Author Topic: What have you read lately?  (Read 59446 times)

Juvenal

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FishProf

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #931 on: August 03, 2022, 09:02:54 AM »
I finished the A Land Fit for Heroes series (The Steel Remain, The Cold Commands, and The Dark Defiles) by Richard Morgan (review of the first book is an earlier post).

I loved this series, although the ending was....difficult? But some non-spoiler-ey comments:

1) I loved the Character development, but was left wanting more at the end for 2 of 3 protagonists;
2) I think I understand how one of the plot lines was resolved, but the other was left hanging, obviously and intentionally, which is aggravating (sequelae coming?)
3) Book 3 was as long or longer that 1+2, so technically a Trilogy, but more like a 5-6 part-er (not unlike Lord of the rings which is 6 books, not 3...or 1 book if you believe Tolkien himself).
4) Some online reading suggests I need to read at least one other series by Morgan to really get what was going on.  Which is cool, I love the style.
5) Simon Vance is an amazing narrator of the Audio Books.

Again, if you like Joe Abercrombie, I strongly recommend.

BTW - thanks for suggestions for Smolt, we are just starting Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary and The Black Stallion, Tuck Everlasting and Bridge to Terebithia are in the que.
And how is that working out for you?

Puget

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #932 on: August 03, 2022, 04:20:13 PM »
I just got back from a backpacking trip with a grad school friend, which was wonderful in many ways, one of which is that she had never read The Hobbit, so we brought it along and read it aloud in camp in the evenings. Story time doesn't have to end just because you're all grown up!

Ruth Ozeki. The Book of Form and Emptiness.

Very impressive. And her fans say it is not her best book. I should read the others.

Read A Tale for the Time Being.
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mamselle

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #933 on: August 03, 2022, 04:23:12 PM »
I might have started re-reading all my Dick Francis books.

"Dead Heat," last night.

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.

ab_grp

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #934 on: August 03, 2022, 05:22:17 PM »
It's been a while again, apparently! Now that I have glasses, we are back to (slowly) reading the sixth Expanse book.  And I listened to a novella from that series today: The Churn (James S. A. Corey; Jefferson Mays).  The novella is about a particular part of Amos's life, and it filled in some blanks brought up in the series.  I enjoyed it and was glad to learn some more detail about Amos's background.

Others I have listened to recently include...
Now I'm listening to an unabridged version of Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street (Michael Lewis; same).  This book seems so far to focus on Lewis's career at Salomon Brothers on Wall Street starting in the 80s.  I'm not too far along in it, but there are some interesting insights into the working environment as well as the decision to make the interest rate variable and impact on the bond market and the onset of mortgage trading.  I briefly thought about looking into careers in the financial world in grad school after taking some classes involving stochastic processes and arbitrage.  It doesn't sound like the kind of place I'd like to work (and in hindsight since many of the collapses and breakdowns and excesses, I am glad I didn't!), but I do find it kind of fascinating.
I finished it and thought it was intriguing but easy for me to tune out because the people he worked with seem like huge jackasses.  I'm sure if I were in the industry it would be an interesting slam book, but for me it was mostly just a couple interesting points here and there amid a sea of ick.

Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician (Anthony Everett; John Curless).  I started this one and got a couple hours in but got sidetracked into the world of true-crime podcasts (even though this book starts with a famous crime!).  I will try to get back to it soon.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Lewis Carroll; Michael Page).  I liked this narrator previously and hadn't read the stories so figured why not.  Page really gets into it with his voices, and I think that made it much more appealing for me.

I think that's it since early July.  Sadly, I really did get hooked on various true-crime podcasts there for a while until I pretty much ran out of them!

ergative

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #935 on: August 04, 2022, 01:35:09 AM »
I've been really enjoying the first two books of the Rook and Rose trilogy, by M A Carrick (the pen-name of Marie Brennan--whom I adore--writing with someone else I don't know.) It's rich, twisty fantasy, with very detailed city-building and descriptions of uneasy cultural amalgamation; a wonderful social-manners long-con, secret identities, crime and high society, magic, mystery, mayhem, and even a titchy bit of romance. The plotting is very elaborate and requires a deep understanding of the magic system and keeping track of a vast set of characters, so I'll need to read it again to fully appreciate how everything fits together, but it's such a good world that I look forward to doing that when book 3 comes out in the next year or so.

Parasaurolophus

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #936 on: August 04, 2022, 08:42:43 AM »
July:


Holly Fitzgerald - Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon's Relentless Madre de Dios: A very easy and compelling read about a real life survival ordeal. I have to say, though, that the author and her husband are just clueless. Man, are they stupid. As someone with a modicum of outdoors experience, it's kind of painful to read about. Geeze. I guess that was the 1960s for you?


Chris Boyce - Catchworld: This is just awful. It was award-winning 1970s SciFi, but Bog only knows why. The writing is awful and the plot is completely disjointed and totally incomprehensible. It's five completely different stories slapped together into a single one by someone who was clearly on drugs when he wrote it. There's some boring katana-plonking, some mildly interesting suicide-mission-wrestling-against-the-computer stuff, obligatory 1970s ESP bullshit, a bad imitation of some movie or other, and then another incomprehensible imitation of something planetside (2001?). It was totally nonsensical. Shit would happen entirely out of left field (e.g., Biblical demons manifesting--because the author was high and had seen The Exorcist recently), and there's no explanation for it to be found anywhere. The best I was hoping for was that, at the end, it was all a simulation inside some AI. But it wasn't. The '70s had no standards. Ugh.


Adrian Tchaikovsky - The Doors of Eden: Sort of a mashup between Charles Stross's Atrocity Archives, Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax and Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter's Long Earth series (ugh), but better than both those last two. It was OK. I wasn't super into it, apart from the brief dinobits, but it was fine entertainment.


Adrian Tchaikovsky - Dogs of War: I didn't think I'd like this, but I did. It didn't hook me immediately, but it didn't take too long to do so. It's an unexpectedly good take on using tech to augment biological creatures in a near-future. There's a surprisingly nuanced and insightful overcurrent about abusive relationships, and about the use of negative reinforcement in animal training. It shifts from action to courtroom drama halfway through, then back to action, but I would have been down for a much more detailed and lengthy courtroom drama. I liked the wrongfooting, and it wouldn't have been a bad thing to stick to it.



I've been really enjoying the first two books of the Rook and Rose trilogy, by M A Carrick (the pen-name of Marie Brennan--whom I adore--writing with someone else I don't know.) It's rich, twisty fantasy, with very detailed city-building and descriptions of uneasy cultural amalgamation; a wonderful social-manners long-con, secret identities, crime and high society, magic, mystery, mayhem, and even a titchy bit of romance. The plotting is very elaborate and requires a deep understanding of the magic system and keeping track of a vast set of characters, so I'll need to read it again to fully appreciate how everything fits together, but it's such a good world that I look forward to doing that when book 3 comes out in the next year or so.

Sounds good! I'll check them out!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2022, 08:45:47 AM by Parasaurolophus »
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hmaria1609

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #937 on: August 05, 2022, 07:30:27 PM »
From the library: Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch

mamselle

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #938 on: August 06, 2022, 03:40:33 AM »
Ooo....which 80?

ONLY 80?...

I realize one can't list them all here, but what a tantalizing concept!

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.

apl68

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #939 on: August 06, 2022, 06:10:32 AM »
Ooo....which 80?

ONLY 80?...

I realize one can't list them all here, but what a tantalizing concept!

M.

This made me curious too.  I just did a quick search of some reviews, and couldn't see a handy list.  I did find various other authors' and blogs' lists on the same theme.  Apparently Damrosch was not the first to get this idea. 
When the Son of Man judges, he will say to some, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.
For I was hungry and you fed me, a stranger and you took me in, sick and in prison and you visited me. 
If you did this for the least of my brothers, you have done it for me

mamselle

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #940 on: August 06, 2022, 07:32:11 AM »
That would be a cool assignment, actually, to list ones own 80 significant books from around the world.

Hmmm.....

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.

hmaria1609

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jimbogumbo

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #942 on: August 07, 2022, 02:21:13 PM »
The Atlas Six, Olivie Blake. Now I need The Atlas Paradox to be; need it, I tell you!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2022, 02:44:57 PM by jimbogumbo »

apl68

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #943 on: August 08, 2022, 10:00:58 AM »
I should've added this:
https://www.amazon.com/Around-World-Books-David-Damrosch/dp/0593299884/ref=sr_1_1?crid=17C6SPTM7GISI&keywords=around+the+world+in+80+books+david+damrosch&qid=1659839085&s=books&sprefix=around+the+world+in+80+book%2Cstripbooks%2C68&sr=1-1
The book has black & white photos and archival images throughout.

I had tried to check the table of contents on Amazon and it wouldn't work.  I guess that was due to our flaky internet access that day.  This morning it worked fine using your link. 

Let's see...I've read 18 items on that list, and sampled several others.  Others I know by reputation (in some cases a reputation for unreadability), and still others are a first for me.  Interesting to see at least one graphic novel there.  And some items that are actually great fun to read.  Damrosch is probably never going to be selected to be on the Newberry committee....
When the Son of Man judges, he will say to some, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.
For I was hungry and you fed me, a stranger and you took me in, sick and in prison and you visited me. 
If you did this for the least of my brothers, you have done it for me

hmaria1609

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Re: What have you read lately?
« Reply #944 on: August 08, 2022, 07:19:56 PM »
From the library: Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg (YA)
A graphic novel adaption of the original novel by the Bronte siblings (Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne) and a biographical telling about their lives.
https://www.isabelgreenberg.co.uk/glass-town
The colors in the illustrations were impressive! I read and own the Oxford World's Classics edition of Glass Town, Angria, and Gondal and selected early writings by the Brontes, copyright 2010.

I had tried to check the table of contents on Amazon and it wouldn't work.  I guess that was due to our flaky internet access that day.  This morning it worked fine using your link. 

Let's see...I've read 18 items on that list, and sampled several others.  Others I know by reputation (in some cases a reputation for unreadability), and still others are a first for me.  Interesting to see at least one graphic novel there.  And some items that are actually great fun to read.  Damrosch is probably never going to be selected to be on the Newberry committee....
Glad you could see them! Some titles were new to me too.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 07:22:00 PM by hmaria1609 »