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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 200419 times)

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #725 on: August 05, 2016, 05:54:59 AM »

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #726 on: August 06, 2016, 07:40:15 AM »
i think that was made into a movie ive seen.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #727 on: August 06, 2016, 01:21:56 PM »
Fifth-Business by Robertson Davies. Book one of three linked novels forming what's since come to be referred to as: "The Deptford Trilogy." The other two related books are The Manticore and The World of Wonders.

A very different take on the "coming of age" novel. If you enjoyed books like Slaughterhouse-Five, this book should appeal. Davies is a fine wordsmith. There's tons of quotable passages throughout. By example:

Quote
I have already said that while our village contained much of what humanity has to show, it did not contain everything, and one of the things it conspicuously lacked was an aesthetic sense; we were all too much descendants of hard-bitten pioneers to wish for or encourage any such thing, and we gave hard names to qualities that, in a more sophisticated society, might have had value.

From the publisher's blurb (which sums it up rather well):

Quote
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernicious, influence on those around him. His apparently innocent involvement in such innocuous events as the throwing of a snowball or the teaching of card tricks to a small boy in the end prove neither innocent nor innocuous.  Fifth Business stands alone as a remarkable story told by a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the real.

Recommended! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 01:35:24 PM by 40hz »

kunkel321

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #728 on: August 06, 2016, 03:31:23 PM »


https://books.google...wClsOmBIoC&hl=en
Half way though.... It's pretty good!

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #729 on: August 10, 2016, 12:23:28 PM »
i think that was made into a movie ive seen.

A 1973 vintage Walter Matthau flick
The Laughing Policeman


MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #730 on: August 10, 2016, 12:38:59 PM »
Continuing with Alan Glynn I have finished Bloodland



and I am about 3/4 through Graveland



I am looking forward to the new release Paradime



Not in the public library yet.




rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #731 on: August 11, 2016, 04:01:13 PM »
Lady_from_Zagreb.jpg

A full bibliography may be found on Philip Kerr's fantasticfiction page.

Attronarch

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #732 on: August 12, 2016, 05:29:19 AM »
Wow, that's even good depiction of Zagreb main square, with the statue of governor Josip Jelačić in the background. I'll have to pick it up just to see what is it about.

tomos

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #733 on: August 12, 2016, 06:24:09 AM »
[The Quiet Twin - Dan Vyleta]

did you find that one as good as the reviews suggested?
Tom

wraith808

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #734 on: August 12, 2016, 09:16:07 AM »
I read a lot, so I generally don't post the books to this thread, but two series are very good that I've just read.  I think the genre is called gunpowder fantasy, but it encompasses some historical constructs that I really like- akin to Sharpe's rifles.



The first is the Powder Mage Series, by Brian McClellan.  It starts with A Promise of Blood



Quote
The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

It's a bloody business overthrowing a king...
Field Marshal Tamas' coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas's supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.

It's brilliantly paced, with visceral battle scenes that other than the presence of the Powder Mages and other Magic are very well done, and might as well be right out of a Sharpe novel, and well written characters that are intelligently developed.

The second series is, if possible, more fantastical while being a lot closer in scope to the British colonialism and imperialism- especially towards the end of the same.  I speak of the Iron Elves series by Chris Evans.  Everything is familiar, while at the same time, nothing is, and the characterizations are intense and well written.

It starts with A Darkness Forged in Fire, that almost lost me in the beginning.  But I'm glad that I stuck it out through that bit of exposition, as the rest of the read firmly grabbed me.



Quote
We do not fear the flame, though it burns us,
We do not fear the fire, though it consumes us,
And we do not fear its light,
Though it reveals the darkness of our souls,
For therein lies our power.

-- Blood Oath of the Iron Elves

First in a stunning debut series, A Darkness Forged in Fire introduces an unforgiving world of musket and cannon...bow and arrow...magic, diplomacy, and oaths -- each wielding terrible power in an Empire teetering on the brink of war.

I highly recommend both series if you're into that era of history at all.


rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #735 on: August 14, 2016, 03:24:14 PM »
Wow, that's even good depiction of Zagreb main square, with the statue of governor Josip Jelačić in the background. I'll have to pick it up just to see what is it about.
There isn't much about Zagreb as such, but a fair section about the age-old and horrible enmity between Serb and Croat.  Bernie is a non-Nazi German detective; the novels span the early 1930s through to the Cold War, with all that implies.  As a character, he is very much in the 'noir' tradition of e.g. Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe.

More on Philip Kerr's official website.

rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #736 on: August 14, 2016, 03:34:24 PM »
[The Quiet Twin - Dan Vyleta]
did you find that one as good as the reviews suggested?
I haven't seen any reviews of it - I picked it up when I saw it in the library, because I'd read his first novel, Pavel and I (for which I had seen positive reviews), and thought well of it.

In The Quiet Twin Vyleta wanted to consider how the Nazi regime affected the lives of ordinary Viennese (nearly all of them flawed characters), and set most of the story within a single apartment block.  The book kept me reading with some urgency to find out what happened next, but given the era and situation, don't expect any happy endings.

rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #737 on: August 14, 2016, 03:58:46 PM »
It starts with A Darkness Forged in Fire, that almost lost me in the beginning.  But I'm glad that I stuck it out through that bit of exposition, as the rest of the read firmly grabbed me.
A dangerous strategy for an author.  I started Gardens of the Moon, first of Steven Erikson's Malazan Empire series, which opens on a protracted scene where two people, neither introduced, pick their way through a scene of World War 1 level carnage - with no explanation whatsoever.  I put the book down.  I picked it up again a few weeks later and finished it, but it was a close-run thing whether I'd bother.

wraith808

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #738 on: August 14, 2016, 04:27:26 PM »
It starts with A Darkness Forged in Fire, that almost lost me in the beginning.  But I'm glad that I stuck it out through that bit of exposition, as the rest of the read firmly grabbed me.
A dangerous strategy for an author.  I started Gardens of the Moon, first of Steven Erikson's Malazan Empire series, which opens on a protracted scene where two people, neither introduced, pick their way through a scene of World War 1 level carnage - with no explanation whatsoever.  I put the book down.  I picked it up again a few weeks later and finished it, but it was a close-run thing whether I'd bother.

Totally agreed.  But I think he fell victim to two things.

1) New author
2) the Genre, as I said, was Gunpowder Fantasy.  That first part was pure fantasy.

rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #739 on: August 15, 2016, 03:38:24 PM »
[...] I think he fell victim to two things.
1) New author
2) the Genre, as I said, was Gunpowder Fantasy.  That first part was pure fantasy.
That sounds like he needed a good editor to suggest improvements.  Perhaps publishers and agents don't bother any more.

You said you read a lot.  How do you pick what books to read next, given the vast number available and limited time to read?  Do you frequent favourite review sites, and if so, which?

wraith808

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #740 on: August 15, 2016, 03:55:50 PM »
[...] I think he fell victim to two things.
1) New author
2) the Genre, as I said, was Gunpowder Fantasy.  That first part was pure fantasy.
That sounds like he needed a good editor to suggest improvements.  Perhaps publishers and agents don't bother any more.

You said you read a lot.  How do you pick what books to read next, given the vast number available and limited time to read?  Do you frequent favourite review sites, and if so, which?

Nothing that measured.  When I need a new book, my nook suggests books in the genre that I read.  I browse for a bit, buy the one that catches my fancy, and put the other interesting things on my wish list.  When there's nothing on the Nook suggestions that I like, I revisit my wish list.  I visit Goodreads also, but I can't say that it's a part of my regimen anymore, but I also pick up suggestions from Amazon, and just find them on the Nook, or if I like them well enough, just buy it in the kindle app.

To round that up, I also use the bundle sites, i.e.

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/
http://storybundle.com/

and visit the Baen and Tor sites on occasion.

http://www.tor.com/
http://www.baen.com/baenebooks

rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #741 on: August 19, 2016, 04:53:28 PM »
Lavie Tidharw's The Bookman, first of a trilogy.

fantasticfiction bibliographical record for Lavie Tidhar

The_Bookman.jpg

Steampunk to the max.  The Queen is an alien lizard; her Prime Minister has the ominous name Moriarty; her equerry is Sir Harry Flashman VC.  Two factions of the opposition are lead by Karl Marx and Mrs. Isabella Beeton.  The viewpoint character, Orphan, meets both Holmes brothers, Prince Dakkar (aka Captain Nemo), H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, the Mechanical Turk, Inspector Irene Adler, and an automaton of Lord Byron.

You wouldn't read this for the action sequences, but for the characters and the invented world.  I loved the myriad references to other fictional (and some real, I think) authors and their books, and was delighted when I recognised a few of them.  The spoiler are some that Orphan searches through in Chapter 16, 'At the Bibliotheca Librorum Imaginariorum':
Spoiler
Jo March's A Phantom Hand.  William Ashbless's Accounts of London Scientists.  Hawthorne Abendsen's The Grasshopper Lies Heavy.  The Encyclopedia Donkaniara.  The Book of Three.  Emmanuel Goldstein's The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.  Captain Eustacio Binky's Coffee Making as a Fine Art.  Ludvig Prinn's De Vermis Mysteriis.  Gulliver Fairborn's A Talent for Sacrifice.  Colonel Sebastian Moran's Heavy Game of the Western Himalayas.  Gottfried Mulder's Secret Mysteries of Asia, with Commentary on the Ghorl Nigral.  Cosmo Cowperthwait's Sexual Dimorphism Among The Echinoderms, Focusing Particularly Upon the Asteroidea and Holothuridea.  George Edward Challenger's Some Observations Upon a Series of Kalmuk Skulls.

[...]

Gossip Gone Wild by Dr Jubal Harshaw. In My Father's House by Princess Irulan. Burlesdon on Ancient Theories and Modern Facts by James Rassendyll, Lord Burlesdon. The Truth of Alchemy by Mr. Karswell. Stud City by Gordon Lachance. Boxing the Compass by Bobbi Anderson. The Relationship of Extradigitalism to Genius, by Zubarin. Megapolisomancy by Thibaut de Castries. De Impossibilitate Prognoscendi by Cezar Kouska. Eustace Clarence Scrubb's Diary. Azathoth and Other Horrors by Edward Pickman Derby.

More things fell from the books. A coin, so blackened that its face could no longer be discerned. A map of an island drawn in a child's hand. A butterfly, the wings black save for two emerald spots. A newspaper cutting from the Daily Journal, that read:

12 June 1730
Seven Kings or Chiefs of the Chirakee Indians. bordering upon the area called Croatoan, are come over in the Fox Man of War, Capt. Arnold, in order to pay their duty to his Majesty, and assure him of their attachment to his person and Government, &c.

Aunt Susan's Compendium of Pleasant Knowledge. Broomstick or the Midnight Practice. R. Blastem's Sea Gunner's Practice, with Description of Captain Shotgun's Murdering Piece. The Libellus Leibowitz. Augustus Whiffle's The Care of the Pig. Dr Stephen Maturin's Thoughts on the Prevention of Diseases most usual among Seamen. Professor Radcliffe Emerson's Development of the Egyptian Coffin from Predynastic Times to the End of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, With Particular Reference to Its Reflection of Religious, Social, and Artistic Conventions. The Book of Bokonon. Kilgore Trout's Now It Can Be Told. James Bailey's Life of William Ashbless. Hugo Rune's The Book of Ultimate Truths. Harriet Vane's The Sands of Crime. Jean-Baptiste Colbert's Grand System of Universal Monarchy. Toby Shandy's Apologetical Oration. ...


derekbd

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #742 on: August 20, 2016, 07:21:41 AM »
I ran out of new books to read. I am waiting on a few releases in the autumn including Thomas Dolby's memoir The Speed of Sound
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D8FKXV4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#nav-subnav

Also, the third in a trilogy by Cixin Liu which is newly translated. https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-End-Remembrance-Earths-Past-ebook/dp/B00WDVKZY0/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1471695337&sr=1-3&keywords=the+three+body+problem#nav-subnav


I'm reading some old favourites. I always enjoy doing that.

I only met Banks' sci-fi 6 years ago. Buggerin' cancer deprived us of a treasure. <tear>

(I loved The Crow Road on BBC from about 2000, which Banks said was in some ways better than his novel! The device of Rory speaking to Prentiss was a clever invention of the script.)

tomos

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #743 on: August 20, 2016, 01:36:34 PM »
(I loved The Crow Road on BBC from about 2000, which Banks said was in some ways better than his novel! The device of Rory speaking to Prentiss was a clever invention of the script.)

(will have to watch that again, as I can only remember snippets. I do remember enjoying it, looking forward to next episode.)
Tom

derekbd

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #744 on: August 20, 2016, 04:03:28 PM »
Banks' novel "Whit , or Isis Among the Unsaved" is the funniest of his non-scifi by far; a witty commentary on the modern world (well, of 1980ish). It pokes tremendous fun at religion while respecting those who truly believe and benefit from it their lives.

Read it!

 Some comments on the novel can be found on the Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia...org/wiki/Whit_(novel).

Don't know if the attachment is allowed. I shall review the faq and rules now.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 09:31:45 AM by app103, Reason: Removed attached file »

wraith808

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #745 on: August 20, 2016, 04:47:44 PM »
Is it available for purchase?  Then the link should be removed.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #746 on: August 22, 2016, 04:19:42 AM »

rjbull

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #747 on: August 22, 2016, 04:08:21 PM »
When I need a new book, my nook suggests books in the genre that I read.
Thanks...  I'm still stuck in the print age, on the whole.  I used to get suggestions for general books from various print sources, e.g. the book reviews pages of a decent newspaper, but as I don't take a paper now, that's gone.  A pity, as I miss recommendations for travel books in particular.  I scan such sources as come my way, of course.

For fantasy and science fiction, I tend to rely most on Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine's book reviews, and also on the stories themselves.  I picked up on Lavie Tidhar (mentioned above) because he had an outtake from his 'Bookman' world published as a short story in Asimov's.  I just looked at their web site, which features the current edition, August 2016.  They naturally don't make a great deal of their fiction available for free, but there a few extracts, and what looks like the complete text of their reviews, main page > Current issue > On Books.  Historically they use several reviewers who take it in turns.  I'm not so keen on Paul Di Filippo, but it takes all sorts.  Norman Spinrad is always on a mission.

Other F&SF sources have been various author sites and blogs; some authors list blogs they frequent.  Sarah Ash used to, but doesn't now.  Webmasters like giving sites a spiffy makeover, but it doesn't always mean more useful information for the user.  And blogs and other useful sites keep disappearing.  I've occasionally looked at Fantasy Book Critic, and there I've just spotted a new series by highly entertaining YA writer Philip Reeve, author of the "Traction Cities" series and of Here Lies Arthur.  Like others, I'm somewhat Arthured-out, but this is a nice take on the legend, taking a pragmatic approach rather than a mystical one, rather like Rosemary Sutcliff did.  His Arthur is a Dark Age protection racketeer; Merlin a con-man on an epic scale; Camelot a jerry-built mud hut; all related by a very down-to-earth Lady of the Lake. 

As for whodunnits/thrillers, they tend to be well covered in regular paper sources; even my casual perusal turns up new names.  On rare occasions I've trawled the Crime Time web site.  Once I find someone whose work I like, the Internet makes it easy to track new works by that author.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #748 on: September 07, 2016, 10:59:14 AM »

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #749 on: September 07, 2016, 11:06:48 AM »
@derekbd I am about 2/3 of the way through the first volume of the 3 Body Trilogy.  I am just at the part in the game where the 3 suns align and everything gets pulled apart etc..  :)