Author Topic: What are you reading, part 3  (Read 209926 times)

Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1770 on: June 07, 2011, 04:13:08 PM »
I loved Empire of Black and Gold, though it did have some weaknesses. I'm hoping those are due to this being the author's first book.

Oh, don't worry. I just finished the Scarab Path and mmmm that was good. You get this extremely personal struggle within the city, but there's also this epic battle that comes when two armies clash. Best of both worlds.

It was also awesome to see a more-or-less Inapt city and learn more about the magic, but they also tossed in new technology with Totho and a new wasp artificer. Again, best of both worlds.

And then there's this a great mystery throughout the novel, and the story really expanded on his world, which is one of Tchaikovsky's greatest strengths.

It was by far my favorite of his so far, and I think I'll be ordering the UK version of the Sea Watch just so I can get it early.

Amen to all this.  I just posted the review of Scarab Path over at Elitist Book Reviews.  The battle fought at the bridge toward the end of the book is one of my favorite actions scenes in this whole series.
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Shiael

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1771 on: June 07, 2011, 04:16:55 PM »
I have officially bumped my 'books to read' list up about thirty. :P
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Silk

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1772 on: June 08, 2011, 05:51:40 AM »
Finished Carriger's Blameless (WAY improved over Changeless) and the first volume of Gaiman's Sandman. Just started N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1773 on: June 08, 2011, 09:12:43 PM »
I quite enjoyed Fuzzy Nation. Karen is a fan of the original and also liked this reboot.

It's a short and not complicated novel. And the main character is the same snarky guy as most of Scalzi's main characters. But reading it was entertainment time well spent.
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Silk

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1774 on: June 11, 2011, 04:55:29 AM »
Finished Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Enjoyed the thing for the most part; still trying to decide how I feel about the ending. I've just started Inside Straight (a Wild Cards novel), but I'm not far enough in yet to give any sort of a verdict.

WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1775 on: June 11, 2011, 11:13:08 PM »
Just finished Leviathan Wakes.  Was pretty good.  And fun.

On to Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis.  Been wanting to read this one for a while now.
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mtbikemom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1776 on: June 12, 2011, 02:30:11 AM »
Me, too.  In the middle of Leviathan Wakes, that is.  It came for free with The Dragon's Path on the Kindle.  A fun and furiously-paced space adventure so far. 

Rothfuss' WMF spoiler alert below.










Finally finished The Wise Man's Fear.  Everything was terrific for me until the Felurian nonsense.  Ho hum, more male sex fantasy, as unrealistic and uninteresting as ever for most females, IMHO.  Eye-rolling, even.  And the tension between Kvothe and Denna is delicious, but bordering on the absurd.  Almost as bad as Bones.  Overall, I loved it and can't wait for more now that certain things are ringing true again.  If I could write like Rothfuss, I'd die happy.  Well, happi-ER.

fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1777 on: June 12, 2011, 03:07:35 PM »
Finished Bag of Bones, read Duma Key both by Stephen King.  Read the Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennet.  Read Strunk and White's Elements of Style.  Currently reading Rose Madder by King.

Bag of Bones was awesome.  King wrapped things up nicely.  His endings either tend to be bleh or great and this one was great.  It definitely had the same feel as Lissey's Story as I mentioned before, but definitely a good read.

Duma Key was a very good read.  I started off not really liking the protagonist.  I mean, he's an amputee with brain damage which causes him to be angry and violent.  That's not the best selling point.  The next thing I knew I was 15% in and actually invested/interested in where he was going in rebuilding his life.  And that's what good storytelling does.  I wouldn't reccomend it for the beginning author, but it's always nice to see an author tug on the right chords at the right moment to pull the reader in.  The protagonist in Duma Key begins painting, something he was good at as a child, to try to get himself back in a better mental state.  Or as his pyschiatrist tells him, "you need to build hedges against the night."   I don't want to spoil anything, but the horror does appear and the ending is another good one for King.  There's always a sense of continuity in his work.  Of course from the Dark Tower, but also in that a lot of his supernatural elements follow similar patterns.  Sometimes this makes it feel slightly predictable, but more and more I'm coming to find it's similar to Sanderson's universe.  This is King's universe, a half step away from our own, where the impossible is possible.  Frighteningly so.

I read the Company Man based off of Elitist Book Reviews comparison to Deadwood.  I love me some Deadwood.  I can see where they were coming from with that as far as unlikeable characters portraying different sides of themselves.  Unfortunately, I didn't feel the prose was anywhere as good as Deadwoods prose was (which I'd secretly been hoping for).  I will say that Bennet has good, punchy prose.  The kind that is mainly short, concise sentences.  I like that style of writing (perhaps because it's similar to my own beliefs in what good writing is).  The prose wasn't bad, I just wasn't blown away by it.  I felt that while it was serviceable, the author could have made better choices here and there to elevate it above simple mechanics. 

The story was good, but I'm not a huge detective fan and this was that in spades.  Including the alcoholic who manages to save the day and the soul-weary police officer trying to do the right thing.  We even had the innocent damsel in distress.  It felt cliched.  A pet peeve of mine is people that live one lifestyle but then act in another.  What I mean is that if you're never sober you're going to be worse than useless when you need to react, but in stories the drunks always manage to rise above themselves.  I'd like the author to go on a three week bender and see how productive they are.  Alright, alright, enough complaining.  It wasn't a bad book, just not my cup of tea.  But much like Country music, skiing, and scrapbooking aren't my cup of tea, I know that some people will absolutely love this book.

The author's description was good and it had to be.  This is 1920's Pacific Northwest in a way you've never imagined.  It was an interesting work and while I don't think the author is at the top of their game, they are getting there.  Someone to keep an eye on in the future.

I read Strunk and White's Elements of Style this past week.  I know it probably seems a travesty having not read it yet.  Especially with me having the temerity to call myself an author.  In my defense, I did read King's On Writing which does pay a lot of lip service to the aforementioned authors.  Anyway, the center where I work hands them out to all of their research investigators/assistants.  (Any place that gives you a free copy of such a cool book isn't all that bad IMHO)  I settled down to read it and was pleasantly surprised.  I was prepared for boring, dry, dusty English professors who had never written a day in their life.  The type of Professors who pick the most mundane syntax text books and make you pick out the participal phrases from the sentences in the exercises.  Man, was I wrong.  This is a book written by men with a clear love for the English language.  They are authors themselves and it shows.  As they say, "the reader is in trouble more than half the time" and its the authors job to rescue them.   I loved it.  Highly reccomend for anyone who is interested in becoming an author or even if your job requires you to write reports, etc.

I'm on a King kick and am currently working my way through Rose Madder.  So far it's alright, but not his best.  After this one I'm gonna back off from King for awhile.  Not sure which direction I'm headed in.  I know next month will be good as I believe another Dresden book is coming out as well as GRRM.  Maybe I'll pick up some non fiction to tide me over.  We'll see.
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dhalagirl

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1778 on: June 12, 2011, 10:40:33 PM »
I read the ARC for Volume 1 of Laddertop, Orson Scott Card's graphic novel, and it was ok.  Not the best Manga I've read, but still pretty decent.  It was fun to see some of the tech and terms from the Ender Universe in this.

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1779 on: June 16, 2011, 12:46:40 AM »
I finished The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya and really liked them both. Now I'm reading The Queen of Attolia.
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Silk

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1780 on: June 16, 2011, 04:09:15 AM »
Reading From The Notebooks of Dr Brain by Minister Faust. The premise is great but I can't stand the characters.

Shiael

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1781 on: June 16, 2011, 05:06:14 AM »
finished reading A Debt of Bones. I have to say, it isn't the same without Richard. :'(
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dhalagirl

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1782 on: June 16, 2011, 04:08:26 PM »
Finished Born of Shadows.  It was really good but Sherrilyn's new habit of changing POVs mid-page without a break was really annoying.

Now on to Bloodlines by Richelle Mead.

GreenMonsta

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1783 on: June 17, 2011, 10:55:41 PM »
Just finished The Wise Mans Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. My god is that trilogy good. I find myself at one of those inevitable losses that we experience while reading any series before its entierty has been published. Such a strong need for more with no way to fill the space. Maybe I will catch up on WOT finally. Just cant wait for The next book in the Kingkiller Chronicles!
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1784 on: June 17, 2011, 11:55:42 PM »
This week's fare was mostly pirates.  Pirates?  Yep, Pirates.  The first two were non fiction works.  The Republic of Pirates:  Being the True and Surprising Story of the Carribean Pirates by Colin Woodard is a fantastically well researched look at some of most well known pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy.  Blackbeard, Calico Jack, and Henry Avery.  The author uses literally hundreds of primary sources and tells a good tale.  Very, very different from what most people believe.  Pirates rarely killed anyone, rarely had to do more than fire a warning shot, and rarely took all of the cargo of the ships they captured.  The second non fiction was If a Pirate I Must Be.. by Richard Sanders.  This follows Black Bart who was forced into piracy after the slaving ship he was on was captured.  After a few months he realized being a pirate was a lot better than being little better than a slave aboard a merchant ship.  Black Bart was one of the last successful pirates and actually captured more prizes than any other pirate in history.  Over 400 ships in less than three years.  Another very good read, although the author goes to great lengths to discuss every prize and 400 of them is a bit much.

I read Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton.  This novel was published posthumously after it was found on his computer.  Now I know why authors have a burn order on unpublished works.  I've read Crichton before (Jurassic Park, Lost World, Timeline which I especially liked) and found him a good storyteller.  Not a great author, but entertaining, and some of his ideas are definitely interesting.  This novel was set a little before the Golden Age of Piracy when the pirates were actually privateers.  I won't go into much detail, but this was obviously a work that was either in need of revision or (as I think most likely) a work that was never meant to see the light of day.  There are entire segments that simply aren't believable.  It's all plot with very little character.  Even the plot at points makes no sense.  We just lumber on and on from one part to another until finally, blissfully, it's over.  There is some good writing in here, but for the most part I think one should only read this book if they are a successful author so they know what to do to any works they don't want resurfacing after they pass on.

Currently I'm alternating between Night Shift by Stephen King (a collection of 25 short stories published in the 70s) and a book on quantum physics, string theory, and alternate/parallel universes by Brian Greene.  Amazing book, but very heavy reading.  I've always been fascinated by quantum theory, but only from the layman's perspective.  I never wanted to wager my GPA in college by taking a course in it, haha.  I'll post those reviews up in a few days.
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