November Reading Thread

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ablackenedrose

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About 2/3 of the way through Green Rider. It's a bit rough (you can tell it was Kristen Britain's first book), but quite enjoyable nonetheless. I've got the second book coming from Amazon and I've heard from fans that the writing improves dramatically from the second book onwards. I'll just have to see if that's true!
 

Parson

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The other book, with which I will alternate the one above, is The Book of Psalms Pslams: 97 Divine Diatribes on Humanity's Total Failure by God with Jesus and the Holy Ghost, as Dictated to David Javerbaum (2012). It offers several satirical attacks on the human species in the voice of the triune deity.
I'd be interested to hear more about this. It might be quite good or just plain horrible when read from a Christian perspective.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I'd be interested to hear more about this. It might be quite good or just plain horrible when read from a Christian perspective.

Well, there's a lot that might be considered less than respectful. There's a lot of political satire. There's also a fair amount of contrast between the philosophy of Jesus and the political beliefs of some right-wing Christians. I thought it was so-so. A little of this kind of thing goes a long way.
 

Toby Frost

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I'd be interested to hear more about this. It might be quite good or just plain horrible when read from a Christian perspective.

In this regard, I would recommend The God Desire, a short book by the English comedian David Baddiel. Apart from being genuinely quite funny at points, it has three things going for it: (1) Baddiel is able to be an atheist without being a jerk about it, unlike Dawkins, Hitchens, Gervais et al*; (2) Baddiel is coming at it from a specifically Jewish angle, rather than a Christian one; and (3) he doesn't try to replace religion with anything. Not a life-changing work, but a thought-provoking and pleasant one.

*Baddiel coins the great phrase "I don't think I'm Billy Bigbollocks because of it" to describe this.
 

Hugh

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Philip Jose Farmer "Dark is the Sun" (1979)
A mere 15 billion years in the future, life on earth has evolved in all manner of bizarre ways, except for the human race which, strangely, seems much the same surviving in small shaman-led tribes. A group of sentients, including two humans, journey through this landscape, successfully keeping themselves firmly in the SF pigeonhole without straying into fantasy. Any characters that become surplus to the requirements of the plot are regularly surgically removed by the frequent earthquakes.
Not too bad in that it held my attention. Farmer was probably my favourite author in my early 20s, largely due to the first three of the World of Tiers series, and the first of the Riverboat, and I'd probably have liked this one too back in the day.
 

williamjm

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I finished Martha Wells' System Collapse. I thought it was another entertaining entry in the series. It picks up directly from the end of Network Effect as Murderbot and its allies try to protect several groups of colonists from a predatory corporation. We never really get to know the colonists well so it's a bit hard to care too much about what happens to them but it does set up some good scenes as their protectors try to outwit the numerically superior corporate forces. This is particularly tricky as the main character has to deal with some newfound vulnerabilities as they try to adjust to the situation they find themself in after the end of the previous story.

I'm now reading Jodi Taylor's Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first in what seems to be a lengthy series of time travel stories. It started off seeming quite whimsical but some more serious elements come in as the story goes along.
 

Danny McG

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I've started a mil SF book titled Killer Bunny (book 1) by Timothy Ellis.

However I've realised as I'm reading it that, despite its "book 1" title, it's actually the latest in a several book overlapping arc.
(I wondered why there were so many references to an unknown back story!)

I'm not prepared to carry on with this, it's like entering the cinema halfway through the main feature and trying to pick up the story.
DNF
 

Galactic Bus Driver

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I finished Martha Wells' System Collapse. I thought it was another entertaining entry in the series. It picks up directly from the end of Network Effect as Murderbot and its allies try to protect several groups of colonists from a predatory corporation. We never really get to know the colonists well so it's a bit hard to care too much about what happens to them but it does set up some good scenes as their protectors try to outwit the numerically superior corporate forces. This is particularly tricky as the main character has to deal with some newfound vulnerabilities as they try to adjust to the situation they find themself in after the end of the previous story.

I'm now reading Jodi Taylor's Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first in what seems to be a lengthy series of time travel stories. It started off seeming quite whimsical but some more serious elements come in as the story goes along.
I've read all the St. Mary's tales, except the latest. Those led me to her Elisabeth Cage and Frogmorton Farms series as well as the Time Police spin-off series. Haven't found a bad book yet, but the historians at St. Mary's are my favorites.

Currently reading "The Founders," book 2 of the The Founders by Robert Jackson Bennett. Just about half way through and while they've been entertaining enough to continue, they haven't been all that good. The books do have an interesting, though quite complicated magic system though.
 
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HareBrain

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Started Knight's Fee by Rosemary Sutcliff, I spotted a first-edition (1960) hardback in a bookshop and vaguely recalled @The Big Peat giving it a positive review a couple of years back on his blog, so I bought it. A couple of chapters in, I'm wondering why I haven't already read everything she ever wrote, more than once.
 

Elentarri

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Finished recently:

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig - entertaining YA, horror story loosely based on the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale.

Lightning Bird by Llyall Watson - nonfiction, oddball book. Interesting. GR Link to the description

Big Meg by Tim Flannery - nonfiction
Sharks have cartilage, instead of bone, which doesn't fossilize very well. So almost everything we know about the giant, prehistoric shark, Megalodon, comes from the plethora of over-sized, fossilized teeth lying around. Thus, we have this rather slim volume. Just over half the book is dedicated to what scientists can determine and extrapolate from fossils about the evolution, life-style (growth, behaviour, mating, gestation, birth, feeding), ecological place, and extinction of the Megalodon. The latter, rambling, half of the book feels a bit like filler (some of which is interesting, some of which is not), and deals with things like ancient human trade in (and use of) fossil shark teeth, the use of Megalodon teeth as Medieval poison detector and deodorant (I don't think this one worked very well!), the fact that the extinct Megalodon still manages to kill an average of two people per year, the dozens of places where one can find fossil shark teeth, the effect man has on sharks, and the effect that sharks have on man (physical and psychological). There are a few photos (mostly of teeth), but this book really could have done with a whole many more illustrations. The book is engaging, easy to read, and, on the whole, very interesting.​

Agents of Empire by Noel Malcolm - history book
Malcolm uses this relatively obscure family as a vehicle to explore the wider social, cultural and political world that was the border regions between Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Albanians proved imminently capable of crossing the cultural and political divide between East and West, making them particularly usefulness to their Western employers. This book highlights the wide range of interactions between Western Christians and Ottomans - including war and corsairing, espionage, information-gathering, diplomacy (including the essential work of dragoman or professional translators), trade, as well as collaboration and actual employment by the Ottomans. It is dense, features a plethora of similarly named people, broadly covers many topics, and provides some interesting minutiae of the life and times of three generations of the Bruni family in the Balkans as they deal with various Christian entities and Ottoman politicians. However, the book is interesting and covers a region that is generally overlooked in other European histories of the same era.

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. I love the early Vimes.​
 
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Yozh

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I re-read Sophocles‘ Antigone, as sort of research for a WIP. This is such a good story, so much packed into a very short work (by modern standards).

My brother lent me all three of Cixin Liu’s “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” series. I’m about 20% through The Three Body Problem.
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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I am about to start Welcome to Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century 1947-1959 (2008) by Ken Hollins. The title may be a little misleading. It appears to be a very wide-ranging discussion of America's vision of the future during the time period, certainly not just space travel.
 
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