November 2020 Reading Thread

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pyan

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Finally finished the latest instalment of Jim Butcher's Dresden Chronicles, Battle Ground.
A bit of a roller-coaster, yes, but I can't say that the major incident in it was surprising - I've been expecting it for at least the last four books.
 

tobl

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Finally finished the latest instalment of Jim Butcher's Dresden Chronicles, Battle Ground.
A bit of a roller-coaster, yes, but I can't say that the major incident in it was surprising - I've been expecting it for at least the last four books.
still 25 books with a final battler on the last four which i imagine will be against the outsiders, which i imagine will be something chtulu like
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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I've finished listening to the second in that series on Audible. I have to wait a few more days for my next "credit" to hear the third.

It is indeed an excellent series. :)
If your local library supports Overdrive, you may be able to get it there. Not all libraries carry all the books available from Overdrive, but the First Law books are on Overdrive.
 

kythe

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If your local library supports Overdrive, you may be able to get it there. Not all libraries carry all the books available from Overdrive, but the First Law books are on Overdrive.
Of all things, I did not see the First Law trilogy available on our local library's Overdrive. They do have a later trilogy and a couple of Joe Abercrombie's stand-alone books. I can continue the series through the library.
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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Of all things, I did not see the First Law trilogy available on our local library's Overdrive. They do have a later trilogy and a couple of Joe Abercrombie's stand-alone books. I can continue the series through the library.
Even with 11 library consortia available to me, I still find books that are available from Overdrive that are not included in any of the library catalogs. I feel you pain!
 

Foxbat

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Finished The Palace Of Eternity. Enjoyed it. Will probably try a bit more Bob Shaw. Now reading a history of the American Civil War.
 

Randy M.

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Finally settled on two books. I'm about 1/2 through On Writing by Stephen King, a very blue-collar approach that feels like a good corrective to some other books on writing I've read or tried to.

Also, Amanda Cross: The Collected Stories, which is not all that long -- 180+ pages, hardcover -- and includes all the short mysteries Cross (a.k.a. the late Professor Carolyn Heilbrun) wrote about Professor Kate Fansler. I can why some readers enjoy Cross's mysteries, they are erudite and witty, but I wonder if the archness wouldn't wear too much at novel length. Maybe I'll give one a try sometime, but maybe not too soon.

Randy M.
 

pambaddeley

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So far this month have read Jane Dunn's biography of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots - Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals Queens, then book 4 in the Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman, Double Cross, and finally H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald.

By the way, if anyone in the UK is interested in buying books (cheap), I have put a thread in the private sales area where I have posted some and will be posting more as I have space to unbox them. A dealer was supposed to be buying a big batch and changed his mind, so I have a lot to dispose of to reclaim space.
 

Hugh

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Brian Aldiss "Greybeard" (1964)
I thought this was excellent. Great characters. Date is @2030. No children have been born since some nuclear testing in 1981. Following various wars, social upheavals and pandemics, society can best be described as post-apocalyptic. Set in the UK.
One minor aspect intrigued me: Aldiss moved to Oxford in 1947, age 22, to work in a bookshop, and lived in the area for the rest of his life. Oxford is in some ways two towns, the academic collection of colleges and the working man's suburb of Cowley devoted to car manufacturing, and this distinction would have been very clearly defined in the 50s and 60s. I suspect it gave him some pleasure to include a subplot in which @2018 Oxford was taken over by a factory personnel manager from Cowley and world famous academics were employed as his office boys.
 
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The Judge

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Hmm. I wasn't so impressed with it as you and Bick, Hugh -- it took me three attempts over three years to get beyond the opening chapters. The notes I made when I'd finally got through it last year refer to a typical male, middle class perspective, top-heavy with unnecessary background, backstory, moralising and male talking; a meditation on old age and the loss of children, but old age as seen by a 39yo man brought up in a man’s world and with no emotion shown about that loss. A definite product of its time.
 

tobl

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By the way, if anyone in the UK is interested in buying books (cheap), I have put a thread in the private sales area where I have posted some and will be posting more as I have space to unbox them. A dealer was supposed to be buying a big batch and changed his mind, so I have a lot to dispose of to reclaim space.
damn and you live in england. aldo i was asked not to buy more since it was becoming difficult to find a place. i guess that's one of the reasons i switched to audiobooks
 

Hugh

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Hmm. I wasn't so impressed with it as you and Bick, Hugh -- it took me three attempts over three years to get beyond the opening chapters. The notes I made when I'd finally got through it last year refer to a typical male, middle class perspective, top-heavy with unnecessary background, backstory, moralising and male talking; a meditation on old age and the loss of children, but old age as seen by a 39yo man brought up in a man’s world and with no emotion shown about that loss. A definite product of its time.
All this is true. And it's certainly of it's time. I did enjoy the read though.
 

Vertigo

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Spin by Robert Charles Wilson - A very good, if somewhat slow, piece of hard SF. I particularly enjoyed the science of it. More here.
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel - Is this SF or is it even post-apocalyptic? Well yes and no. Regardless it's an excellent read ) highly recommended (especially to contributors to the Using Human History as a guide Could Our Present Civilization Fall Into a New Dark Age? thread providing for me a much more optimistic yet believable post-apocalyptic view than many presented in that thread). More here.

I'm now half way through the slightly daunting page count of James Clavell's Shogun, however, despite that page count, I'm enjoying this reread so much I'm no hurry to reach the end.
 

williamjm

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I finished Stuart Turton's The Devil and the Dark Water. I thought it was a great premise for a story, a locked-room murder mystery where there's a clear inspiration from Sherlock Holmes stories but almost entirely set on a 17th Century ship sailing from Indonesia to Amsterdam. One twist on the typical Holmes formula is that the genius detective has been accused of an unspecified crime and imprisoned onboard the ship meaning his bodyguard has to do most of the crime-solving himself after a series of threats to the ship and its passengers are made by a seemingly demonic figure. The claustrophobic setting works well for a mystery plot since the characters (who naturally all have mysteries in their past and hidden motivations) are all forced together in close quarters. I thought it moved at a reasonable pace, gradually developing the characters as the situation onboard steadily deteriorates. The mystery itself is quite cleverly constructed as well, although I did figure out some aspects of it there were a few surprises as well.

I think the biggest negative is that all feels a bit far-fetched at times and the ending seems determined to tie things up a bit too neatly. Some character motivations also seem a bit under-explained at times. While I liked the setting I'm also not sure I really found the historical aspects to be particularly convincing. I still enjoyed it, but I think Turton's previous novel The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was probably better overall.

I'm now just about to start Peter F. Hamilton's latest The Saints of Salvation.
 

pambaddeley

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damn and you live in england. aldo i was asked not to buy more since it was becoming difficult to find a place. i guess that's one of the reasons i switched to audiobooks
Thanks anyway! It's just that with the weight of books, it would cost far more in postage to anyone than they would pay for the books to post outside UK as overseas post is very expensive esp long distance.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I've been reading a lot of YA fantasy lately. Most recently: The Ninth Sorceress, by Bonnie Wynne; Nameless Queen, by Rebecca McLaughlin; Night Spinner, by Addie Thorley. And now I am reading Master of One, by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett.
 
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