Author Topic: What are you reading, part 3  (Read 107588 times)

maxonennis

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1740 on: May 02, 2011, 11:06:14 PM »


A childhood favorite, finally re-released after fifteen years. Have you ever waited fifteen years for a book?!
"Don't argue with ignorance. And when you argue with me, that's all you get!" Mike

Maxonennis’ soliloquy on Frog relations: “How can I bake the hall in the candle of her brain?”

Nessa

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1741 on: May 04, 2011, 06:01:40 AM »
Max, my daughter LOVES the animorph books. She's only recently discovered them.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1742 on: May 04, 2011, 11:27:26 AM »
Alright, recent reads.

Read the 3rd Joe Ledger novel by Jonathan Maberry.  Maberry's writing has definitely improved.  There were no real hiccups to be found.  This novel was by far the most entertaining, I think.  There was admittedly less characterization but the plot was so intriguing that it really didn't bother me.  Besides, you don't read Jonathan Maberry for character development (though he does slowly move them forward).  If you want a class on suspense, then he is your man.  He does this by flashing back and forth between the good guys and the bad guys and by the third novel he's got it down pat. 

My only complaint (and if you've read the book feel free to comment) was that halfway through the book there is a single mention of the name one of the anonymous bad guys.  I thought it must be a mistake because there was a single mention of the name and then nothing after.  If it wasn't a mistake then it was a really cheap way of letting the cat out of the bag.  If it was a mistake then I hope it gets fixed.  About the only other thing that is off is how the main character is dealing with all of the trauma he's witnessed in the past year.  I haven't done a headcount, but I'd venture to say that Joe Ledger has killed close to fifty people and seen at least three times as many die.  Maberry pays lip service to what this is doing to the main POV, but most of the time it's a "can't think about this now, I'm in the fight."  That part is true, but when you are consistently put into a high stress environment, your hypothalmus (sp?) begins to light up like a christmas tree until soon it doesn't shut off.  This is one effect of PTSD.  It's your brain's way of helping you survive.  Unfortunately, a heightened fight or flight response, with the switch thrown permanently to the flight side, will have lasting effects.  And Joe Ledger rarely shows any effects.  Outside of that, great read.

Twelve by Jasper Kent was interesting.  Think War and Peace meets Anne Rice.  I didn't know he was English, but its one of those curious things that within the first chapter I tend to recognize if the author is American or English.  It was confirmed at the end of the book.  I felt that reading this book was like watching the development of a writer.  The beginning is sparse in description, a lot of talking heads, etc.  By the midpoint when the vampires begin to really materialize (not giving anything away, the hints are heavy from the beginning) the description is much better.  In some ways, this really did feel like the main character was taken right from War and Peace.  A part of the army, but not really beholden to them with a mistress.  Not neccessarily a bad thing, but I felt there was a lot of overlap between the two.  It was nice to see vampires that weren't sparkling in the sun.  Instead, if they were in the sun, they were burning.  I don't mind vampires that aren't inherently evil, but the last few creations I've read have not been that good.  Kent spares no one in this novel and beloved characters drop left and right.  The ending was a long, twisted ride which was fun.  I like thinking I know what's going on and then finding out I"m wrong.  Kent only withholds a few items so it doesn't feel forced.  The only complaint about the ending is that the main character waffles back and forth over certain parts that drag on for pages and pages.  That got old and slowed the pacing down.  Outside of that, solid read.

I've been reading the Gone Series by Michael Grant.  Think Lord of Flies meets Stephen King (The Dome/The Stand/The Myst).  Grant isn't as good a writer as King, but he's not bad.  This series is tough for me.  It's interesting, but maybe it's hard for me to remember what I was like at 14.  Everyone over the age of 14 has mysteriously vanished.  The issue I have is that 14 year olds that are good kids seem more intelligent than the bad ones, but somehow the bad kids are infinitely more capable.  Each book seems to show that everything that could go wrong does.  Instead of there being an even shake between good types of people and bad, it's predominantly bad.  I also don't like that his solution to continiuing the series seems to be the good guys letting the bad guys go rather than imprison or kill them.  Mind you, this is after the bad guys kill babies and other kids.  Then the main POV agonizes over every person that has died, but seems oblivious to how many of those deaths could have been prevented.  It's the classic all that evil needs to triumph is for good men to do nothing.  I don't like reading books where evil seems to be consistently winning up until the end.  It just seems a little fake that suddenly at the end the good guys wake from their stupor, act, and win the day, only to let them go and begin the cycle all over again.  Still, Grant's writing isn't bad and it has kept me buying the books, but if I hadn't accidentally bought the latest novel first, I probably would have stopped on book two.

Finally, read Superfreakonomics, the sequel to Freakonomics.  I'm not going to go into detail about it as it's basically the same premise as the first book which I reviewed.  There are just different topics like prostitution, global warming, and a bunch of others.  Very good read which I highly reccomend.  Especially if you're interested in economics.
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maxonennis

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1743 on: May 04, 2011, 03:13:26 PM »
Max, my daughter LOVES the animorph books. She's only recently discovered them.

Oh man, in the 90's they were just IT. I was obsessed with them. I still enjoy them but I don't have to wait anxiously a month until the next one comes out. Reading the re-releases makes me feel pretty nostalgic, which makes me feel a lot older than I really am. Uh, I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad.  :-\
"Don't argue with ignorance. And when you argue with me, that's all you get!" Mike

Maxonennis’ soliloquy on Frog relations: “How can I bake the hall in the candle of her brain?”

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1744 on: May 04, 2011, 08:16:31 PM »
I'm reading Tiassa by Steven Brust. I love his books, though this one seems more like a collection of short novellas rather than a single, cohesive book.
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dhalagirl

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1745 on: May 07, 2011, 03:32:25 AM »
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead was fantastic!  I decided to put off reading The Windup Girl so I could read Monster Hunter International before Mr. Correia comes to town next week.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1746 on: May 09, 2011, 04:44:50 PM »
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead was fantastic!  I decided to put off reading The Windup Girl so I could read Monster Hunter International before Mr. Correia comes to town next week.

That's a good idea.  Larry's stuff is fun and fast.  Windup Girl was slow and sloggy.  I can see why people liked it to a degree, but I felt it was poorly plotted and paced, with the actual Windup Girl in the novel only being there for shock value purposes to alleviate the boredom.  I hope you like it much better than I did.
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1747 on: May 13, 2011, 09:23:00 PM »
Finished Abercrombie's The Heroes.  Awesome stuff.  I could easily read another one of his right now.

Started The White-Luck Warrior by Bakker.

Will probably knock a few more for-review books out of the way after this one.
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hubay

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1748 on: May 14, 2011, 04:18:04 PM »
@WriterDan: It sounded like Abercrombie's next book is going to a western, or at least very western-influenced. Tell me you're not excited for that.

I'm starting up The Dragon's Path right now. I actually hadn't read the Long Price Quartet before this, and now I think I will.

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1749 on: May 14, 2011, 06:19:45 PM »
I just finished Field Grey by Philip Kerr, and it was interesting, but. . . .  It had a lot of R-rated content, and some of it was appropriate to the story and some of it wasn't, but it all made it a harder read for me.  Also, none of the characters were really that likeable. That also made it a harder read.

I'm not sure what to read next. I have some stuff from the library, and I don't really know what to put first. Oh well.
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dhalagirl

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1750 on: May 15, 2011, 04:22:37 AM »
Monster Hunter Intenational was Fantastic!  Now on to Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation.

fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1751 on: May 16, 2011, 12:35:17 PM »
Finished the Tudors: The Complete Story by G.J. Meyer.  This is a historical overview of the Tudor's 118-year reign.  Meyer's prose is very readable which is always good in a history piece.  Rather than focus an entire book on one monarch, he does a very credible job of looking at each Tudor.  Admittedly the vast majority is spent on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.  This isn't surprising considering very little is written about Henry VII's reign.  The most interesting part is his unforseeable rise to Bosworth's field.  Edward and Mary's reigns are both very brief.  What I found very interesting is that Meyer would have a background chapter that set the scenes for the chapters that followed.  Mainly this dealt with politics and religion.  A very good read on how England's schism came about.  I loved the Tudors on Showtime, but this book really disabuses the modern reader about how successful and good their reign was.  By the end the Crown was bankrupt and the social laws were the most repressive in 300 years.  I highly reccomend this book as a good starting point for anyone interested in that time period.

I started April Blood:  Florence and the Medicis by Lauro Martines.  Unfortuntately, this author's prose was not very readable.  The book nominally is supposed to be about the assassination attempt on Lorenzo Medici and his brother during mass in late April.  The author provides a lot of unneccessary and meandering background so that halfway through the book we still haven't reached the events it's supposed to be about.  I finally had enough and put it down without finishing it.  I'll look for a better written work about Florence and the Medicis when I have time.  Any suggestions?

I finished Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney.  This was an excellent read.  Written by retired Command Sergeant Major Haney, this work is by one of the first members of Delta Force.  While certain parts are glossed over due to security concerns, he talks in detail about selection process, training, and some of their deployments.  These include Iran, Beirut, Grananda, and Panama.  The author makes a few controversial claims, especially about POW's in Vietnam.  (Namely that the North Vietnamese held several hundred POWs at the end of the war.  They had done this with the French as well, later bargaining their lives for billions in aid.  The Nixon administration knew about this, but wanted to get out, so suppressed the information.  Delta Force and the CIA began planning an operation when an obscure retired military officer publicly announced he was going after POW's in Vietnam.  This scrubbed the mission.  A year later, Delta was ready to go in again and this same officer reappeared.  The mission was scrubbed a second time, the POWs were killed, and it was swept under the rug).  All in all a fascinating read and while I never served in SF, I did serve with SF overseas on a handful of missions.  Based upon that and my military experience, the book seemed credible.  The author provides photos and other proof to back his claims as well.  Definitely an interesting read.

Up next?  I'm halfway through Game of Thrones and will be rereading Martin in preparation for Dance.
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Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1752 on: May 18, 2011, 07:37:05 PM »
I just started Empire of Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It looks good so far.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1753 on: May 19, 2011, 04:02:01 PM »
I just started Empire of Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It looks good so far.

A solid series.  It gets better as you go along--mostly due to Tchaikovsky becoming a better writer.  He has some PoV issues in the first book that slowly go away as the series goes on (they are essentially gone in book 5).  And the dude pumps out 2 books a year in that series.  The UK is about to get book 7.  The series gets really good once the history of the world starts getting explored.  So awesome.
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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1754 on: May 21, 2011, 05:04:05 AM »
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