Author Topic: What are you reading, part 3  (Read 115714 times)

fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1800 on: July 01, 2011, 01:21:08 AM »
Read Everything's Eventual by Stephen King, The Talisman by Peter Straub and Stephen King, and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.


Everything's Eventual was a short story collection King wrote while still recovering from the hit and run incident he had.  It was very, very good.  Even though I liked Night Shift, it's insane the difference between that and this one.  Granted over twenty years had past, but it's nice to see how improved his writing has become.  King has a good intro concerning ebooks (this is 2001) and how when he wrote and released Riding the Bullet via electronically it caused a huge frenzy.  He said he did it to try new media, to keep his edge, but he was disappointed because in interviews no one asked him about the story, they just cared about the numbers of people who checked out a book in electronic format.  Ironically, the audio rights went for over 100k.  The stories in here are good, including Everything's Eventual (the title) and 1408.  I like the book better than the movie, though to be fair th book version is much, much shorter.  All in all, a good read.

The Talisman by Peter Straub and King was a lengthy read.  Fans of King's Dark Tower series will feel a lot of similarities between Roland's world and the Territories (the alternate world that is part of the setting for the book, our world being the other).  It's the story of a twelve year old boy who must travel from New Hampshire to California to find the Talisman.  His mother is dying of cancer, his father's been murdered by his friend and business partner, so she's all his has left.   In the Territories, his mother's double or Twinner is also dying and if she dies, the fate of the Territories will lie in the hands of his father's business partner's Twinner.  There is some good writing here.  The book gets off to a slow start (like most of King's lengthy works) but is running down hill at a breakneck pace by the time you reach 70%.  Especially touching is the Wolf character.  I get the feeling when I read this that this is a cross between an American take on Tolkien, fairy tales, and King's own Dark Tower universe.  It's worth the read.

Fight Club...I've loved the movie for years.  It spawned an era of anti-establishment, anti-work movies where the protagonist hates their job and goes to crazy lengths to change it.  I finally read the book.  I was surprised by how good it was.  The story is basically just free thought from the protagonist.  Most of the time when he's speaking to other characters there isn't even proper punctuation (though the other characters do have dialogue tags).  There was some really good writing in here.  It's definitely a style I personally could not hope to emulate.  It's just a little too foreign for me.  I like the visceral mental diatribes, they add weight to the character's mental state.  Anyone who has seen the movie won't be surprised by the ending.  I would like to be able to read it blissfully unaware of the duality of the protagonist, but I couldn't.  In some ways the book handles it better than the movie, but in many ways the movie passes it on that end of things.  Then again, it's much easier to do that in the format of cinema as opposed to the written word.  The movie doesn't follow the book exactly, so there are some nice twists and turns.  I think Chuck has some interesting, thought provoking things to say about society...the rest I think he's talking out of his ass.  It's alright though, because he remains true to the character.  You can't ask for more than that and at the end of the day you can take it or leave it when you turn the last page.There's an afterward written after the movie made it so famous.  It's really funny how he got his idea and just ran with it, not expecting much.  His advance was 6k.  I liked that he was cognizant of the fact that what he was doing structure wise in his novel went against the norm.  The whole point of the "rules" was to anchor the reader in while we whipped from scene to scene and character to character.  He did a good job.  It's sad how many people out there believed everything he wrote and chose to emulate it.  The first five pages of the afterward are describing all of the crazy things people did in the wake of its popularity.  All in all, good stuff.

I'm going to read the sequel to the Talisman and depending on how that goes, hopefully be tackling some new Butcher and GRRM shortly.
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Silk

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1801 on: July 01, 2011, 05:51:10 AM »
Reading Connie Willis's Blackout.

So I finished it last night and posted something snarky to Twitter about looking forward to the other half of the book, and then realized that Blackout and All Clear are actually appearing on the Hugo ballot as one item and felt kind of like a jerk.  Maybe I should wait to review it until I've read both...

hubay

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1802 on: July 01, 2011, 08:14:26 AM »
@fireflyz
Black house is good, but don't expect it to be anything like the talisman. the protagonist is an adult and very different, it isn't focused on the journey like the talisman, but instead is sort of structured very vaguely like a mystery. Very strong dark tower tie-ins, though. I liked it, but I think the talisman had a better sense of the fantastical and mysterious to it.

Anways, I'm reading Unseen Academicals. Big pratchett fan, and I'm curious about this story cuz the UU always seems to be a supporting character in the books. Also haphazardly reading memory, sorrow, and thorn. I think it's a good story, but after reading the Shadowmarch series (which is very similar, in my opinion) I feel like it's more dense and takes longer to read through.

Bejay

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1803 on: July 03, 2011, 12:44:51 PM »
Started A Dance with Dragons two days ago. So far..... pure love. Thx again Amazon. :)

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1804 on: July 05, 2011, 06:11:59 PM »
I'm reading Shadowborn by Alison Sinclair. I really liked the other two books in this series, so I'm excited to see how this turns out.
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Hero of Ages

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1805 on: July 06, 2011, 06:10:03 AM »
Currently reading The Never Ending Story.  I always wanted to after the movie came out but for some reason it was always out of the library.  In the years since, I had forgotten it until the other day.  I finally bought it and it is pretty good so far.  I am about half way into it.  Next on the list is either The Wise Man's Fear (which I have owned since the 1st day it came out but just haven't gotten around to reading yet), Tarzan King of the Apes (another that I have always wanted to read), or The Dark is Rising series (which I read years ago, but want to reread).  Decisions, decisions.
I must not fear;
Fear is the mind killer;
I will face my fear;
I will let it pass through me;
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing;
Only I will remain.
-Paul Muad'dib Atreides-

Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.
-Me-

mtbikemom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1806 on: July 06, 2011, 11:38:49 PM »
I used to own first editions of three Tarzan books, one of which was Tarzan and the Ant Men.  Very early classic sci fi.  They might still be in a box somewhere.

I listened to the last seven chapters of Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman's Good Omens while riding in the woods today.  The order got scrambled somehow (my IPod was NOT on shuffle) and for a while I was irritated, then realized it didn't make much of a difference.  Still fun.

Shiael

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1807 on: July 11, 2011, 01:11:34 AM »
just finished elantris for the first time <3 <3 <3

I have to say, excellent political view. The one book i have read that actually specifies political concerns of both non and main characters. however, the lack of war made me sad :/    Still up VERY high on my list of favorites.
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1808 on: July 11, 2011, 11:47:56 PM »
Sword of Fire and Sea was pretty bad.  Semi-decent writing, really confusing, and seemingly pointless.

Read the Nebula Winners Showcase 2011.  Lots of status quo Science Fiction, and a couple of good fantasy stories.

Reading Frederik Pohl's All the Lives He Led right now, and it's fairly interesting but not really what I'd call exciting or engaging.

I need something really good to read.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1809 on: July 12, 2011, 12:24:07 PM »
My reading took a hit this past week.  (For good reasons, which might come with some exciting news in the next week or so)  I was able to read Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton and No Better Place to Die.

I picked up Just a Geek because I read Pat Rothfuss's review on his blog.  Also, I'm a huge Trekkie fan.  Let me clarify that.  I absolutely loved TNG and Voyager, thought DS9 was alright, the original was good, and Enterprise was terrible.  I can quote lines from the shows, love specific episodes, but I can't remember the names of every episode and I've never, never been to a Star Trek Convention.

Alright, bona fides out of the way, onto the review.  Just a Geek was well written.  It's not a terribly long book and a lot of it appears to be taken from Wil's blog.  Having said that, Wil goes into detail to tell the reader what was going on behind the scenes when he wrote each entry.  The book starts off with a young, 16 year old Wil Wheaton watching members of the original Star Trek cast come out of their hotel to get on a Trekkie Cruise.  It takes a sixteen year old to be able to judge them so harshly and so completely.  We've all been there.  In Wil's case it resulted in him leaving Star Trek and spending the next 10+ years regretting it.

This is a story about fame and success turning into ruin.  But more than that it's a story about recovery and acceptance.  It's a story about hope.  And I think those stories are worth reading every now and again to remind us that there's always a ray of sunshine at the end of the tunnel.  This will appeal to any reader, but especially those who followed the show as there's a lot of behind the scenes looks from Patrick Stewart and co.

No Better Place to Die is a memoir of an 82nd Airborne Pathfinder's days in Normandy.  It follows the action of Saint-Mere Eglise which had some of the most brutal close combat of the war.  It's an alright book.  The author's prose isn't bad, but he jumps all over the place and innundates the reader with a ton of names, details, etc.  It would appeal to the amateur historian looking for an in depth look at the conflict, but the average reader, meh.  Also, when I read memoirs I'm hoping to get a look inside of the writer's head.  In this case the author takes the rare approach of pulling himself out of the story.  There are a lot of harrowing tales and several Medal of Honor moments.  Definitely worth reading for that alone.  The second half of the book is filled with letters from the soldiers involved.  Really you could read the second half of the book and find out the same information, but as they are letters you're expecting disjointed, haphazard organization.  The first half is the same thing told by the author, but much more jarring.

Next up? GRRM of course  :-)
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1810 on: July 12, 2011, 04:13:47 PM »
I need something really good to read.

Nope.  You aren't allowed to read anything really good.  I've claimed that right.

Oh wait!  You get to review the anthology with 2 of my short stories in it! (Obviously I can't review it)  It comes out next month though...
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1811 on: July 12, 2011, 10:41:32 PM »
Nope.  You aren't allowed to read anything really good.  I've claimed that right.

Ain't it the truth!  AIN'T it the truuuuuth!  << said with vehemence, as I grab my tail and squint into the bright lights>>

Oh wait!  You get to review the anthology with 2 of my short stories in it! (Obviously I can't review it)  It comes out next month though...

Actually, I'd forgotten about that.  That's the problem with e-books I'm supposed to read.  I never see them sitting on my shelf at home and so they totally slip my mind.  This has made my day.  For what it is.  Twisted both ankles on my way to school today (at the same time) and I'm beginning to wonder if I should just start wearing my ankle braces 24-7 now.  Freaking stupid tendons.  Freaking stupid uneven ground.
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Silk

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1812 on: July 13, 2011, 01:51:55 AM »
Reading Axis by Robert Charles Wilson. Also recently finished Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International and Scott Westerfeld's Pretties.

hubay

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1813 on: July 13, 2011, 07:46:01 AM »
I just tore through the most recent of Adrian Tchaicovsky's short stories over on his website (not really a book but whatever). It's called Cities of Silver and is about an expedition into an underwater city.

Soooo good. The best part was the voice it read like a late 1800's/early 1900's science fiction, something like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Took me a while to realize the protagonist was a girl, but I'm looking forward to seeing another story with the same characters. Has a sort of holmes/watson repertoire with the main POV being the doctor's assistant. It also expands the world, which is the best part of his little web short stories; they show parts of the world and kinden he might otherwise not touch in the main series (though the next one is called the sea watch, so maybe the crab-kinden will show up after all).

Seriously, though. He really needs to turn those stories into an anthology at some point. The man rivals mr. sanderson in productivity.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 12:59:11 AM by hubay »

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1814 on: July 14, 2011, 12:02:51 AM »
I'm reading The Book Thief for my book club and the new Daniel Abraham for myself.
If I had any clue, would I be here?