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Garett Hornwood

Third Quarter 2019 Reading

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6 hours ago, Astromech said:

Finished listening to the audiobook of Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic's Indianapolis: The True Story of The Worst Sea Disaster in US Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate and Innocent Man. Fascinating story of the events surrounding the sinking of the USS Indianapolis after its delivery of the a-bomb used at Hiroshima. As harrowing as the sinking and 5-day struggle of the survivors in the Philippine Sea was, I was equally fascinated by the court martial of Capt. McVay and the efforts to exonerate him. Highly recommended.

^This sounds amazing and I'd like to check it out.

This has nothing to do with you personally, just thought about it when I read your post; do we as a community, moving forward into this next decade, with our collective experience in tact, but understanding that technologies bursting into our daily lives faster and faster will always become part of passive acceptance of humanity eventually, call listening to an audiobook "Reading" or something else?

What is "reading?" How does language define our reality? And perhaps, most importantly, why am I up at this hour posting on an internet forum when I could be doing something else like telling my cat that she's a good girl or getting up to turn the ac off for 5 minutes only to get back up to turn it on again when I realize my mistake?

 

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4 hours ago, Joey Crows said:

^This sounds amazing and I'd like to check it out.

This has nothing to do with you personally, just thought about it when I read your post; do we as a community, moving forward into this next decade, with our collective experience in tact, but understanding that technologies bursting into our daily lives faster and faster will always become part of passive acceptance of humanity eventually, call listening to an audiobook "Reading" or something else?

What is "reading?" How does language define our reality? And perhaps, most importantly, why am I up at this hour posting on an internet forum when I could be doing something else like telling my cat that she's a good girl or getting up to turn the ac off for 5 minutes only to get back up to turn it on again when I realize my mistake?

 

I actually think about that every time I post a new audiobook listen. Regardless of whether I'm reading a book or listening to an audiobook, the words are communicating a story to me. 

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The Alex Verus series has been mentioned a few times around here lately, so I decided to try Fated.  As expected it was a light, fun read, similar to the Dresden Files. My only criticism was that the Starbreeze felt more like a deus ex machina rather than an a fully fleshed out character.  Regardless, I’m jumping straight into book #2, Cursed.

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Richard Zacks's Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York. Interesting read about 1890s New York, its corrupt police force and TR's attempts to reform both the city and force. Great glimpse into NYC during this period.

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29 minutes ago, Astromech said:

Richard Zacks's Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York. Interesting read about 1890s New York, its corrupt police force and TR's attempts to reform both the city and force. Great glimpse into NYC during this period.

Edward Rutherford novel New York is also a fascinating look at the city from its earliest days as a home to several indigenous tribes all the way up to present day. Excellent historical fiction.

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4 hours ago, Joey Crows said:

Edward Rutherford novel New York is also a fascinating look at the city from its earliest days as a home to several indigenous tribes all the way up to present day. Excellent historical fiction.

I've never read any of his works but will probably start with his Paris.

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25 minutes ago, Astromech said:

I've never read any of his works but will probably start with his Paris.

Everything of his is good. Paris is structured differently than the others. Instead of being a singular chronological narrative it jumps between two stories taking place during different times in Paris’s history. 

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I stumbled across Holly Black's "The Cruel Prince", then the sequel "The Wicked King" and somehow blew through the rest of her "Faerie" books, which are quick reads. Not normally my cup of tea, because all of them prominently feature  YA romance, but there must be something in her approach to faeries and the problems of teenage girls that kept me interested. Also, there is a decent variation between different heroines, their circumstances and their flames.  The on-going trilogy is definitely the most engaging though, not least because the heroine is so unapologetically ambitious and power-hungry, which female protagonists seldom get to be, even when they are "Kick-ass". She remains somewhat sympathetic because it is very understandable what drives her, yet she also chose her course. I  don't currently see how the "romance" part in could ever be strong-armed into the usual tropes either, which gives me hope that maybe it won't be? Maybe, just maybe the happy ending for this couple isn't written in stone?  

"Winter of the Witch" by Katherine Arden. Well, it somewhat redeems the colossal disappointment that the middle book of the trilogy was for me, but not quite. I knew what historical event this trilogy was likely aimed towards and wasn't wrong, but I feel that a lot of clear contrivances were needed to get there. It also explains why one annoying character kept re-appearing like a bad penny, but I didn't find the pay-off to be satisfying enough. Use of Russian legends and mythology remains the point of attraction, but on the whole I feel that the trilogy didn't deliver on the promise of "The Bear and the Nightingale".

"Record of the Spaceborn Few" by Becky Chambers. I felt that it was the weakest of the "Wayfarer" series. Not because of it's relative lack of a cohesive plot, but because so much of what plot there is agressively conflicts with the worldbuilding. I liked the Exodan litany.

Currently reading "Lavinia" by Ursula Le Guin.

Edited by Maia

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I blasted through all three books in Jack Vance's Durdane trilogy, which felt impressively fresh and rich in original ideas for something written so long ago, and reminded me that I need to read more classic SF/F. Then The Thief Who Went to War by Michael McClung, the most recent book in his Amra Thetys series. Nothing life-changing, but a fun, fast-paced read and a very welcome return to Amra's POV and foul-mouthed voice. Also Recursion by Blake Crouch, which I thought was a well-executed variation on themes earlier explored in Grimwood's Replay and North's Harry August.

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On 8/17/2019 at 11:17 PM, Teng Ai Hui said:

The Alex Verus series has been mentioned a few times around here lately, so I decided to try Fated.  As expected it was a light, fun read, similar to the Dresden Files. My only criticism was that the Starbreeze felt more like a deus ex machina rather than an a fully fleshed out character.  Regardless, I’m jumping straight into book #2, Cursed.

Glad you enjoyed it.  The series does really grow similarly to The Dresden Files.  I'm so ready to read book 5, just after I finish rereading The Heroes.

Unless you're not bothered by spoilers, do not read this until you've finished Cursed

I think Jacka was feeling the same way about Starbreeze, which is why he effectively wrote her out (it also helped show how Alex cares about his friends, and was willing to sacrifice her very valuable help in the future to know that she was safe from becoming what 13 was).

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Finished Thorns of A Black Rose a couple weeks ago, really enjoyed the story and the North African inspired setting with Tuareg and Hashashin types thrown in.   Shukara was great, liked her confidence, her timed summoning spell was a nice little minor twist.  Tamira was a survivor.  Loved Jassan's opportunistic action at the end. Worth every rupee ;).

Then I read The Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex Winter, great adventure story with race cars, spaceships, magic and technology all intertwined in the hunt for a missing ship.  Other reviews I've seen all mention Firefly and can definitely see some similarities between the crew of the Capricious and the crew of Serenity.

I just finished, The Green Man's Foe by Juliette McKenna, the sequel to Green Man's Heir.    Liked it as much as the first, mythology and faerie creatures hiding in the woods in modern England and Daniel, the son of dryad, sent by the Green Man to deal with another threat.

Next up is the latest Penric and Desdemona novella by Lois McMasters Bujold, Orphans of Raspay.

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3 hours ago, Leofric said:

Finished Thorns of A Black Rose a couple weeks ago, really enjoyed the story and the North African inspired setting with Tuareg and Hashashin types thrown in.   Shukara was great, liked her confidence, her timed summoning spell was a nice little minor twist.  Tamira was a survivor.  Loved Jassan's opportunistic action at the end. Worth every rupee ;).

Glad you liked it, and thanks for the 4 star rating on Goodreads.  The Kavari are a blend of the Tuareg and Bush people of Africa.

The setting is partly inspired by the Age of Conan mmorpg, with the three protagonists essentially being the Demonologist, assassin and ranger classes. The in-progress next book, The Blood Hour, introduces characters inspired by the Dark Templar, the barbarian, Herald of Xotli, and necromancer classes.

**

I’m currently reading Thorns of Black Rose too, as I got my free paperback copies, and it doesn’t feel ‘real’ until I’ve read it on paper.

Also re-reading Retribution Falls by Wooding whiich is enjoyable.

 

Edited by Derfel Cadarn

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