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November 2009


Ski the Swift

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Just FYI for those interested in The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, I received an email today from amazon that the delivery date has been moved up to Nov. 6-9 (when it had previously been Nov. 18).

Well, fuck. It will have to wait until next week's check, I have already spent too much money on books this week as it is.

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I finished It. It was alright. Amazing how little character development occurs in 1100 pages. Also I'm very ambivalent about... that sexual incident that most reviewers are ambivalent about. So much for King.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Other Voices Other Rooms by Truman Capote - both good and very atmospheric. The Haunting is so much better than that crappy horror flick with Catherine Zeta-Jones that some friends dragged me to see a few years ago. The terror is arguably not even supernatural, but entirely psychological.

Philip K Dick's late metaphysical novels - Radio Free Albemuth (just awesome, one of his best IMHO, a pseudo-autobiographical complement to VALIS), Divine Invasions (PKD does the messiah trope, truly underrated) and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (more low key, and morbid, you can tell Phil was preparing for his own coming death). I find his writing very addictive.

Next - completely different stuff.

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I finished It. It was alright. Amazing how little character development occurs in 1100 pages. Also I'm very ambivalent about... that sexual incident that most reviewers are ambivalent about. So much for King.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Other Voices Other Rooms by Truman Capote - both good and very atmospheric. The Haunting is so much better than that crappy horror flick with Catherine Zeta-Jones that some friends dragged me to see a few years ago. The terror is arguably not even supernatural, but entirely psychological.

Philip K Dick's late metaphysical novels - Radio Free Albemuth (just awesome, one of his best IMHO, a pseudo-autobiographical complement to VALIS), Divine Invasions (PKD does the messiah trope, truly underrated) and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (more low key, and morbid, you can tell Phil was preparing for his own coming death). I find his writing very addictive.

Next - completely different stuff.

You might take a look at the 1963 Haunting movie with Julie Harris. That frightened me.

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I finished The Gathering Storm yesterday. I liked it. A lot. After the abomination that was books 9 and 10 I really enjoyed this book. Sanderson's done well trying to continue Jordan's work with the major exception one character who just seemed a bit off. I can't wait to read the next one in a year I hope it's (at least) as good as tGS.

I'm back to reading Grisham's The Broker which I abandoned when tGS got here Friday. It seems interesting so far (early in the book). Thus far it seems more Tom Clancey-lite-ish rather than a standard Grisham courtroom drama. It is early in the book - I may be totally wrong here...

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Have started my first re-read of Prince of Nothing. Have had the books on loan to a friend forever, but now finally have got hold of them again.

This is going to be really interesting after having read The Judging Eye and seen all the theories and speculation both here and on the Three Seas forum.

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Finished reading 'Elric in the Dream Realms', the latest collection of Elric tales. The three main stories were well worth a look, the supporting stuff was hit and miss but still worth the read. My full review is over Here. I'm now reading Jeff Vandermeer's 'Finch' and I've got a couple of others on the go as well.

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I finished the first book in the "Alien Earth" trilogy, called Phase I. I have to wonder, why is German Sci-Fi sometimes so lame-ass? No action involved. Well whatever, I have to read the trilogy to the end.

After that I will read a book about the Kosovo War.

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Just finished "The Sun Also Rises" by Hemingway, "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky, and "Everythings Eventual" by Stephen King.

Next up: "Portrait of the artist as a young man" and "The Grapes of Wrath".

And I should be getting "Dreamsongs", "Fevre Dream" and the new Salvatore book in the mail soon.

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Finished Black Man - Richard Morgan I really enjoyed this book. I think I may need to read more of his books.

Currently reading The City & The City - China Mieville, Princess of Landover - Terry Brooks & also on the horizon This day all gods die The Gap into Ruin - Stephen Donaldson & Ysabel - Guy Gavriel Kay.

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Finished reading Charlaine Harris' 'A Touch of Dead', a collection of Sookie Stackhouse short stories. I had a lot of fun reading these but they were very clearly aimed at long term fans who've read the whole series (which I haven't...) My full review is over Here. Now it's back to 'Finch'...

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I put down The Secret History by Donna Tartt to tear through My Dead Body, the latest and last Joe Pitt book from Charlie Huston. Big, brutal fun as always, and a great wrap-up of the series, touching on every character and plot-point from the previous books.

SPOILER: My Dead Body

I was surprised Joe survived, thought he was a goner for sure. Actually, it was pretty much a 'happy' ending, for Evie and Joe at least (various missing body parts not withstanding)

Back to The Secret History which I'm more than halfway through now and really enjoying.

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Since reading Cryptonomicon this summer and going on and on about how awesome it was, a mate lent me The Code Book by Simon Singh, which is a real-life history of cryptography. It's really interesting and very funny in places (some of the anecdotes about Charles Babbage's life are hilarious), though the actual technical bits about the codes are sometimes a bit much for a sleepy train journey.

I've heard a lot about Charlie Huston and it sounds like someone I'd enjoy reading... where would you recommend I start?

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Reading "Sailor on the Seas of Fate" by Michael Moorcock and "Nexus" by Henry Miller. I'm really liking both of them.

The Moorcock is pretty psychedelic, with talking swords and alternate universes.

Henry Miller is my favorite writer. The energy of his writing is sustaining. Nexus is a more straightforward book than his famous trilogy of the Tropics. Less stream of consciousness bits, more about everyday life.

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Since reading Cryptonomicon this summer and going on and on about how awesome it was, a mate lent me The Code Book by Simon Singh, which is a real-life history of cryptography. It's really interesting and very funny in places (some of the anecdotes about Charles Babbage's life are hilarious), though the actual technical bits about the codes are sometimes a bit much for a sleepy train journey.

Simon Singh's Fermat's Last Theorem is also a must-read.

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