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Author Topic: What I'm Reading Now Thread
LDWriter2
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I am reading "A Talent For War" by Jack McDevitt. It's an Alex Benedict novel. It takes place way into the future. In fact sometimes it gets a little confusing for they keep talking about this age or that one but those are after space travel. It's a type of mystery and sometimes I find it hard to put down because I want to see what clues Alex finds next. Or how his life might be in danger. So far though that last hasn't really happened much.

I think some would find this book boring, but there's enough suspense to keep me interested. Good descriptions and Jack has made up a rather full history which I find interesting.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited January 14, 2011).]


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Smaug
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I'm still reading The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands. It's a great book thus far on the life of one of America's Founders.

I'm also reading Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson. The second in a series (The Malazon Book of the Fallen Series). Very complicated. In fact, I'd say that if you can't devote at least a half an hour a day to reading, you should probably avoid this book. The reason being because there are so many subplots to follow that if you aren't reading it a lot, you'll probably get lost, like I have. Still, that's the way this guy writes, and he's great at creating worlds and mood, IMHO. And many of the reviews say that once you get to the last third of the book, you can't put it down, even if you wanted to.


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BenM
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My reading workload is looking to be substantially lighter this year.

Just read two Iain M Banks novels, both of which came highly recommended:
Look to Windward and
Use of Weapons.

I have quite liked Banks' novels in the past as being a little different than more standard SF fare, however I wasn't sufficiently impressed by these to go recommending them wildly to others. Look to Windward is a little too reflective for my current tastes - I think I've had enough of reading about ennui for a while. Use of Weapons is an example of experimental structure risking reader confusion - the plot diverges in forward and reverse time from the start of the novel, alternating with each subsequent chapter. If at first you don't realise this, it becomes so confusing that the entire book could easily be preemptively shelved. It's a cool idea which could have yielded a stronger payoff in the end than it did.

Both are early novels of Banks, so possibly precursors to when he really hit his stride. Either way I'd put them somewhere between Good and Not Impressed.


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LDWriter2
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Reading "Trick Of The Light" by Rob Thurman.


I must say that "Rob" has a very nice looking hair-do with long red hair.

But the book has a twist ending I wonder if the MC is more than she claims to be. First Person and she keeps giving out slight hints that she is something more than human. Is there a Trickster in the Hawaiian Pantheon? And she has been a sort of neighbor to someone who looks like an American Indian and whose father eats venison even though she is probably form Hawaii. Of course she could have moved to the states where she meant her friend. But I shall see.

The series is called Trickster and the MC's name is Trixi Short for Trickster maybe?

Not sure about some of the theology in the book but that seems to go with the territory these days.

Not a bad story so far- a bit over one third- and not bad writing.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited January 21, 2011).]


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Ryuhou
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I just finished reading OSC's two new books twice.

Pathfinder is an intense book about a kid who finds out he can go back in time with the help of his friend. The best thing about this book is it completely ignores all the common rules about time travel paradox and causality.

The Lost Gate is about a kid born into a family of mages in the 1990's/2000's, he was believed to be a powerful mage based on his parentage but until he was 13 he didn't show any sign of magic. Then he finds out he's a gatemage which is forbidden for any of the magic families to have. He has to run away from his family or be killed, and the book follows him on his various adventures trying to live on his own and learn how to become a gatemage, without breaking too many laws along the way. This book is possibly my favorite one by OSC, it's funny and moving, and action filled. I love his fantasy's and I'll be fiending for the next one in the series for 2 years or so.


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Smiley
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I'm getting into the 5th book of John Flanagan's 'Ranger's Apprentice'. I like his YA style.
I also finally found OSC's 'Ender's Shadow' in paperback. Can't wait to start in on that one.

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KayTi
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I've been on a Diana Wynne Jones streak lately, and absolutely adore her books, every one of them, for the way she plays with magic, makes fun characters, and tells not big grand earth-shattering end-all battles between good and evil, but just nice stories with interesting magic.

The ones I've recently read include all of the books in the Chrestomanci series, plus a short story collection featuring the same characters, and The Pinhoe Egg, which is set in the same universe and features the main character Eric Chant from the first Chrestomanci book (the characters overlap some throughout all four or five of those books.)
We also did the audio book of The House of Many Ways, very enjoyable voice talent, and audio of Enchanted Glass. My primary caution with her books, particularly evident in audio, is that they tend to be slow burns. They're not going to grab you by the throat, but they're lovely stories told in interesting ways with interesting magic and compelling characters.

I also read I am Number Four, which is coming out in a movie soonish. It's an interesting sci-fi. There's some online discussion/controversy about the book as it's written by someone then marketed through what some are calling a "scheme" - another author selling rights and supposedly paying the original author pennies. I have no idea, but it's a YA sci-fi and there's precious little of that so I read it. Nice story. Enough tension and interesting features, not too crazy on the action end. Reminded me of The Warrior Heir, but I liked the writing a little better in this book.

I read Life As We Knew It, which is a future dystopia about the moon being hit by an asteroid and coming closer in orbit to the earth, and the massive catastrophes that result. Very interesting story, told 100% first person journal-entry style. I loved the style, and enjoyed the story. It was a much smaller story than I figured, I kept expecting some big grand event to take place, but really it's also a small, close story about a teen and her family and how they survive in crazy circumstances. It's also YA Sci-fi. I recommend this one, but warning that the story is a bit of a downer, I found it tiring to read after a bit and am glad to have moved on, mostly just because it seemed so *real.* I suppose that's a sign of the writer's skill, eh? There are other books out in the series but I'll take a break before (if) reading them.

I also just finished The Comet's Curse by Dom Tesla, a radio personality in Colorado. It's a YA sci-fi, set on an "escape ship" leaving earth after a catastrophe (by this point I'm starting to wonder if there are ANY YA sci-fi books that aren't categorized as post-apocalyptic or disaster or dystopias. Sigh) has caused everyone on earth to be afflicted by a horrible disease that will kill them after age 18. So a crew of 251 15 and 16 year olds are sent into space to escape the disease and recolonize another planet. This is the first in a series. I didn't love the storytelling style (interleaved narrative with present-day and flashbacks, quite a lot of "telling" to the audience. It felt like it was written in a style appropriate for a younger reader, telling us things that we could intuit from the text just fine. I think it's just the writer's style, though, as the choice of 15 and 16 year old protagonists puts it smack in the center of the YA genre.) Story was just so-so. I don't recommend it, but I'm glad I read it because I am certain my stories are at least as good as this one.

I'm now just starting to read Shipbreaker, which is up for some awards this year. It's another future dystopia (le sigh) set in coastal Florida where the mc is a boy who helps break down huge old rusty oil tankers to get their parts. The storytelling is EXCELLENT and is a fantastic study in how to communicate a lot about an unusual environment/different world via basic dialogue and narration, without resorting to blocks of exposition. He also uses a lot of slang and unusual terms, which makes it challenging to read but also interesting to see how the terms are introduced and how you can figure out what is meant by them. So far I'm really impressed, but not far enough to say more than that. I think the writing is fantastic, though, so I'm glad even though it's another intense dark seemingly depressing future story.


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Wordcaster
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Just finished Gene Wolfe's, Peace. Excellent novel, but not the first Gene Wolfe novel to start off with, though, in my mind. (1st is Shadow of the Torturer; 2nd is either his Death of Dr. Island short story collection or 5th Head of Cerberus).

Now I am reading WOTF vol 26 (ok, I'm a little late). Just finished Skadder's excellent story and will read Brad T's tonight.


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LDWriter2
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I'm going to have to get WotF V.26 and it looks likes I'm going to have to order it special which is why I don't think about while I'm at the bookstore.

Hmm, sounds like even OSC is getting into Urban Fantasy. I'm going to have to look for the "The Lost Gate", may have to order that one too. Even though come to think of it I may have seen it somewhere.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited January 23, 2011).]


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KayTi
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Reporting back to say that SHIPBREAKER was *astonishingly* good. Amazing, compelling, thought-provoking. I've been in "book mourning" since finishing it, not wanting to start a new book because I wanted to let the story linger in my mind a bit longer.

Highly highly recommend.


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LDWriter2
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Just wanted to say that I forgot to say that I am still reading Glen Cook's "Gilded Latten Bones" the latest in his Garrett series. I am taking my time only reading it every few days because I would finish it very quickly if I read it straight through. And because it could very well be a while before the next one.

I'm not sure about a couple of points in Garrett's private life though. He's having problems with the love of his life and she is in a state that a lot of guys probably suspect of their loves but it's true in this case. It's taken a turn I don't remember being mentioned before. Everyone seems to think another woman would be better for him.


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Lissa
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I just finished "The Scorch Trials," the second book in a young adult dystopian trilogy by James Dashner.

Also started "Pathfinder" by OSC; having a hard time getting into it which is unusual for me when reading his work.

Lis


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Antinomy
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Recommended: Greg Iles's “Black Cross” page turner thriller. Whether or not you are a fan of WWII novels, this story will draw you in, dry out your throat and and keep you up late at night.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Just finished OSC's PATHFINDER and liked it. Interesting characters trying to figure out an interesting puzzle, with the "prologue"-type stuff told in bits and pieces at the beginning of each chapter (works better that way, I think).

This is the first in a series, and promises a lot more interesting stuff in subsequent books. But it doesn't leave me hanging--there's enough resolution to satisfy. I really hate cliff-hanger books.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited January 31, 2011).]


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Fahrion Kryptov
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I just finished reading Imager's Intrigue by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. It is the third book in his Imager Portfolio, and a very good fantasy. I would recommend this series (which starts with Imager). I just started reading Arms-Commander, another book from L.E. Modesitt, Jr. This one is from his Recluse series, which I would also recommend.
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BenM
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Just read a couple of books I really enjoyed.

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon. I liked this for more than just the space opera elements; it's got the sort of blend of SF that I dig: a bit of military, a bit of business, a bit of spacecraft. While I read the next book my wife read this one (in one night) and has gone and bought the rest of the series. Recommended

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. An oddball book (some of the character names are a laugh in themselves) which nonetheless has a great play with time travel, verisimilitude, narrator pov, the reality of fictional characters, and a bit of literary and poetic silliness besides. Having read Jane Eyre previously is not required but will only add to the fun. A couple of possible editing errors or minor plot holes are present but easily overlooked. Recommended


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Robert Nowall
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Somewhat delayed by my being ill from the first till, well, right now, but here's my usual first-of-the-month what-books-impressed-me-most post.

Actually, it's only two books, autobiographies, both.

(1) The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Samuel L. Clemens. This was a bestseller, and very hard to find---I finally had to order it off Amazon-dot-com to get a copy. All the more surprising, what with the writer being, well, dead for over a century.

This is the first time the autobiography has been assembled in anything resembling the way Clemens wrote it---or even how he intended it to go. (He also wanted them to wait a century to publish, but they didn't pay attention to that, either.) Clemens wrote / dictated it stream-of-consciousness-style, apparently. It's chock-filled with vignettes about this and that, ranging over the whole of his life---and often the stories are very funny.

Clemens is a lot easier to take if you don't have to read him for school. And, given the nature of his, er, commentary, you probably won't find this on the school reading list anytime soon...

The other book is:

Life, Keith Richards. You wouldn't think he'd even remember much of what he went through---but he confronts that issue boldly on the dust jacket flap, and we're go from there. You know how these "celebrity" memoirs are often just something dashed off or dictated to a ghostwriter...but, here, the book is fairly substantial and the "voice" is constant throughout. Richards (and his collaborator) may not tell all, but they tell enough. And I wish somebody had explained open chord tuning to me like Richards does.


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LDWriter2
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Keep forgetting to post this so even though I'm half way through the book I finally get to it.

Mike Shepherd's "Redoubtable". Its the eighth in a series about one Kris Longknife. She keeps getting into trouble even though she tries not to...she cares too much and ends up beating up the bad guys or stopping a murder spree, pirates etc. Sometimes it's not her fault, like her first assignment and when she just happens to be in the right spot to stop an assassin.

Not a bad space opera series even though the writer did something in, I think fourth book, that writers aren't suppose to do. I mean in the storytelling area not in the writing area.


And I am slowly reading Card's Character and viewpoint book. I should pick it up more often but at least I'm doing some reading in it.


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posulliv
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quote:
Not a bad space opera series even though the writer did something in, I think fourth book, that writers aren't suppose to do. I mean in the storytelling area not in the writing area.


Could you elaborate? I'd like to know if I'm likely to do whatever this is too.



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LDWriter2
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quote:

Could you elaborate? I'd like to know if I'm likely to do whatever this is too.


At first I wasn't sure because it's a major spoiler but I could e-mail it to you. If you don't mind the spoiler.

I should add though that not everyone may agree with me on this subject. Other writers have done it and I have been involved with message board conversations about those writers. Most of those who commented didn't appreciate it.

If I send the E-mail, you may understand better.


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Tiergan
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Well I know this is going to come as a shock to a lot of people but I felt the need to post anyway.

I just finished reading my first book in a year, first other than my own during editing and such. I used to read books upon books. But since kids, and learning to write, I havent been able to finish book. I either get drawn off, then havent felt the need to go back and revisit the book. So many books with bookmarks in them. And a ton of books I have started I just quit, not interested, or found myself editing them as I went along. I was reading this book and a line come up, "Then God have mercy on you, and May God have mercy on us all." I closed the book, and refused to read further. But the funny thing is, the book I finished, had nearly the same line, but I read on. I guess the difference, in the first, it felt like B-rated movie, the 2nd the one I finished, I felt it.

So,the book I finished and left me wanting to read more: Enders Game.

Yeah, I know, should have read it before, but hadnt. Made it through the entire book, never felt the need to edit. And only 1 chapter glassed me over a little, the political stuff(The brother and sister chapter).

Good stuff.


[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]


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Robert Nowall
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Wait a minute...you haven't read any books, other than your own, in an entire year?
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Tiergan
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quote:
Wait a minute...you haven't read any books, other than your own, in an entire year?

Pretty much. I havent made it through any, completely, not that I recall, some books on writing being the exception. Well, I have finished several books by skipping large sections at a time, sometimes chapters. There might be some I missing in the year, but I guess, my true point was, that Ender's Game, was first book in a long time, I didnt want to stop reading.


[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Actually I think Tiergan didn't say he didn't read any books but that he hadn't finished any. Except for that one. But I can see how people can change and their tastes change also. Or in Tiergan's case he may have found something that interests him more...Tiergan you can agree or disagree of course since I'm sort of speaking for you

I don't read nearly as much as I used to but I do usually finish those I start. I have set aside a certain time to read each day and that's it no matter how good the book is or how much I want to do something else like write. Well, I have gone over a quite a few minutes since the book was good and my wife was on the computer with her craftings anyway, but it's still within that time frame.

Of course maybe it's the books you have been choosing not all writers, and/ or plots, are good.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited February 13, 2011).]


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Tiergan
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quote:
Actually I think Tiergan didn't say he didn't read any books but that he hadn't finished any. Except for that one. But I can see how people can change and their tastes change also. Or in Tiergan's case he may have found something that interests him more...Tiergan you can agree or disagree of course since I'm sort of speaking for you

That pretty much sums it up. I try to read all the time, but prefer to write and only a few books seem to draw me in to finish them, and it seems very few in deed have got me to want to read each word and not a put it down.

I use to devour books, epic fantasies. Buying a series or trilogy at a time and reading them in a weekend. Then kids came, and work rose up, I couldnt devote 4 hrs a sitting. And I found myself not caring if I ever got back to those characters in those stories. Throw in the learning the rules of writing, and my self editor kicks in. So with limited time, I have a rule, if I find myself editing in my head more than reading, not the book to waste my time with. And so forth. It is more to do with me then books out there I am sure.

But it was nice to read a book again that had me sneaking a peak during work(I am my own boss, so not all bad) and also left me with that feeling I got years ago, when reading.

[This message has been edited by Tiergan (edited February 13, 2011).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I'm with Tiergan--the more you know about writing and editing, the harder it is to be willing to invest time in a book, and the harder it is to find books worth investing that kind of time in.

I have found that the best thing I can say about a book lately is that I look forward to getting back to it, because I haven't found a book I couldn't put down in a long time.

In fact, for most of the books I finish, all I can say is that I am willing to come back to them.

I recently finished PATHFINDER by OSC, and was pleased to find that not only did I look forward to getting back to it after I had put it down, but that I was willing to keep reading it instead of putting it down. (Not "couldn't put it down," but "willing to keep reading"--at least half of the books I finish I have to put down every so often.)

I hope that makes sense. It's a little frustrating to not be able to really dig into a book any more and come up hours later surprised at how much time has passed without you even noticing.


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Robert Nowall
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Well, I can say my reading speed has slowed down, and books I might've devoured in a day take a week or more to read---but I'm still reading, even if it's a bit here and a bit there when I can find the time. And my shelves and floors are piled high with books I haven't yet gotten around to, or gotten partway through...
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Meredith
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quote:
I'm with Tiergan--the more you know about writing and editing, the harder it is to be willing to invest time in a book, and the harder it is to find books worth investing that kind of time in.

Then I must be getting better at those things. I'm having a terrible time getting through Robin McKinley's PEGASUS. Often because I find myself stopping and wondering why she did that.


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rich
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Finally getting around to reading Columbine, by Dave Cullen. About more than half-way through...Amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Utahute72
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I tend to read stuff all over the map. Currently finishing Bernard Cornwell's series about the reign of Alfred in England (ca. 900 AD) Great series and a lot of you sword and sorcery guys could get some good technique from his battle scenes. You really need to be into English history and historical novels though.
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Meredith
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Finally finishing Robin McKinley's PEGASUS. NOT RECOMMENDED.

The reasons:

  • Starts with a long info dump (two whole chapters)
  • Excessive and unnecessary flashbacks. We're not talking about stuff that happened before the story started. But a flashback in say chapter fifteen about something that should have happened (and been shown) in chapter 13.
  • Very unsatisfying ending. Apparently, there's a book two--next year. This one literally feels like someone said, "Well, that's about 400 pages. We'll stop there."

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited February 18, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Okay, I'm so late with this post that I finished one of the books.

That one be "Ghost Of A Chance". The first in a new series by Simon R. Green. Like his other three, its rather macabre even though not as many of those types of scenes as usual. I think there was only one, actually.

This one is about a team of Ghost hunters in England. Their HQ is in the Palace, the Prime Minister may or may not know about them depending.

Good writing-which is one reason I read it so fast- but in this case I'm not totally sold on the storytelling. I hope that makes sense. I will probably read the second one whenever it comes out but it's not one I will be eagerly waiting for.


I said this is his fourth series but these are his newer ones, I think he has two older ones. "Deathstalker" and "Fisher and Hawk". Never read "Deathstalker" but loved Fisher and Hawk or is it Hawk and Fisher? Anyway, he did only a small handful of those novels. I thought he had one out I haven't read but I saw it once and can't find it again.


Second book is "Blood Memories" It's one of the few vampire series I decided to read. It's by Barb Hendee--half of a married couple who write another series I do read. Speaking of that I thought I bought one in that series but can't find the book now.
So I am taking my time in reading Blood. I bought it months ago--the second one is out already--but decided I didn't feel like reading it then. But it's the next on my list so I decided I better start it at least. Not sure if I recommend it or not. If you like Vamps and the MC is one... you will probably like this one even though it changes the Vampire legend, which is not unusual these days.

I've noticed a wide variety of reading material here. No one seems to read the same books as I do. Which isn't bad or good but still I go hmmm. Some of the nonfiction listed I wouldn't mind reading, but for the time it would take away from my writing.

No one that is except two people. One is reading Butcher and another person stated on my blog that there were reading one book I listed.

Oh yes still reading Card's Viewpoint book.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited February 18, 2011).]

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited February 18, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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Now I am reading Patricia's Briggs first book. She revised it when they decided to republish it. I think I can tell. Still good writing but I think even with the revising it's not as good as the other two of her books I have read.

The Book is titled "Masques" . I would recommend it if you like fantasy. No elves and such but there is magic and a mystery and intrigue.


And even though I probably won't read it for a while. I bought "Way of The Wizard" an anthology edited by John Joseph Adams. I sent in at least six stories when he was open for submissions. No surprise he didn't want any. But its the reason I can't send those stories to Fantasy Magazine.


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genevive42
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I've just finished the second book of Joe Abercrombie's First Law Series (I think it's a trilogy with offshoot books in the same world). It is fantastic! I love his writing style and the characters are all sorts of fun. It's not a light tale by any means. In fact it's quite dark. One of the most sympathetic characters actually happens to be a torturer as well. And he doesn't pull punches in any of his descriptions, he never plays it safe. I'm looking forward to the third installment. As I'm reading this on audio, I also have to give props to the reader, Steven Pacey, who does an incredible job with the voices. Everyone sounds different and he never gets them confused.

What's interesting is that I'm also reading, Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and Abercrombie does just about everything mentioned in that book. If the universe is trying to tell me something, I'll say 'point taken'.


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wetwilly
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LDWriter,

I was an avid Simon R. Greene fan as a kid, Loved Deathstalker, REALLY loved Blue Moon Rising. I thought his books were the clever, exciting, and absolutely fun.

I tried rereading them as an adult, and thought they were just kind of stupid, to be honest. It's been a few years since I read them, so I don't remember what I specifically disliked, just that I thought, "Whoa, this guy can't write." I wonder what it is that changed so much about me that my reaction to the books changed so completely.

P.S. I'm not trying to imply anything insulting about you or your reading tastes. Just my personal reaction to him as a writer.


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Lissa
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Currently reading The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. CANNOT PUT IT DOWN! GOOD STUFF!

Lis


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Robert Nowall
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Delayed a day---not by illness this time, but by being busy all Tuesday. But I've got a few books (and one graphic novel) to mention.

Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall---from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness, Frank Brady. Fischer wasn't by any means the only chess champion to go off the deep end---but it makes for an interesting read. (A knowledge of chess would be helpful, too.)

The Horses of St. Mark: A Story of Triumph in Byzantium, Paris, and Venice, Charles Freeman. This tells the story of the four hourses that once stood upon St. Mark's in Venice---and many other places here and there---and of the people and empires and countries that rose and fell around them. Excellent exploration of oft-forgotten history.

Known and Unknown: A Memoir, Donald Rumsfeld. I've tried reading some recent memoirs by political figures, but have had little luck with them. (I wasn't motivated to go beyond a couple chapters in ones by Karl Rove and Tony Blair and President Bush.) But this one covers more territory---Rumsfeld was active in government from the late 1950s on---and reads more like a history than a memoir. (I'm a couple chapters from the end, but I decided to include it in this month's stuff anyway.)

...and one oddity: Widgey Q. Butterfluff, Steph Cherrywell. I picked up this 'cause I've followed an online comic by the same artist...and it was worth it. Ostensibly a parody of those super-sweet Saturday cartoons, it's loaded with references and injokes that are likely to go over less sophisticated heads (really, it's intended for adults, I'd say). Funny book.

*****

Honorable mention: Ellery Queen. This is a vintage TV murder mystery show, 1975-1976, kind of the ancestor of Murder, She Wrote. I liked this when it was on then, liked it when I taped it off A & E in the early 1990s, and liked it when I turned up this DVD set a couple of weeks ago. Literate mysteries, vintage setting (1947 mostly New York), several continuing characters that play well off each other (the relationship between Ellery and his father the police inspector is particularly touching). To this day, I regret that there wasn't more to the series than what's on the DVD here. And knowing "whodunit" hasn't affected my pleasure at watching one bit.

"Ellery Queen," is, of course, the pen name used on a series of mysteries published from the late 1920s to the 1970s. I dug out several favorites (they've all been out of print since the 1990s), but haven't reread them yet.


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rich
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Speaking of graphic novels...

Just now finished Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli. Maz was the guy who may be most famous for his Daredevil and Batman runs with Frank Miller. But don't let the association with Miller fool you. This was the best book I've read in quite some time. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's perfect, from beginning to end. I haven't had a book hit me this hard in awhile.


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Utahute72
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I'm currently reading Spider Star, by Mike Brotherton. It's a good book with lots of action and some interesting speculation. But I'm finding a lot of disconnects in the verbage and structure. Is this common?
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redux
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So I decided to give my local library's e-book system a try. I put several books and audio-books on hold and have been reading them as they become available.

What I've read/listened to so far:

Audio books:
BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS by Shannon Hale (YA Fantasy) - I did not finish listening to it. I simply felt no connection to the main character but I can see its appeal to a younger audience.

IF TOMORROW COMES by Sidney Sheldon - This was a nostalgia choice I remember being riveted to the TV set when the miniseries aired in the 80s.

E-books:
PRINCESS ACADEMY by Shannon Hale (YA Fantasy) - I enjoyed it more than 'Thousand Days' but I still feel her GOOSE GIRL was far superior.

BLACK UNICORN by Tanith Lee (YA Fantasy)- I got about 2/3 of the way through and just lost interest. I felt like the MC's storyline was taking a bit too long to develop, but I did enjoy the vivid prose.

VICTORIA AND THE ROGUE by Meg Cabot (YA Historical Fiction) - This book felt more like a guide of how not to write Regency/Historical Fiction. I know it is aimed at a teen audience, but I felt the author had no grasp of British Regency culture.

I think I need to start queuing some SciFi...


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Meredith
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Just finished the second and third Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs--BLOOD BOUND and IRON KISSED. Both good reads.

Now I'm going to disappear into WISE MAN'S FEAR.

[This message has been edited by Meredith (edited March 09, 2011).]


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Tiergan
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Well after a long drought of reading I have found myself reading a lot of late. With the esception of OSC's Enders Game and Enders Shadow, It took going back to reading middle-grade books to find the fun in the reading again. For some reason, I dont find myself editing them , but enjoying the story. I dont know why, whether good writing or story telling or just that, at that level I dont feel so strict with rules. I guess to me its a learning point, 1 that I have to remind myself of every time I write now. A perfect sentence doesnt make a book, a perfect paragrpah doenst wither. Its the parts put together and tell a story that makes a book.

So here we go.

Ender's Shadow-Orson Scott Card I wish I had waited a little longer, maybe a couple weeks after reading Ender's Game. It felt a little too much like Bean felt to similar Ender in the beginning, I think it was because the age and size issue. By 1/4 of the way through, the difference really showed for me. It is strange, the first chapter or scene is told through another pov, that we never see from again. I remember somewhere in this forum he talked about this scene in particular and tried from several pov's before finally choosing this one.

Percy Jackson - Rick Riordan - I read the first 2 books in the series, The Lightning Thief and the The Sea of Monsters, . Easy reads, but as my latest project is middle grade slanted towards upper middle grade, I wanted to see what was out there. I would recommend them if you like ya or middle grade reading, light and fun. It is very clear to see why they have become such a hit. Interesting characters, slight twist on the Greek Gods, and action.

The Graveyard Book - by Neil Gaimen - Dark, a triple homicide in a book that registers from adult to middle age. It was a little harder to read, and I felt some scenes weren't needed, but then by the end those scenes were needed. Again, I would recommend it.

Rangers Apprentice - John Flanagan - I read the first in the series so far, The Ruins of Gorlan. Again, middle grade here, but a series that has done very well. I would call it adventure fantasy and very easy read, smooth. I did find myself editing a little bit, some head hopping but still wanted to read more. Again, easy to see why it has become popular, undersized, runt of the litter, kid, takes steps to become hero.


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LDWriter2
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It's been a while since I have been here because one book may take a few minutes to discuss.

laura anne gilman's "Pack Of Lies" Second in her PUPI series. PUPIs use "Magic" to investigate crimes committed by Talent or those who can use her form of magic-which isn't magic. Hmm, she's the second writer to say that. Wonder if there's a reason?

Anyway, first off the name of the book makes me wonder. "Pack Of Lies", the MC has started calling the group she works with her pack. When that finally connected, I thought "Oh oh". To top it off she has had a precog feeling of danger with them. And again to top it off from the first series we know that something bad is about to happen, without going into too much spoilers, there are minor Talents who have been brainwashed. Neither her nor her group are minor but in the first series there was a red hair girl that was caught and brainwashed, later she was released. As far as I noticed she never showed up a third time. And the MC of this book had red hair. As I mentioned before Bonnie the MC in this series was a minor character in the other series even though so far she hasn't met Wren the MC from the other series which is surprising. And when gillman mentioned the redhair girl I mentioned I wondered than if she was Bonnie. But, as I recall anyway, both disappeared from the story later.

Changing the subject somewhat Gilman seems to have contradicted herself. In the first series she gave the impression if not out and out side the New York police didn't except the reality of mythical animals that hang around NY but in this one they do.

Finally, she confused me. Not that isn't hard at times but the case the PUPIs are working on involves attempted rape. But up intill a certain point everyone was acting like the girl had been actually raped. Including a detail that has to do with magic and virgins. Again I won't explain more just in case someone wants to read it. You learn the case in the first page or two.

I think that's all.


I am also reading Simon Green's "The Good, The Bad, And The Uncanny". A Nightside novel. Not as macabre as some in that series...so far. But it also contents Green's sense of humor. A damaged Android wearing a Monk's robe, singing Gregorian Chants intermixed with hot Gospel songs. Just the way Green says it has me smiling.
The Nightside itself doesn't seem to be as mean in this one...again so far. Not that it's nice. Green also has contradicted himself a couple of times but only in very minor areas.

Jim Butcher has a blurb on the front cover but Green was around and a pro quite a while before Butcher I would think Green should be on Butcher's cover. Not that it's a big deal.

I thought up and partially written out a story that could take place in the Nightside even though I have my own world for it.


[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited March 12, 2011).]


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Grayhog
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I read everything but here are my latest standouts.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Recommend. The characters and setting are 3D, like you can reach out and touch them. The setting, 12 century England, is good research for my own book. I hadn't read any Follett and after reading lots a reviews thought this was a good place to start. The mini-series is good, pretty close to the book with casting right on. If you like that sort of thing, I did.

I love middle grade and YA so find it lots of fun to revisit classics or actually read them the first time.

Maniac Magee. Jerry Spinelli. Recommend. Fast and fun, read this aloud to my kids after I read it myself. I couldn't put it down and for someone not that into baseball and boys' antics, I was rivited.

A Long Way From Chicago. Richard Peck. Recommend highly. I laughed, I cried and I read this to my kids aloud. We have a baseline of characters to draw on when we read books like these. Grandma Dowdel, God how it seems we all knew someone like this and wish the world had more of her.

[This message has been edited by Grayhog (edited March 14, 2011).]


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Meredith
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Anybody else having trouble getting into WISE MAN'S FEAR? Just doesn't really feel like anything is happening. I'm not really riveted by his struggle to pay his tuition. When's the story coming?

I loved THE NAME OF THE WIND.


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LDWriter2
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And due to unforeseen circumstanced dealing with my In-Laws I started

"Dopplegangsters" by Laura Resnick

It's a humorous UF. dealing with a New York Actress-dancer who has gotten involved with a 300 plus year old wizard. I say dancer but she isn't the erotic kind even if the play calls for skimpy outfits.

Kinda busy opening but at the same time easy to understand. One thing though as far as I can tell this is the first one in the series but there was a previous adventure. Maybe it was a short story or for some reason they aren't listing that book.
Even though it's taking a little to get into the adventure we--that is the readers--are learning about the MC, her problems..her forgetfulness and her hopefully boy friend.

Oh, yes the title is accurate. If you like light dark UF stories I think you will like this one. Not as dark as some but still on the dark side. But I recommend it!

I may keep reading it only at these unforeseen circumstances which are not longer unforeseen.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited March 20, 2011).]


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Foste
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Meredith, I finished The Wise Man's fear and felt that it was delightful. If you are tired of the University part just be a bit patient. Little Kvothe will soon go out and explore the world.
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Meredith
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quote:
Meredith, I finished The Wise Man's fear and felt that it was delightful. If you are tired of the University part just be a bit patient. Little Kvothe will soon go out and explore the world.

Good! Because, truth to tell, I was a little tired of Kvothe the University Years even at the end of THE NAME OF THE WIND. Maybe that's why I'm having trouble with the beginning of WISE MAN'S FEAR.


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LDWriter2
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Reading "Blood Lite" edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Supposedly it's suppose to "put the fun back in dark tales". Made up of kinda of humorous horror and/or urban fantasy stories

Didn't really like the cover but with Charlaine Harris and Jim Butcher and one or two other writers, I thought it could be good. Not so sure now.

I've read over half the book and not sure if I can recommend it. The writings not bad but the Bear story wasn't humorous at all-yech in fact, and a couple others were borderline likable. I thought a story titled "Night With Al Gore" could be a humorous horror story. But while not bad, not good either.

Some readers may like the humor of those borderline stories more than I did.

And Jim Butcher's Dresden tale is still to come.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited March 27, 2011).]


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Meredith
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Still reading THE WISE MAN'S FEAR. It's taking me a while because I had to slog through the University stuff. Like I said above, I really don't care that much about Kvothe's struggles to pay his tuition or his ongoing sophomoric one-upsmanship battles with Ambrose.

I'm a little PO'd right now, as a matter of fact.

*Spoiler Alert*

We get so much of the University stuff in loving detail. It's being told as a memoir for heaven's sake and still we get told exactly what Kvothe had for lunch. I mean, I know he's supposed to have an excellent memory, but really?! But when he's brought up on trial for consorting with demons--that's just glossed over. When he finally gets out of that #$%* University, we're told that he's shipwrecked and robbed, etc., but none of that is shown. By the way, despite everything, he ends up practically naked, but he still has his lute. Of course, we're not shown how he accomplished that feat. After slogging through so much of what feels like unnecessary detail for the first 350 pages, to have the book skip over these real events is just annoying.

I'm really starting to hate that @#$* University.


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