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Iskaral Pust

March 2018 reads: share your latest books read

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Matthew McBride's A Swollen Red Sun. The usual staples of the country noir genre: rednecks, meth, guns and lots of violence. It wasn't reinventing the wheel,(the violence that occurs when someone's drug money is taken) but was entertaining.

Now onto Daniel Woodrell's Tomato Red for more of the genre.

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Finished The Day That Never Comes by Caimh McDonnell, second in his Dublin trilogy.  It’s a humorous crime fiction with a plot centered on an outpouring of rage over corrupt property developers who contributed to the big real estate crash in Ireland.  So somewhat relatable in other regions too.  Well written, quite funny again.  This trilogy has been very good so far.  The single prequel book wasn’t quite as good.  I’ll finish the trilogy soon. 

Now reading GRRM’s Dreamsongs Volume 1.  I was wary of reading a sophomoric back catalogue of early works, and the foreword description doesn’t assuage that fear, but the short stories stand up quite well.  I’m not sure if I’ll read the entire collection consecutively or just revisit here and there between other books. 

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I did not care for the ending of Tomato Red. Interesting story and well-written with great characterization, but that ending left me unsatisfied.

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Finally finished Brain Mcclellan's Powder Mage Trilogy. I've had The Autumn Republic in my Kindle for about a year and a half without reading it, I went and reread the first two books to refresh myself first. Excellent series, really glad I invested myself in it. Recommended.

I think maybe I'll start on McClellean's new series set in the same universe. Also there's a ton of short stories/novellas based in the Powder Mage universe. Anyone read any of those?

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2 hours ago, drawkcabi said:

Finally finished Brain Mcclellan's Powder Mage Trilogy. I've had The Autumn Republic in my Kindle for about a year and a half without reading it, I went and reread the first two books to refresh myself first. Excellent series, really glad I invested myself in it. Recommended.

I think maybe I'll start on McClellean's new series set in the same universe. Also there's a ton of short stories/novellas based in the Powder Mage universe. Anyone read any of those?

Yeah I read them in publication order along with the books. The short stories are decent but not required reading. Though The Ghosts if Tristain Basin would serve as a good intro to Sins of Empire. That’s probably the story most likely to enhance the novels. Haven’t read the latest short story yet. 

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Finished The Obelisk Gate and onto The Stone Sky. Definitely see why this series was so lauded, it's really fantastic.

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I'm about 100 pages into this Miles Cameron and am definitely intrigued.  

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Ship of Magic.  I have read Farseer twice but never continued on to liveships until finding all three at the used book store last week.  Pretty good so far but you all know that already.

Before this I reread the Paradox trilogy by Rachael Bach.  I was looking for an easy action adventure.  Just as fun the second time, and I saw the 40k illusions much clearer this time.

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Tom Franklin's Hell at the Breech. Loosely based on the Mitcham War in Clarke County, Alabama in the early 1890s. Only the second novel of Franklin's I've read (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter being the first), but won't be the last.

Now onto Twilight by William Gay, another Southern writer I thoroughly enjoy.

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Posted (edited)

Reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in preperation for teaching in China. Maybe not having, or wanting, or particularly caring about children of my own grants me some kind of immunity to the radically polarized opinions that this book seems to generate, but I don't have particularly strong feelings either way about Amy Chua's methods.

Some of it is a little jarring, but it does give some interesting insight into the second generation Asian immigrant experience, as well as the contrast between Chinese and western parenting styles.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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I finished the Farseer trilogy. I thought Assasins Quest was the weakest of the three but still enjoyed it all the same. Going to read The Heroes and Red Country by Abercrombie before switching back to Hobb and starting Liveship Traders. 

Also caught up on Saga which is amazing as always. 

Edit: just read the chapter Casualties  from The Heroes. Ye gods that something else. Fucking awesome. Was very relieved

that Gorst wasn’t one of the casualties

 

Edited by Mark Antony

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I finished William Gay's Twilight. Southern Gothic novel, classic good vs. evil struggle in the backwoods of Tennessee. Creepy mortician (aren't they all :) ) hires  violent, terrifying scofflaw to track down some pesky, meddling teenagers wanting to blackmail said mortician for creepy acts. I love Gay's haunting prose.

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4 hours ago, Astromech said:

I finished William Gay's Twilight. Southern Gothic novel, classic good vs. evil struggle in the backwoods of Tennessee. Creepy mortician (aren't they all :) ) hires  violent, terrifying scofflaw to track down some pesky, meddling teenagers wanting to blackmail said mortician for creepy acts. I love Gay's haunting prose.

My brother would LOVE this and we have a long running joke about the OTHER Twilight, which would make this a hilarious gift.  Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Lily Valley said:

My brother would LOVE this and we have a long running joke about the OTHER Twilight, which would make this a hilarious gift.  Thank you!

Haha, wrap it in Edward and Bella gift wrapping.

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1 hour ago, Astromech said:

Haha, wrap it in Edward and Bella gift wrapping.

Ooooh, that would make him so happy.  He loves K-Stew.

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On 3/23/2018 at 0:23 AM, Mark Antony said:

I finished the Farseer trilogy. I thought Assasins Quest was the weakest of the three but still enjoyed it all the same. Going to read The Heroes and Red Country by Abercrombie before switching back to Hobb and starting Liveship Traders. 

Also caught up on Saga which is amazing as always. 

Edit: just read the chapter Casualties  from The Heroes. Ye gods that something else. Fucking awesome. Was very relieved

  Reveal hidden contents

that Gorst wasn’t one of the casualties

 

Thank you for reminding me about Saga! I read the first three collections a long time ago and decided to wait till it was all done before continuing. I'm guessing it's getting there, so now might be a good time to start re-reading.

I hope you enjoy The Heroes and Red Country! Both are excellent books in very different ways. Oh man I can't wait till the next Abercrombie trilogy is out...

I read the new Ann Leckie, Provenance,  recently. It was a fun low-key mystery sci-fi novel, and I liked the focus on historical artifacts and their importance in societies. But although definitely enjoyable, it was also pretty forgettable, mainly because of the pretty bland characters. If she writes more novels set in this universe, which I hope she does, I'd love for her to really focus on the aliens, because the Geck ambassador was the highlight of this one, just as the Presger ambassador was the highlight of Ancillary Sword. 

I'm almost done Josiah Bancroft's Arm of the Sphinx. I really liked the first book in this series, and this one is even better. The side characters are much more fleshed out, thanks to POV shifting, and it's much more comfortable as a straight up Victorian style fantasy/sci-fi adventure novel, while I thought the first book had some trouble shifting between tones in the first and second half of the book. I really enjoy Bancroft's style in these novels too, though I do wish he'd show rather than tell a bit more when dealing with his characters' developments. All in all, it's a fantastic book, and I recommend this series!  

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I finished The Wonder That Was India by A.L. Basham, while it was very informative (though some of it outdated) there was some sections that were somewhat of a slog to read which accounts for the two weeks it took me to get through the 518 pages of text.

Last weekend I finished Sam Campbell's Moose Country, the sixth book of his Living Forest nature series.  This past weekend I started the seventh book, The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake.

On Friday I finished Rise of the West by W.H. McNeill which I started on January 1.  This was a nearly 900 page book I read at home, at least 10 pages a day.  This book was published almost a decade after Basham's book above, but it was never a slog to read.

Tomorrow I'm starting Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

On 3/23/2018 at 0:23 AM, Mark Antony said:

I finished the Farseer trilogy. I thought Assasins Quest was the weakest of the three but still enjoyed it all the same. 

I have to agree with you that it was the weakest, but after enjoying the first two book so much this was just "okay" to me personally.

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