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  #11911  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:38 PM
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City of Dreams by Tyler Anbinder
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  #11912  
Old 08-22-2017, 05:46 AM
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Moby Dick, Melville. My first time through this. A few years ago, I binged on German/Swiss philosophers and the prose here gives me instant flashbacks to them. Getting a lot of nostalgia here. Only read a little bit though.

Oku no Hosomichi, Basho, one translation by Tim Chalcott, another by Nobuyuki Yuasa. Didn't even know this existed sorry I'm backwards and uncultured. Simply incredible. Love the focus on fatalism and transience here. Chalcott seems to touch on the narrator's inner feelings more and Yuasa appears to be more matter-of-fact. Not gonna say much more other than it's a must-read.
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  #11913  
Old 08-24-2017, 02:46 PM
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Finished Shadowed Souls, a collection of Urban Fantasy short stories. And felt nothing. Was neither good nor bad. Just 300 pages worth of "well, okay then, Fair enough." Only two stories that made any kind of impression were pretty much "Dresden Files, except with a female lead". One of them was literally that.

Whole book was like a bowl of popcorn that hit that point of being stale that is inexplicably tasty. Worse ways to spend a couple hours.
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  #11914  
Old 08-24-2017, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octopus Prime
Also, the magical duels are a combination of League of Legends and Arkanoid, and I kind of love that.
Dammit, Octo, I wasn't supposed to buy any new books this month.
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  #11915  
Old 08-24-2017, 04:57 PM
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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.
I really liked The Rithmatist and keep looking for the sequel but he keeps writing other stuff instead. I seem to read the Calamity and Alloy of Law books in the wake of mass shootings which has soured me on his gun porn scenes in those series.
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  #11916  
Old 08-24-2017, 05:46 PM
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Yeah those are... those are better if you don't do that.
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  #11917  
Old 08-24-2017, 05:50 PM
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I heartily recommend Fire on the Mountain.

This would be our book club book this month if we still had one.

Alternative history where John Brown's assualt on Harper's Ferry was successful and a truly racially equal country emerged from the conflict.
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  #11918  
Old 08-24-2017, 05:51 PM
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Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.
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  #11919  
Old 08-25-2017, 09:11 PM
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The Annotated Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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  #11920  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:37 AM
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I finished Passenger to Frankfurt, which might be the most incomprehensible thing I've ever read. Easily the worst thing I've read from Christie. It is a spy thriller that suggests that 60's protests are the work of secret Nazis to cause anarchy so fascism can take back over. Also, Hitler escaped to South America and had a child, but a rich old German woman has a fake son of Hitler to center a new fascist movement on. And there is a drug that can make people good, but might also lobotomize them. The protagonist disappears about 2/3 the way through the book and never seems to actually affect anything. It is a weird book.

Last edited by Rascally Badger; 08-29-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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  #11921  
Old 08-29-2017, 12:35 PM
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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory
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  #11922  
Old 08-29-2017, 01:53 PM
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I just finished Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong. I'd wanted to read it for a few years now, because I'd heard it was about a Canadian female werewolf, and I thought that was pretty neat.

I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. Stories where the protagonist tries to maintain a lie as much as possible just rankle me. What was worse was the infidelity. They know what they're doing is wrong, but they're doing it anyway and the person who suffers for it is the one being cheated on. The whole "better off with your own kind" conclusion didn't exactly endear me to the story either.

Is it too much to ask to have a healthy and loving relationship in fiction?
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  #11923  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:32 PM
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I'm reminded of how two generations of American novelists labored under the idea that functional alcoholism was a normal state of affairs because the big names of the 20s and 30s were a bunch of souses. The sheer intake of the characters in those books would have normal people hitting the 12 steps today.
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  #11924  
Old 08-30-2017, 09:02 AM
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I think it's also that a lot of writers fall victim to thinking that writing about broken people is interesting in of itself, and to a degree they're right, but it's not something you can hang an entire book off of without it being super myopic.
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  #11925  
Old 08-30-2017, 08:43 PM
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Going back to some ancient Rome historical fiction with I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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  #11926  
Old 09-02-2017, 02:56 PM
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Deadlands: Ghostwalker was a book I picked up because it had a cool Jonah Hex-looking cowboy on the cover.

Really. That was the entire impetus of my purchasing decision.

Anyway, it was a pretty standard western, for good and ill, but with supernatural elements strewn throughout. The corrupt aristocrat running the poor people of Paradise Falls out of town is also a necromancer, the bandits he hires are mostly magically reanimated corpses. T'aint gold but Magicite in them that hills. And the six-shooters fire out magical lasers. At one point the main characters (Clint Eastwood-type and his buddy, the Very British Sioux geologist) fight undead velociraptors.

At that point I perked up a bit.

It's apparently adapted from a pen and paper RPG which explained a lot of the world building that kept coming up but which failed to influence the plot in any possible way. And also lead to unintentionally hilarious scenes where the main character subconsciously started addressing characters and concepts with the proper in-game nomenclature.

He can't come to grips with the concept of a zombie (despite having no problem with the vampires or ghosts he'd encounter up until then), but takes one look at a Super Zombie and just instinctively knows it's called a Harrowed One.

Anyway, some more traditional fantasy next, think I'll read Daggerfell
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  #11927  
Old 09-02-2017, 06:42 PM
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Claudius the God by Robert Graves
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  #11928  
Old 09-03-2017, 03:28 PM
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Well, that didn't last long. Let's read Murder on the Orient Express instead
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  #11929  
Old 09-04-2017, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyblue View Post
I think it's also that a lot of writers fall victim to thinking that writing about broken people is interesting in of itself, and to a degree they're right, but it's not something you can hang an entire book off of without it being super myopic.
Writing about broken people is fine, as long as the story is about the brokenness or the process of trying to remedy it. The problem is aspirational writing about broken people.
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  #11930  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:02 AM
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A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oates

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  #11931  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:07 AM
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Did... you just read 3 books in a twenty-four-hour period?
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  #11932  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:11 AM
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Took me two days to read I, Claudius, DNF'd the second book after a day, read Orient Express in one sitting
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  #11933  
Old 09-04-2017, 09:28 AM
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Orient Express is a rather quick read.
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  #11934  
Old 09-04-2017, 11:36 AM
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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.
add to wish list √
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  #11935  
Old 09-04-2017, 02:08 PM
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Started reading It in preparation for the movie. Not sure I'll make it through. Some parts are very effective--The opening two murders by Pennywise, the suicide in the tub, a lot of the writing about childhood. There is a lot of unnecessary verbiage though. I felt like I could skip almost every other paragraph in the section on the phone calls. And King's sex writing is fairly ridiculous. I guess it's great if you're the type that turns every page thinking, "OK, ok, conversation, bla bla bla, but what do the characters' nipples look like in this scene! Are they erect? What about the dicks?"
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  #11936  
Old 09-04-2017, 02:15 PM
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Yeah It is one of those books that could really benefit from a bit more editing. You could cut about a quarter of the book and not hurt a thing.
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  #11937  
Old 09-04-2017, 04:43 PM
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It was written when Stephen King had already gained some Immunity from Editors, and it really shows.
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  #11938  
Old 09-04-2017, 07:53 PM
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Finished Death's End, the final volume of the Three Body Problem trilogy. It was very good but not as happy as the name implied.
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  #11939  
Old 09-06-2017, 01:00 PM
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High Fidelty

Hornby's prose is so engaging you almost forget how sad and pathetic everyone in the book are.
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  #11940  
Old 09-06-2017, 01:00 PM
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Final Fantasy V by Chris Kohler
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