Author Topic: What have you read lately?  (Read 19575 times)

mamselle

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2019, 05:21:49 PM »
He was a cool dude to talk to, indeed. I spoke with him twice,once he was on the porch--I suspect that was a whiskey in his hand--and I asked if it was OK to point out his home when I was doing tours in the area, or if he'd rather I didn't.

He grinned, and said, "I think the whole world knows where I live now, so it's fine."

The new owners have painted the place beige with ivory trim. Wimps! He had had it done properly, with a three-color scheme (medium blue, with magenta and ivory trim), a cool sapphire blue stagecoach lamp on the porch and a grinning gargoyle on the balcony.

I used to walk past it when my own writing was on the rocks, reminding myself that it was possible to learn to write well enough to be read...and to own a cool place like that as well.

M.
 
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

Conjugate

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2019, 08:56:57 AM »
I see a lot of people posting about authors I first found out about via following them on Twitter.  For instance, Kameron Hurley, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Cat Valente. So let me tell you about an author I first found out about on Twitter:  Foz Meadows.

Strictly speaking, I'm going to tell you about the first book of hers that I've read: An Accident of Stars. It's a portal fantasy, by which I mean it is a story that hinges around a portal to another world; think Narnia gate. It is not your typical portal fantasy, however, but modern, and much more gritty.

The hero is a young lady named Saffron, who in the opening chapters suffers from tolerated bullying and even groping in school ("Boys will be boys," says the principal) and is looking for help. Enter an odd woman on the school grounds, who talks to her to ask directions. Out of curiosity, she follows this woman, and finds her opening an odd region in space in a part of her school grounds.

The world she finds herself in is much more vicious and hard-core than Narnia; characters are mutilated, throats are cut, and a serious power struggle between two cultures makes up the exciting plot. I have, and will read, the sequel.

Among old-school authors, I have recently read Timothy Zahn's Thrawn. When Disney obtained Star Wars, they mostly dumped many of the follow-up plots and characters that had been part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe so that they could make the story their own.  However, Zahn's memorable character Admiral Thrawn, from five (?) pre-Disney volumes, was chosen to survive into the new Star Wars universe, and this novel is his origin story.

Thrawn is a blue-skinned humanoid alien, extremely intelligent, and he is found by the Empire on a small backwater world where he was exiled by his civilization, which is unknown to the Empire or to the Republic. The story is told from the point of view of an unambitious cadet who only wants to have an undistinguished career and be left alone; Thrawn guides him up the ladder and past lots of perils. On the way, we see Thrawn as part Sherlock Holmes, part Sun Tzu, and all fascinating character.

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polly_mer

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2019, 07:49:28 PM »
Lee Child has lots of Reacher novels.  I'm working my way through the library shelf.
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hmaria1609

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2019, 06:39:45 PM »
Iron, Fire, and Ice: the Real History that Inspired "Game of Thrones" by Ed West
The book examines the historical events that influenced George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series. I received this non-fiction book as a thank you for visiting the publisher's booth during ALA Annual here in DC.

polly_mer

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2019, 07:48:11 PM »
Iron, Fire, and Ice: the Real History that Inspired "Game of Thrones" by Ed West
The book examines the historical events that influenced George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series. I received this non-fiction book as a thank you for visiting the publisher's booth during ALA Annual here in DC.

That's so cool to receive as a thank-you!
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

drbrt

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2019, 11:54:43 PM »
I’m currently working through the Spellmonger series. It’s entertaining but not great literature. Reminds me a little of The Black Company. Mostly I’m just waiting for the last Lightbringer book to come out. (I mostly read trash. I admire those of you who read real books.)

ergative

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2019, 03:26:01 AM »
I mostly read trash. I admire those of you who read real books.

None of that, now.

I've been cruising through the Temeraire books. It's clear that Novik read Patrick O'Brian very attentively. The Turkish chelengk makes an appearance in book 3, and so does the joke about British officers trying to speak French and using the word domestique as a direct translation when they try to say 'I am your servant' in some way or another. Neither of these is impossible to have come up with on her own, but the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong.

hmaria1609

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2019, 12:51:39 PM »
That's so cool to receive as a thank-you!
It was! Some publishers were giving away or selling books throughout the weekend, others were doing it only on Monday.

onthefringe

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2019, 01:09:06 PM »

I've been cruising through the Temeraire books. It's clear that Novik read Patrick O'Brian very attentively. .

Just listened to the first of these on audiobook, and I definitely agree with your assessment.

Over my recent vacation I read:

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay. A loosely connected prequel to Children of Earth and Sky, and his usual quarter turn historical fantasy approach, this time based on Renaissance Italy. I always love his use of language, and always learn something as I try to figure out who his characters might be based on.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal. Alternate WWI where a group of mediums are employed by the British government to glean important information from soldiers who have died at the front. The main character end up in the trenches briefly, (touching on one of the things about WWI that has always fascinated/horrified me — that trench warfare was ever an effective part of any military strategy)

Storm Cursed, the 11th Mercy Thompson book from Patrica Briggs. Good Urban Fantasy, but not really breaking any new ground at this point. But soothing and familiar.

Conjugate

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2019, 02:00:00 PM »
Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few. Read out of order (it's the third of her books in the Wayfarer's books) because I read the first and never got the second.

It's a pretty good exploration of how different societies deal with death, birth, and tradition. That description barely does it justice, but I don't know how to do it justice.
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ergative

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2019, 02:31:00 AM »
Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few. Read out of order (it's the third of her books in the Wayfarer's books) because I read the first and never got the second.

It's a pretty good exploration of how different societies deal with death, birth, and tradition. That description barely does it justice, but I don't know how to do it justice.

I remember liking the first, but I thought the second was the most satisfying. I cried a lot during a certain key reunion. I found the third book a little unsatisfying: it had terrific world building, which could have supported a really good plot, but there wasn't really any plot. If you liked it, though, I think you'd like the second book too.

nescafe

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2019, 07:28:46 AM »
I picked up Jokha Alharthi's Celestial Bodies this week to have something to read in the park, and it is brilliant so far. Recently translated Omani fiction with three narrators (sisters plus one husband) on the love, marriage, aging, and loss.

RatGuy

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2019, 03:34:10 PM »
I'm currently making my way through Lovecraft Country. It's a little too on the nose at some points, but I'm surprised at how slyly funny it can be.


spork

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2019, 04:34:34 PM »
Finished Orhan Pamuk's The Red-Haired Woman. An easy read, but Snow and A Strangeness in My Mind are still the only novels of his that I would recommend to others.

Also read Haruki Murakami's Killing Commendatore. Prefer 1Q84.

Currently reading The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. He's a good writer. As a modern history of a particular subject, it reminds me of Daniel Yergin's The Prize.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

spork

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2019, 02:48:30 PM »
I decided not to finish Elif Shafak's The Forty Rules of Love. It's an easy read but I didn't find the story engaging enough -- being a fan of Mongol history, I wish the story had focused on that instead of the fictionalized account of Rumi's friendship with Shams.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.