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Garett Hornwood

First Quarter 2019 Reading

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Hi everyone,

Based on the beginning of the December 2018 Reading thread, I thought we'd try a multi-month thread to begin the year and instead naming it after a season (because of hemispheres) I'd just go generic with First Quarter to cover January through March.

I'm starting off the year with three biographies/histories.  Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe by Chris DeRose is my primary read to start off the year because it was a Christmas present from my aunt.  My first "home" read of the year will be Herodotus' The Histories.  And my first "tame"/religious weekend read will be W.W. Prescott by Gilbert M. Valentine.

So what are you reading to start off the New Year?

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I started Empire in Black and Gold. This series has been on my TBR list for a while, mostly being put off because my library doesn't have it and I didn't want to have to buy so many books. Anyway, I'm over halfway through and enjoying it pretty well so far!

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I am still on my reread of Watership Down by Richard Adams. It is a deserved classic.

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19 hours ago, Starkess said:

I started Empire in Black and Gold. This series has been on my TBR list for a while, mostly being put off because my library doesn't have it and I didn't want to have to buy so many books. Anyway, I'm over halfway through and enjoying it pretty well so far!

 

19 hours ago, RedEyedGhost said:

I'm also reading an Adrian Tchaikovsky book - The Tiger and the Wolf.  Over halfway through, and I'm really digging it so far.

 

2 hours ago, End of Disc One said:

Another person reading Adrian Tchaikovsky here--Children of Time.  I'm about a quarter of the way through and it's great.

Just to add some variety to this thread, I started Adrian Tchaikovsky's Dogs of War today, which has been great so far. Like the other Tchaikovsky books it does have a zoological twist to the characters, but I think Rex and the rest of his squad have a very different feel to the characters in his other books.

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I finished off my final 2018 read, Roger Crowley's 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West. Another excellent narrative history by Crowley. Very informative and interesting read to pair with Crowley's Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580.

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10 hours ago, Astromech said:

I finished off my final 2018 read, Roger Crowley's 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West. Another excellent narrative history by Crowley. Very informative and interesting read to pair with Crowley's Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580.

Ooh! I loved the latter. Another one to add to the wishlist then...

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Recent chatter has led Memphis to reread The Warlord Chronicles. Blazed through The Winter King in 3 days, these are even better than I recall. And much faster paced too, stuff I thought happened across the trilogy all took place in book 1!

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Finishing up a few books trailing from 2018. En man som heter Ove - Fredrik Backman, great book not sff by any means at all. Made me laugh and cry and contemplate. Also I am close to the end of The poppy war - R.F. Kuang, bleak stuff and I am liking it.

 

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13 hours ago, Peadar said:

Ooh! I loved the latter. Another one to add to the wishlist then...

Crowley is great. I recommend both 1453 and Empires of the Sea. His other two books are on my TBR list.

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On 1/2/2019 at 9:01 PM, williamjm said:

 

 

Just to add some variety to this thread, I started Adrian Tchaikovsky's Dogs of War today, which has been great so far. Like the other Tchaikovsky books it does have a zoological twist to the characters, but I think Rex and the rest of his squad have a very different feel to the characters in his other books.

I'm reading "dogs of war" after several respected recs from the forum and so far it is excellent. Reminds me a lot of grant morrison's "we3" graphic novel which was also incredible journey meets aliens/robocop/Predator. If this is any indication of Tchaikovsky's post "shadows of the apt" writing then i really need to catch up, particularly with the SF. If i didn't know it was him i really wouldn't have guessed which is impressive that he can change things up 

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I finished Empire in Black and Gold and I liked it. It was certainly an interesting premise, but I felt the plot was pretty pedestrian. I'm hoping that it expands since it's a 12-book series. I definitely plan to continue, although maybe I'll try something else first. Not sure what.

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I'm rereading Fool's Errand by Robin Hobb by listening to it on audiobook during my commute, and am just starting N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy. 

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5 hours ago, Starkess said:

I finished Empire in Black and Gold and I liked it. It was certainly an interesting premise, but I felt the plot was pretty pedestrian. I'm hoping that it expands since it's a 12-book series. I definitely plan to continue, although maybe I'll try something else first. Not sure what.

The series and writing improves with each installment and i can imagine the first book being a rough ride if you've read his later books. It hits its stride at book 4 which is the end of the first act in many ways. Then he starts to have fun with the concept allowing him to try different approaches and explore sub genres eg a bit of SF, a bit of espionage, etc. From book 4 it also seems more clear about the target audience, the first few books feel a bit like its aimed st kids/YA (possibly becsuse of the concept) but it settles into YA/mature later on and isn't solely focused on teen characters.

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13 hours ago, red snow said:

If i didn't know it was him i really wouldn't have guessed which is impressive that he can change things up 

I've read 9 books by Tchaikovsky, and I still haven't noticed any author quirks or anything like that.  I can't describe his writing at all.  I'm reading Children of Time right now and if I didn't know who the author was, I could not have guessed.  

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Dog of War by Tchaikovsky not available on Kindle. Was going to purchase based on this thread. Not in mood for starting a new series but would love to read a book of his. I’ve only read Children of Time and really enjoyed. Any other recs? Guns of Dawn?

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4 hours ago, End of Disc One said:

I've read 9 books by Tchaikovsky, and I still haven't noticed any author quirks or anything like that.  I can't describe his writing at all.  I'm reading Children of Time right now and if I didn't know who the author was, I could not have guessed.  

It's more that "dogs of war" is more distinct in differentiating viewpoints and ways of writing compared to his shadows of the apt series. I do recall the first book being clunky in places and he occasionally switched viewpoint mid-paragraph but i think that was just learning on the spot.

 

1 hour ago, unJon said:

Dog of War by Tchaikovsky not available on Kindle. Was going to purchase based on this thread. Not in mood for starting a new series but would love to read a book of his. I’ve only read Children of Time and really enjoyed. Any other recs? Guns of Dawn?

I think the sequel to children of time is out in February? I've yet to try guns of dawn or his bird and the hawk (or whatever the animal combo titles are) so can't say. I think i'll be catching up this year.

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Might need to turn this thread into a Tchaikovsky thread and start a new thread for the quarter :P 

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19 hours ago, Starkess said:

I finished Empire in Black and Gold and I liked it. It was certainly an interesting premise, but I felt the plot was pretty pedestrian. I'm hoping that it expands since it's a 12-book series. I definitely plan to continue, although maybe I'll try something else first. Not sure what.

I think Empire was his first published novel, and I think that showed at times. I did enjoy it, but I think his writing did steadily improve throughout the series, and the storylines get more compelling at the same time. It's a 10 book series (although there are also 4 short story collections in the same world).

4 hours ago, unJon said:

Dog of War by Tchaikovsky not available on Kindle. Was going to purchase based on this thread. Not in mood for starting a new series but would love to read a book of his. I’ve only read Children of Time and really enjoyed. Any other recs? Guns of Dawn?

I did really like Guns of the Dawn. It's a bit different to most of his other books (like Children of Time), since they tend to have very high-concept world-building, whereas in this the world feels comparatively mundane. I liked the character development, as the protagonist goes from a life that could have come from a Regency Romance into her world's equivalent of the Vietnam War.

2 hours ago, red snow said:

I think the sequel to children of time is out in February? I've yet to try guns of dawn or his bird and the hawk (or whatever the animal combo titles are) so can't say. I think i'll be catching up this year.

Children of Ruin is out in May, apparently, although Tchaikovsky being Tchaikovsky he also has a book coming out in April and a second book in May. While looking this up, I found a blog post where he said that he's recently decided to quit his day job as a lawyer and write full-time, which is faintly alarming considering how fast he was writing books when not doing it full time.

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