reading a couple pages at a time during meals. If you're looking for a Christmas story where a surly, gun toting angel and his were-pig buddy track down and kill a nazi werewolf mad scientist... well... your extremely specific request couldn't be answered any more perfectly.
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  #11370  
Old 12-23-2016, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
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Are you going to read the full suite of Caro LBJ books? Some of my favorites. I'd probably find them a bit overdramatic if I revisited them today, but that's part of the fun.
That's the tentative plan right now. Hopefully, by the time I get to him, Caro will have come out with the last one
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