October 2019 reading thread

Extollager

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I don't recommend Phyllis Paul's novel Pulled Down (aka Echo of Guilt) because, though I have a copy I am saving, I haven't read it yet. But I wanted to mention that it is to be reprinted next month:

Phyllis Paul

Her novels are almost impossible to come by other than through interlibrary loan (probably with fees). I certainly would be eager to get a copy of this reprint if I didn't have the book already. If you are interested in this author (there is a thread on her work here at Chrons), this might be your only chance to get one of her books at a decent price, and I expect they will sell out quickly. But I admit I don't know whether it is really good or not. I understand it is a mystery, not a supernatural thriller, and manifests hostility to the Roman Catholic Church. It is probably not as good as Twice Lost and some of her other novels, but I would trust it to be (for me) worth reading.
 

anno

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Just finished ‘Erebus’ by Michael Palin, highly recommendedit’s his history of the ship and the enigma of the Franklin voyage, now starting ‘Malice’ first book in acclaimed epic fantasy author John Gwynne's Faithful and Fallen series.
 

Paul_C

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I finished Senlin Ascends and it was as I feared, only the beginning rather than a story told to a satisfactory conclusion. I may well ignore the rest in protest ;)

Next up Sarah Candy by Karen Joy Fowler
 

tobl

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just finished the 4 first books of protected by the damned by michael todd. interesting but nothing more
 

Elckerlyc

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I am not reading much lately. Nothing seems to be able to capture and hold my attention. "Meh," is all I get from it. Is it me or the books?
So, I went for something completely different.
Thousand Years Weather, Wind and Water part 1 (753 - 1300) by Jan Buisman. A history of 1000 years of weather, winters, storms, floods, famines and droughts in western Europe (but especially the Low Countries) assembled by studying and cross-referencing all known contemporary records, supported by scientific research from other fields of study.
It's not just a list of bad weather that was bad enough to get recorded in the annals by some monk, along with earthquakes, comets, eclipses and other strange phenomena in the skies. It is a history of the developing of the Low Countries and what the people had to endure, just from nature alone.
From ca. 1100 onward, there is nearly every year some 'news' to report from the past, about people killed by storms, lightning, floods, pestilences and famines, or cities burning (especially during dry summers).
This is an intriguing read. Not because of the list of privations (myself sitting in a warm and draft-free house, with a well-stocked fridge) but of what is known from those gone years.
Season 1158 - 1159 (seasons run from 1 October till 31 March [Winter-halfyear] and 1 April till 30 September [Summer halfyear])
In Ireland the autumn is mostly wet, with floods.
However, in Genoa autumn and winter are very dry.
Roan burns on 6 May 1159.
On 7 June there is a severe thunderstorm over Cambrai (FR), heavy rains and gusts damaging many houses, woods and crops.
Continuing rains are reported from 24 June till 29 September. The river Seine and other rivers are flooding.
On 27 July a hailstorm causes ruin to the crops near Metz.

Oh, for your information, in 1157 during a drought the river Thames ran dry.
 

Extollager

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I am not reading much lately. Nothing seems to be able to capture and hold my attention. "Meh," is all I get from it. Is it me or the books?
So, I went for something completely different.
Thousand Years Weather, Wind and Water part 1 (753 - 1300) by Jan Buisman. A history of 1000 years of weather, winters, storms, floods, famines and droughts in western Europe (but especially the Low Countries) assembled by studying and cross-referencing all known contemporary records, supported by scientific research from other fields of study.
It's not just a list of bad weather that was bad enough to get recorded in the annals by some monk, along with earthquakes, comets, eclipses and other strange phenomena in the skies. It is a history of the developing of the Low Countries and what the people had to endure, just from nature alone.
From ca. 1100 onward, there is nearly every year some 'news' to report from the past, about people killed by storms, lightning, floods, pestilences and famines, or cities burning (especially during dry summers).
This is an intriguing read. Not because of the list of privations (myself sitting in a warm and draft-free house, with a well-stocked fridge) but of what is known from those gone years.
Season 1158 - 1159 (seasons run from 1 October till 31 March [Winter-halfyear] and 1 April till 30 September [Summer halfyear])
In Ireland the autumn is mostly wet, with floods.
However, in Genoa autumn and winter are very dry.
Roan burns on 6 May 1159.
On 7 June there is a severe thunderstorm over Cambrai (FR), heavy rains and gusts damaging many houses, woods and crops.
Continuing rains are reported from 24 June till 29 September. The river Seine and other rivers are flooding.
On 27 July a hailstorm causes ruin to the crops near Metz.

Oh, for your information, in 1157 during a drought the river Thames ran dry.
A pity this isn't available in English.
 

Elckerlyc

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Indeed! The books (7 parts so far) did get attention from abroad, but translating it would be a hellish task.
As was collating and studying the necessary data, I'm sure. Starting somewhere in the 70's Part 1 (753-1300) was published in 1995, part 7 (1800-1825) last year. So far over 5000 pages of data, text and statistics. At least two more parts to follow, but the author is 96 by now, so I keep my fingers crossed!

A French historian advised everyone who was interested to start learning Dutch. I don't know if he followed his own advise.
 

HareBrain

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Finished Who Dares Wins by Dominic Sandbrook, earlier than I'd expected (I was still at only 80% when the notes/index/pictures started). Highly recommended for Brits who remember the period (1979-82).

Started The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands, a younger-YA story about an apothecary's apprentice in 1665 London. Very good so far -- it seems well-researched to me, and the language does a decent job of reflecting its time without seeming laboured or being a barrier.

Still reading The War in the West part 1. It turns out I knew a lot less about WWII than I'd thought.
 

hitmouse

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just finished Salvation by Peter F Hamilton. Good old easy-reading pulp sf. The sequel is out later this week. Perfect holiday fodder.

While I am waiting for that book I am going to start Mosquito and Other Stories by Premendra Mitra. Looks really interesting. Getting into modern Bengali literature, particularly that with a sf component. Last week finished Diary of a Space Traveller and Other Stories by Satyajit Ray, which was excellent.
IMG_4041.jpg
 

Randy M.

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Finished The Remaking by Clay McLeod Chapman. Interesting and entertaining mix of a ghost/witch story with an examination of how story travels, disperses and reinvents itself. The book opens with a drunken man telling a campfire story. Next section, one of the listeners has grown up and is making a movie based on the growing urban legend around that campfire story. Next section, a young director with a bigger budget and a big fan of the earlier cult movie is trying to remake the movie for '90s audience. Lastly, a man who creates a podcast debunking legends tries to find the truth behind the urban legend and the cult status of the two movies that famously had on-set disasters. I would put Chapman's accomplishment on about a par with Joe Hill in his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, and maybe just a bit more effective than that.

Right now, relaxing with Agatha Christie's The Last Seance: Tales of the Supernatural.

Randy M.
 

Parson

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I picked up what I believe to be Jack McDevitt's first series (Alex Benedict) A Talent for War. I had believed that I had read all of MeDevitt's books but in the find a book thread, a book in this series was mentioned as a possibility and I was going to post that I'd read all of his books and that the poster could not be right. But (as I've learned to my frustration) I didn't just trust my memory, and found a whole series I hadn't read. About a third into it, and I believe that I can see both the strengths and weaknesses of a "first' novel. What I've read I've liked well enough.
 

Bick

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A quick enjoyable read while I’m travelling on business - How to be a Footballer, by Peter Crouch. It’s excellent.
 
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