Current Reads

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Re: Current Reads

Post  inversed on Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:43 am

Okay I really don't get all the hype around My Brilliant Friend. I mean, I liked it okay (after I forced myself to slog through the first, very boring half) but I doubt I'll continue with the series. Maybe my expectations were too high.


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Re: Current Reads

Post  emrie on Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:03 am

OH MY GOD, me too! My friend (who is a writer and I normally love her reccs) recommended it and I kept waiting to be as enthralled as she said she was. Maybe it was partially because it was on audiobook and I had a hard time keeping the characters straight, but I felt like I didn't get Lila or the narrator's fascination with her at all. Which is kinda the lynchpin of the whole book so without it... Also, it's been a long time since I've read a bildungsroman, but I was struggling with the lack of an ongoing plot thread of any kind.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  naughty zoot on Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:03 pm

Just finished Rabia Chaudry's Adnan's Story and, while I think there's probably a better book being written about this case by someone (I certainly hope so, anyway), there was some very interesting new information in it about Don in particular. I knew that his mother was a manager at one of the Lenscrafters he worked at. I didn't know that the other manager who confirmed his alibi was his mother's girlfriend (and now wife). There's some pretty compelling evidence that the timesheet covering the time Hae was murdered was fabricated/falsified.
There's also a discussion of the area where Hae's car was found and how odd it is that it wasn't broken into, if it really had been abandoned there for several weeks.
All in all, more questions than answers, which is par for the course with this case.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:50 am

I just finished A Wrinkle in Time, and absolutely loved it. This was my first time reading it, and I can't believe I didn't read it as a child, it's something I would have really enjoyed.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  eventide82 on Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:10 pm

naughty zoot wrote:Just finished Rabia Chaudry's Adnan's Story and, while I think there's probably a better book being written about this case by someone (I certainly hope so, anyway), there was some very interesting new information in it about Don in particular. I knew that his mother was a manager at one of the Lenscrafters he worked at. I didn't know that the other manager who confirmed his alibi was his mother's girlfriend (and now wife). There's some pretty compelling evidence that the timesheet covering the time Hae was murdered was fabricated/falsified.
There's also a discussion of the area where Hae's car was found and how odd it is that it wasn't broken into, if it really had been abandoned there for several weeks.
All in all, more questions than answers, which is par for the course with this case.  

Oh, that's interesting - I have to get my hands on a copy, I was so obsessed with the podcast and I was so excited when I heard Rabia was writing a book about it.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  ulkis on Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:11 pm

Bad Username wrote:I just finished A Wrinkle in Time, and absolutely loved it. This was my first time reading it, and I can't believe I didn't read it as a child, it's something I would have really enjoyed.

I enjoyed it when I was a kid, even though I didn't understand half of what was going on. Maybe I should re-read and see if I do understand it now, but I probably won't, heh.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  bookworm on Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:16 pm

Bad Username wrote:I just finished A Wrinkle in Time, and absolutely loved it. This was my first time reading it, and I can't believe I didn't read it as a child, it's something I would have really enjoyed.

I loved it so much. Read the trilogy! You can skip Many Waters, IMHO. The other two aren't as good as the first, but I did like them.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  particle_person on Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

A Swiftly Tilting Planet, though, is really great. Raise your hand if you memorized Patrick's Breastplate after reading that! (Agree about Many Waters.)

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Re: Current Reads

Post  inversed on Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:44 am

Oh yes, and I often shouted it dramatically while playing fantasy games. It's amazing that I wasn't more popular.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  ulkis on Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:19 pm

Aw, I like Many Waters. It's skippable but I think it's good. I think it can be saved for last though, because yeah, it kinda interrupts of the flow of the other stories.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:33 am

Some trash-tastic holiday reading:

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. I really enjoyed it. I know the detail of the book has been discussed in the romance novels thread, and I'm in two minds about it. I admire the patience and dedication it took for Gabaldon to write with that. much. detail, but I also found myself kind of skimming it sometimes, especially since it was a very much in demand library book. I just got Drums of Autumn from the library and will probably have to do the same.

Killing Floor, by Lee Child. It's the first Jack Reacher book, very good, of course. I don't even think there were any growing pains, like sometimes an author's first book is a bit awkward? Not this one. Reacher is awesome. This edition also has a forward by the author explaining the process of his move into writing, and why / how he made the choices he did.

Make Me, by Lee Child. The second most recent Jack Reacher book. Sensing a theme? I had a hankerin'.

Zone One, by Colson Whitehead. I sometimes get a bit defensive when 'literary' authors dip their toes into genre fiction. They act like they've got something new to say, but because they're not familiar with the genre they've chosen to write in they just end up hitting the tired tropes that other authors have moved on. This book was very good though. It takes place over three days and covers the present and the lead-up to the current situation, sometimes jumping back and forth from paragraph to paragraph. It was difficult to follow at first, but is great if you can get past that.

Control Point by Myke Cole. It's described as 'Blackhawk Down meets X-Men', and I can kind of see why? It's military fantasy. Magic appears in the world suddenly, and people who manifest as magic must join the military, or they're 'eliminated'. The main character is an Army officer who manifests a prohibited power, goes on the run, and then discovers some unpleasant things. Pretty good. It's the author's first book, so it was a little clunky to start with, but the action towards the end is flawless.

I just finished Fatherland, by Robert Harris. It's been on my to-read list for a while, and I'm finally getting around to it. It's very good. Creepy.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:46 am

bookworm wrote:
Bad Username wrote:I just finished A Wrinkle in Time, and absolutely loved it. This was my first time reading it, and I can't believe I didn't read it as a child, it's something I would have really enjoyed.

I loved it so much.  Read the trilogy!  You can skip Many Waters, IMHO.  The other two aren't as good as the first, but I did like them.


Sorry, I just saw this. Thank you, I will (read them and maybe skip Many Waters)

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:24 am

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, the 4th Outlander book. The detail in the books didn't bother me for the first three because the stories were so good, but this was just not. The main plot point revolved around a stupid misunderstanding that could have been cleared up with a quick conversation, the characters behaved in out-of-character ways, and I don't really care about Brianna and Roger.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. A fictional account of a runaway slave; in this story the underground railroad is literally a steam train that runs in an underground tunnel (all tunnels are underground, I guess). This book is really good. Grim, but Whitehead writes so well I'm still thinking about it, trying to unpack metaphors and whatnot.

Currently reading The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman, about the start of WWI. I'm only a chapter in, but so far so good.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:52 pm

The Girl With All The Gifts, by M.R. Carey. I'm about halfway through, enjoying it so far. It's making me have a lot of feelings.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:02 am

I finished The Girl With All The Gifts, and it is so. good. all the way through. The ending went to a place I didn't predict, although I don't usually pick these things, so make of that what you will. In the copy I bought there's a guide for book clubs, and the first question is, 'is this story hopeful or tragic?', and the answer is 'yes'.

I'm currently reading Old Man's War, by John Scalzi. It's really good so far. I found the lead up to the main action a bit slow, but there's a lot of info for him to pass on and I think he did it well.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  inversed on Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:48 am

I LOVED Girl With All the Gifts! There's a movie version now too but I don't know if it's any good.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  whatthedeuce on Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:08 am

The Girl With All the Gifts is in my library queue, and I'm really excited for it now, thanks to the reviews here!

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Re: Current Reads

Post  eventide82 on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:48 pm

I just finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell and it was definitely my least favourite of her books. It felt like a whole bunch of nothing at the end, which was disappointing. I'm glad I've read her other stuff and loved it before reading this one.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Mon May 29, 2017 11:45 pm

I just finished The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi, the second book in the Old Man's War series. I enjoyed it a lot, it's entertaining but also takes an interesting look at free will and the ethics of genetic manipulation without being...didactic, I guess the word is, or a polemic.

I also just finished Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. It's an English translation of a Dutch book about a 17th century witch that lives in a small-ish town in New York State. The story was originally set in Holland, and the author wrote in an afterword that he struggled with re-locating the story due to the different natures of Americans and the Dutch. He wrote that if Americans saw a 17th century witch pop up in their living room they'd freak out and call 911, whereas if a Dutch person had a 17th century witch pop up in their living room they'd just throw a towel over her head and get on with their day.

In this book the witch, Katherine, has haunted the town since the 17th century, and she's been bound by iron chains, with her mouth and eyes sewn shut, and this town isolates itself to keep it a secret. There are a whole heap of rules that go along with keeping her secret, but of course people being people it all goes to shit. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but I thought the author did a good job of looking at whether the witch was evil or the people was evil, or the people were evil because of the witch, or the witch was evil because of the people. I highly recommend it.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  RiverThames on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:36 pm

I haven't read Hex, but I did like Thomas Olde Heuvelt's short story "The Boy Who Cast No Shadow".

I'm currently working on All the Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders. It's... it's well written, but I'm 70% through and still trying to figure out when the plot is going to kick in. It's pretty much a "literary" novel-- kind of like if John Irving wrote a SF/F novel-- but one that doesn't shy away from its SF/F roots. If that makes sense. Because it's sort of shaggy-dog, "Here's the intersecting lives of these two people in San Francisco", except one of them is a secret witch, and the other is doing secret super-science. (Secret to the world in general, but they know about each other.) But I'm enjoying it. I get why it's getting a bunch of awards & nominations, because it's the sort of thing that does. If that makes sense.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  ulkis on Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:03 pm

Bad Username wrote:I finished The Girl With All The Gifts, and it is so. good. all the way through. The ending went to a place I didn't predict, although I don't usually pick these things, so make of that what you will. In the copy I bought there's a guide for book clubs, and the first question is, 'is this story hopeful or tragic?', and the answer is 'yes'.

Forgive a dumb question, but does that mean it's both?

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Bad Username on Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:50 pm

ulkis it is definitely both. Without giving too much away, the ending is also a beginning, and I think for one character there's a touch of horror as well.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  particle_person on Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:16 pm

I read an old Phoebe Atwood Taylor mystery, Octagon House, which I can't really say I'd recommend. There was kind of persistent low-level racism throughout the story. I guess that comes with the territory for a book written in 1937, but it really destroyed my enjoyment after a while. A whole lot of references to the "white man's burden." On top of that, the mystery itself was kinda blah — you could guess who did it by the 50% mark. Surprise! It's a female murderer! Who could possibly have suspected?
--

I started The Book Jumper, which was originally by a German author in German, as is their wont. It has been translated into English, but Mechthild Gläser's original German has GOT to be better, because some of the English is...well, here is how the prologue starts:
Will ran. He ran and ran.

The island seemed bigger than usual, and he'd been running for so long his chest hurt. Across the moor, through the fields, down to the beach, past the graveyard and Lennox House, and into the village, up to the stone circle, through the library, back to his cottage, and in and out of the last wisps of fog that hung over Macalister Castle.

Nothing.
I almost put the thing down in the bookstore at that point, but I finished the prologue, and, here is how it ends:
For a while the two of them gazed out to sea. With one hand Will scratched the dog behind the ears, and with the other he shielded his eyes the better to see through the rain. To no avail.

Sherlock Holmes had vanished without trace.
I am a sucker for Holmes, and the cover of the hardcover edition is truly gorgeous, so I bought it. I'm about 80 pages in now, and it's not bad. People have told me the premise sounds like a Jasper Fforde thing, but this book doesn't remind me much of what little Fforde I've glanced at. I have not read Fforde in any depth, though, just to pick up in the store.

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Re: Current Reads

Post  Tabby on Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:44 am

People have told me the premise sounds like a Jasper Fforde thing, but this book doesn't remind me much of what little Fforde I've glanced at.
The cover definitely has vibes of Fforde's Thursday Next series. Looks like I should give it a go.

I just started Joe Hill's The Fireman, which has pulled me in pretty quickly. Looking at his author photo - dang does he resemble his dad.
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Re: Current Reads

Post  particle_person on Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:26 pm

The thing is, it isn't cutesy in the way that Fforde and Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett (for example), are. So while there is skeletal similarity, I don't think it's really all that alike.

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