July 2021 Reading Discussion.

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Toby Frost

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I enjoyed the first long story in Tuf Voyaging. I wonder if Michael Crichton ever read it? The cloning of dinosaurs, the Tyrannosaur on the rampage and the method of one of the characters' deaths remind me strongly of Jurassic Park.
 

The Big Peat

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I finished Ann Leckie's The Raven Tower is its a very interesting idea with interesting execution and next to no story.

And while I had forgotten how much I hate books that don't provide me with a story, I now remember.
 

williamjm

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I finished Naomi Novik's A Deadly Education. Magical schools have been a popular setting for fantasy stories so some aspects of it feel familiar (the rivalries between the students), some things are more exaggerated (it's a much more dangerous school than Hogwarts, although with a better justification for the dangers) but it does also take a different approach at times. Rather than following the typical school hero it instead follows El, a social outcast who can't stand said hero and who has a natural aptitude for the most violent and morally questionable magic but who would much prefer to have a quiet life and not embark on the reign of terror that has been prophesied for her. I thought she was an interesting protagonist and I liked some of the supporting characters, even if only a few of them have any depth. In general, I didn't think the book had the same depth of characterisation as Novik's Spinning Silver. The world-building is fun although somewhat implausible, although I suspect that later books might reveal that some of the things the character believe aren't entirely true. I thought story moved at a good pace and I thought it was enjoyable throughout and comes to a decent conclusion while leaving plenty of material for the sequel.
 

Danny McG

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I'm trying a "big drought in California" YA story.
Dry by Neal Shusterman

 
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Galactic Bus Driver

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22 more titles finished (116 so far this year) since I last posted an update. Still on pace for around 220 by year's end.
Just the high (and low) lights.

The good:
“Queen City Jazz,” book 1 of the Nanotech cycle by Kathleen Ann Goonan. It's been a good while since I read these books and I forgot how good they are. I believe it was @Parson who asked about post apocalyptic books that aren't all doom and gloom some time back. These books would fit that bill.

Made it through book 11 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. There are still 2 books to go (one novel and one novella) which I have not yet managed to get a hold of either through libraries or book stores.

The Freedom's Fire series by Bobby Adair, as I mentioned in last month's reading thread, fun reads even if they're not literary masterpieces.

Finished the Fletch series by Gregory McDonald. The series finishes a little weakly with the introduction of Fletch's adult son, who Fletch has never met nor even knew about, but overall a pretty good series of whodunit type mysteries with more than average comedy relief. I think it helped that the reader for the audio books, Dan John Miller, sounded a bit like Chevy Chase. No idea if it was intentional or happy coincidence, though.

The bad:
"Touched" by A. J. Aalto. The first book in the Marnie Baranuik Files has an interesting premise and starts out well enough. However, it falls flat relying on overdone urban fantasy tropes with shallow characters and a main character I expected to be killed while day dreaming of sex.

And, the indifferent:
"Uncommon Type" by Tom Hanks. Hanks is a funny guy and a great actor, and that needs to remain his focus. This collection of short tales is best described as underwhelming. They're not good, they're not bad, they're just "meh."
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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I'm trying a "big drought in California" YA story.
Dry by Neal Shusterman

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one. It's on my TBR long list. I read his "Unwound" series a while back and they were just good enough to get me to look at some of his other titles, but not so amazing as to send me flying off to gather up the rest of what he's written.
 

Parson

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Queen City Jazz,” book 1 of the Nanotech cycle by Kathleen Ann Goonan. It's been a good while since I read these books and I forgot how good they are. I believe it was @Parson who asked about post apocalyptic books that aren't all doom and gloom some time back. These books would fit that bill.
It was indeed me, and I have read Queen City Jazz. I would agree that it is a post apocalyptic book that is not all doom and gloom. I believe I read it before there was a book 2. Might have to go look it up. ---- With my memory, I could have read it too. (sigh!)

I finished Complicated by Colin Alexander. It was an interesting book which is the story of an young woman Sandirise Kenneally who is a teenage drunk and all around loser but finds redemption and purpose by being forced to join a military group to stay out of prison. I especially loved how she had too work to keep the negative self talk under control and how she goes about doing what's right. It also was good in that I was guessing almost the whole book about which of the characters she could trust and which were using her. I give it a solid 4 stars out of 5. I didn't think it rose to the level of Starman's Saga but very, very, solid. I looked at Alexander's other available works (all have deplorable covers) and none of them seem to be related in the least to any of the others. The premise in all of them sounds dumb, but after my experience with Starman's Saga and the tag line "The long strange journey of Leif the Lucky." I have to at least consider them.

complicated.jpg
 

Danny McG

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I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one. It's on my TBR long list. I read his "Unwound" series a while back and they were just good enough to get me to look at some of his other titles, but not so amazing as to send me flying off to gather up the rest of what he's written.
It was okay-ish but turned into a bit too much of a YA story. Plus what seemed initially to be a massively widespread disaster turned out to be a localised hiccup
 

Danny McG

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A new author (to me) is Lena Nguyen.
She has a SF book out
We have always been here

I'm starting it now...

Goodreads blurb:-

Misanthropic psychologist Dr. Grace Park is placed on the Deucalion, a survey ship headed to an icy planet in an unexplored galaxy. Her purpose is to observe the thirteen human crew members aboard the ship—all specialists in their own fields—as they assess the colonization potential of the planet, Eos. But frictions develop as Park befriends the androids of the ship, preferring their company over the baffling complexity of humans, while the rest of the crew treats them with suspicion and even outright hostility.

Shortly after landing, the crew finds themselves trapped on the ship by a radiation storm, with no means of communication or escape until it passes—and that's when things begin to fall apart. Park's patients are falling prey to waking nightmares of helpless, tongueless insanity. The androids are behaving strangely. There are no windows aboard the ship. Paranoia is closing in, and soon Park is forced to confront the fact that nothing—neither her crew, nor their mission, nor the mysterious Eos itself—is as it seems
 

urrutiap

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about finished with reading the last 100 pages of Wheel of Time Shadow Rising for today. other books that i have lined up to read the rest of this month and in August

Wheel of Time Fires of Heaven
John Grisham's Runaway Jury
John Grisham's The Partner
Star Wars High Republic Light of the Jedi hardcover
Winds of Dune and Children of Dune along with God Emperor but might save them for late August early September
 

Foxbat

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Somehow I never got around to reading Zalazny's Chronicles Of Amber. I'm now rectifying that and reading Nine Princes In Amber
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I am well into Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights (2020) by Gretchen Sorin, a study of the impact of the automobile on that population. The fact that, not so very long ago, people in that group often risked their lives just driving certain places in the USA is enlightening.
 

Randy M.

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I am well into Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights (2020) by Gretchen Sorin, a study of the impact of the automobile on that population. The fact that, not so very long ago, people in that group often risked their lives just driving certain places in the USA is enlightening.

That's a central point in the early going of Lovecraft Country, both book and mini-series. Given Sandra Bland, among others, it's still a risk.
 

Rodders

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Finishing War Factory this afternoon and going straight into Infinity Engine.

After this, I'm not sure here to go. I may re-read Asher's Skinner Trilogy. A re-read of Banks's Culture books beckons.
 
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