October 2018 Reading Thread

Brian G Turner

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#1
eagle-and-the-raven-paunline-gedge.png


Another month, another set of books to work through. :)

The main novel I'm reading is The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge, a story about the iron age Britons during the first century AD - and the Roman conquest that came. I tried one of her other books but didn't get sucked in, but this one has a wonderfully rich setting - so that even when not much seems to be happening (such as at the start!) the novelty of living this life really gets under my skin. We also have some interesting characters, and though I'm still not far into it, it's clear we're going to see family conflict and potential tragedy from that.

My evening read is another historical fiction, The Assyrian by Nicholas Guild, about Tiglath Ashur, one of the many sons of Sennacherib, King of Kings. It's first person with a lovely sense of voice, and brings alive an ancient setting few writers ever touch. I'm very much savouring this one.

Also, a few non-fiction books:

1. A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities - a quick, interesting, and often funny read. It's nothing more than short excerpts and observations of life in ancient Rome, by taken from classical literature. Halfway through and definitely recommended for both it's entertainment and scholarly value.

2. Obedient Unto Death by Werner Kindle - subtitled, A Panzer Grenadier of the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Reports. I had hoped for a close autobiography of life of a SS soldier, but that aspect doesn't come up so much. Where it does it's priceless, but too much of the book is a collection of secondary sources describing troop movements. Which makes it a little disappointing overall.

3. Black and British by David Olusoga - a study of Africans in Britain through history. I especially wanted to see how involved they were in the ancient and mediaeval periods, but it's also interesting to see how the subject develops through the later ages. A surprise reveal by context, but not mentioned, is that the "Indian boy" who causes a rift between Oberon and Titania in Shakepeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream would have been a West Indian boy - something that is clearly described as an established fashion by the Georgian period.
 
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tobl

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#4
new month new books.i believe there's a new david weber coming up
 

thaddeus6th

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#7
Funny you should mention Weber. I got the first two Honor Harrington books when they were free, and had a look a day or two at the third. But £4.50 for a Kindle book is a bit steep. If I'm spending that much on a book (#Yorkshireman) then I want a physical copy.

Anyway, I'm still reading Silent Heroes, by Evelyn le Chene. It's about brave animals in war. About halfway through now, and quite liking it.

One of the reasons I'm not reading SFF properly currently is that I couldn't decide what Kindle book to get (was thinking of the second Emperor's Edge book, or finally getting the third Stormlight Archive entry) so I'm doing my half-dozen sample snapshot reviews for a while instead. Bit surprised how much I like doing the sample reviews, giving (necessarily) I'm only reading tiny bits of various books. Maybe it's a bit like a wine and cheese evening. Just a taster, then onto the next.
 

svalbard

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#8
View attachment 47226

Another month, another set of books to work through. :)

The main novel I'm reading is The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge, a story about the iron age Britons during the first century AD - and the Roman conquest that came. I tried one of her other books but didn't get sucked in, but this one has a wonderfully rich setting - so that even when not much seems to be happening (such as at the start!) the novelty of living this life really gets under my skin. We also have some interesting characters, and though I'm still not far into it, it's clear we're going to see family conflict and potential tragedy from that.

My evening read is another historical fiction, The Assyrian by Nicholas Guild, about Tiglath Ashur, one of the many sons of Sennacherib, King of Kings. It's first person with a lovely sense of voice, and brings alive an ancient setting few writers ever touch. I'm very much savouring this one.

Also, a few non-fiction books:

1. A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities - a quick, interesting, and often funny read. It's nothing more than short excerpts and observations of life in ancient Rome, by taken from classical literature. Halfway through and definitely recommended for both it's entertainment and scholarly value.

2. Obedient Unto Death by Werner Kindle - subtitled, A Panzer Grenadier of the Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler Reports. I had hoped for a close autobiography of life of a SS soldier, but that aspect doesn't come up so much. Where it does it's priceless, but too much of the book is a collection of secondary sources describing troop movements. Which makes it a little disappointing overall.

3. Black and British by David Olusoga - a study of Africans in Britain through history. I especially wanted to see how involved they were in the ancient and mediaeval periods, but it's also interesting to see how the subject develops through the later ages. A surprise reveal by context, but not mentioned, is that the "Indian boy" who causes a rift between Oberon and Titania in Shakepeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream would have been a West Indian boy - something that is clearly described as an established fashion by the Georgian period.
It is a brilliant book, The Eagle and the Raven. It is a bit melodramatic at times however Gedge does a good job in creating a believable cast of characters and a gripping storyline. It is a poignant story at times especially the last third of the book.
 

dwndrgn

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#9
Currently listening to Confluence, the third in SK Dunstall's Linesman series. I love that the plot rests on something very different from the norm. I love the main character, how he is completely naive but clever and catches on quickly.
Also listening to Storm Front, the first Dresden Files book. I needed an audio and it popped up as available and I figured, what the heck, I haven't read it in a while.
And reading The Book of Taltos which comprises the 4th and 5th books of Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series. I didn't read the entire series back in the day because I was limited to which volumes the library had so I'm filling in by rereading them all.
 

dannymcg

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#10
I'm still plodding away on 'Gone with the Wind' at nights.
My day book I started today is number 16 of the David Audley series by Anthony Price 'For the good of the state'
There are 19 in the series so once I get finished it'll be a sci fi binge
 

tobl

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#11
As far as I'm aware the only imminent 'release' from Weber is the kindle release of Uncompromising Honor.
actually there's an audiobook also. besides weber there's a new Jonathan maberry and a new charles stross suposedly
 

Randy M.

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#14
Enjoy, Kythe.

I'm rereading Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, a fun fantasy/horror set in October and culminating on Halloween.

After that, I'm not sure. I'm leaning toward The Seance by John Harwood, but might just dip into story collections instead.


Randy M.
 

Hugh

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#15
Enjoy, Kythe.

I'm rereading Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, a fun fantasy/horror set in October and culminating on Halloween.

.
One of the stand-out books for me. I truly loved it. It was a real surprise too, different from the usual Zelazny style.
 

Randy M.

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#16
One of the stand-out books for me. I truly loved it. It was a real surprise too, different from the usual Zelazny style.
It's been a long time since I read Zelazny but Snuff strikes me as a reasonable facsimile of how I remember a Zelazny hero. What I didn't remember, was how flexible Zelazny's writing is, the tonal changes and changes in vocabulary between sections are impressive. And I feel as though he let the reins off his sense of humor a bit more than usual in this one.

Great October fun.


Randy M.
 

Foxbat

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#17
Just finished David Gilmour's The Pursuit Of Italy
A couple of things struck me reading this history of the country - 1) that Italy actually managed to achieve unification and 2) that Italy has actually managed to maintain unification.

Now reading Greg Goebel's history of the war of 1812.
 

Hugh

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#18
“Ravilious & Co, the Pattern of Friendship” by Andy Friend. A well-illustrated, very readable account of the work of Eric Ravilious and his circle of friends. I became interested in Ravilious a few years ago when cards of his paintings began appearing in shops and I realised that some of these were of places in Sussex where I walked regularly.
 
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