November 2022 Reading Thread

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pogopossum

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Started Dead Man's Hand by James Butcher (son of Jim) About a third of the way through it.
Judging by the number of pop-up ads that I've received, it's being heavily promoted.
it posits a world where magicians are in a sort of guild, with admission closely regulated and the practice regulated.
James B. actually throws in so much stuff that it's pretty herky jerky, not developing one thought/sequence before dashing onto another.
So I have set it aside, Also was more interested in Ben Aaronovitch's latest Rivers of London novel,
Amongst Our Weapons.

amongst-our-weapons.png


Aaronovitch really has a love for London, the byways, the slang, the people and the history. - to which he adds some of his own inventions. Although he strays from time to time to the hinterlands of England and even to Germany (for a couple of books), his soul is in the capital.
This one, like all of the series, is in essence a police procedural with the addition that the criminals and police are magic practitioners. Here it starts with a seemingly impossible murder. Told first person, the cop narrator makes being a copper interesting with both his personality and his constable perspective. BA does throw in lots of characters and events. But unlike Butcher, they continue the plot thread and, incidentally, the characters are often interesting in and of themselves.
It is perhaps a little too dense for new readers of the series. I would suggest that newbies start with a couple of earlier volumes to get a feel for the world and the characters. If you are an oldie, you'll really like this one. AND, like all the series, it is short.
 

hitmouse

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Started Dead Man's Hand by James Butcher (son of Jim) About a third of the way through it.
Judging by the number of pop-up ads that I've received, it's being heavily promoted.
it posits a world where magicians are in a sort of guild, with admission closely regulated and the practice regulated.
James B. actually throws in so much stuff that it's pretty herky jerky, not developing one thought/sequence before dashing onto another.
So I have set it aside, Also was more interested in Ben Aaronovitch's latest Rivers of London novel,
Amongst Our Weapons.

amongst-our-weapons.png


Aaronovitch really has a love for London, the byways, the slang, the people and the history. - to which he adds some of his own inventions. Although he strays from time to time to the hinterlands of England and even to Germany (for a couple of books), his soul is in the capital.
This one, like all of the series, is in essence a police procedural with the addition that the criminals and police are magic practitioners. Here it starts with a seemingly impossible murder. Told first person, the cop narrator makes being a copper interesting with both his personality and his constable perspective. BA does throw in lots of characters and events. But unlike Butcher, they continue the plot thread and, incidentally, the characters are often interesting in and of themselves.
It is perhaps a little too dense for new readers of the series. I would suggest that newbies start with a couple of earlier volumes to get a feel for the world and the characters. If you are an oldie, you'll really like this one. AND, like all the series, it is short.
Is the Aaronovitch just out?
 

JunkMonkey

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currently (when not nose deep in the huge pile of 1970s Spirou comics I am working my way down): I'm alternating between 'How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe' by Charles Yu the story of a time machine repairman who is (at the point I am up to) seems to be happily aware that he lives in a fictional universe, and 'The Squid Cinema from Hell: Kinotheuthis Infernalis and the Emergence of Chtulumedia'. which is a totally bewildering (but very funny) pseudo(or not so)academical study of contemporary cephalopdic media archaeology.
 

Dave Vicks

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Tennessee Wiliams play.
Could not get into Colin Dexter mystery stories.
Currently Andrea Camilari mystery.

On audio.
 

pogopossum

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Cool. I don't think I have read this one. (Aaronovitch)

I really enjoy these. Have you read Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway? Similar approach to London, similar wry humour.
Thanks. Author's name sounds familiar, but looking him up, he is totally new to me. I'll check him out.

Note: After a while everyone's name sounds familiar. This reminds me of when Roger Zelazny slammed a (publisher's rep? author's rep?) when he was having lunch with him and Melinda Snodgrass. The guy suggested that she change her name. Zelazny blew up. (paraphrase)"You are asking someone with one of the most distinct names in existence to change it? My name is Zelazny. You can bet that people remember it."

Note the second. There are a couple of funny references to Doctor Who in the book. Fitting, as Aaronovitch wrote a couple of scripts for the old Who. But the best reference is when they are discussing the origin of a certain kind of Spanish magic, perhaps from the Inquisition and a cop says, "f*ck me, The Spanish Inquisition? Didn't expect that."
 

Danny McG

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An older crime story now
Friday the Rabbi slept late by Harry Kemelman, apparently there was a series of books about the amateur detective Rabbi David Small written in the 1960s/70s ....if this one proves ok then I'll try more of them
 

Dave Vicks

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Next month print.TO MUCH COFFEE MAN,Comic book.And a Robert Zubrin book Non - Fiction.He's a Space Advocate.
Oxygen!
 

Danny McG

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An older crime story now
Friday the Rabbi slept late by Harry Kemelman, apparently there was a series of books about the amateur detective Rabbi David Small written in the 1960s/70s ....if this one proves ok then I'll try more of them
I'm maybe a quarter through this book, the first couple of chapters basically set the scene - a small town in New England with a young new Rabbi for the Jewish community.
Then the murder (1st or only?) takes place, carefully written to hide any clue to the killer's identity.
My theory (I'll see if it's correct as the tale unfolds) is the police patrolman did it - the story kind of casually slid over his back story, so I'm being a proper Sherlock :whistle:
 
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Elentarri

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Last night I finished: Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber. A fun and fluffy mystical realism novel.
 

Vertigo

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Thanks. Author's name sounds familiar, but looking him up, he is totally new to me. I'll check him out.

Note: After a while everyone's name sounds familiar. This reminds me of when Roger Zelazny slammed a (publisher's rep? author's rep?) when he was having lunch with him and Melinda Snodgrass. The guy suggested that she change her name. Zelazny blew up. (paraphrase)"You are asking someone with one of the most distinct names in existence to change it? My name is Zelazny. You can bet that people remember it."

Note the second. There are a couple of funny references to Doctor Who in the book. Fitting, as Aaronovitch wrote a couple of scripts for the old Who. But the best reference is when they are discussing the origin of a certain kind of Spanish magic, perhaps from the Inquisition and a cop says, "f*ck me, The Spanish Inquisition? Didn't expect that."
You might have heard mention of him as being John le Carre's son. I've read The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker by him; both pretty weird. He has talent but I'm not quite convinced it's my preferred sort of talent.
 
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HareBrain

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Finished the appendices to Lord of the Rings last night and realised something.

In an "Epic Rap Battles of History" video, the George RR Martin character lambasts Tolkien: "all your bad guys die, your good guys survive", but if you count the appendices as part of the story, Tolkien kills all the good guys off (those he doesn't send out of the world). This is possibly unique in fantasy (outside grimdark) and I think adds to the feeling of sadness that suffuses the end of the story proper. Tolkien was mostly writing about death, though, so it seems fitting.
 

Toby Frost

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Someone needs to write a scholarly work entitled "Melancholia and the English Pastoral Tradition", with a chapter on Tolkien.

I recently finished The Empyreus Proof by HareBrain, which was a good continuation and widening of the story of The Goddess Project. It has lots of strong characters and ends with two of the best sections of either book. It's a really interesting and original setting.

I'm currently reading two non-fiction books: Mervyn Peake's Vast Alchemies by Peter Owen, and Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit. So far, Vast Alchemies is very good, and demonstrates what an exceptionally talented and unlucky man Peake was. He really seems to have been an amazing artist. Solnit's book is well-written but rather rambling, and I'm not sure whether I like it or not.
 

HareBrain

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Mervyn Peake's Vast Alchemies by Peter Owen, and Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit. So far, Vast Alchemies is very good
Yes, I read that a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Must finish Gormenghast one of these days.

In the meantime, I've started another nature non-fiction, the just-published Next to Nature by Ronald Blythe (who is 100!!).
 

Danny McG

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An older crime story now
Friday the Rabbi slept late by Harry Kemelman, apparently there was a series of books about the amateur detective Rabbi David Small written in the 1960s/70s ....if this one proves ok then I'll try more of them
Now book two of this series, On Saturday the Rabbi went hungry.
They're easy going reading, with loads of superfluous info about Jewish customs, but maybe a touch (so far) easy to solve as whodunnits
 

Randy M.

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Now book two of this series, On Saturday the Rabbi went hungry.
They're easy going reading, with loads of superfluous info about Jewish customs, but maybe a touch (so far) easy to solve as whodunnits
I enjoyed them quite a bit in the way back when, in part because of the "superflous info about Jewish customs" since I knew nothing about such customs and they helped develop a setting and the characters who lived there. According to my wife, Faye Kellerman's thrillers do much the same now.

And, related, sort of, I'm still working away at NOT SAFE AFTER DARK by Peter Robinson, which I'm enjoying quite a bit. The stories range from police procedurals (four featuring his series featuring Inspector Alan Banks) to a P.I. investigation, to suspense stories that would have been at home filmed for Alfred Hitchcock Presents to psychological tales looking into what leads to criminal behavior.
 
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