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RedEyedGhost

October Reading 2018 - The chill in the air, the whisper on the wind.

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Finished Norse Mythology. It was fine. Still maintain my tepid attitude towards this one.

Started The Sun is Also a Star. I like the concept and the execution is okay, but I'm a little halfway through it and I'm kind of sick of it. It's a YA love story and it's just Too Much. Past romantic and into sappy/eyerolling territory. But for now still planning to finish it.

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I just finished the Queen of Crows by Myke Cole.  It was okay.

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Finished Dark Tower III last night and enjoyed it as much as the last one (2 was better, but not by much).  I haven't read much King, just some short stories and The Shining, but I really dig his writing style in these.  Started up book 4 immediately.

Bus book is still Shogun, about 200 pages into it and really like it.  Only complaint I have is the abrupt changing of POVs, which is really jarring and forces you to pay a lot of attention to who the author is talking about in each individual paragraph.  Plot and descriptions are great, but I think it could have been cleaner with more definitive POV sections.

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22 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

I'm a quarter of the way through The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp.  Really digging it, feels like Paul Tremblay's books that I've loved reading the past two Octobers.

Good choice for seasonal reading.  I really enjoyed that, and usually I would not choose anything close to a horror genre.

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I just started reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I thought it would be boring, but so far, it seems interesting. As soon as I read the main character concluding the devil is a German, I imagined him talking with the voice of Hans Landa/Jew Hunter from Inglourious Basterds.

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Finished Miles Cameron's Cold Iron, started Wooding's Ember Blade.  The latter I'm just 5% into, but it's very basic so far, heavy-handed on the portrayal of resentful young men versus culturally distinct and snobby oppressors.  I remember Braided Path taking some very weird jogs and zigs, so I'm hoping for some of that, but right now it's a bit of a lecture.

 

I feel like I need to do a re-read to really comment on it, but Cold Iron in contrast is a lot more subtle but also surprising me, struck me as absolutely and deeply topical/political for 2018, without drawing any crude or direct analogies like fantasy is often wont to do.

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Third Murderbot. Again, nothing groundbeaking but delightful junk food reading. Very short but fun. Ancillary fan fic.

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W.J. Eccles' The Canadian Frontier, 1534-1760 was a brief, but informative history of the French era in North America.

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I just finished an autobiography by comedian Guy Branum.

Just started Foundryside by R J Bennett.  I almost dropped it after 2 chapters.  Then, the character of Clef was introduced, and I couldn't put it down.

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31 minutes ago, Teng Ai Hui said:

 

Just started Foundryside by R J Bennett.  I almost dropped it after 2 chapters.  Then, the character of Clef was introduced, and I couldn't put it down.

Ha, yeah. I wasn't felling it at first either, then Clef shows up and I think i read it in two sittings.

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7 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Ha, yeah. I wasn't felling it at first either, then Clef shows up and I think i read it in two sittings.

I loved it, especially Clef. There's a texture and depth and wonder of RJB, like (stealing a metaphor) feeling the heft of real silverware vs a plastic take-out fork. Even when he's writing Thrilling Adventure™, there's so much richness.

Normally layering in politics and stuff irritates me, when it's clear the author is trying to win points.  Like several other authors I read this year, he's making a huge effort to be multicultural, etc, au courant, but unlike (for example) Andy Weir, RJB pulls it off. His nods towards human trafficking, economic inequity, etc etc, are foundational rather than a checklist.

I love that his characters are so layered and can be at times creepy and uncomfortable. Of all his books, this one has been the lightest. I don't know if it will haunt me like his earlier works (which read to me a bit Lisa Goldstein) and the cliffhanger ending instead of the self-contained stories (a la the cities) made me grrr.

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^^That news about the cliffhanger is frustrating, but it’s still too good to put down. :cheers: Here’s to hoping RJB continues to publish one book a year.

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Finished Lethal White by Galbraith/Rowling.  Very enjoyable.  The strength of this series is the immersive detail of the characters, which provides so much texture.  And that same volume of detail seeds plenty of clues.

The weakness is still the overly contrived characterization to propel the slow-burn romance.  Strike is still unfathomably (even worse than Jack Reacher) attractive to beautiful, slim, sexy, accomplished, upper class women despite being a homeless, unattractive, overweight, disabled, surly, heavy drinking & smoking, unsuccessful and unambitious, emotionally unavailable commitmentphobe.  And Robin is still Mary Sue beautiful but stuck with the most ridiculously petty, vain, insecure, controlling, demeaning and cheating husband, and her only emotional alternative is Strike.  I understand Matthew has to be so ridiculous to make Strike look appealing, but it seems a tad unrealistic that Robin/Mary Sue doesn’t have some better options in life.  And why hasn’t she asked Vanessa about actually joining the police force she dreamed about, instead of the tawdry proxy of following cheating husbands most days?

I know I typed a lot more about the weakness than the strength but it’s an enjoyable read.  If you liked the series until now, I would recommend it.  

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7 hours ago, Teng Ai Hui said:

^^That news about the cliffhanger is frustrating, but it’s still too good to put down. :cheers: Here’s to hoping RJB continues to publish one book a year.

I didn’t think it was a cliffhanger. Plot all resolved though clear path of things that are yet to be resolved for sequels. 

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27 minutes ago, unJon said:

I didn’t think it was a cliffhanger. Plot all resolved though clear path of things that are yet to be resolved for sequels. 

Yeah, it's more of a NEXT TIME ON type of thing.

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I started Spinning Silver, which is so far good but not as compelling as Uprooted. I'm only 10% in so I'm looking forward to it picking up a bit as the story actually gets going.

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I was wondering if Bernard Cornwell had another book released in his Saxon Tales/Chronicles saga, and sure enough, War of the Wolf released on Oct. 2. I just picked it up.

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4 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

I was wondering if Bernard Cornwell had another book released in his Saxon Tales/Chronicles saga, and sure enough, War of the Wolf released on Oct. 2. I just picked it up.

Heh, I ad a similar thing, where I was poking at the Cornwell section of the bookstore trying to figure out which Shapres I don't have and I was like..wait what THERE'S A NEW SAXON TALE WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME.

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8 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

The weakness is still the overly contrived characterization to propel the slow-burn romance.  Strike is still unfathomably (even worse than Jack Reacher) attractive to beautiful, slim, sexy, accomplished, upper class women despite being a homeless, unattractive, overweight, disabled, surly, heavy drinking & smoking, unsuccessful and unambitious, emotionally unavailable commitmentphobe....And why hasn’t she asked Vanessa about actually joining the police force she dreamed about, instead of the tawdry proxy of following cheating husbands most days?

Liked it too. Why Strike? Because hero (although little shown here) and I suppose super famous dad? It worked better in Book 1 with Charlotte picking him and baffling her family. With Robin, it's because he sees and believes in her potential. As for the other women? Don't buy it.

I think Robin needs a lot more healing before she could join the police force and her mental background could work against her. I'm unfamiliar with how that works in the UK. Right now, she needs a ton of emotional wins and is getting them through Strike. However, this is, what, how many times she was damselled in distressed at the end? That was super annoying to me. I liked seeing her go yorkshire goth.

Another great thing of fun is counting off the white horse references in the story. Lots of them!

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