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Reading in 2018: January Reads

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Okay the title is supposed to be a play on reading/ringing, but I don't think it actually worked. :lol:

I am reading Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer. I didn't know what to expect, and at about 17% in it has been rather plotless so far. It's written in the form of a teenage girl's diary during a very unique post-apocalyptic type scenario. Not sure where it's going, but it's engaging enough that I'll keep on with it.

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Reading two books at the moment:

The Price of Inequality by Joseph E. Stiglitz. I love economics (studying to get a degree at the moment) and I like the insight Stiglitz provides regarding the effects of globalization and inequiality on the economy.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin. Its been so LONG since a read anything regarding ASOIAF, I only read the 5 books once between May 2011 and January 2012, and I reread AGoT at the start of 2013. Loving it at the moment, I honestly forgot how great GRRM was.

Next I'll read Sharp Ends and I, the Supreme (a Paraguayan novel regarding a long dictatorship we had here on the nineteenth-century). After that maybe I'll finally dive into Dune.

 

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25 minutes ago, Nicomo Cosca said:

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin. Its been so LONG since a read anything regarding ASOIAF, I only read the 5 books once between May 2011 and January 2012, and I reread AGoT at the start of 2013. Loving it at the moment, I honestly forgot how great GRRM was.

Had the same experience when I read it a couple years back.  It's a shame he hasn't prioritized the main series, because his story telling is top notch.

I'm in two books at the moment as well.

Listening to The Dread Wyrm, after finishing up The Fell Sword while road tripping.  Story is continuing on nicely, though they changed the readers in the audio book, which is more distracting than I thought it would be.

About 1/2 way through Bands of Mourning, because I couldn't decide which book to read after the first in the series.  Feel like I'm 'hate reading' it right now though.  The action scenes are awesome, but the dialogue is atrocious.  Definitely need to take a break from Sanderson for a while after this.  Luckily I have two new series to dive right into.

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I finished James S.A. Corey's Persepolis Rising. I liked the plot in this one, but felt the characterisation felt a bit disappointing because even though I like the characters I didn't feel they had really developed much compared to how they were in previous books (despite this book having a particularly good reason for some character development to have happened). I'll probably make a more detailed post in the spoiler thread at some point.

Not sure what I'll pick up next, N.K. Jesmisin's The Fifth Season (which many of you seem very fond of) or Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven are probably the leading contenders from the to-be-read pile.

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I'm starting the year reading Founding Myths by Ray Raphael, it's about the myths of the American Revolutionary period and the actual history behind them.

I've begun reading two books at home in at least 10 page increments, the first is continuing Leaves of Grass: First and "Death-Bed" Edition by Walt Whitman which I began last year then petered out in the fall.  The second is The Rise of the West by William H. McNeill, a now 55-year old world history that was groudbreaking in historical theory and has influenced historiography since.

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I'm reading Six of Crows by our own Leigh Bardugo. I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

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I'm more than a bit late to the party but I just read Ready Player One because it was on sale on Amazon. It was ok I suppose. I don't know, I think it's supposed to be a fun read but the nostalgia stuff didn't quite click with me and without that it's all kind of depressing. Maybe that's the point?

Next up I think I'll probably read Persepolis Rising.

Also another series I've enjoyed is Douglas Hulick's Tales of the Kin but when I thought to have a look today to see if the next book's out anytime soon it turns out he's been struggling with depressing and there isn't going to be a next book. That's a shame.

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50 minutes ago, ljkeane said:

Also another series I've enjoyed is Douglas Hulick's Tales of the Kin but when I thought to have a look today to see if the next book's out anytime soon it turns out he's been struggling with depressing and there isn't going to be a next book. That's a shame.

I did that myself last month, and saw the same thing.  It's disappointing, but if it's causing him pain to try and write the book, then it's a good thing that he's stepped away from it.

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Posted (edited)

I'm reading Axiomatic by Greg Egan right now. There are a lot of great stories in that collection. 

Not brain melting unlike his last book Dichronauts which I enjoyed but made me feel stupid.  

Edited by Wolfgang I

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Im reading guns, germs and steel by jared diamond, im a 100 pages in, and its ok so far.

Im also re reading the epic of gilgamesh. Wish it was complete.

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Posted (edited)

I started reading Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb. Liking it so far but only 3 chapters in.

I found my old Pokemon books and started reading Pokemon: I Choose You adapted by Tracy West - that's bringing back some memories. 

Almost finished reading Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody. 

And I'm one chapter into Warwick the Kingmaker by Michael Hicks

Edited by Isildur's Mane

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Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. Lou Ford is one of those rare protagonists I truly despised. Almost the entire novel I was just waiting for his downfall. Great read.

Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Leonard's 52 Pickup are next.

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Finished up the Ki and Vandien quarter today. It was a nice little series but not something I felt was particularly brilliant, just average. Some easy reading for over the holidays though.

Not sure what to read next. I might treat myself to a new release if I can see something that catches my fancy. 

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After non-fiction history and a medieval fantasy, I switched back to some modern fiction:

The Enemy (Jack Reacher #8) by Lee Child was just as formulaic as the others, but still well written and an entertaining read.  Child does a good job in varying the scenario each time. 

The Great Passage by Shion Miura is a literary fiction, translated from Japanese, about an editorial team developing and publishing a new dictionary over many years.  A generous perspective would be that it’s a heart-warming story about accomplishment and camaraderie in a small life lived well.  A critical perspective would be that it’s a fairly pointless novel, with no particular elegance of style, insight, character development or narrative arc.  Not every novel needs high stakes or high drama, but this just reminded me of the decline of literary fiction in general* into a wasteland of navel gazing. 

*Thankfully not all. 

Angels In The Moonlight is a humorous crime fiction by Caimh McDonnell.  Set in Dublin and redolent with Irish humor, I assume non-Irish readers would miss some of the jokes and references but still enjoy it.  McDonnell is reminiscent of Colin Bateman’s excellent Mystery Man series (which was itself like Black Books combined with an autism-spectrum detective). 

Now started The Dread Wyrm

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I finished Ursula Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven, which I thought was very good. For a short book a lot happens in it, it starts off fairly quietly but things escalate quickly. I thought it did a good job of exploring the premise of what it would be like for dreams to literally come true and how potentially strange and terrifying that could be.

Science Fiction novels have an often poor record at predicting things, this one didn't do too badly - it was written in 1971 but it predicted the early 21st Century would be struggling with the climate change caused by global warming while America was on the verge of being dragged into interminable wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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Alright a quick update on my reading so far in the month.  I finished Founding Myths by Ray Raphael last Thursday, I thought it was pretty good but unfortunately Raphael liked to repeat a lot of stuff including an series of events in 1774 that he had previously written a book about so seemed to be hyping his own work...which was a tad annoying.

Last weekend I read the first volume of Sam Campbell's Living Forest series, How's Inky?.  It's a very short read, but nice for anyone interested in nature books.

Today I finished Evita: The Real of Eva Peron by Nicholas Fraser, it was a good biography though short considering she was only 33 year old when she died.  The weirdest part of her story was what happened with her body after death.

I've started Beowulf.

On 1/3/2018 at 6:02 PM, PsicoNny said:

Im also re reading the epic of gilgamesh. Wish it was complete.

Same.

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Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was a lot of fun. Well-paced, intriguing premise and take on the future, decent characters.

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Finished Artemis by Andy Weir, enjoyed it despite the lead character not being very sympathetic, Persepolis Rising was as expected excellent, i have not read anything by Daniel Abraham that is not of a very high standard, i also think that the 30 year gap was not handled as well as could be, but the story arc is developing nicely and i cant wait to see where it ends. started Orphan X on a recommendation by a board member and is enjoying it so far, kind of a generic tale of young boy trained to be govt assassin, but still interesting.

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