April Reading Thread

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pyan

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Got round to Arkady Martin's A Memory of Empire, as recommended by williamjm in March, and I must say I've never regretted buying a book on recommendation less. Excellent.
 

soulsinging

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Finished The Relic. It's a shame the movie was no good because the book felt more like a script than a novel. The characters were pretty cardboard and the ending was a little odd and farfetched, but it was still a pretty entertaining summer thriller.

Now focusing on Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse.
 

williamjm

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I finished Adrian Tchaikovsky's novella Made Things. I enjoyed it, the premise was interesting and there were several good characters in it. I think there was probably the potential there for a longer story, the heist part of the story felt a bit rushed and parts of the ending were maybe a bit too easy. If Tchaikovsky ever does a sequel to it then I would be interested in reading it.

I'm now reading Samantha Shannon's The Priory of the Orange Tree. It's been a while since I've read a big epic fantasy and aside from not being part of a series it does have some traditional epic fantasy elements such as the coming-of-age stories, the threat of a dark lord and the large cast of characters. I'm enjoying it so far.
 

Parson

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@Parson I have seen the movie but that was 30+ years ago with Drew Barrymore as a little girl. I can't remember much of it, but the book is quite twisted, especially John Rainbird. Good thing I love Stephen King.
I'm a little confused. Are you saying that you hated the book or that you hated the movie or that the book was way more weird than the the movie?
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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Last night I finished Jeff Noon's Slow Motion Ghosts, which was unexpectedly straight forward detective fiction, but not terrible.

Next up CJ Cherryh's Foreigner.
I've fallen behind by a couple books on the Foreigner series, but it's one I recommend to everybody I meet that expresses the slightest interest in sci-fi.
 

dannymcg

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Looks interesting. Any good?
I'm only a few pages in but it seems ok so far.

the blurb from the book:-

4:23 a.m. The phone rings. The officer on the other end says, “It’s a bad one, Darren. Can you come?” Darren McDaniel has worked dozens of homicides in his years as a detective. It’s a dark and gritty business, and he’s prepared to handle whatever it throws at him. Or so he once believed.
The pre-teen girl is dead, dressed in a white princess gown, lying on a bus stop bench. There’s a steel chain clamped to her ankle. A cryptic message scrawled across the booth’s dusty glass wall may be the only clue. As McDaniel plunges into the case, he isn’t surprised to discover the girl had been held somewhere horrible before her death.
But his blood chills when the evidence shows she wasn’t alone. Other children were with her. Are they still there? Can McDaniel save them in time? The detective races against the clock, but the closer he gets, the deadlier the chase becomes. Secrets this dark fight back.
When those secrets turn their murderous attention on McDaniel’s family, he faces an impossible decision – let the killer walk free or risk losing his own daughter
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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Well, I missed posting the rest of my march reading in the march thread, so I'll lump it all together here with my April reading. :)

34 more titles finished:
“The Castle in the Mist,” book 1 of the Tess and Max series by Amy Ephron.
“Carnival Magic,” book 2 of the Tess and Max series by Amy Ephron.
“The Other Side of the Wall,” book 3 of the Tess and Max series by Amy Ephron,
Youth fantasy using some fairly common tropes for the genre, but well told and well written. Fun reads.

“Beezer” by Brandon T. Snider.
An Audible Original that I got for free and was delightfully surprised by. "Beezer" is Lucifer's teen son and exiled to earth where much chaos and hilarity ensue. YA fantasy at it's comic best.

“Antibodies” by Charles Stross.
An interesting take on computer viruses and biology

"An Obvious Fact," book 12 of the Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson.
Once again, better than the last one.

"Mortal Coil," book 5 of the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.
"Death Bringer," book 6 of the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.
This YA fantasy series has been a lot of fun, and I still have a couple to go, but I wish they were more widely available here in the states. The last one or two aren't available at all, yet. Still a far cry better than it used to be, when the series was only 6 books long and only the first three were available to the USians.

“Old Bones,” book 1 of the Nora Kelly series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
After dragging the Pendergast series out two or three books too long, we get a fresh, new... er... well, maybe not. Nora Kelly was introduced in one of the Pendergast novels and is now getting a series of her own, with a cameo by Special Agent Pendergast himself, to tie up the loose ends. Still, not a bad read overall, but I hope they retire Pendergast soon (read immediately). While I enjoyed the Pendergast series, it got stale and if this new series winds up being a carbon of the parent series, I won't last long with it.

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemmingway.
Still digesting this one. I have the feeling this is one of those titles that will haunt me for a long time.

“Witness to a Trial” by John Grisham
“The Whistler” by John Grisham
Solid legal thriller, with a short story prequel.

"Now I Rise," book 2 of The Conqueror's Saga by Kiersten White.
Two books into this historical fiction series and am a bit underwhelmed. I'll probably finish, but it'll take a while to get to the last book.

“Three Parts Dead,” book 1 of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone.
”Two Serpents Rise,” book 2 of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone.
If not for @williamjm I may not have started this series yet (though I've had them for ages) and would still be missing out.

“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
Good science popularization from a guy who's had to fill the shoes of those who came before.

“Rendezvous” by Nelson DeMille.
Pretty good thriller.

“Space Boy” by Orson Scott Card.
Kind of an odd tale of alternate realities/dimensions. Not Card at his best, but very far from his worst.

“Every Heart a Doorway,” book 1 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.
“Down Among the Sticks and Bones,” book 2 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.
“Beneath the Sugar Sky,” book 3 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.
“In an Absent Dream,” book 1 of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.
Re-reads of the Wayward Children series to prep for my current read of book 5. McGuire is amazing, Whether it's urban fantasy, sci-fi (or, sci-fantasy) thrillers, or the zombie apocalypse, she does it all incredibly well.

“Blockade Billy” by Stephen King.
A bit of a diversion from 'normal' (if anything about Stephen King can be called normal). A story about baseball and a world class catcher, with a twist.

“Truckers,” book 1 of the Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett
“Diggers,” book 2 of the Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett
“Wings,” book 3 of the Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett
"Eric," book 9 of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchet.
"Moving Pictures," book 10 of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchet.
“Only You Can Save Mankind,” book 1 of the Johnny Maxwell series by Terry Pratchett.
“Johnny and the Dead,” book 2 of the Johnny Maxwell series by Terry Pratchett.
“Johnny and the Bomb,” book 3 of the Johnny Maxwell series by Terry Pratchett.
It's Pratchett. I haven't read a book by him yet that I didn't love!

"City of Illusions," book 3 of the Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin.
"The Left Hand of Darkness," book 4 of the Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin.
So, I finally got to the fourth and most anticipated (by me) book of the Hainish Cycle. What a let down. Not that it wasn't good. It was. It just wasn't the amazing masterpiece I was led to expect by all the reviews I've read.

“I Shudder at Your Touch,” a horror anthology.
A collection with an interesting entry from Stephen King. He submitted a short for the book about a woman who accidentally shoots herself in the head with her husband's target pistol, survives, and starts experiencing wierdness in true King style. What I'm trying to figure out is if he lifted it, nearly word for word, from "The Tommyknockers" or if he adapted an existing short to fit "The Tommyknockers" because the only thing that changed is her shooting herself instead of 'becoming,' as she does in the book.

That brings my total of finished titles for 2020 to 146. Even with the gaming and binge watching of TV/movies due to Corona isolating, I'm still on pace for ~540 for the year. :)
 

pyan

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Working my way through all the Chandos thrillers by Dornford Yates. Sheer escapism, set in an era that I suspect never actually existed.
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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I finished Machines Like Me, but too much TV, gardening, quizzes and games to get started on my next book. I can't believe @Galactic Bus Driver has read 146 books this year. Even without TV for 5 weeks, I only managed 4.
As I've said in other threads, we all know "that guy" who listens to music all the time. At work, on the bus, mowing the lawn, cleaning out the garage, driving to work, etc... Well, I'm "that guy," but it's audio books, not music. Any time my hands and/or eyes can't be spared for reading and my brain can maintain enough focus for it, I'm listening to an audio book. Of course, any time my hands and brain are not occupied, they're usually busy with a book. :)

Books are my first, greatest, and truest passion. I literally can not remember a time when I didn't read for pleasure. I'll be grateful to mom as long as I live for feeding that passion and never, ever, trying to censor what I read. And, there are so darned many books out there. I know I'll never read them all. I'll never even read all the sci-fi or fantasy books that are out there. But, it won't be for lack of trying! I've also been fortunate to work in an environment where I've gotten so good at what I do that I no longer need to fully engage my brain to do my job well, creating a huge chunk of time where, while I can't put my feet up are read a book, I can put on the headphones and "read" a book. I'm also an ameture photographer and spend a lot of time post processing images and dabbling in graphic design (I even have a zazzle store), making more time where I can indulge multiple interests. I've got 13 library cards connecting me to 11 different library consortia, all of them with ebooks and audio books available and I pretty well keep those cards maxed. Add in the thousands of titles I've picked up over my lifetime...

I set a goal to read 405 books this year and beat my previous record of 402. So far, it's looking good. :)
 

williamjm

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"City of Illusions," book 3 of the Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin.
"The Left Hand of Darkness," book 4 of the Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin.
So, I finally got to the fourth and most anticipated (by me) book of the Hainish Cycle. What a let down. Not that it wasn't good. It was. It just wasn't the amazing masterpiece I was led to expect by all the reviews I've read.
I had a similar reaction. I imagine it must have been absolutely groundbreaking in its day but has maybe lost a bit of its impact now. It's still a good book, but I think The Dispossessed has a better claim to be the masterpiece in the Hainish books.
 

pyan

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I'd never heard of these until now, they sound interesting, cheers @pyan I'm going to try a book or two of them
They are very much a product of their time: 1920s, rich noble upper class, loyal servants, etc - but once you get used to the occasional archaic phrasing*, and patches of floridly purple descriptive prose (usually natural scenery or cathedrals), they fairly rattle along. I would strongly recommend you start with Blind Corner - the last 50 pages are as page-turning as you'll ever get, IMHO.

*"That the night had drawn to a close was now very clear" = It's dawn...
 

hitmouse

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They are very much a product of their time: 1920s, rich noble upper class, loyal servants, etc - but once you get used to the occasional archaic phrasing*, and patches of floridly purple descriptive prose (usually natural scenery or cathedrals), they fairly rattle along. I would strongly recommend you start with Blind Corner - the last 50 pages are as page-turning as you'll ever get, IMHO.

*"That the night had drawn to a close was now very clear" = It's dawn...
For a long time I thought Dornford Yates was an invention of Tom Sharpe. He wrote a pair of absolutely scathing and hilarious satires of apartheid South Africa, the first of which, Riotous Assembly, features a Dornford Yates appreciation society meeting.
 
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