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williamjm

December 2017: Better Late Than Never

17 posts in this topic

I'm close to the end of Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross. I think it's another good entry in the series. It's nice to see the different plot threads from the various books converging, although it did interrupt the pacing a little bit to have some of the characters leaving Alt Coulumb just as everything feels like it's building up to the finale because they need to meet characters on the other side of the continent.

Once this is finished I'll probably start Ian Esslemont's Deadhouse Landing, I thought Dancer's Lament was the best Malazan book in years so I'm looking forward to it.

 

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Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding. An excellent account of the early history of Australia and the transportation system. Extremely detailed, fascinating, but also quite grim.

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Okay this last weekend I finished a short read, They Came for Freedom by Jay Milbrandt which was about the coming and survival of the Pilgrims at New Plymouth.  It's was a good general history read and I learned some interesting stuff not only about the early history of the colony but also the Separatists as well.

Yesterday I finished Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, I enjoyed it better than the first book though if I were to reread The Way of Kings I'd probably like it better now than I did a few years ago.

My next read will be the reread of Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, it'll be short but with it being the end of the year I like to (re-)read short books so I don't have anything crossing over to the next year (though I will already have something like that with my so progression on a big poetry book).

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This week I've read Naomi Alderman's The Power, which I thought was really good, and Greg Egan's Dichronauts, which I also enjoyed but not as much as I'd hoped.  (I spent the first few chapters trying to actually work out what was going on in terms of the 2+2 dimensional physics, but it was a bit too much for me.)

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I had a gloriously lazy Saturday where I sat and read The Gathering Storm all in one go. It held up since I first read it as an enjoyable read, although it makes me mourn the loss of Mr. Jordan. Sanderson does a good job but his Mat chapters in particularly are tonally jarring. I also liked KoD a lot and think that RJ would have been able to wrap things up as well as Sanderson. Alas, cruel universe. In any case, I'm over halfway through The Towers of Midnight now.

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I finished the fantastic Bring Up The Bodies. This was every bit as good as its predecessor (Wolf Hall), if not slightly better as Mantel adopted a more conventional narrative structure than the first novel. I strongly recommend this for anyone who is missing the deep political intrigue that made the early ASOIAF books so great. 

Now on to Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (my first non-fic for several months). I might also read a couple more short classics before the end of the year to help meet my reading goal...

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I finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the illustrated version. I loved it. The illustrations really add to the stories.  

I'm hoping to finish Eye of the World soon too - hopefully by the end of the week and then I just have 3 more books to concentrate on before the end of the year to reach my challenge. 

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I've given up on Tai-Pan for now as it wasn't really capturing my attention and consequently it was taking ages for me to get through. I whipped through Adrian Tchaikovsky's Dogs of War pretty quickly but I did find it a little disappointing. It's not terrible but I've generally really enjoyed his books but with this one it feels like he's come up with an interesting idea but there isn't really a cohesive storyline to hold the book together.

At the moment I've just started reading Bernard Cornwell's Fools and Mortals.

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I finished up The Amber Sypglass and am glad that I finished the series but didn't love where it went.

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I finished Max Gladstone's Four Roads Cross, which I thought came to a good conclusion. I'm curious to see where the series is going to next.

I've now started Ian Esslemont's Deadhouse Landing, which is entertaining so far. Plenty of familiar names from the (chronologically) later Malazan books.

34 minutes ago, Triskele said:

I finished up The Amber Sypglass and am glad that I finished the series but didn't love where it went.

I didn't like the last book much either. There were some good bits (the wheel creatures were great), but overall I felt it lost the charm of the first book.

I would recommend La Belle Sauvage as something that felt much like the first book than The Amber Spyglass did.

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54 minutes ago, williamjm said:

I didn't like the last book much either. There were some good bits (the wheel creatures were great), but overall I felt it lost the charm of the first book.

I would recommend La Belle Sauvage as something that felt much like the first book than The Amber Spyglass did.

Thanks.  I'm definitely not so disappointed that I wouldn't consider this one, and it seems like the online buzz for it has been really positive.  

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4 hours ago, Triskele said:

I finished up The Amber Sypglass and am glad that I finished the series but didn't love where it went.

 

3 hours ago, williamjm said:

I didn't like the last book much either. There were some good bits (the wheel creatures were great), but overall I felt it lost the charm of the first book.

I would recommend La Belle Sauvage as something that felt much like the first book than The Amber Spyglass did.

 

I just finished the entire His Dark Materials Omnibus and I quite liked the last book.
 

Spoiler

 

I actually found the Mary parts to be not-so-good as I was not entirely sure as to their link with the larger plot. 

I found Lyra and Will's story to be fascinating though - it was a case of somebody actually succeeding in the Orpheus quest. Another part that I really liked was the continuing character evolution of Mrs Coulter.

 

The third book was definitely far darker and lacked the childish adventure quality of the previous two, but given the overall trajectory of the series, I felt it to be appropriate.

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I liked the third book. When I first read it (as a teenager, probably like ~14), I cried buckets. Okay let's be honest I still did when re-reading as an adult. I still think about the wheely creatures often, I thought they were very creative. Mary was kind of forgettable to me; this was Lyra's story at heart.

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20 hours ago, Andorion said:

 

I just finished the entire His Dark Materials Omnibus and I quite liked the last book.
 

  Hide contents

 

I actually found the Mary parts to be not-so-good as I was not entirely sure as to their link with the larger plot. 

I found Lyra and Will's story to be fascinating though - it was a case of somebody actually succeeding in the Orpheus quest. Another part that I really liked was the continuing character evolution of Mrs Coulter.

 

The third book was definitely far darker and lacked the childish adventure quality of the previous two, but given the overall trajectory of the series, I felt it to be appropriate.

La Belle Sauvage does a really good job of balancing the childish adventure and underlying darkness I thought. I happily recommend reading it

3 hours ago, Starkess said:

I liked the third book. When I first read it (as a teenager, probably like ~14), I cried buckets. Okay let's be honest I still did when re-reading as an adult. I still think about the wheely creatures often, I thought they were very creative. Mary was kind of forgettable to me; this was Lyra's story at heart.

I can never look at marzipan without thinking of the Amber Spyglass! 

 

Currently reading the Ki and Vandien quartet

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23 hours ago, Andorion said:

 

I just finished the entire His Dark Materials Omnibus and I quite liked the last book.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I actually found the Mary parts to be not-so-good as I was not entirely sure as to their link with the larger plot. 

I found Lyra and Will's story to be fascinating though - it was a case of somebody actually succeeding in the Orpheus quest. Another part that I really liked was the continuing character evolution of Mrs Coulter.

 

The third book was definitely far darker and lacked the childish adventure quality of the previous two, but given the overall trajectory of the series, I felt it to be appropriate.

I think the concept and tone of the third book is fine in theory but I didn't feel it was executed as well as the other Pullman books I've read. Admittedly, it has probably been over a decade since I read it so I couldn't really give you a detailed explanation of why I thought that, but that was the impression I got at the time.

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I finished The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey on Friday, it was enjoyable as I remember though know I know some of Tey bad arguments in support of Richard III as well as ignored arguments for.

On Sunday I finished Romans: Salvation for "All" by George R. Knight, this a commentary on the Epistle of the same name.  Only 127 pages, so I read it quickly over the weekend.

On Friday after I had finished Tey, I began reading Thud! by Terry Pratchett as part of a read through of the Discworld series.

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Last month, I read books 3 & 4 in the Heartstrikers series by Rachel Aaron (aka Rachel Bach). 

This month, I finished Old Man's War.  Now, I am reading the sequel, The Ghost Brigades.

Has anyone read anything by John Scalzi outside of his OMW series?  If so, what did you think of it?

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