August 2020 Reading Thread

HareBrain

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Technically I'm still on David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue, but I think it might be a DNF, very disappointing as I paid full price for the paperback. I've restarted his first novel, Ghostwritten, and am finding that much more involving, but I might not get very far with it either, as it's effectively a short story anthology and I'm not keen on those. I've also just been lent a Dorothy L Sayers and a Modesty Blaise, and I might give those a go.
 

soulsinging

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Finished Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. I’m not a big non-fiction fan, and even less so autobiographies, but it was very engaging. He doesn’t dramatize a horrifying subject, and that matter-of-fact clarity makes his story all the more compelling. A very impressive man, Mr. Douglass.

Now tackling my first book by a noted SFF author whose work I’ve somehow remained ignorant of all these years: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. So far I’m loving this one.
 

Parson

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Finished Mainline by Deborah Teramis Christian. This was a seriously impressive book. It stayed true to its premise but allowed the main character Reva to grow, mature, and still remain true to her core self. I loved the setting, but did not love her profession. If you can get passed a person who is a cold blooded assassin as a main character, and a sympathetic one at that, this book is recommended.

I would have loved a sequel to see how Reva deals with her new reality, but the sequel is a stand alone and priced at $12.99. It's not going to get the call for a while, if ever.

I have a lot of good stuff in my "To Be Read" pile. I guess I'll give a quick look at Master & Commander by Patrick O'Brian.
 

Bick

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I finished Silverberg’s The Book of Skulls. I liked it a good deal and just about always enjoy Silverberg from this era. Is it SFF though? The central concept is ‘supernatural’ but nothing that’s actually fantastical demonstrably ever occurs in the book. If it needs to be labelled, and it probably doesn’t, I’d say it was superior non-genre fiction, with a supernatural bent.

I’m now moving on to Infinite Dreams, a 1978 collection of Joe Haldeman short stories.
 

dannymcg

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Finished Mainline by Deborah Teramis Christian. This was a seriously impressive book. It stayed true to its premise but allowed the main character Reva to grow, mature, and still remain true to her core self. I loved the setting, but did not love her profession. If you can get passed a person who is a cold blooded assassin as a main character, and a sympathetic one at that, this book is recommended.

I would have loved a sequel to see how Reva deals with her new reality, but the sequel is a stand alone and priced at $12.99. It's not going to get the call for a while, if ever.
@Parson
I have the sequel Splintegrate as an ebook, it's set in the same universe but is mainly about the life's of the indentured and exploited sex workers, together with the political machinations of their masters.
I've just done a word search and there is no mention of Reva
 

thaddeus6th

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Finished NPCs, by Drew Hayes the other day. Nice, light-hearted fantasy read.

Currently re-reading Great Battles of the Hellenistic World, by Joseph Poetrykowski, and The Emperor's Edge Collection, by Lindsay Buroker, on part 2 (I'd read the first book some time ago as a solo e-book). Interesting setting, from fuzzy memory it's more steampunkish, magic meets Victorina era tech. More modern than my usual fare but I enjoyed the first instalment.
 

HareBrain

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A friend lent me Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell, and I started that. Good dialogue, but not sure it's my kind of thing.

Also started The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson, which very much is. I saw/heard this being read on the BBC's Jackanory in 1976 when I was nine, and it captivated me. A few years ago I bought the paperback, but never got round to reading it. It's brilliant, and loses nothing reading as an adult.

Though I gather it's a classic in Australia, I don't think I've ever heard or seen it mentioned by anyone else my whole life (if not for its run on Jackanory I would be completely unaware of its existence). A huge shame, as it deserves to be much better known.
 

dannymcg

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Also started The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson
I remember reading that one in the early nineties with my daughter, she brought it home from the school library.
later there was another by the same writer, something about an ice age in the middle of an Australian outback summer.
I'm tempted now to get the Nargun book again, it was most enjoyable with Aboriginal bush spirits etc
 

williamjm

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I finished Robert Jackson Bennett's Shorefall. I enjoyed it a lot, it does build upon the characters and plot from Foundryside but it accelerates the pace significantly, I think the entire book takes place within a few days and a lot happens in it while the stakes are raised significantly from the first book. I thought it did a good job of slowly revealing some of the backstory behind the main antagonist, while a couple of developments were clearly foreshadowed there were also some surprises as well. The plot was compelling, particularly as it becomes clear how difficult it will to be to have a good outcome with even defeating the villain having its own dangers. The fast pace does mean that the characterisation does largely have to rely on the foundations established in the first book (there aren't many new characters in this one) but they do get some interesting character development. I'll be interested to see what happens in the final book of the trilogy.

I've now started David Mitchell's Utopia Avenue. I've not read much so far, the beginning seems to be a relatively simple tale about an aspiring musician in late 60s London but from past experience with Mitchell's books I'm sure the plot will get much more complex as it goes along.
 

dannymcg

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Starting on The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez
It seems, so far, to be an enjoyable space opera, however I haven't read enough of it yet to get a proper grip of the story
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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...the sequel is a stand alone and priced at $12.99. It's not going to get the call...
Have you given you're local library's downloadable catalog a chance? Overdrive currently has but one book by that author, but RBDigital, Hoopla, or one of many other sources available through local libraries may have them.
 

Parson

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Have you given you're local library's downloadable catalog a chance? Overdrive currently has but one book by that author, but RBDigital, Hoopla, or one of many other sources available through local libraries may have them.
I have not. I may have to see what's available. Thanks
 
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