September 2019: Reading Thread

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Foxbat

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Just started Steve Richards The Prime Ministers: reflections on leadership from Wilson to May.
 

dannymcg

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Finished it and straight on to book 2 in the series "I can see you"
Book 3 in the series 'The Long Reach', I was somewhat disappointed by book 2, I sussed out who the bad guy was a third of the way through, I hope it isn't as obvious in this third story of the autistic detective
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I read the first Dragonflight story when it was in the Hugo winners anthology, and decided not to go any further with the series. Just not my cup of tea. The only McCaffrey I really like is The Ship Who Sang.

The Last Unicorn is extraordinary. I can also recommend Beagle's earlier fantasy novel A Fine and Private Place very highly.
 

BAYLOR

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I read the first Dragonflight story when it was in the Hugo winners anthology, and decided not to go any further with the series. Just not my cup of tea. The only McCaffrey I really like is The Ship Who Sang.

The Last Unicorn is extraordinary. I can also recommend Beagle's earlier fantasy novel A Fine and Private Place very highly.
So far, I’m enjoying The Last Unicorn . Didn’t he write a sequel to it recently?

Book you might like The Ship of Ishtar by Abraham Merritt
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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So far, I’m enjoying The Last Unicorn . Didn’t he write a sequel to it recently?
The novelette "Two Hearts" is a "coda" to the novel, they say, and won both the Hugo and the Nebula Award. First appearance here:



There is also the so-called "lost version" of The Last Unicorn, a novella-length revision of the author's original draft for what later became the novel.



Two recent short stories in the same series, "The Green-Eyed Boy" and "Schmendrick Alone" appear in this collection:



I have not read any of these.
 

AE35Unit

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I read the first Dragonflight story when it was in the Hugo winners anthology, and decided not to go any further with the series. Just not my cup of tea. The only McCaffrey I really like is The Ship Who Sang.
The only McCaffrey book I've read and enjoyed is a Pern book from the late 1980s. Can't remember the title but it involved training little dragons and avoiding the thread fall. (Dragonsdawn?)
I enjoyed it very much. I then tried an earlier book of hers but I didn't like it. I would like to try more?...
 

Rodders

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I finished Bloodlines. Now onto book 12 in the series, By The Sword.

I was going to read Dogs of War, but the Repairman Jack series is gaining a lot of momentum towards the end of the Adversary Cycle. I’m going to reread Nightworld, too.
 

vanye

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To my great delight, I found out about a new novel by Richard Morgan, Thin Air (thanks @Werthead). Grabbed it right away and found it mostly delightful. The usual gritty style that Morgan does so well. Great story and a good read. Only one quibble: The sex scenes. They seemed very mechanistic, if that makes sense. And to all you authors out there: Trust your readers to have an imagination and let us use it from time to time. Both sides'll profit.

An old friend visited and brought me a present: The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf. It is a biography of Alexander von Humboldt. I had told my friend that I have a wonderful edition of Kosmos sitting on my TBR shelf that has been waiting for me for almost 20 years and I just can't seem to find the courage to start. He is one whose taste in reading I unreservedly trust, so I started The Invention of Nature at once and read it almost without pause. Great biography and I learned a lot of history from it. And maybe (I hope!) the impetus I needed to finally start Kosmos. Greatly recommended!

Then started on some lighter reading: Michael Cobley, Splintered Suns. A swashbuckling SciFi adventure. Not outstanding, but entertaining. If you ever need a light read to fill time, this might be one to fit the bill.

One I found very disappointing: Nathan Hystad: The Event. Aliens are coming and they want our planet. So far, so normal a premise. But the execution is less than stellar in my opinion. It reads more like directions for a role playing game than a novel. To call the storytelling or the characters two-dimensional would actually be an undeserved compliment, I'm afraid. I read it on a train ride and had no other book, so I persevered and conquered. And now I can put it on my bookshelf as a blue badge of perseverance ...

Also tried some urban fantasy, advertised as YA (which I am definitely way past): The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare. Almost despite myself, I found that I enjoyed reading it. Very engaging characters and a story that doesn't take itself too seriously, although all the PC-boxes get checked. At first I thought that this might put me off, but it didn't. A light, fun read.
 

Vertigo

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To my great delight, I found out about a new novel by Richard Morgan, Thin Air (thanks @Werthead). Grabbed it right away and found it mostly delightful. The usual gritty style that Morgan does so well. Great story and a good read. Only one quibble: The sex scenes. They seemed very mechanistic, if that makes sense. And to all you authors out there: Trust your readers to have an imagination and let us use it from time to time. Both sides'll profit.
I read that one a couple of months back and completely agree with your one quibble which I would extend to be my one quibble with pretty much all of Morgan's work. He seems to feel it's necessary to insert one or two graphically detailed scenes into each of his books and, frankly, I don't thing he does them too well. Though come to think of it I'm not sure I've found any author that does explicit sex scenes particularly well. But maybe that's just because I don't particularly like explicit sex scenes and I very very rarely consider them to have been important to the story.
 

dannymcg

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Then started on some lighter reading: Michael Cobley, Splintered Suns. A swashbuckling SciFi adventure. Not outstanding, but entertaining. If you ever need a light read to fill time, this might be one to fit the bill
That sounds familiar, I'm gonna have to search my ebook files now.
I've either read it recently or bought and downloaded recently
 

williamjm

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I just finished reading Becky Chambers' novella To Be Taught, If Fortunate, which I thought was a good story. I think perhaps the novella format suits her writing style since at novel length her plots do tend to meander a bit and this was a bit more focused. It's split into four parts corresponding to the four exoplanets the crew visit on a search for alien life and I thought it did a good job of showing how the four very different environments had an impact on the characters and how they feel about their mission. It had some good characterisation and some interesting thoughts about the purpose of space exploration.

I've now started N.K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon. I thought her Broken Earth series was excellent, so I thought I'd give her earlier fantasy series a try. It's too early to give much of an opinion on it yet but the Egyptian-inspired setting is intriguing.
 

Allegra

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Currently addicted to Donna Tartt first novel The Secret History, published in 1992 when she was 28 years old, 22 years before her Pulitzer winning novel The Goldfinch was published, the writing is the same, masterful, sophisticated, brilliant. When she was still a freshman, an author Barry Hannah said about her: "Just a rare genius, really. A literary star." She is. My next fiction reading should be her one other novel in between those two: The Little Friend. After that I'll be impatiently waiting for her next one. :)
 

Parson

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Just finished The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz this is a book which is a follow up to the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson. There were three Stieg Larsson books in that series when he died. As I'm sure everyone knows, they were/are wildly successful and some more books by another author in the series was almost a certainty. This book was a pretty good thriller, but it was clearly not Stieg Larsson writing the book. It lacked a kind of inner authenticity in my opinion. The characters were not as developed and the book was clearly setting up a nemesis for Lisbet which felt contrived and tropish. There are two more books in this series but it seems from the reviews that what I felt was lacking here becomes a much greater problem later in the series. So, I'm not going to continue on at the present time.

I have two new books which I really want to read. One is my guilty pleasure author Laurence E. Dahners with a new book in the Hyllis Family Series entitled Sisters; and the other is a book we've been talking about here Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky. --- You lot have been bad for me. I never used to have a TBR pile, and now I've always got some ready to go. Sometimes so many I forget I have them.
 

Elckerlyc

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Currently I'm reading:
Kobo - Ada Palmer's "Too Like the Lightning"
I've heard nothing but praise for this book, but darned if I can tell why it's so highly praised. So far, about 90 pages in, it has managed to keep my attention, barely, but it won't take much to have me moving on to the next on the infinite TBR list.
I have read 'Too like the Lighting' and I loved it. But it may be one of those books you either love or hate. If you love it, than several rereads are required to appreciate all the levels, knowing the narrator is unreliable and the Hives probably have redacted, before the narration got published in what would then be a new world-order. All this can be deduced from the very first page, and this is how you should read it.
The problem with this book is that no-one knows how to pitch it properly (and by her own admission, nor can Ada Palmer herself.)
I joined a meeting at Dublin Worldcon were she did a reading from book 4 and led a discussion about the Terra Ignota books. It only deepened my love for the books.
 
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