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Post  Raksha on Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:02 am

Today I finished The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett.  Very fun.  A little more polished and more like what the Discworld books will become later.  So many puns!  So very many puns.  I was so sad when Twoflower went home.  But he appears in at least one more book, right?

I think the Luggage is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters.
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Post  ulkis on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:24 am

I finally started reading the Vorkosigan books after having them on a vague "to read" list for the better part of a decade, if not a decade, and they're very good like everyone said.* However, I failed to absorb through internet osmosis that the first book starts off with
Spoiler:
Miles Vorkosigan's parents, and I though up until about the last chapter of "Shards of Honor" that Aral was Miles and for some reason he was using a fake name
heh.

*Also another thing I am reading that is very good like everyone said? Shakespeare's first history tetralogy lol. Actually listening to them on audio. I downloaded them from librivox and a couple of the readers are damn annoying but it's worth if for the man who reads Richard in Richard III. He's fantastic.

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Post  Raksha on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:39 pm

Today I finished The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  I liked it a lot.  It's set in the future, after some nuclear wars and incredible political turmoil.  A city called Palmares Tres was built in a harbor (I think?) in what was once Brazil.  It's kind of a giant pyramid, with the more wealthy and politically influential families living on the tiers nearer the top.  The city is ruled by a Queen and a council of women called Aunties, and every five years the city elects a Summer King who selects the next Queen and is ritually killed at the end of the year.  The book starts with the election of a new Summer King, a boy named Enki who was the son of an immigrant from El Salvador, who loves the city but also has a lot of problems with the way it's run.  June, a high school girl and an artist, and her best friend Gil get mixed up with Enki and his plans for his tenure as Summer King.  The story is really about how June slowly comes to see that all is not well in her city and she becomes a rather radical political artist.  But she still loves her home and wants to save it, not tear it down.  The ending was very bittersweet, but I liked it a lot. I also liked how homosexuality is a non-issue and is just a part of life. Gil falls in love with Enki and they become the media It Couple and June's mother is married to a woman and although June is pissed about that, it's only because her mom remarried so soon after her father's death.
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Post  Raksha on Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:00 pm

I tried reading Broken Blade by Kelly McCullough and got about half way through before I finally gave up. What drove me nuts was that the main character, Aral, was supposed to be this badass assassin who somehow earned the name "Kingslayer" before his goddess (the goddess of justice, apparently) was murdered and his entire religious order was hunted down. Yet in every single interaction he has with another person, verbal or non, he somehow fucks up and reveals too much or the wrong thing or makes some dumb mistake that gets him hurt or captured. "I slipped up" is the most common sentence in this book. I love a good "random person gets in over their head" story. But this isn't some random person, he's supposed to be the best of the best at this shit, yet as a reader I'm sitting here wondering how he's not dead yet. It keeps violently throwing me out of my suspension of disbelief. Also the story itself is slow, boring, and basic. So I'm out.

So instead I started reading John Scalzi's Red Shirts and it's delightful. I'm only, like, 40 pages in and it already had me howling.
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Post  MaddyCat on Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:20 am

I finished Shovel Ready and despite a decent premise (post-apocalyptic NYC following an assassin called the garbageman b/c, you know, he used to be a garbageman pre-decimation) it was just meh. Kind of predictable and the characters were mostly cut-outs, really. Bummer.

But I'm in the midst of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin about a guy ostracized in a small Mississippi town b/c they think he's responsible for the disappearance of a young girl (but couldn't prove it). Some 20 years later another girl disappears and guess who they blame? So far I'm liking it.

I'm also going to start The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld b/c I've heard fantastic things about it. It's got magic, good vs evil, and supposedly is like the best parts of Alice Sebold and Stephen King rolled into one book. We shall see...

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Post  mayram on Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:49 pm

I just picked up Looking for Alaska by John Green (author of Fault in our Stars) and I love it already. I've really missed this sort of book (the Me Before You, If I stay, Fault in our Stars type of book), everything I've read lately has been very arms-length reading. I've technically enjoyed the books, but it was never the "OMG, I want to stay home from work and read" type of feeling, so it's fun to feel that again.

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Post  eventide82 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:11 pm

I blew through If I Stay by Gayle Foreman on the weekend, which I loved. I've been meaning to read it since it came out and just never got around to it (and my library didn't have it and wouldn't get it in). About to order the sequel, which I hope will be equally as good!
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Post  inversed on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:26 am

I'm a few chapters into the first book of The Queen's Thief series. After the rhapsodic review it got on Forever Young Adult, I was not expecting it to be so boring. The writing is deathly dull. I think I'm supposed to find the narrator a charming rogue but I mostly just feel like the author wants me to find him a charming rogue but is failing at it miserably. I really feel like I'm reading a completely different book than the one the FYA reviewer read.

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Post  BreezyK on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:48 pm

I found that the rest of the books in The Queen's Thief series were better than the first one and there is a good reveal at the end of the first one that sets up the rest of them (I think..., they have all sort of run together for me). I liked the series as a whole, but I remember that it seemed sort of lackluster at first.

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Post  choubetcha on Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:59 pm

The third book in the Queen's Thief series is one of my favorite books EVER. The second book is good too, but I reread the third one constantly. The first book can be a bit of a slog, and it contains one of my least favorite tropes, stories within a story, but I think it's worth sticking out to the end to see if you like where it goes.

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Post  whatthedeuce on Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:00 pm

inversed wrote:I'm a few chapters into the first book of The Queen's Thief series. After the rhapsodic review it got on Forever Young Adult, I was not expecting it to be so boring. The writing is deathly dull. I think I'm supposed to find the narrator a charming rogue but I mostly just feel like the author wants me to find him a charming rogue but is failing at it miserably. I really feel like I'm reading a completely different book than the one the FYA reviewer read.
That's exactly how I felt about the book after reading such effusive praise on Goodreads. I don't even know how I got through the entire novel because it was just so freakin' boring and even with the twist at the end, which I don't remember anymore, it just didn't capture my interest enough to make me pick up the next installment.

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Post  Raksha on Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:25 pm

I finished Redshirts today and it was delightful. So completely meta and hilarious and wonderful. The codas were surprisingly sweet, as well.
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Post  MaddyCat on Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:13 pm

Finished Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter today and really enjoyed it. It's ostensibly a mystery but it's really a character-driven novel. And the descriptions of small-town Mississippi were just stunning. Felt like I lived there too.

Now onto The Enchanted!

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Post  Raksha on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:05 pm

Today I finished Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett, the latest Discworld book with Moist von Lipwig. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't as laugh out loud funny as the other Moist books have been, but it was very enjoyable. I love how even technological achievements like the introduction of the steam engine train to Discworld take on a slight supernatural bent. Add in the smacking down of religious extremists and I'm a happy reader.
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Post  Kiran on Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:10 am

I'm reading Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. Its a retelling of Snow White and I don't know what else I can say without spoiling it, but its fabulous.
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Post  ulkis on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:31 pm

I'm a few chapters into the first book of The Queen's Thief series. After the rhapsodic review it got on Forever Young Adult, I was not expecting it to be so boring. The writing is deathly dull. I think I'm supposed to find the narrator a charming rogue but I mostly just feel like the author wants me to find him a charming rogue but is failing at it miserably. I really feel like I'm reading a completely different book than the one the FYA reviewer read.

I found that the rest of the books in The Queen's Thief series were better than the first one and there is a good reveal at the end of the first one that sets up the rest of them (I think..., they have all sort of run together for me). I liked the series as a whole, but I remember that it seemed sort of lackluster at first.

Yeah . . . I mean, I would honestly maybe just start with "The Queen of Attolia" if the first book is too much of a slog. It is better if you read the first book, but it's not a big deal, imo.

This is reminding me of how I feel about the Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett haha. People who like historical fiction love that series, and recently someone on my tumblr dash was how awesome they were, but I felt so embarrassed, because I can't even say I rightly hate them. I'd maybe like them if I had some idea of what the hell was going on in them. The third book I mostly understood but then book 4 launched right back into obscurity for me.

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Post  rivki8699 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:46 pm

I've read a whole bunch of books lately that I've liked, but not super loved.

Prophesy by Ellen Oh. It's set in a fantasy midieval(?) Korea. I really like about 85% of the book. I loved the main character and I liked the world building. There was a secondary character who kept pulling me out of the book though, which was my biggest beef with it. He's a kid, but he's royal, so he's whiny (which he's entitled to be, shit is going down and he's 12, but it's annoying to read anyway) and he keeps insisting on stupid shit that always goes wrong (because he's 12, but they listen to him because he's royal). I've bought the next one though - I really hope the kid starts growing up.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Cinderella set in the future, where Cinderella is a cyborg. Again, I liked a whole lot of the book, and I bought the next one.

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. I'm a huge Pratchett fan, and I just cringed through a lot of the book. It just felt...off. I'm hoping that upon rereading I'll like it better (that happened with Unseen Academicals). There were whole sections that felt like classic Pratchett, but a bunch just felt wrong.
Spoiler:
The idea of Moist killing just felt wrong. And it was weird, having him not up against a bigger, monied bad. Generally he's a "beat them at their own game" guy - so having him there just to facilitate the growth of the railway without an opponent felt wrong.
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Post  Raksha on Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:36 pm

I finished My Booky Wook by Russell Brand today. It's a good thing Russell is a comedian and is able to relay the events of his life in a humorous manner, without turning them into a series of comedy skits, because otherwise the events in this book would be incredibly bleak. With the mostly-absentee father who was worse than useless when he was around (although Russell still doesn't see it that way), the sexual assault as a child, the untreated mental illness, the cutting, the rampant drug addiction, and the general bent toward self-destruction, it's a freaking miracle he's not only managed to become even remotely functional, but to become so successful in his professional life. I enjoy his work and am glad he seems to have gotten his life mostly together, but I think he'd be utterly exhausting to know.
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Post  whatthedeuce on Thu May 01, 2014 12:52 am

I had no idea he had such a tumultuous past. I'm surprised he's even sane and functional at this point. I can only imagine how much emotional baggage he carries around though.

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Post  MaddyCat on Fri May 02, 2014 11:01 pm

Okay, I finished The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. Has anyone else read this? It's getting rapturous reviews everywhere, and I was so psyched to read it (may be part of the problem), and it just...didn't work for me. The writing was amazing, no doubt, but the storylines didn't always work because she would often shift between them so suddenly. It also has a healthy dose of magic-realism, which I usually don't mind, but here it distracted me. But I am definitely in the minority--the friend I was reading it with thought it was the best. thing. ever. So I wanted to know what others thought.

Next is Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 by Francine Prose. Getting good reviews as well, but I'm tempering my expectations.

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Post  whatthedeuce on Sat May 03, 2014 2:32 pm

Thanks to my binge-watching of Game of Thrones, I've changed my mind about not reading the books. I'm on A Clash of Kings and so excited that Brienne has finally appeared!

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Post  Crowbridge on Sat May 03, 2014 2:38 pm

whatthedeuce wrote:Thanks to my binge-watching of Game of Thrones, I've changed my mind about not reading the books. I'm on A Clash of Kings and so excited that Brienne has finally appeared!
Brienne is one of my favorite characters in the books and on the show. She's just made of awesome.

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Post  whatthedeuce on Sat May 03, 2014 2:47 pm

I'm really captivated by her and Jaime's friendship, and that's the main reason why I'm reading the books now. She's so honorable and just, and thankfully, it's beginning to rub off on him.

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Post  Bad Username on Tue May 06, 2014 12:47 am

Possession, about 20 years after everyone else apparently. It's beautiful, I'm really enjoying it.

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Post  Raksha on Wed May 07, 2014 12:28 am

Today I finished rereading Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett. I loved it, of course! I actually own this one and have read it twice before, but it's been so long ago that I only remembered the first half of the book. That's one benefit of grad school having destroyed my memory: books I love can be like new again! This was a fun little adventure and I'm always up for a story that parodies gender stereotypes, especially if that story firmly lands on the side of equality. I don't think I've seen Esk turn up in any of the other Discworld books I've read, but there are a lot I haven't read, so I'm hoping I might run across her again. She was great.
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