September 2022 Reading Thread.

Elentarri

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Finished: Ghosts of Engines Past by Sean McMullen. It's a lovely collection of steampunk short stories that are a mixture of romance, invention, adventure and time travel, with dynamic characters. As in most collections, the quality of the stories varies, but I enjoyed most of them to one degree or another.
 

HareBrain

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Finished Dynasty by Tom Holland -- a very readable account of the rulers of Rome from Julius Caesar to Nero, the bloodthirstiness delivered with a nice wry sense of humour.

Now on Broken Ground by Lu Hersey, a YA book about weird goings-on in a crop field at Lammastide.
 

Hugh

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Now reading Rudyard Kipling "Stalky & Co"
Hogwarts pre-Harry Potter, but most of the staff are the same, likewise Gryffindor.
 

Elentarri

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How are you liking it, so far?
I can't actually decide. It's interesting so far. I haven't ditched it (yet). There is a slow-burner mystery, which I hope gets solved or explained or something. Not enough visits to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The writing style is fine for me - some people apparently have a problem with it. I like that the novel is set in Barcelona / Spain as opposed to London, the UK/USA (in general) or New York or something equally common.

An acquaintence recommended the book. Told me to go buy it, and kept going on about how wonderful. I borrowed the first one from the library since my version of wonderful doesn't always match their version of wonderful. I'm wondering what the other 3 books are like. The library doesn't have those, so is it worth it to purchase all 4 or just leave it at the first one? Does anyone have an opinion? I'm not a fan of romances so I hope this doesn't have more romance than anything else.
 

HareBrain

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An acquaintence recommended the book. Told me to go buy it, and kept going on about how wonderful. I borrowed the first one from the library since my version of wonderful doesn't always match their version of wonderful. I'm wondering what the other 3 books are like. The library doesn't have those, so is it worth it to purchase all 4 or just leave it at the first one? Does anyone have an opinion?
I have friends who rave about Zafon, but though I find him readable enough, that's about it. If you're not that taken with the first, I don't think you'll find the others very different.
 

Vertigo

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I can't actually decide. It's interesting so far. I haven't ditched it (yet). There is a slow-burner mystery, which I hope gets solved or explained or something. Not enough visits to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The writing style is fine for me - some people apparently have a problem with it. I like that the novel is set in Barcelona / Spain as opposed to London, the UK/USA (in general) or New York or something equally common.

An acquaintence recommended the book. Told me to go buy it, and kept going on about how wonderful. I borrowed the first one from the library since my version of wonderful doesn't always match their version of wonderful. I'm wondering what the other 3 books are like. The library doesn't have those, so is it worth it to purchase all 4 or just leave it at the first one? Does anyone have an opinion? I'm not a fan of romances so I hope this doesn't have more romance than anything else.
I'd agree with with @HareBrain. I personally loved them all but I would add that some of the strands are not finally resolved until the last book which sort of draws them all together, and left me wanting to read them again with the greater understanding achieved at the end. I wouldn't say they are all big on romance and where romance is a significant factor it does tend to be a rather dark romance. There are still a lot of chapters to go and I would recommend giving it rather more time; the story does evolve a fair bit from those early chapters. However the library is, at least in this first book, pretty much in the background and, to be fair, mostly stays somewhat in the background whilst still somehow being moderately central to everything! It's a lovely concept but it's probably correct to say it's not what the books are really about.

It sounds from that as though there is no solid ending to the first book but there is and each subsequent book largely stands alone telling it's own story. There are some quite shocking revelations in the fourth book which I had to go off and google and then get even more shocked on finding them to be based on real history.
 

Elentarri

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It sounds from that as though there is no solid ending to the first book but there is and each subsequent book largely stands alone telling it's own story. There are some quite shocking revelations in the fourth book which I had to go off and google and then get even more shocked on finding them to be based on real history.
One of the reasons I gave in and read the book is because there are only 4 books (the set is complete if you ignore the 2 short stories) and, unless Zafon has Tolkien style ephemera lying around, there isn't going to be any more. The writing isn't dreadful and so far the story is interesting. I can manage 4 books to get the complete story. There are some really beautiful passages.
 

Vertigo

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One of the reasons I gave in and read the book is because there are only 4 books (the set is complete if you ignore the 2 short stories) and, unless Zafon has Tolkien style ephemera lying around, there isn't going to be any more. The writing isn't dreadful and so far the story is interesting. I can manage 4 books to get the complete story. There are some really beautiful passages.
If you are interested later I have the short story The Rose of Fire that I could send you. It was launched as a freebie prior to the launch of the third book The Prisoner of Heaven, but I think it's quite hard to find now. I'm not sure there is an English version of the other short story available.
 

Elentarri

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If you are interested later I have the short story The Rose of Fire that I could send you. It was launched as a freebie prior to the launch of the third book The Prisoner of Heaven, but I think it's quite hard to find now. I'm not sure there is an English version of the other short story available.
I've read on GoodReads that the short story collection (the City of Mists) has The Rose of Fire and The Prince of Parnassus in it. But I would be interested in it - yes please! :)
 

Guttersnipe

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Reading What Dreams May Come again, as I didn't get around to finishing it last time I rented it.

Also getting 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill. I was inspired by the film The Black Phone, which is based on the similarly named story in this collection.
 

Vince W

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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir is a DNF for me. It's just too dumb to take seriously. I mean, if they are spending billions to send a ship to Tau Ceti and you expect possible brain problems you're telling me no one thought of putting a little film to show when the crew wakes up to say "Hi guys, you're at Tau Ceti and here's why?" Then they could have a nice laminated manual that said, "Hey, great you made it. Follow these steps." And it was completely baffling to me to go 12 light years and not pack a nylon bag to carry things while outside the ship.

Never mind the constant need to show how wonderfully smart and clever and brave the mc is. Ugh.
 

Elentarri

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Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Never mind the constant need to show how wonderfully smart and clever and brave the mc is. Ugh.
That bit irritated the stuffing out of me. And the memory loss thing. And how conveniently quickly and easily the communications between them develops. But I like Rocky. I believe the audiobook is great. It won an award.
 

pogopossum

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Just finished the above. Like all of the 13 Mercy Thompson books (and others in the Mercyverse) it is a mix of paranormal adventure, mild horror, with creatures of various supernatural types, mixed with a little romance in an almost bodice ripper style. I enjoyed it quite thoroughly as a light diversion, but for people unfamiliar with the series I would not recommend it.

Some of the author's books have been best sellers. The author centers her universe on werewolves, but the most interesting creations are generally of other species: vampires, fae, ancient gods, witches of a nasty sort, and numerous others.
The reason that I would not recommend this book to newbies is that a large part of what made it particularly entertaining to me was not just Briggs' mix of creative interspecies conflict, but the development of several familiar characters. If you haven't read her previously, these developments and even the way she introduces characters will leave you wondering, Huh? What the hell is that about? Or, "Why should I pay attention to him/her/it?

So track down a couple of earlier works in the series and then come back to this one.
 

kythe

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I just finished Way Station by Clifford D. Simak. This is my first experience with this author and I am impressed. His style and vision are reminiscent of Arthur C. Clarke, with a hopeful view of humanity's potential.

Way Station is a gentle story without much suspense. It is full of ideas about life in the galaxy as one simple man placed in a fortunate position considers what it means to be human in a large and populated universe.
 

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