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Reading in 2018: January Reads

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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 5:36 AM, End of Disc One said:

Favorite one so far?

In the past year I read King Rat and Perdido Street Station.  I thought PSS was fantastic.

Oh yeah, I read King Rat too!  I liked both The Scar and PSS and thought both were very good, though The Scar I liked a bit better.

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I finished Making Money and frankly while I love the character of Moist von Lipwig, you can tell that Pratchett's writing was beginning to suffer because the overall plot as well as all subplots all basically meandered and eventually came together in a mishmash sorta way.

I've begun rereading Mirror Image by Jeff Rovin, this is the second book on the Tom Clancy's Op-Center series.

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Finished up Annihilation a couple of days ago and really enjoyed it.  It's got a sci/fi horror vibe to it, not unlike Alien, but more cerebral horror as opposed to a big bad monster.  Started up the sequel Authority and am really loving the new characters.  Very excited to see where this plot goes.

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Adam Zamoyski's The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and their Culture. Interesting overview of Polish history and culture. It was published in the late 80s so a bit dated, ending before the collapse of communism. The strength of the book is really Zamosyki's treatment of Polish society and culture and Pole's views and outlooks throughout Poland's turbulent history.

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I finished The Golden Legend by Booker nominee Naeem Aslam, and it was one of the more boring books I've finished.  i think the author was trying to tell a stark tale about some difficult religious circumstances in Pakistan, but it just was not engaging at all, at least for me.

Before picking up something else that I really want to read I delved back into Weeks' The Black Prism and am really not having high hopes for it but have found it flirting with so bad it's good at parts.  Gonna give it a bit more time.

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Started King’s Blood by Daniel Abraham. It’s been a while since I read Dragon’s Path and some of the details from it are hazy. Does anyone know of a good recap online anywhere? I don’t especially want to reread it at this moment

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Finished A Plague Of Swords by Miles Cameron, #4 in the Traitor Son Cycle.  This series just flies along.  Since the fifth installment is the conclusion, I'm sure I'll move on to that pretty soon.  This has been a very good series and I'm surprised there hasn't been a dedicated thread.  I only heard of it because it was mentioned in these monthly threads.

I've now started Ross O'Carroll-Kelly, The Miseducation Years, a humorous social satire about Ireland's over-privileged youth during the Celtic Tiger.  It's the first of several novels following this character through his late teens and twenties.  It feels like a time capsule because I'm close in age to the character.  I did not move in those circles but I had enough peripheral exposure to people like this in University and after.  But self-absorbed over-privileged youth is a universal theme for social satire.  You don't need to be Irish to enjoy, but it would certainly help with understanding the phonetic accent, slang, etc.

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11 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Finished A Plague Of Swords by Miles Cameron, #4 in the Traitor Son Cycle.  This series just flies along.  Since the fifth installment is the conclusion, I'm sure I'll move on to that pretty soon.  This has been a very good series and I'm surprised there hasn't been a dedicated thread.  I only heard of it because it was mentioned in these monthly threads.

There is a dedicated thread.... and it seems you just found it :)

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25 minutes ago, aceluby said:

There is a dedicated thread.... and it seems you just found it :)

Yes, thanks.  Locating things that aren't actually hidden is my greatest weakness (and greatest source of bemusement to my wife).  Usually google covers my disability but the search function on the board requires a bit more persistence.

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I'm reading the German translation of Haruki Murakamis short story collection Men Without Women as a warm up before reading his newest book. Excellent as always.

Edited by Wolfgang I

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I have been reading:

Prince of Thorns

King of Thorns

Emperor of Thorns

Prince of Fools

The Liars Key

The Road to Osheim

 

I read these all back to back over the Christmas and up till the other day when i finished. I loved them all tbh and I am sad they are over.

I have just started The Name of the Wind as I have heard its great (Although my sister said it was boring and nothing happens).

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Smith Henderson's debut novel, Fourth of July Creek. I expected a novel with an alcoholic social worker as the main character to be a bit on the depressing side, but damn, it seemed every character in the novel had a miserable life. I hesitate to call the novel enjoyable due to the subject matter, but definitely gripping and became more so as the various stories, or cases, progressed.  

Next up is another debut novel set in Montana, S.M. Hulse's Black River.

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On 18.1.2018 at 1:17 AM, HelenaExMachina said:

She really deserves all of the critical acclaim and awards she has received for this series. That’s it came so quick on the heels of the Sad Puppy bullshit she had to put up with was icing on the cake.

I read the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms after Broken Earth and while I enjoyed both and imo the style makes it obvious that it’s the same author, you can really tell how much she has grown and improved her work from then

:agree:

Finished it now and The Fifth Season was a great book from start to finisih. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was good, but the Fifth Season really shows her development as a writer. 

Also read Jy Yang's The Black Tides of Heaven which was a nice novella with interesting characters and some cool worldbuilding. I really want to read the sequel The Read Threads of Fortune. 

Now reading Words are my matter by Ursula K. Le Guin. 

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On 1/25/2018 at 6:06 AM, Queen of Procrastination said:

:agree:

Finished it now and The Fifth Season was a great book from start to finisih. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was good, but the Fifth Season really shows her development as a writer. 

Also read Jy Yang's The Black Tides of Heaven which was a nice novella with interesting characters and some cool worldbuilding. I really want to read the sequel The Read Threads of Fortune. 

Now reading Words are my matter by Ursula K. Le Guin. 

The Black Tides of Heaven is next in my queue.   I just finished Autonomous by Annalee Newitz.  It's fantastic.  Some truly awful characters.  Great world-building and tight prose.  It's a stunning debut.   Definitely earned it's top spot on my hugo nomination ballot.

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I completed Mirror Image by Jeff Rovin last Tuesday, it was the standard 90s old guard hardliners threatening to return Russia back to the Soviet era thriller.  While there was a nice idea for a story, it felt like Rovin was just "building" the world that the series Op-Center existed and not concentrating on a very well written story.

I then read A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists by George R. Knight.  It was a 156 page book the summarized 170+ years of history written for an Adventist audience, its something I usually read at home but I'm clearing things off my TBR pile at every opportunity.

Last weekend I finished reading Too Much Salt and Pepper by Sam Campbell, this is the second book of the Living Forest series.  It was a nice little book to read for two weekends, especially the misadventures surrounding the titular porcupines.  I started reading the third book of the series, Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo--and Still-Mo, this weekend.

My primary that I started yesterday is Foundation by Isaac Asimov, I'm over a third of the way through and am enjoying it.

On 1/20/2018 at 10:53 AM, Astromech said:

Adam Zamoyski's The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and their Culture. Interesting overview of Polish history and culture. It was published in the late 80s so a bit dated, ending before the collapse of communism. The strength of the book is really Zamosyki's treatment of Polish society and culture and Pole's views and outlooks throughout Poland's turbulent history.

I've had Heart of Europe: A Short History of Poland by Norman Davies on my bookshelf from probably a decade.  The history of the country and the Poles themselves is one of the areas of history that is on my "bucket list" to learn more about (along with a better understanding of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese history) but actually opening the book and reading it is something I haven't been able to actually do.  I need to change that.

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1 hour ago, Garett Hornwood said:

 

I've had Heart of Europe: A Short History of Poland by Norman Davies on my bookshelf from probably a decade.  The history of the country and the Poles themselves is one of the areas of history that is on my "bucket list" to learn more about (along with a better understanding of Chinese, Indian, and Japanese history) but actually opening the book and reading it is something I haven't been able to actually do.  I need to change that.

It's a fascinating history. I had been looking for Davies two-volume history of Poland, God's Playground, but had some difficulty finding it so just picked up Zamoyski's history instead. I've also had Davies Rising '44 on my shelf for over a year, but keep putting it off for other books.

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About to start Drugs: From Discovery to Approval about drug development and the pharm industry as I just started work at a major biotech company and need a refresher on language and regulations.

Also picked up A Fire Upon the Deep because, well, I find myself needing breaks of fiction whenever I read a non-fiction book that wasn't authored by Michael Lewis.

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I (somewhat shamefully) gave up on Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. This would have been my first non-fiction book in a while but I found it hard going and have set it aside for now.

Instead I read Storyland by Catherine Mackinnon. This is effectively an Australian version of Cloud Atlas, with a very similar structure and similar themes. Some of the story arcs were quite interesting, particularly the futuristic eco-thriller that provides the central pivot point, but others felt underdeveloped and didn't seem to contribute much to the novel. Perhaps a case of the whole adding up to less than the sum of its parts.

More recently I knocked off The Picture of Dorian Gray, which had languished on my to-read list for several years. This was much shorter than I expected it to be, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Dorian's descent. I also read Golden Hill, largely on the back of positive reviews in this thread. This was fantastic and I can only add my voice to the chorus of recommenders. Some great characters (including the gloriously vile De Lancey) and a really interesting plot and setting.

On 21/01/2018 at 5:44 AM, Triskele said:

I finished The Golden Legend by Booker nominee Naeem Aslam, and it was one of the more boring books I've finished.  i think the author was trying to tell a stark tale about some difficult religious circumstances in Pakistan, but it just was not engaging at all, at least for me.

Ah what a shame. I thought that this might be worth checking out but it sounds like a plodder.

Edited by Paxter

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