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First Quarter 2020 Reading

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16 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

It's Williams. All his books are big!

Tailchaser's Song is relatively small! 

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44 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

It's Williams. All his books are big!

The Bobby Dollar books aren’t too long. The ine i read was also not very good, but it wasn’t overly long ;) 

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15 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

The Bobby Dollar books aren’t too long. The ine i read was also not very good, but it wasn’t overly long ;) 

Hah you know I've never read those. I heard they were not so good.

43 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

Tailchaser's Song is relatively small! 

Oh damn, I always forget about that one.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

also dragon bone chair is probably his weakest and slowest book so man are you in for a treat.

I think I mentioned in a thread recently that I gave his a shot, put it down, picked it back up for some reason, still didn't love it for a while, and then when I got to the final 3rd or so felt much more into it and was actually curious where it was going.  Ought I persist onto book 2 then?  

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1 minute ago, Triskele said:

I think I mentioned in a thread recently that I gave his a shot, put it down, picked it back up for some reason, still didn't love it for a while, and then when I got to the final 3rd or so felt much more into it and was actually curious where it was going.  Ought I persist onto book 2 then?  

Yeah, that was pretty much my experience when I first read a billion years ago in the long long ago. (so, the 90s). It's the slowest of slow burns.

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18 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

It's the slowest of slow burns.

The opening Hayholt chapters, that feature chapters upon chapters of detail that I'm sure are Chekhov's gun, were in all likelihood necessary. But after the escape from the holt, the book picked up quickly, I found. (I'm only 342 pages into this 772 page monster, though, so this is all speculation on my part.)

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2 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Late to the party on this one, but Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair is quite compelling. A goddamn brick. But compelling. A compelling brick.

I read that when I was younger and recall pieces of it, so it's certainly got some charm ... but my overwhelming recollection is that it was a whole lot of words for a whole lot of nothing.

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4 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Aw fuck.

550,275 words, 1,083 pages.

You can remove the epilogue from that page count, because you definitely shouldn't read it.  (And when you do, because of course you will, as this post will stoke your morbid curiosity, you can remember that I warned you not to.)

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Finished The Ember Blade. Enjoyed it, was darker than expected. Looking forward to following books.

Also finished Glass Shore by Stefan Jackson,  a cyberpunk thriller set about 50 years from now in New York. It’s in first person present tense, but it works and was enjoyable. Recommended if you like cyberpunk.

 

Also finished Million Eyes by CR Berry, a new time travel novel where a former teacher uncovers evidence that time travellers were responsible for various historical events such as the killing of King William Rufus. Was enjoyable too.

 

As my own works were mentioned above, a quick mention that Lord of the Hunt, Sooty Feathers #2 (Resurrection Men sequel) will be out as ebook in March (date tbc). Paperback scheduled for May. Will update the Self-promo thread with full details when known.

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14 hours ago, williamjm said:

I started Iain (no M.) Banks' The Crow Road. I've read all his SF novels but I'm not very familiar with his non-SF work. It's been good so far. I've heard it suggested before that the book has one of the best first lines in literature, it's certainly an attention-grabbing way to start a book:

 

 

It's one of the things I adore the most about Iain without the 'M' -- almost nobody dies in an unspectacular fashion. I found his books to be hit and miss, but when they do hit, it's amazing. Loved "The Crow Road" and "The Wasp Factory". Liked "Espedair Street" and "Walking on Glass" rather a lot.

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Matthew Cobb's The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis. Very informative history for a book just shy of 300 pages. The myths are dispelled and reality discussed. 

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Neal Stephenson's Fall; or, Dodge in Hell was my most recent book, and I found it a little flat in comparison to a lot of his other works.  Stephenson's wheelhouse is not character development, and I realize this, but the idea of the book wherein the brains of those who die are scanned and re-booted in a cybernetic world sort of exacerbates the lack of affect in the characters and makes it hard to like them or identify with them or their challenges.

I also found it difficult to reconcile El's constant complaints prior to his own death that Dodge had not been imaginative enough in forming The Land with the fact that once he, El, was in The Land, he did basically nothing to revolutionize the cybernetic world.  Instead, he just kind of squatted on it and lorded his processing power advantage over everyone else in the same quasi-medieval milieu.

The whole experience of reading the book was sort of like listening to someone else recount their epic game of Ultima III.  It was nice enough, but I had a hard time getting too involved in it.

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16 hours ago, Triskele said:

I think I mentioned in a thread recently that I gave his a shot, put it down, picked it back up for some reason, still didn't love it for a while, and then when I got to the final 3rd or so felt much more into it and was actually curious where it was going.  Ought I persist onto book 2 then?  

I also had a similar experience with the book where I felt it really picked up in the final section. I thought the second and third books were more like the last section of the first book than the slog of the middle of the book, although they're still very long books.

8 hours ago, Peadar said:

It's one of the things I adore the most about Iain without the 'M' -- almost nobody dies in an unspectacular fashion. I found his books to be hit and miss, but when they do hit, it's amazing. Loved "The Crow Road" and "The Wasp Factory". Liked "Espedair Street" and "Walking on Glass" rather a lot.

I'm finding it oddly nostalgic so far. I've read a lot of books set in Scotland and particularly the Highlands which don't really ring true for someone who grew up there, but Banks' portrayal of the Highlands around 1990 feels very authentic (not that I'm surprised he does a good job with it). Admittedly, I'm only slight familiar with the part of Argyll where it's set, but there was a brief plot point about the village of Fortingall near where I grew up where Prentice does mention two fairly obscure bits of trivia about it (that it has an ancient tree believed to be over 2000 years old and there's an unlikely local legend that Pontius Pilate was born there).

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Okay, so just finished A Spy In The House Of Love, by Anais Nin. I found this immensely difficult to read, partly because of the dense writing style, but mostly because of the subject matter. I don't think I could fairly review this book without reading it again, but I definitely have no plans to do that any time soon. I did take a glance at the author's bio and I have to admit that that is affecting my reaction to the story, and not in a good way.

I will say that I am quite happy to have read something so profoundly different this year. I've enjoyed a lot of books so far, but only this and Wuthering Heights have elicited such a visceral emotional response. Wildly different responses however, despite the commonalities between each book.

Anyway, moving on to what is hopefully a relatively chill read, Travels with my Aunt, by Graham Greene. I was actually given this book by my own aunt, who has a singular ability to choose books that I completely adore. Looking forward to it!

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1 hour ago, Leap said:

Anyway, moving on to what is hopefully a relatively chill read, Travels with my Aunt, by Graham Greene. I was actually given this book by my own aunt, who has a singular ability to choose books that I completely adore. Looking forward to it!

Well, unlike Spy or Heights, Travels with My Aunt is actually pretty funny, as are a lot of Greene's entertainment books, filled with dark, insightful humor based upon the characters in the novels.

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On 2/10/2020 at 9:57 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

The Bobby Dollar books aren’t too long. The ine i read was also not very good, but it wasn’t overly long ;) 

Book 1 was nice. Two was meh and I found 3 to be really boring. I speed read just to get closure. Wouldn't recommend this series at all. 

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Problem with Bobby Dollar 2 was that while it had an interesting depictions of hell, it did absolutely nothing to progress the series plot. If anything, the mc lost the one clue he actually had.

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I'm on, I think, book 3 of the Malazan series.

This guy LOVES the word "suserration" ... always interesting to see the things authors latch onto. I think it was "squelch" when I read Abercrombie last year.

Edited by Ser Not Appearing

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18 hours ago, Ser Not Appearing said:

I'm on, I think, book 3 of the Malazan series.

This guy LOVES the word "suserration" ... always interesting to see the things authors latch onto. I think it was "squelch" when I read Abercrombie last year.

By coincidence I am 53% through Memories of Ice at the moment and I don't remember that word at all. Interesting what different readers notice. :)

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