Author Topic: Book Thread Continued

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Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1965 on: May 21, 2018, 02:47:10 PM »
I can sort of emphasize with Harry since I was fairly troubled as a youth, and while Harry Potter house quizzes mostly put me in Ravenclaw, I'd probably have been right at home in Slytherin since I was delinquent and rebellious at the ages I would have attended Hogwarts.

I also recently finished The Elfstones of Shannara and am (re)watching The Shannara Chronicles on Netflix since I tend to half-watch shows when they originally aid.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1966 on: May 21, 2018, 06:32:41 PM »
I think as Harry grows up, readers both love and hate him because he's believable.  My mom had an unpleasant kneejerk reaction to the aforementioned part in book 5 because irascible Harry reminded her of me when I was in middle school; my middle school years were a thoroughly unpleasant period of time to say the least.  And, for her, that was the point in the series when the wistful fantasy was shattered and things stopped being polite and started getting real. 

I'm still re-reading Hexed: Sisters of Witchdown and am around chapter 14.  I'm impressed that the author is keeping fairly thorough tabs on the consistencies between it, Fall of Cthulhu, and the Hexed comic series.  The only inconsistency throughout all of that is that the protagonist's indelible brand/mark/tattoo is on her left shoulder in some mediums and on her right in others.  But it's something I can more or less handwave away.  Regardless, the novel nestles like a puzzle piece between Fall of Cthulhu and Hexed and opens up the mythos in an essential way. 

I know some negative reviews talk ill of the protagonist occasionally losing her focus during the story and getting dreamy about what life would be like as a normal teenager, but they don't get it.  The protagonist has had to live an extremely abnormal life beyond the fringes of our reality and continues to live an abnormal life beyond that fringe, so her "anthropologist on Mars" fascination (and occasional consternation) with our mundane is endearing.  It's like how Arthur Weasley is fascinated by the muggle world and the stuff we think nothing of he finds marvelous. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 06:10:38 AM by Dincrest »
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Rucks

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1967 on: May 22, 2018, 10:38:27 AM »
Reading the Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.  It's a fantastic Sci-Fi novel by someone who is completely in love with Science Fiction and space travel. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is in to that genre. My only real complaint is that her male ship captain WAY overthinks social interaction and conversation in a manner that is generally very atypical of someone in his position/with his life experiences. But I hear that women have been dealing with those sort of mischaracterizations from male authors forever, so I guess it's a small price to pay for what has so far been a tremendously enjoyable novel.

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1968 on: May 23, 2018, 06:22:21 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJdNrCeUdhc

Look, I know this video
Spoiler: show
 has been edited to only contain the worst responses to make you facepalm, but my kneejerk reaction was still, "How did nobody mention Harry Potter?  Or maybe... The Bible?!?!  I dunno, if I had a mic shoved in my face and was asked to name a book on the spot, I would probably say Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.


Still enjoying my re-read of Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown. 
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Jimmy

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1969 on: May 23, 2018, 06:55:23 PM »
I finally got around to finishing A Walk Among the Tombstones by Lawrence Block. It was good, but too long and a tad on the anti-climactic side. I was also scratching my head at the excessive violence and gore at the end. I get it, the book is pretty gritty and the characters are far from heroic, but dang, it was pretty over the top even for them, I think.

Prior to that I read Armada by Ernest Cline. I really enjoyed Ready Player One (though I understand a lot of the criticism against it), but Armada took way too long to break away from all the tropes it relies on. By the time it did, it didn't really try to develop its own interesting aspects very much, and so it was ultimately just an okay book.

Now I'm reading The Name of the Wind. I've had it around for several years at this point, but am just now getting to it.

ironmage

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1970 on: May 25, 2018, 08:26:01 PM »
The Forge of God (Greg Bear):  An interesting take on first contact with an alien species, but it didn't really take me anywhere new.  Despite the claims on the cover, I wouldn't classify this as "hard" science fiction.

GOod OMeNS (Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman):  What if Armageddon was run by incompetents?  It would be pretty damn funny, that's what.

Caves of Steel (Isaac Asimov):  This is one of Asimov's "Murder mystery...in Spaaaace!" stories.  An entertaining read, but I prefer Asimov when he writes more traditional science fiction.  I'm not much of a mystery fan.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1971 on: May 27, 2018, 07:23:04 PM »
I just finished my re-read of Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown.  I love that though it's more of a YA book, it had some choice vocabulary words that had me running for the dictionary.  I like that.  Plus, the story itself is well paced and kept me interested the whole way, even the second time around.  I also understood some of the action scenes more clearly, since I sometimes get a little lost when reading those.  Michael Alan Nelson has become one of my favorite comic book writers thanks to Hexed and Fall of Cthulhu, and his first attempt at a novel was pretty darn solid. 

Next on my reading list is re-reading the Hexed and Hexed: Harlot and the Thief graphic novels.  I also want to read the Echoes of the Fey novella, which serves as a worldbuilding prequel to the Echoes of the Fey video game I reviewed last year. 

EDIT: I liked the Echoes of the Fey novella.  It fleshed out one of the more intriguing characters in the first game.  However, the novella would be kinda lost on anyone without familiarity with the game series. 

EDIT 2: And thinking about Harry Potter (since we're aiming to finish it with my English class before the end of the year), here's how I'd rank order the books from least favorite to favorite. 

7) Chamber of Secrets
6) Deathly Hallows
5) Order of the Phoenix
4) Half-Blood Prince
3) Sorcerer's Stone
2) Prisoner of Azkaban
1) Goblet of Fire
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 11:09:24 AM by Dincrest »
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1972 on: June 02, 2018, 07:11:32 PM »
Still trying to work out my next personal read.  I gave another chance to Brandon Sanderson's Reckoner's series.  I had sampled it a couple of times, but third time was not the charm.  I see its appeal (and it should appeal to me) but I simply couldn't get into it.  It's too bad, since I'm told the protagonist is like me in that he has an affinity for oddball metaphors.  That had me quite intrigued.   

I might end up visiting a classic that I never got around to reading:  The Three Musketeers.  EDIT: Well, I read the first chapter of Three Musketeers last night, and my impression thus far is that D'Artagnan is Scrappy Doo. 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 11:02:26 AM by Dincrest »
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Arvis

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1973 on: June 04, 2018, 12:07:56 PM »
I spent 14 hours in transit last Tuesday (plus two hours lost in time zones) so I had plenty of time to read.  I spent it reading 2/3rds of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I had actually never read it before.  It was ridiculously good and lives up to its reputation.  Finished it up this past weekend, could scarcely put it down.  Definitely one of those novels everyone should read at some point.  It's set in early-1930s Alabama, so there's quite a lot of the "N word" and other racial pejoratives, but the novel uses them strictly satirically.  Still, it's something to keep in mind going in.

It's been a good long while since I've read a novel that was so absorbing.  You really feel like you're there in that sleepy racist Alabama town.  And despite how terrible a lot of the people are, our heroes and some of the other characters are truly good people stuck in a bad society.  The casual institutional racism and prejudice really does turn your stomach, and Harper Lee achieves that without ever browbeating the reader with it in the narration.  She simply describes what's happening in vivid detail and lets the reality of it disgust you.  But it's not all racism; there's a lot of beauty and innocence of childhood here that, for me, were some of the best parts.  It reminded me of the parts of being a kid that, I think, are often the hardest to really remember accurately.

And lastly, Atticus Finch and his two children are some of the best fictional characters ever.  If you haven't read this, do so.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1974 on: June 07, 2018, 06:49:31 PM »
8 or so chapters into Three Musketeers and I'm enjoying it in unexpected ways.  The prose is challenging to read because it's a translated period piece, but it's not a cumbersome tale at all.  It's a briskly paced action story, and even the chapters that provide necessary exposition seem to be written apologetically because despite the necessity of exposition, the writer wants to just get back to the action.

de Treville is a cool characters.  Oh my goodness, that guy is the smoothest schmoozer.  What I also like is that though the musketeers are some of the finest warriors out there, they're not your typical stiff upper lip soldiers.  I love their "work hard, play hard" attitude.  Yeah, they're no joke in battle and take their duty seriously, but they also like to drink, party, and cavort with the ladies.  They're, like, the cool warriors.   
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 05:57:36 PM by Dincrest »
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Arvis

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1975 on: June 08, 2018, 09:19:38 AM »
Man, I was so close to buying a beautiful version of Three Musketeers in the same bookstore I bought Mockingbird, but I was still in Canada, it was huge, and I decided to get my enormous collection of Wodehouse instead.  I couldn't get both.  :P

I'm still going to buy Three Musketeers soon, though.  Dumas is awesome.  Count of Monte Cristo is still probably the best pre-1900s novel I have ever read, by far.
"You know, you're pretty cool too, Arvis.  You like good music, good games, and good tennis." - Divingfalcons

Electricb7

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1976 on: June 08, 2018, 10:04:14 PM »
I'm starting ''The Wheel of Time'' on audible.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1977 on: June 09, 2018, 06:00:51 AM »
Man, I was so close to buying a beautiful version of Three Musketeers in the same bookstore I bought Mockingbird, but I was still in Canada, it was huge, and I decided to get my enormous collection of Wodehouse instead.  I couldn't get both.  :P

I'm still going to buy Three Musketeers soon, though.  Dumas is awesome.  Count of Monte Cristo is still probably the best pre-1900s novel I have ever read, by far.

Be sure you get a version with a good translation.  The version I'm reading was a free download and though it feels somewhat abridged (I think the original version I downloaded in 2011 was 700-something pages and this one is only 400-ish, meaning that the edition/version/whatever changed) and the prose sometimes feels stilted (the result of a direct translation in places).  I'm still enjoying it, but I definitely feel like I'm missing something.  You get what you pay for, I guess.
"Yes, there's lots of things to do if you're not so busy huffing and puffing."
     -Leonard the Wolf (Sesame Street)

"People are really really good at making themselves unhappy in their pursuit of happiness." -Arvis

Rucks

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1978 on: June 11, 2018, 04:26:19 PM »
I'm starting ''The Wheel of Time'' on audible.

why??????

don't pay for books when you can get them for free at the library...


Also I just started Becky Chambers' second book "A Closed and Common Orbit".  If it's anywhere as good as the first one (The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet) I'm in for a treat.  The third book in the series is due out in July.

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

Electricb7

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1979 on: June 11, 2018, 04:30:25 PM »
I'm starting ''The Wheel of Time'' on audible.

why??????

don't pay for books when you can get them for free at the library...

I have too. I listen to it while I'm at work. I never have the time to pick up an actual book.

Also I just started Becky Chambers' second book "A Closed and Common Orbit".  If it's anywhere as good as the first one (The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet) I'm in for a treat.  The third book in the series is due out in July.

I dont have a choice if I wanted to read a book. I listen to audible while I work.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 08:09:15 PM by Electricb7 »