February Reading Thread

Bowler1

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Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
This was an interesting novel, which was surprisingly absorbing, despite the overstuffed descriptions and devolution into a "creature feature". The world building was really neat... in a dark and gritty (and dirty) way.
A good writer in general and for Steam Punk/SciFi or wherever this book fits, well worth a read I thought. I read a few more of the books and wasn't disappointed.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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So a recent discussion of Andre Norton sparked an impulse to reread the first five Witch World novels, for old-times sake.

I have just finished the first in the series, not surprisingly entitled Witch World: in which a man from our own Earth, Simon Tregarth, is transported to another world, one in which (he is told before he departs from ours) "his spirit, his mind—his soul if you wish to call it that—is at home." World-weary former soldier on the run as Simon is (with hints perhaps of work as a spy, and also a reluctant criminal), the world where his tenacity and keen instincts for survival are "at home" turns out to be a war-torn land . . . but also to the science-fantasy readers' delight, a world where magic exists, but also alien science.

I loved these when I was a young woman. As an old one, I did initially find it difficult to get into the story, but that may be because I was tired, or other things distracted me . . . or maybe the book is a slow starter. Whatever the case, by about halfway through I was hooked on the story and characters: Koris the dispossessed, the unnamed witch who often becomes Simon's partner on perilous missions, and Loyse of Verlaine, running from a cruel father and what would likely be an even crueler marriage to an utterly ruthless man. Described in brief, these characters do sound stereotypical, but the book was published in 1963 and no doubt inspired a lot of characters and books written between then and now.

Now that I have finished it, I will very soon (probably before the end of the day—it's still early here) be starting on the second in the series.
 

Elentarri

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Three Epic Battles that Saved Democracy by Stephen P. Kershaw
About the Greco-Persian wars. Should actually be 4 epic battles, but anyway. A standard, straightforward history.
 

Stephen Palmer

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Randy M.

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Finished Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a collection of six supernatural tales and seven (1977 edition) mystery stories. As usual, his straight-forward but not dull prose and story-telling prowess make the work enjoyable reading. The stories I enjoyed most were "The Case of Lady Sannox" which is a particularly gruesome story, "The New Catacomb" which harks back to a Poe tale, and "The Horror of the Heights" which prefigures Lovecraft.

Twiddled my fingers awhile, and dipped into The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany before snatching up a version of The Adventures of Alyx by Joanna Russ contained in Joanna Russ: Novels and Stories. Kind of hasty, I suppose. I've only owned the former Russ for 40 years without reading it, so what was the hurry?
 

Dave Vicks

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THE TAILSMAN ,by Stephen King and Peter Straub.

DYING OFF POLITNESS ,by Geena Davis
Memoir.2022
 

Yozh

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Last month I started The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu. I had read The Three Body Problem earlier in the year, but I am finding this second volume a slog. I don't know if it is due to different translator or if I just don't like the story itself so much. I put it down for a few weeks, but will give it another go on a long train ride this weekend.

So The Dark Forest is a DNF for me. Big let down after The Three Body Problem. Ana & Thea of The Book Smugglers summed up my thoughts pretty well : TheBookSmugglers's Reviews > The Dark Forest .

Traded it back to my brother for The Legend of Huma: Dragonlance Saga Heroes Volume One, by Richard A. Knaak. This greatly exceeded my expectations. A long and meandering hero's journey. At times witty, at times bittersweet. Knaak manages to portray loss, pain and desolation of war without getting mired in pathos.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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Continuing with my reread of Norton's early Witch World novels, I've just finished reading Web of the Witch World. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book in the series—but as I remember it, it was never my favorite.

Now on to the three books about the Tregarth triplets, which I recall liking better. Let's see if I still do.
 

Steve Harrison

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Finished Budapest: Between East and West by Victor Sebestyen, which is excellent and eye-opening to someone, like me, who was completely ignorant of the history of this amazing city.

As a change of pace, I've started The Secret, the latest Jack Reacher novel, which, based on the start looks to be a good one. They've been a bit sketchy in recent years, but maybe with Lee Child's brother, Andrew Grant (Andrew Child for the Reacher books) taking over, the series will get a new lease of life.
 

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