June 2021 Reading Discussion

Status
Not open for further replies.

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
12,748
Location
nearly the New Forest
I'm way behind on my reading this year -- in theory I've three books on the go, but I've not touched two of them in three months ...
  • The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. I forced myself to get to p494 out of a total of 645 pages and it was excruciatingly slow getting that far (writing poor, characters worse) and though half of me would like to know what happens/how it ends, I really don't don't know if I can be bothered to finish it
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, the third and final book of her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. I'm on p642 of 875 pages, and finding it a lot heavier going than the first two, as she's jettisoned pace and, y'know, actually telling the story and getting it done, for twice as much introspection and ten times as much flowery writing as it needs. Self-indulgent is the word that comes to mind, and since I do know what happens and how it ends, and I've got the hardback which is bloody thick and heavy to wield, this might be another that never actually gets finished
  • Dangerous Visions, an anthology of SF short stories by most of the greats from the 1960s edited by Harlan Ellison, which is the only book I've been reading since April, and that only at the rate of about an hour a week. The advantage is that even stories I don't like or don't understand -- and there are a few of those -- are over relatively quickly, but the disadvantage is that there's nothing to draw me back and keep me reading.
So my agenda for the month is to get at least one of these finished, or permanently put to sleep.

What's your reading this month?
 

elle telle

Member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
16
I feel you on having multiple books in flight but not having touched them in awhile! In theory I've been reading Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou for.... almost six months now? But I haven't touched it in months because I switched back to novels.

I'm about halfway through How Long 'til Black Future Month?, a short story collection by N.K. Jemisin, and have been really enjoying it. It's been especially interesting for me as I've read all of her novels, and there are several stories included in the collection that she later expanded into novels or trilogies. It's fascinating getting a peek into how she originally conceived of these worlds, and the way the "rules" of the worlds changed when moved from short story to novel form. But, even if you haven't read her other work, I definitely think the stories stand on their own.

Next up on my list is Late in the Day, a collection of some of Ursula Le Guin's poetry. I'll admit to generally not being a huge poetry fan, but I've been trying to learn more about it and appreciate it, and I figure I already love Le Guin so maybe she can help me out here!
 

alexvss

Just a Latin American Lad.
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
315
Location
Northeast Brazil
I'm on the process of outlining a dark fantasy short-story, so I'm starting my immersion on stories set on medieval period this month. I chose to read Nevernight, by Jay Kristoff, and I came back to The Blade Itself, First Law Trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie, which I had dropped somewhat a year ago.

The first chapter of Nevernight is a punch to the gut. I really like how the author wrote the very same scene in different perspectives, and how he did the transitions without scene breakers. I'm in for a treat!:giggle:

The Blade Itself is worse than I remember. Maybe because I've evolved a lot as a writer, I'm now able to spot how poor Abercrombie's writing is. Remember the ol' writing advice "Show, don't tell"? Yeah, Abercrombie just tells. And his story is straight-up dark. Although I like the aesthetic very much, dark stories must have good moments, because that's the whole point of reading darker material: we cherish these moments more. I'm more than 100 pages in so I won't stop now. :confused:

Also, I keep reading Daily Science Fiction's flash stories everyday, and I'll try to keep up with the SFF e-zines. I've been refreshing the webpage of Clarkesworld Magazine since 8:00am.:cool:
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
10,156
Location
Iowa
Finished Warpstar: "First Contact" and my view of the book has lowered massively. The more I read the more disjointed it seemed. While there was action aplenty, the thread connecting the scenes went from minimal to microscopic. My reading leads me to believe that J.L. Maynor had a batch of stories in the same universe, gave them chapter headings and put them out as a novel. He should also be forced to retire the deus ex machina ending for the rest of his life. Every, or nearly every, nail biting episode in the story was solved with the sudden appearance or realization of just what was needed. The characters did not grow. And just like a T.V. program you knew somehow (via deus ex machina) the characters would come through and bounce back in no time. One particularly grating scene has one of the female leads mourning the loss (of course we all know there won't be a loss in the end) of the love of her life, her crewmates, and their prototype ship. But two weeks later her old drill Sargent shows up and "orders" her to get over it, and she does perfectly. Sigh!!

I'm contemplating my next read. Stay tuned.
 

Randy M.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
1,995
Not reading much right now, but that's liable to change shortly. Started Fluke, or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore. Needed a change of tone and Moore's silly enough to lighten my mood.
 

Wayne Mack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Messages
619
Location
Chantilly, Virginia, US
I'm currently reading Song of the Beast by Carol Berg. I found this on our bookshelves, but have no idea when we got it or why it has sat unread for so long. I'm guessing it is intended to be a YA novel as it feels a little over dramatic for my preferences.
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
7,782
I'm way behind on my reading this year -- in theory I've three books on the go, but I've not touched two of them in three months ...
  • The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. I forced myself to get to p494 out of a total of 645 pages and it was excruciatingly slow getting that far (writing poor, characters worse) and though half of me would like to know what happens/how it ends, I really don't don't know if I can be bothered to finish it
  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel, the third and final book of her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. I'm on p642 of 875 pages, and finding it a lot heavier going than the first two, as she's jettisoned pace and, y'know, actually telling the story and getting it done, for twice as much introspection and ten times as much flowery writing as it needs. Self-indulgent is the word that comes to mind, and since I do know what happens and how it ends, and I've got the hardback which is bloody thick and heavy to wield, this might be another that never actually gets finished
  • Dangerous Visions, an anthology of SF short stories by most of the greats from the 1960s edited by Harlan Ellison, which is the only book I've been reading since April, and that only at the rate of about an hour a week. The advantage is that even stories I don't like or don't understand -- and there are a few of those -- are over relatively quickly, but the disadvantage is that there's nothing to draw me back and keep me reading.
So my agenda for the month is to get at least one of these finished, or permanently put to sleep.

What's your reading this month?
I've liked your posting, Judge, primarily because you express the freedom not to continue with a book even if you have passed the halfway point. Hear, hear. Last month that book was, for me, Ian Pears's An Instance of the Fingerpost -- or indeed I think it was one of several regarding which I exercised that freedom.

I'm reading C. S. Lewis's Perelandra for the tenth time -- surely his Venus is one of the top ten imagined planets of all time. I've reread another of Madison Jones's somber novels of tragedy and crime, this time his first, The Innocent. I'm reading Joan Bennett's study Sir Thomas Browne. And more.
 

Danny McG

Energise the transporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
5,789
Location
Cumbria UK
Once again I'm doing comfort reading of an old fave, The Mote in God's Eye, however this is an ebook with updates by the authors.

They state in the intro that initially the novel was written with a long space battle at the start, this battle was edited out at original publication and they've now put it back in the novel....I do remember thinking over the years that it always seemed like there was a large chunk of backstory missing, the original starts with the captain trying to ignore the infected wound to his arm as he supervises battle damage repairs to his ship.

I'm hoping that this revision will open out the story a bit, and not just prove to be useless padding
 

tobl

dimension jumping portal required
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
1,135
Location
portugal
for anyone that wants something actually good and different might i suggest
Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint by Sing-shong
you may begin in the manga if you wish but there's a light novel also. it's one of the few mangas that has a completely new perspective :) quite interesting
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
3,338
Location
Auckland, NZ
I finished both Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and also The Leper of Saint Giles, by Ellis Peters. P&P was wonderful, of course, and the 'Cadfeal' book was enjoyable, though there was slightly less in the mystery plot than in some of the series perhaps. It was very satisfying though and ended strongly.

I'm now starting The Legacy of Heorot, by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Stephen Barnes. I guess there was no-one else down the pub with them when they came up with the idea for this book, hence only the three authors. Really looking forward to this.
 

Danny McG

Energise the transporter
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
5,789
Location
Cumbria UK
I'm now starting The Legacy of Heorot, by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Stephen Barnes. I guess there was no-one else down the pub with them when they came up with the idea for this book, hence only the three authors. Really looking forward to this
Great book - mediocre sequel
 
Last edited:

dask

dark and stormy knight
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
3,910
Location
Pacific Northwest
Still reading The Sudden Star by Pamela Sargent. Every bit as "bleak and depressing" as Danny McG said it would be, but civilized life is a fragile thing, fractures easily and all attempts to fix it only seem to make it worse. Sargent's decaying society is horrifying.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

Vegetarian Werewolf
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
7,451
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
I have started Earth (1990) by David Brin. Seems like a epic, set in the middle of the twenty-first century, with an artificially crested black hole threatening the planet (not to mention climate change and so forth.)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads


Top