March Reading Thread

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The Judge

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I'm starting March with a second attempt at Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier. As the title suggests, William Blake is the inspiration, but as I'm somewhat ambivalent about his work, that's no recommendation. The most interesting thing about it for me is that a village family who move up to London come from Piddletrenthide, which I wouldn't have thought was known by anyone far outside the Dorset area!

What are you reading this month?
 
I'm still on Jack Four by Neal Asher. I'm not sure what's going on, lately. I've no interest in anything. Books, Movies, TV or Games.
 
Wakers by Orson Scott Card.

What I've gathered so far:-

This teen has the ability to 'sidestep' to alt timelines.
One day he wakes up in a cloning facility with rows of pods full of dessicated corpses.
He exits the abandoned building and finds like a 'last man on Earth' scenario.
There are bodies laying around, with all useful supplies long used up.

And so it goes
 
I have less than 200 pages left in Martin Edwards' The Life of Crime. (622 pages of text plus ~100 in indices.) It's fascinating how the lives of writers and their writings intersect with the lives of other writers and their writings, often in terms of Y, who wrote the screenplay for X's novel adaptation. This is, essentially, a lifetime project. Edwards as reader of mysteries pulling together all he's learned with further study and research and compiling a bulky compendium of mystery/crime story facts. I'm impressed how he keeps it flowing through introducing a particular writer who stands for the subject of the chapter and then moving out from that writer to others as well as the works that somehow epitomize the subject. I'm intrigued that throughout he is in conversation with a ~50 year-old book on the history of mystery, Bloody Murder by Julian Symons. And I'm amused that here is another example of a genre writer infuriated with Edmund Wilson, who the mainstream reader and critic may not even know much about anymore, but genre readers are still bruised over his 70+ year-old rebukes of the mystery genre, Lovecraft and Tolkein.
 
I'm struggling through High Couch of Silistra by Janet E. Morris. The same Janet Morris of Thieves' World. It is her first book published in 1976 and after only 80 pages of 220 there must have been two dozen rapes. And this is the first book in a quartet. The problem is the writing isn't terrible, just the subject matter.

I'm going to break it up with The Wreck of The River of Stars by Michael Flynn. I've had this on my tbr pile for yonks.
 
I recently read "Logan's Run" and was a bit disappointed. I have had a soft spot for that movie all my life, and finally got around to reading the book it was based on. The movie and book stories have the same basic premises, but otherwise tell very different stories. I do like the book's surprise ending twist with one of the characters, but overall I prefer the movie. The movie "world" made more sense, and the actors brought the characters to life when the book characters were flat and cliche.
 
I recently read "Logan's Run" and was a bit disappointed. I have had a soft spot for that movie all my life, and finally got around to reading the book it was based on. The movie and book stories have the same basic premises, but otherwise tell very different stories. I do like the book's surprise ending twist with one of the characters, but overall I prefer the movie. The movie "world" made more sense, and the actors brought the characters to life when the book characters were flat and cliche.
I was amazed he had sex with all those women, one after the other.... He never even took a 20 minute cigarette break!
 
I was amazed he had sex with all those women, one after the other.... He never even took a 20 minute cigarette break!
Yes, that scene was... different, and unnecessary since he fought his way out of that situation anyway.

The whole book is non-stop action, but the characters have little internal motivation. Logan is very macho, the male hero. Jessica is passive and often a damsel in distress. Francis is a shadowy police figure tailing them. They meet some potentially interesting people and places, but plow through too quickly to care about any of this.
 
I finished Fractal Cut book #3 of the McCoy Chronicles and it was very like the previous two. It had lots of action, twists and turns, but it would not be confused with great literature. I'm going to take a break from this series, but I will likely return.

Avoid --- Not Recommended --- Flawed --- Okay --- Good --- Recommended --- Shouldn’t be Missed

I've moved to one of the very best detective style series that I've read. The Underwater Instigation Unit book 4 continues with Sea Castle by Andrew Mayne. I'm roaring through this book and will likely be done tomorrow or the next day. --- Well, if I don't watch too much basketball over the weekend. --- Iowa's Caitlin Clark is just on another planet for college women.
 
I will be quickly working my way through a series of books by photographer Leland Kent which combine images of deserted places in the American South with brief essays about them. Dating from 2018 to 2021, the volumes are:

Abandoned Birmingham
Abandoned Georgia: Exploring the Peach State
Abandoned Georgia: Traveling the Back Roads
Abandoned New Orleans
Abandoned North Florida
Abandoned Alabama: Exploring the Heart of Dixie


These photographs of uninhabited buildings, usually full of stuff left behind, are genuinely eerie.
 
Currently COSMOS: by Ann Druyan. 2020.
And an Ellery Queen mystery novel 1929.
 
T. Kingfisher "Nettle and Bone"
I really liked this. Initially I thought it was going to be too dark for me and prepared myself to plough through something tediously unpleasant, but, as the pages turned, my sense of safety increased, and there were deliciously unexpected turns and twists that that thrilled me with their originality.
Essentially a journey from disempowerment and oppression to life and freedom, but I only appreciated that with hindsight - the book was too engaging to muse on that sort of stuff while immersed in it.
Exceptionally well edited too.
 
Having enjoyed the movie, I eventually got around to reading Starship Troopers the book. I thought it was an interesting book, although not one I would likely return to in the future. What did surprise me is that it was written more than 60 years ago. It feels much more modern than that.

And having watched the movie, I have just started on The Road. I'm only about 20 pages in, but I'm finding the style of writing really difficult to put up with. If the movie hadn't been so good, I may well have put the book down and moved on to something else. I can only only assume that the way the book is written is intentional; I wonder if at some point later in the story there is a reason given for this. For now I will persevere, as it is a relatively short novel.
 
Magnitude by Dean M Cole.

So far it's an enjoyable mil SF, with alien robotic attackers taking on Special Forces in an attack at CERN.
 
And having watched the movie, I have just started on The Road. I'm only about 20 pages in, but I'm finding the style of writing really difficult to put up with. If the movie hadn't been so good, I may well have put the book down and moved on to something else. I can only only assume that the way the book is written is intentional; I wonder if at some point later in the story there is a reason given for this. For now I will persevere, as it is a relatively short novel.
I haven’t read The Road, but I have read several other novels by Cormac McCarthy. He has a very distinctive style which I enjoy, but which has really irritated some of my friends.
 
Magnitude by Dean M Cole.

So far it's an enjoyable mil SF, with alien robotic attackers taking on Special Forces in an attack at CERN.
And, in chapter 2, it makes reference to earlier events.
A bit of googling reveals this book (despite in theory being book 1 of a series) is actually book 4 as it follows on from a previous trilogy.

DNF, deleted and not happy, I spent £4.50 on this, if I'd knew I'd instead have bought the earliest book in the series.
This author is now on my sh*t list (I have one!) and I'll never read anything by him again.
 
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