December 2020 Reading Thread

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Bick

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I finished Wild Cards II: Aces High (Ed. George R. R. Martin). Very enjoyable. I’ll read the third volume of the original ‘triad’ from this series shortly.

But before I do, I’m reading the fourth Grimes book by A. Bertram Chandler, A Broken Cycle. With these books one has to accept the very male-centric universe (and the fact that Grimes spends most of the time trying to get his leg over) and just read it for what it is. Some wouldn’t be able to do that easily (it is very 1979 and will curl the hair of some modern readers), but if you can get past that, it’s a fun, light, entertaining read and I’m enjoying it. He’s really no worse than Fleming’s Bond to be honest, and while the universe he lives in has little equality, he’s not personally unpleasant.
 

Hugh

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Craig Brown "One Two Three Four The Beatles in Time"
Better than I expected. 150 short chapters, totalling over 600 pages, centred on different vignettes of the Fab Four, their fans and associates. I'd thought this would just be a hack journalist making a quick buck, but he's done his homework and can be poignant or funny or interesting in turn. It helps that this is not an attempt to tell the Beatles story yet again, and the short length of the chapters mean that you can dip in and out.
(Yes, a Xmas present).
 

hitmouse

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Craig Brown "One Two Three Four The Beatles in Time"
Better than I expected. 150 short chapters, totalling over 600 pages, centred on different vignettes of the Fab Four, their fans and associates. I'd thought this would just be a hack journalist making a quick buck, but he's done his homework and can be poignant or funny or interesting in turn. It helps that this is not an attempt to tell the Beatles story yet again, and the short length of the chapters mean that you can dip in and out.
(Yes, a Xmas present).
This got excellent reviews, and I was tempted to get a copy for myself.
 

Hugh

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This got excellent reviews, and I was tempted to get a copy for myself.
Dear Beatles
Please call me on the Telephone. My number is 629-7834
If my mother answers, hang up. She is not much of a Beatle fan.
With love from
Maxine M
Cleveland, Ohio
 

williamjm

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I finished V.E. Schwab's The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I thought it was a good book although I took a while to really get into it. I'm not sure that's entirely the book's fault but maybe because some of the early chapters gave me a bit of deja vu since one key part of the premise - a young woman who is immediately forgotten by everyone she meets once she is out of their sight - is very reminiscent of Claire North's The Sudden Appearance of Hope which I read a couple of years ago. However this feeling did fade as the book went along because other than the basic premise and some of the details of how Addie/Hope try to live in a world that doesn't remember them the two stories go in very different directions.

I think the flashback chapters as Addie tells the story of her very long life from 18th Century France through to the modern day were the highlight of the book and I thought it was good at both showing how her character changes over the years and how some parts of her character never really change. I'm a bit less enamoured of Henry, the other protagonist, who didn't feel as interesting a character. The modern-day (well, 2014 which seems like a really long time ago now) parts of the story were not initially as compelling as the flahsbacks but I thought the storyline did finish strongly.

I think I'll read S.A. Chakraborty's The City of Brass next.
 

Bick

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Whereas I rated Take Back Plenty as one of my favourite reads this year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Yeah, strange huh - and I started it twice. I got 40 pages in the first time, and 120 pages in the second time. The first time I figured maybe the problem was I was just not in the mood for it. The second time, some months later, I persevered until it became increasingly clear it wasn’t my mood, but that I had a permanent dislike for the book. We usually agree on books Vince*, so chalk this up to an exception proving the rule.

*In contrast to a few chrons members with whom I rarely agree on books - which is also very useful, as I can avoid what they recommend! And no, I won’t be naming names :)
 
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Vince W

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Yeah, strange huh - and I started it twice. I got 40 pages in the first time, and 120 pages in the second time. The first time I figured maybe the problem was I was just not in the mood for it. The second time, some months later, I persevered until it became increasingly clear it wasn’t my mood, but that I had a permanent dislike for the book. We usually agree on books Vince*, so chalk this up to an exception proving the rule.

*In contrast to a few chrons members with whom I rarely agree on books - which is also very useful, as I can avoid what they recommend! And no, I won’t be naming names :)
It would be a dull world if everyone had exactly the same tastes in all things. :)
 

Parson

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Interesting question. How many DNF did you have this year?

My answer 10-12?
 

Vertigo

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Interesting question. How many DNF did you have this year?

My answer 10-12?
I had three and maybe another three I wished I'd DNF'd. However two of those DNFs were back to back which was incredibly depressing! Looking back through my records I normally only have one or sometimes two in a year, so a little worse than normal. One thing I found particularly depressing was one of the DNFs was recommended by Neal Asher; one of my favourite authors!
 

Vertigo

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Experience has taught me never to trust author recommendations. Which is depressing, as you say.
Thing is this wasn't even a published recommendation, in the blurb or some such, but just a short review he put up on GoodReads. However the book was very derivative of Asher as well as both Banks and Hamilton. If I'm being cynical then I'd suggest they are mates! After all I love Banks work but have never been very impressed with his mate Ken Macleod's work even though Banks has on occasion recommended them.
 

Danny McG

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Seven DNF this year.

I'm now reading The Dark Road by Wayne Lemmons.
(The sun is burning skin on exposure, people can only travel at night)
 
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