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Reading in 2018: January Reads

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5 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I’ve started this book twice and dropped it.  Once you get beyond the cliched battle school, it sank deeper and deeper into hack maudlin cliche.  I got flack around here for asking if all the recs for this book were trolling, like Goodkind, and I just hadn’t realized the joke. 

Think Imma do the same. Reading some of the reviews for the third and fourth books, it sounds like they'll just annoy the hell out of me, and there are far too many books on my TBR pile to read shit I'm not going to like.

I've never read any Ursula Le Guin, and in light of her recent passing, I think I'll give her a whirl.

 

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Finished Words are my Matter. I really liked Ursula K. Le Guin's previous work and was saddened by her death, but I must say that I did not like this essay collection. Two thirds of the collection actually consisted of reviews and introductions she wrote for other books, which I found rather boring. Only one thirds of the collection were essays and they were well written and interesting, but it would have been nice if someone had sorted them thematically. Some of the stuff in the collection was also very repetitive. 

Now reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which I'm enjoying so far. 

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I finished The Fall Of Dragons by Miles Cameron, the fifth and concluding volume of the Traitor Son Cycle.  Good conclusion to the series.  I’ll post more in the dedicated thread.  Recommended for anyone looking for a battle-heavy high fantasy.  It feels like a blend of The Black Company with Wheel Of Time, but finished in just five books. 

Then I lashed through Ross O’Carroll Kelly: The Teenage Dirtbag Years, roysh.  That’s number 2 in that series.  I laughed, chortled and chuckled my way through it within a single day.  A great read for anyone who likes to mock Southsiders, Northsiders and Celtic Tiger Ireland in general. 

I’ve now started Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk.  I know I’ve read Fight Club before, and I think one other but I cannot recall which.  He’s a very good writer who injects pithy observations and turns of phrase into genuinely creative and weird scenarios.  But the worldview pervading his work is so nihilistic that it actually makes his characters seem entitled: they are bitter that the world didn’t hand them the happy existence they think they are due, so their response is not to show any agency in or ownership of their own happiness but instead a destructive impulse to burn it all down because they weren’t just handed what they expected.  It’s a profoundly immature perspective; it’s like the disillusioned male version of the princess syndrome. 

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On 02/02/2018 at 10:14 PM, Iskaral Pust said:

He's also the author (under the name Miles Cameron) of the Red Knight / Traitor Son Cycle fantasy series.  Having just finished that series, I've thought about trying his historical fiction too.

 

Funnily enough, I prefer his historical stuff. *However*! The editing can be absolutely appalling at times with massive contradictions even on the same page. Stuff like, "I was sent to climb the wall because I was tallest..." and on reaching the top of the wall... "The enemy soldier swiped and missed me because I was so short..." etc. If you can get beyond that, though, the fight scenes are great.

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2 hours ago, Peadar said:

Funnily enough, I prefer his historical stuff. *However*! The editing can be absolutely appalling at times with massive contradictions even on the same page. Stuff like, "I was sent to climb the wall because I was tallest..." and on reaching the top of the wall... "The enemy soldier swiped and missed me because I was so short..." etc. If you can get beyond that, though, the fight scenes are great.

Which historical series would you suggest to start with?  I glanced at his publication back list and it seems to combine a mix of different series.  Thanks

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On 2/2/2018 at 5:37 PM, Spockydog said:

Think Imma do the same. Reading some of the reviews for the third and fourth books, it sounds like they'll just annoy the hell out of me, and there are far too many books on my TBR pile to read shit I'm not going to like.

I've never read any Ursula Le Guin, and in light of her recent passing, I think I'll give her a whirl.

 

Probably for the best. You won't like books 3/4 if you don't like BoT.

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Finished An Excess Male.  It was good.  Family dynamics and their relationship to Chinese Government interference was really well done.  I downloaded The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.  For some reason I thought this would be a light read.  NOPE.  Who recommended this one?  Was it @beniowa?

 

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On 05/02/2018 at 4:18 PM, Iskaral Pust said:

Which historical series would you suggest to start with?  I glanced at his publication back list and it seems to combine a mix of different series.  Thanks

I enjoyed his series, Tyrant, which is now complete. I hope that helps!

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On 2/5/2018 at 2:48 PM, Lily Valley said:

Finished An Excess Male.  It was good.  Family dynamics and their relationship to Chinese Government interference was really well done.  I downloaded The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.  For some reason I thought this would be a light read.  NOPE.  Who recommended this one?  Was it @beniowa?

 

No, it wasn't me.  I haven't read that one. 

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