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Garett Hornwood

Fourth Quarter 2019 Reading

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I will probably start Joseph O'Conner's Shadowplay this evening. He's the author of one of my favourite books, The Star of the Sea, so I have high hopes.

Both are historical novels. The Star of the Sea is about a coffin ship during the famine here in Ireland, but large sections of it take place in London. Shadowplay is about Bram Stoker, I believe.

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I read Stuart Turton's The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I thought it was a very cleverly plotted murder mystery. It's taking the classic set-up of a big country house filled with dysfunctional people all with their own dark secrets, the twist here is that the protagonist who is trying to solve the murder is reliving the same day over and over again. Eight times through the book he wakes up, each time in the body of a different one of the guests, each of whom has their own abilities and limitations and whose own personalities shape his approach to solving the murder. In case it wasn't complex enough already someone seems to be trying to kill off his hosts to stop him solving the murder, and he has another potential ally/rival who he is not sure whether he can trust.

It is intricately plotted, as well as the murder mystery itself (and a number of other mysterious subplots) there are also the movements of the eight hosts as they try to collectively track down the clues under a tight time limit while trying to protect themselves. I thought the solution to the murder was one of those where I think it makes perfect sense in retrospect and there were enough clues for the reader to work out most of it, even if it would be tricky to do so. I was a bit less convinced by the explanation for why the protagonist was in this time loop situation in the first place, it did feel like the author maybe came up with the murder plot and the timeloop concept first and then had to come up with some way to make it seem vaguely plausible.

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17 hours ago, williamjm said:

I read Stuart Turton's The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I thought it was a very cleverly plotted murder mystery. It's taking the classic set-up of a big country house filled with dysfunctional people all with their own dark secrets, the twist here is that the protagonist who is trying to solve the murder is reliving the same day over and over again. Eight times through the book he wakes up, each time in the body of a different one of the guests, each of whom has their own abilities and limitations and whose own personalities shape his approach to solving the murder. In case it wasn't complex enough already someone seems to be trying to kill off his hosts to stop him solving the murder, and he has another potential ally/rival who he is not sure whether he can trust.

It is intricately plotted, as well as the murder mystery itself (and a number of other mysterious subplots) there are also the movements of the eight hosts as they try to collectively track down the clues under a tight time limit while trying to protect themselves. I thought the solution to the murder was one of those where I think it makes perfect sense in retrospect and there were enough clues for the reader to work out most of it, even if it would be tricky to do so. I was a bit less convinced by the explanation for why the protagonist was in this time loop situation in the first place, it did feel like the author maybe came up with the murder plot and the timeloop concept first and then had to come up with some way to make it seem vaguely plausible.

Sounds really interesting.  I just bought a copy.  Thanks for the rec.

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On 12/26/2019 at 10:37 AM, williamjm said:

It felt that Reamde started off trying to be a thriller focused on the MMORPG, but then seemed to largely get bored of that and instead seemed to turn into a rejected plot for a season of 24. It was still entertaining, but I'd rank it below the other Stephenson books I've read.

Fall or, Dodge in Hell, is infinitely better. And has fewer typos. 

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On 12/25/2019 at 9:24 PM, Pecan said:

One of my favorite books. I wish that, instead of a move, they had done a series on HBO instead - maybe 8 episodes or something like that. 

This needs to happen. I would be so damn happy, as there's so much material to cover - including helping the non-financial services person understand the linguistic nightmarishness that is CDOs, synthetic CDOs, etc. (The movie does an admirable job, but the book does it one better.)

Have been told to read Boomerang, as it's apparently a spiritual sequel to The Big Short. (It's on the list, but only after I've finished Tyerman's 'How to Plan a Crusade' and Tuckerman's and Serrat's 'Fixed Income Securities'.)

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I actually finished it a while ago but the last book I read was Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House which is a pretty dark urban fantasy. I'm a little surprised to find out she went to Yale considering how down on both Yale and New Haven the book is.

Next up I think I'm going to read The Calculating Stars.

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I just read two books over Christmas vacation.

The first was the nonfiction The Santa Claus Man by Alex Palmer. This was about John Duval Gluck, Jr., a con man who managed to convince the U.S. Post Office in New York City to give him the letters to Santa Claus mailed by children for about 15 years in the early 20th century. He set up a charity that allowed people to buy gifts for poor children who had written the letters. Though some actual help was given to the poor, a great deal of the money raised went to support Gluck in a lavish lifestyle. He was also involved with the United States Boy Scout (yes, singular, not plural), a rival organization to the Boy Scouts of America. US Boy Scout also had very questionable fund raising practices. At one point Gluck wrote a 16 page letter accusing the Boy Scouts of America of all the bad practices the US Boy Scout was actually guilty of in order to confuse the critics of his organization. In the end Gluck's Santa Claus charity was shut down when the Post Office, convinced he was questionable, stopped sending him the letters. But although he was driven out of his most lucrative scams, Gluck was never criminally charged and lived out the last decades of his life in a fairly comfortable retirement in Miami. He reminded me a lot of Trump, though he was less nasty.

https://www.alexpalmerwrites.com/santa-claus-man

 

I then read The Glasswright's Progress by MIndy Klasky, the second in her five book fantasy series. The "Glasswright" series has a fairly conventional Renaissance-like fantasy world setting. (Klasky has since turned to writing "urban fantasy".) 

The book on one level resembles a YA as the main protagonists are still teenagers. Though there are a lot of references to sexual activity, there aren't graphically described sex scenes. However, Progress is in many ways as dark as ASOIAF. There is an evil king who literally raises a "LIttle Army" of child soldiers.  Though at the end of the book you find out about ulterior motives, young boys starting at age 8 are forced into this group and given tough military training. The violent death of children is a regular feature in the story, as is the acceptance of sexual relationships among "middle school" aged kids. There also is a secret society which turns out to be much less benevolent than Rani (the 15 year old girl Glasswright) and Hal (the 17 year old newly crowned King of Morenia, (a nation fighting against Amanthia, the country ruled by the evil king) initially believed.  Klasky creates an interesting contrast between Morenia and Amanthia -- both are societies with fairly rigid caste systems, but the organization and meaning of the castes is very different in the two countries.

The Glasswright books aren't going to compete with ASOIAF on a literary level, but their surprising grittiness may make them worth a try for GRRM fans looking for something to pass the time.

https://www.sfsite.com/09a/gp111.htm

 

Edited by Ormond

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19 hours ago, Triskele said:

Just be prepared for something different.  

Oh excellent! 

I'm all for that! 

Different > More of the Same

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11 hours ago, ljkeane said:

Next up I think I'm going to read The Calculating Stars.

My partner is raving about how good this book is. (To add some sprinkles to this book, which I myself want to read.)

Edited by IlyaP

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11 hours ago, ljkeane said:

I actually finished it a while ago but the last book I read was Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House which is a pretty dark urban fantasy. I'm a little surprised to find out she went to Yale considering how down on both Yale and New Haven the book is.

In one of the comments about it I saw she said she found writing it cathartic, so it may be that she has some negative experiences from her time at Yale. On the other hand, the chapters Darlington's perspective do seem to have some fondness for New Haven, which might reflect the author's mixed feelings.

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On 11/24/2019 at 7:03 PM, IlyaP said:

I'm really really enjoying Beneath a Starless Sky: Pillars of Eternity and the Infinity Engine Era of RPGs by David L. Craddock. 

It was published as a mega long-form piece on Shacknews originally, and later was assembled into an eBook that I picked up on the Kindle store. This book is supremely fascinating! 

A blurb about the piece from the original article at Shacknews:

A highly recommended read. If you've played/enjoyed any cRPG in the last 30 years, you will find something here that's of interest to you.

Thanks for drawing my attention to this Ilya.  I downloaded it on my Kindle and despite the formatting issues and lack of overall editing you mentioned, found it a fascinating read.  I have been a big Bioware from the beginning and somewhere tucked away still have my Baldur's Gate CDs in good condition .  I teach high school business management and think the eBook would be a great primer on how the interplay between particularly strong (or not so strong) personalities can truly affect how businesses actually operate.

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I just finished Gone To Sea In A Bucket by David Black, vol. 1 of his Harry Gilmour series.  This is historical fiction about WWII British submariners and the general style feels quite similar to Patrick O’Brian: the culture and mannerisms of the era and of the navy suffuse the writing, and characterization takes precedence over action or dramatic tension.  A very good read.  I’ll look for more in this series. 

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I finished Shannon's Priory of the Orange Tree and I liked it.  My issue with it remains that it felt rushed.  It felt like Shannon was going to write a standalone fantasy and that's that.  This story could have been better served with multiple volumes.  Anyway, when Shannon writes another one in this world I'll buy and read it.  I already have several Bone Season books but haven't gotten to them yet.

I have had this experience regularly and it got me to thinking about my taste.  Maybe...the long, drawn out meandering stories that some dislike...maybe I prefer that.  I mean of course I do.  Michelle West is my favorite 'modern' fantasy writer and whatever you may think of her work you could never call it rushed. 

Now I am halfway though Islington's The Light of All That Falls.  I like it as well as I expected based on the first two.  Good debut trilogy with some ambitious ideas.  Islington's reach exceeds his grasp but still a good story.   

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Completed reads for 2019:

  1. The Shadow, by Lionel Terry
  2. Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey
  3. The Testament of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris
  4. Saints Astray, by Jacqueline Carey
  5. Rerum Novarum: On the Condition of the Working Classes, by Pope Leo XIII
  6. The Unholy Consult, by R. Scott Bakker
  7. The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius
  8. The Analects of Confucius
  9. What’s Wrong With the World, by G.K. Chesterton
  10. The Sorrows of Young Werther, by J.W. von Goethe
  11. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
  12. Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder
  13. The Decline of the West (2 vols.), by Oswald Spengler
  14. The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs (Völsunga saga), by Anonymous
  15. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, by Victor Hugo
  16. Purgatorio, by Dante Alighieri
  17. The Mystery of the Blue Train, by Agatha Christie
  18. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, by Agatha Christie
  19. Paradiso, by Dante Alighieri
  20. Treatise on Vampires and Revenants: The Phantom World, by Dom Augustin Calmet
  21. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, by Mao Zedong
  22. Quadragesimo Anno: On Reconstruction of the Social Order, by Pope Pius XI
  23. Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences, by Martin Luther
  24. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare
  25. Queen Mab, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  26. Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare
  27. The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare
  28. Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
  29. The Republic, by Plato
  30. The Symposium, by Plato
  31. Utopia, by Sir Thomas More
  32. The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare
  33. R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), by Karel Čapek
  34. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  35. The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
  36. The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton
  37. The Last Dragonslayer, by Jasper Fforde
  38. The Story of Burnt Njal (Njál’s Saga), by Anonymous
  39. The Song of the Quarkbeast, by Jasper Fforde
  40. The Tao Teh Ching, by Lao Tzu
  41. The Meno, by Plato
  42. The Gorgias, by Plato
  43. The Ion, by Plato
  44. The Poetics, by Aristotle
  45. The Eye of Zoltar, by Jasper Fforde
  46. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
  47. Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare
  48. Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare
  49. As You Like It, by William Shakespeare
  50. The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare
  51. Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde
  52. The Timaeus, by Plato
  53. The Critias, by Plato
  54. The First Alcibiades, by Plato
  55. The Second Alcibiades, by Anonymous
  56. The Clitophon, by Plato
  57. The Parmenides, by Plato
  58. The Theaetetus, by Plato
  59. The Well of Lost Plots, by Jasper Fforde
  60. The Phaedrus, by Plato
  61. The Charmides, by Plato
  62. The Lysis, by Plato
  63. The Laches, by Plato
  64. Confessions, by Saint Augustine of Hippo
  65. The Protagoras, by Plato
  66. The Philebus, by Plato
  67. The Euthydemus, by Plato
  68. The Lesser Hippias, by Plato
  69. The Greater Hippias, by Plato
  70. The Menexenus, by Plato
  71. The Theages, by Plato
  72. A Presocratics Reader, edited by Patricia Curd
  73. The Cratylus, by Plato
  74. The Sophist, by Plato
  75. Egil’s Saga, by Anonymous
  76. The Axiochus, by Anonymous
  77. The Demodocus, by Anonymous
  78. The Eryxias, by Anonymous
  79. The Halcyon, by Anonymous
  80. The Hipparchus, by Plato
  81. On Justice, by Anonymous
  82. On Virtue, by Anonymous
  83. The Rival Lovers, by Plato
  84. The Sisyphus, by Anonymous
  85. All’s Well That Ends Well, by William Shakespeare
  86. The Instructions of Shuruppak, by Anonymous
  87. Lord of Emperors, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  88. The Statesman, by Plato
  89. The Minos, by Plato
  90. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum
  91. The Laws, by Plato
  92. The Epinomis, by Plato
  93. The Definitions, by Anonymous
  94. The Epigrams, by Anonymous
  95. The Epistles, by Plato and Others
  96. Henry VIII, by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
  97. The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare
  98. Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  99. The Discarded Image, by C.S. Lewis
  100. Out of the Silent Planet, by C.S. Lewis
  101. Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis
  102. Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of Invasions, by Anonymous
  103. The Battle of Moytura, or, The First Battle of Magh Turedh, by Anonymous
  104. Cath Maige Tuired: The Second Battle of Mag Tuired, by Anonymous
  105. Tochmarc Étaíne: The Wooing of Etain, by Anonymous
  106. Oidheadh Chlainne Lir: The Fate of the Children of Lir, by Anonymous
  107. Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann: The Fate of the Children of Tuireann, by Anonymous
  108. The Voyage of Bran, by Anonymous
  109. The Settling of the Manor of Tara, by Anonymous
  110. The Dream of Oengus, by Anonymous
  111. The Story of Tuan mac Carill, by Anonymous
  112. The Voyage of Máel Dúin, by Anonymous
  113. The Voyage of the Ui Chorra, by Anonymous
  114. The Voyage of Snédgus and Mac Riagla, by Anonymous
  115. The Voyage of Saint Brendon the Abbot, by Anonymous
  116. The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel, by Anonymous
  117. The Fosterage of the House of the Two Pails, by Anonymous
  118. The Invasion of Nemed, by Anonymous
  119. The Four Jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann, by Anonymous
  120. The Satire of Caipre upon Bres, by Anonymous
  121. How the Dagda Got His Magic Staff, by Anonymous
  122. The Taking of the Sid, by Anonymous
  123. The Adventures of Leithin, by Anonymous
  124. The Founding of Emain Macha, by Anonymous
  125. The Battle of Partholon’s Sons, by Anonymous
  126. The Adventures of Nera, by Anonymous
  127. The Progress of the Sons of Mil from Spain to Ireland, by Anonymous
  128. Fintan and the Hawk of Achill, by Anonymous
  129. The Cauldron of Poesy, by Anonymous
  130. Banshenchus: The Lore of Women, by Anonymous
  131. The Fitness of Names, by Anonymous
  132. The Roll of the Kings, by Anonymous
  133. The Dialogue of Bran’s Druid and the Prophetess of Lough Foyle, by Anonymous
  134. The Metrical Dindsenchas (4 vols), by Anonymous
  135. The Prose Tales from the Rennes Dindshenchas, by Anonymous
  136. The Bodleian Dinnshenchas, by Anonymous
  137. The Edinburgh Dinnschenchas, by Anonymous
  138. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius
  139. That Hideous Strength, by C.S. Lewis
  140. On the Ruin of Britain, by Gildas
  141. The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, by Anonymous
  142. The Laxdoela Saga, by Anonymous
  143. The Vampyre, by John Polidori
  144. The Saga of Grettir the Strong, by Anonymous
  145. The Saga of Gisli, by Anonymous
  146. Wise Phuul, by Daniel Stride
  147. The Conception of Cú Chulainn, by Anonymous
  148. The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn, by Anonymous
  149. The Wooing of Emer by Cú Chulainn, by Anonymous
  150. The Recovery of the Tain, by Anonymous
  151. The Quarrel of the Pigkeepers, by Anonymous
  152. The Tidings of Conchobar, son of Ness, by Anonymous
  153. The Birth of Conchobar, by Anonymous
  154. The Affliction of the Ulstermen, by Anonymous
  155. The Debility of the Ulstermen, by Anonymous
  156. The Courtship of Cruinne and Macha, by Anonymous
  157. The Battle of the Assembly of Macha, by Anonymous
  158. Medb’s Men, or, The Battle of the Boyne, by Anonymous
  159. Does Greth Eat Curds, by Anonymous
  160. Athirne the Unsociable, by Anonymous
  161. The Wooing of Luaine and the Death of Athirne, by Anonymous
  162. The Battle of Cumar, by Anonymous
  163. The Elopement of Emer With Tuir Glesta, by Anonymous
  164. The Training of Cú Chulainn, by Anonymous
  165. The Words of Scáthach, by Anonymous
  166. Cú Chulainn’s Shield, by Anonymous
  167. The Death of Derbforgaill, by Anonymous
  168. Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde
  169. Conversations of Socrates, by Xenophon
  170. Lysistrata; The Acharnians; The Clouds, by Aristophanes
  171. The Iliad, by Homer
  172. The Odyssey, by Homer
  173. The Aeneid, by Virgil
  174. The Theogony, by Hesiod
  175. Work and Days, by Hesiod
  176. Fragments of Sappho, by Sappho
  177. The Argonautica, by Apollonius Rhodius
  178. The Conquest of Gaul, by Julius Caesar
  179. The Two Gentlemen of Verona, by William Shakespeare
  180. Love's Labour's Lost, by William Shakespeare
  181. Measure for Measure, by William Shakespeare
  182. Coriolanus, by William Shakespeare
  183. Henry VI (3 parts), by William Shakespeare
  184. Cymbeline, by William Shakespeare
  185. King John, by William Shakespeare
  186. Troilus and Cressida, by William Shakespeare
  187. Pericles, by William Shakespeare and Another
  188. The Two Noble Kinsmen, by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher
  189. Edward III, by William Shakespeare and Others
  190. Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
  191. Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare
  192. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
  193. Timon of Athens, by William Shakespeare
  194. The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
  195. Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  196. The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare
  197. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
  198. King Lear, by William Shakespeare
  199. Othello, by William Shakespeare
  200. Richard II, by William Shakespeare
  201. Henry IV (2 parts), by William Shakespeare
  202. Henry V, by William Shakespeare
  203. Venus and Adonis, by William Shakespeare
  204. The Rape of Lucrece, by William Shakespeare
  205. The Phoenix and the Turtle, by William Shakespeare
  206. A Lover's Complaint, by William Shakespeare
  207. The Sonnets, by William Shakespeare
  208. To the Queen, by William Shakespeare?
  209. The Passionate Pilgrim, by William Shakespeare and Others
  210. A Funeral Elegy for Master William Peter, by W.S./Anonymous
  211. Epitaph on Elias James, by William Shakespeare
  212. Epitaphs on John Combe, by William Shakespeare
  213. Shall I Die?, by William Shakespeare?
  214. The Shakespeare Apocrypha, ed. C.F. Tucker Brooke
  215. Double Falsehood, by Lewis Theobald
  216. Edmund Ironside, by Anonymous
  217. The Second Maiden's Tragedy, by Thomas Middleton
  218. Sejanus: His Fall, by Ben Johnson
  219. The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas Kyd
  220. Thomas of Woodstock, by Anonymous
  221. Vortigern and Rowena, by William Henry Ireland
  222. A Knack to Know a Knave, by Anonymous
  223. Famous Victories of Henry V, by Anonymous
  224. The Troublesome Reign of King John, by Anonymous
  225. King Leir, by Anonymous
  226. Romeus and Juliet, by Arthur Brooke
  227. The Taming of a Shrew, by Anonymous?
  228. Hamlet (First Quarto), by William Shakespeare
  229. The Fifth of November, by George Ambrose Rhodes
  230. Henry II, by William Henry Ireland
  231. The Merry Wives of Windsor (First Quarto), by William Shakespeare
  232. The First Part of the Contention, by William Shakespeare
  233. The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, by William Shakespeare
  234. The Arraignment of Paris, by George Peele
  235. The True Tragedy of Richard III, by Anonymous
  236. Richardus Tertius, by Thomas Legge
  237. Edward II, by Christopher Marlowe
  238. Edward IV (2 parts), by Thomas Heywood
  239. Wily Beguiled, by Anonymous
  240. Satiromastix, by Thomas Dekker
  241. A Warning for Fair Women, by Anonymous
  242. George a Greene, by Anonymous
  243. A Larum for London, by Anonymous
  244. Albumazar, by Thomas Tomkis
  245. Tamburlaine (2 parts), by Christopher Marlowe
  246. The Battle of Alcazar, by George Peele
  247. Henry V (First Quarto), by William Shakespeare
  248. Romeo and Juliet (First Quarto), by William Shakespeare
  249. Pericles (First Quarto), by William Shakespeare
  250. The Chances, by John Fletcher
  251. The Tragedy of Hoffman, by Henry Chettle
  252. The Roman Actor, by Philip Massinger
  253. A Trick to Catch the Old One, by Thomas Middleton
  254. The Witch of Edmonton, by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford
  255. Selimus, by Robert Greene and Thomas Lodge
  256. Grim the Collier of Croydon, by Anonymous
  257. The Pedlar's Prophecy, by Robert Wilson
  258. The Fair Maid of Bristow, by Anonymous
  259. Captain Thomas Stukeley, by Anonymous
  260. Nobody and Somebody, by Anonymous
  261. Histriomastix, by John Marston
  262. Jack Drum's Entertainment, by John Marston
  263. The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, by John Knox
  264. The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, by Bede

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I finished up my re-read of the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks, and now I've started on the new and final book, Burning White. It's very long--I'm only 60% through and I've already put many hours in. It's a bit slow, but I don't mind, given that this is the last book and it'll be nice to have some answers about long-running plot threads.

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12 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Completed reads for 2019:

264 books! 

You beast! 

That's *amazing*!

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40 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

264 books! 

You beast! 

That's *amazing*!

Not as impressive as it sounds. Individual Platonic dialogues and Shakespeare plays significantly pads things out - and I had to count them separately, because I didn't read them as an anthology, but rather as individual items (generally online).

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8 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Not as impressive as it sounds. Individual Platonic dialogues and Shakespeare plays significantly pads things out - and I had to count them separately, because I didn't read them as an anthology, but rather as individual items (generally online).

How do you find time to read so much? (Hope that doesn’t seem rude of me to ask, i don’t mean it to, just genuinely interested) Even with your ‘short’ stuff padding it out thats quite the list!

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Well I finished The Burning White and I find myself torn. On the one hand, I found out what happened to a lot of characters and plotlines that I had spent a long time reading about. I even cried twice. On the other hand, halfway into the last book of a 5-book epic fantasy is really NOT the right time to suddenly decide you want to write blatant Christian allegory. It left a really bad taste in my mouth and I think will unfortunately taint the entire series for me. I feel like I got a bit tricked into reading it.

Puts me at 36 books for the year, with my goal being 40. Not terrible! I am hoping to read more next year.

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Read two things

1 - A little life  - it's sprawling, sad, dark and hopeful. Even though it's 700 pages and can feel a little meandering sometimes, I really enjoyed it.

2 - The Reluctant Fundamentalist - as a brown immigrant in the US/UK this book 100 percent captures my feelings on the two countries and the struggle that *so* many immigrants go through in their minds every day

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