January 2021 Reading Thread.

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Ian Fortytwo

A Poet, Writer and eclectic Reader.
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A new year and a new month.
What are you reading.

I'm currently reading The Honourable Schoolboy, by John le Carre. I keep meaning to read the middle one of the Karla trilogy and here's my chance.
 
A new year and a new month.
What are you reading.

I'm currently reading The Honourable Schoolboy, by John le Carre. I keep meaning to read the middle one of the Karla trilogy and here's my chance.
I enjoy that one every time I reread the trilogy..
I could never understand why the BBC dramatised book one and book three back in the seventies but missed out THS!
Alec Guinness really was George Smiley IMO
 
I'm about 60 pages into No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. My first by the author and my first time in the western genre, I think (not counting hybrids). I'm enjoying it, though I'm not sure how I feel about the absence of speech indicators. I'm also finding it hard to separate it from the visuals of the film and let the book inform my imagination fresh.
 
Patricia Wrightson "The Nargun and the Stars"
Enjoyable read. Young adult. Australian Dreamtime spirits of swamp and tree and rock. Enthralling.
Many thanks @HareBrain for the recommendation.
 
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Starting the year with Heinlein, Glory Road
Apparently this is fantasy?
Yes, I remember being surprised when I first came across it. I must have enjoyed it as I've read it at least twice and I'm wary of much fantasy.
 
Yes, I remember being surprised when I first came across it. I must have enjoyed it as I've read it at least twice and I'm wary of much fantasy.
Reading the first chapter (I had tp read it again this morning; was far too tired last night for it to sink in) it strikes me as being reminiscent of his Lazarus Long books. The subject is describing his misadventures in a picaresque manner. Which would possibly later inspire Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat character!
 
I'm continuing to read The Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb, but it's a slog. The writing is fine, the setting isn't terribly interesting (it's a castle in a medieval kingdom, populated by gruff people who spend a lot of time telling the hero not to do various things because it's unmanly), but the real problem is the lack of plot. It's a lot like an autobiography, in that it tells a sequence of events that happened to the subject, but doesn't have any sense of going in a particular direction.

I read somewhere that the BBC didn't adapt The Honourable Schoolboy as the foreign setting was too expensive to film.
 
^^ I agree. I didn't think much of The Assassin's Apprentice either. Not enough plot for the page count. The pacing does increase, but too late and by too much IMO.
 
It's been flowing better for me than I expected, but there are occasional passages that trip me up. I've heard McCarthy leaves them out to "unclutter" the prose, but I think it maybe introduces as many problems as it solves.
 
Just over half way through Piranesi - by Susanna Clarke.

I've drifted in my view of it from interesting to not sure and back to interesting again, so it'll be interesting to see how it ends.
 
I finished Bertram Chandler's The Broken Cycle. This book could also be called, "Chandler's Dodgy Dream". Most of the time Grimes is either sleeping with the girl he's marooned with, thinking about sleeping with her, or trying to convince her to sleep with him more. The previous volumes were not so one-track-minded as this. Generally these are fun reads with inventive plots; but if you like Chandler's work, I'd perhaps suggest skipping this entry in the series, as its not his best.

I'm now moving on to Fire with Fire, by Charles E. Gannon. This was nominated for the Nebula and I've seen decent write-ups on it, so fingers crossed.
 
Me too, Danny. Its The last of his Polity books that I have to read and there’s a story that takes place near the end of the Polity. I really want to read that one just to see how it kind of ends.
 
I'm in the process of outlining a science fiction novelette/novella (dunno the lenght yet), so I'm reading War of The Worlds now. Just finished the first installment in the Murderbot series. Next read is Hardwired.
 
James Crowden "The Frozen River: seeking silence in the Himalaya"
A wonderful book if you're interested in this kind of thing. Published in 2020, part travel writing, part boys own adventure, part hymn to mountains and snow, part appreciation of warmth, hospitality and culture, it documents the winter (November to May) of 1976/7 that the author spent in the remote Himalayan valley of Zangskar, just west of Ladakh, aged just twenty two, the first westerner to do so since a Hungarian linguist in the early 1800s. This was before the road was completed that connected Zangskar to the outside world and access was only possible via mountain passes in summer.
 
Finished Piranesi, which on the whole I liked, though it somehow felt a little "slight".

I broke off from reading The Green Man's Heir - Juliet E. McKenna to pick up Piranesi, so it's to that I have returned. I'm enjoying it so far (about half way through).
 
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