October 2018 Reading Thread

Paul_C

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#61
I finished Raven Stratagem last night. Mostly good, though I felt a few things were poorly explained in the rush to the end (I don't know if it's me, but there are an awful lot of times when I've said the end feels rushed!).

Not made my mind up yet what's next, I bought the third book not long after starting this one, but there was a bit in the book that wouldn't have been a huge surprise if I'd read it straight after the first, so I'm tempted to leave it for a while and pick up something else.
I decided on Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne-Jones.

I've got the Ghibli film but books are often better, so I thought it was time I found out.
 

Vince W

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#62
I've not read much Alan Dean Foster outside a few of his film novelizations. In an attempt to rectify this I've started on The Tar-Aiym Krang. Just getting started and it's quite enjoyable with a rather slanted bit of humour. I like the idea that humans could set aside their revulsion toward insects to join forces with an alien insectoid species and not just start shooting.
 

Randy M.

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#63
Finished A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, which is a very good autumn/October/Halloween fantasy, sort of a horror story for people who don't like horror.

Dipping into The Monster Maker and Other Stories by W. C. Morrow, a story collection by a contemporary of Ambrose Bierce. In The Devil's Dictionary, under "Story" Bierce says this:

Mr. W.C. Morrow, who used to live in San Jose, California, was addicted to writing ghost stories which made the reader feel as if a stream of lizards, fresh from the ice, were streaking it up his back and hiding in his hair. San Jose was at that time believed to be haunted by the visible spirit of a noted bandit named Vasquez, who had been hanged there. The town was not very well lighted, and it is putting it mildly to say that San Jose was reluctant to be out o' nights. One particularly dark night two gentlemen were abroad in the loneliest spot within the city limits, talking loudly to keep up their courage, when they came upon Mr. J.J. Owen, a well-known journalist.

"Why, Owen," said one, "what brings you here on such a night as this? You told me that this is one of Vasquez' favorite haunts! And you are a believer. Aren't you afraid to be out?"

"My dear fellow," the journalist replied with a drear autumnal cadence in his speech, like the moan of a leaf-laden wind, "I am afraid to be in. I have one of Will Morrow's stories in my pocket and I don't dare to go where there is light enough to read it."


I admit, the title story and "His Unconquerable Enemy" are two of the most gruesome stories I've read in years, and both are over 100 years old.

Randy M.
 

janeoreilly

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#64
Now reading Claire North 15 lives of Harry August and Ray Bradbury the martian chronicles
 

Hugh

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#66
David Hare "Obedience, Struggle & Revolt". Fifteen lectures/articles 1978-2003 from long-standing left wing playwright and screen play writer. Both interesting and entertaining for their take on the UK cultural and political establishments.
I'm not a theatre goer and am not familiar with his work, but I realise I did see one of his plays televised in the 70s: "Fanshen" (based on the book by William H. Hinton on Chinese Land Reform 1945-48, popular at that time among left wing students) which was essentially a hymn to Maoism. I think this unlikely to be revived anytime soon.
 

Happy Joe

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#67
Finished R.A. Salvatore's first 3 Drizzt/dark elf books;
Homeland
Exile
Sojourn
... (have had more than enough spells, swords and elves for a while).
Finished my annual re-read of Zelazny's; A Night In Lonesome October, last night.
Time for some hard SF, or maybe a little light pulp, I believe.

...Perhaps the looking glass series by J. Ringo and T. Taylor

Enjoy!
 

dannymcg

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#68
One I never finished the first time I had it..(it was due back at the library so my wife took it in and it always seemed to be out on loan afterwards)..a long time ago

Raising the stones by Sheri S Tepper
 

Bick

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#69
I've started John Buchan's Greenmantle. Enjoying it so far (just started) but wow, it's of it's time, there's no doubt there. World War I described as the Show, which all the well-bred gents want to get into to!

I'm also reading, now and then, Weiss and Hickman's first Dragonlance book. The reason for this is I saw it on a shelf about to board a plane and recalled Toby and others commenting it was better than one might imagine, so I picked it up. I'm actually quote enjoying it. I think this would come under the heading of guilty pleasure. :)
 
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#71
Two very different books of cartoons:

I very quickly finished the tiny book Introvert Doodles (2016) by Maureen "Marzi" Wilson. Pretty much what the title says. Example:



Best described as cute, said the extreme introvert.

I am now much more slowly going through The Complete Collection of The Tragedy Series: Secret Lobster Claws and Other Misfortunes (2015) by Benjamin Dewy, which consists of drawings of Victorian-looking people (and other things) in surreal situations. Example:



Reminds me a bit of the eccentric work of Edward Gorey.
 

Extollager

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#72
I've started John Buchan's Greenmantle. Enjoying it so far (just started) but wow, it's of it's time, there's no doubt there. World War I described as the Show, which all the well-bred gents want to get into to!
I believe that Buchan wrote a multi-volume history of the same war. It would be interesting to know what opinions, perceptions, and feelings about the Great War come across in that work.
 

Anthoney

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#75
The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook to Visitors of the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer. This is not a work of fiction but a daily account of what living then would be like. This is a good resource for anyone writing about this period. There is a second book in the series call The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England, which will also be good.
 

Fedos

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#76
Yesterday I finished The Naked God the final book in The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. This series turned out to be a wonderful ride and I'm glad I took it. Hamilton writes with such flair and style--particularly when one considers that he is writing sci fi and not, say, fantasy. The prose was never dry or dull, and I was captivated throughout by the concepts he introduced. If I had to rank the books in the series, they'd go something like this: The Reality Dysfunction>The Neutronium Alchemist=The Naked God. In fact, I was so blown away by Hamilton as a writer that I believe I may have just discovered my favorite modern science fiction author. I was even compelled to order a collection of short stories set in this universe, A Second Chance at Eden, which will be the next book I tackle.
 

pyan

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#77
what did you thought of the honor? i'm still reading

Mmmm - HH is a little peripheral for most of the book, and I think Weber has been reading too much GRRM - but it has a fairly satisfying climax. There's a Chekov's Gun but none of the duplication of chapters from other volumes that made some of the recent episodes so irritating, especially in the Torch books.
7.5/10
 

thaddeus6th

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#78
Anthoney, it's very good. Also, there's a recent third addition, a Guide to Restoration Britain (post-union of crowns, hence the change from England).

I'm maybe a quarter of the way into Stalin: the Court of the Red Tsar. Starved a lot of peasants, enslaved a lot of people in gulags, and he's just been inspired by Hitler's Enabling Act. Not really my period, but it's interesting, albeit in a grim way. He really was the equivalent of Hitler in many ways.

Which raises a disconcerting thought. Geography didn't really permit this, but if roles of the Third Reich and Soviet Union had been reversed, would we have sided with Hitler to defeat Stalin? It was a matter of necessity, but we shouldn't forget either the huge numbers of Russians killed and the role they played, nor how horrendous Stalin was as a dictator.
 

Paul_C

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#79
Not much work to do today, so I've just finished off Howl's Moving Castle. I was distracted a little at first by residual memories of the Ghibli film, but by the end it had gone its own way enough to have become the book alone. Very enjoyable indeed.

Next up I think will be The Smoke by Simon Ings, because the best thing to do when you have a huge pile of books waiting to be read is to read something you bought three days ago.
 
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