Author Topic: Book Thread Continued

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Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1995 on: June 20, 2018, 06:02:08 AM »
20 or so chapters into Three Musketeers.  I find it amusing that D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers were supposed to be on a secret mission to London,
Spoiler: show
yet Porthos, Athos, and Aramis did not keep a low profile, as they were peacocking and getting into fights.  Of all people, it was Scrappy Doo D'Artagnan who showed discretion.  I guess Scrappy Doo is maturing.  Granted, D'Artagnan is still impulsive and it was his hot-headed impulsiveness that put him on this mission in the first place.     


D'Artagnan is now on his way back to France, where he caught a glimpse of
Spoiler: show
the mysterious lady whom the guy he marked for revenge in the first chapter was conspiring with.  D'Artagnan learns, in England, that she is one of the top agents for Cardinal Richeliu, who has agents and spies everywhere.  Heck, even normal people could be considered his minions, since he is influencing the masses to look to him as the true leader rather than the idiot king on the throne.
 
  Cardinal Richeliu is a conniving and sinister mastermind, he is. 

Alongside Three Musketeers, I'm also reading Madame Mirage vol. 1- a comic by Paul Dini (who wrote some of my favorite episodes of He-Man when I was a kid.)  I'm digging it.  The art is vibrant and the pulpy storyline has some cool characters.  So far, it's good summer blockbuster stuff. 

UPDATE: 23 chapters in and although D'Artagnan is a slightly matured Scrappy Doo, he's still Scrappy Doo.  Planchet thinks he's walking straight into one of Cardinal Richeliu's traps, but D'Arty is all, "Puppy power!  Lemme at 'em, lemme at 'em, I'll splat 'em!" 

And what is up with so many of these old timey novels having misleading titles where the title characters aren't really there?  When I read Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe himself was only in a couple of chapters in the beginning and a couple of chapters at the end.  In Moby Dick, the titular whale doesn't even show up till maybe 2/3's of the way into the novel.  And now, I'm 1/3 of the way through Three Musketeers and the book isn't really about the titular three musketeers, but someone else entirely. 

« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 06:02:25 AM by Dincrest »
"If marriage were a woman's grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen year-old Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral." 
     -The beginning of Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang

Greganox

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1996 on: July 04, 2018, 09:38:06 PM »
Lately I've been re-reading some of the Redwall books which I haven't read since I was a kid. Atm I'm reading the title book in the series.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1997 on: July 05, 2018, 10:14:09 AM »
I've been mostly charting my book log in Discord, but I'm about 2/3's of the way through Three Musketeers. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-xO72s5EBY Yeah, I loved this cartoon when I was a kid and it's a surprisingly good adaptation.  Go figure, huh?  And it's not lost on me that one of the lyrics in the theme song is about drinking beer and swearing they're faithful to the king. 

Next on my reading list, after I finish Three Musketeers, will be the Dragon Songs Saga quadrology by JC Kang.  I sampled this series earlier this summer and splurged a whopping 99 cents on the quadrology.  I liked what I sampled quite a bit.  It's interesting to read an epic fantasy with distinctly Asian flavors.  Most fantasy I've read has a medieval Europe foundation, yet this one (by an Asian author) features locales influenced by medieval China.  Okay, and one character (who's from a land reminiscent of India) is really cool and it's not easy to find Indian characters in multimedia who aren't dorknerdgeeky. 
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 05:59:30 AM by Dincrest »
"If marriage were a woman's grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen year-old Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral." 
     -The beginning of Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang

Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1998 on: July 05, 2018, 11:13:47 PM »
Lately I've been re-reading some of the Redwall books which I haven't read since I was a kid. Atm I'm reading the title book in the series.

One thing I didn't care much for in the Redwall books, while I did enjoy them, was the general black-and-white depiction of specific animals, such as mice and squirrels being inherently good and rats and foxes being inherently bad, although there are very rare exceptions.

I finished the latest, but likely not the last, book in Bryce O'Connor's The Wings of War series, and it's a good adult fantasy series that's heavy on violence and profanity and isn't sexualized.

Still reading The Sword of Truth books, and am past The Pillars of Creation, and will soon start the second Wheel of Time book.

Greganox

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1999 on: July 06, 2018, 09:53:28 PM »
Lately I've been re-reading some of the Redwall books which I haven't read since I was a kid. Atm I'm reading the title book in the series.
One thing I didn't care much for in the Redwall books, while I did enjoy them, was the general black-and-white depiction of specific animals, such as mice and squirrels being inherently good and rats and foxes being inherently bad, although there are very rare exceptions.
I didn't pay much attention to this when I was younger but it does bother me a bit now that I'm older. I don't get why weasels, stoats and ferrets are bad yet otters and badgers are good even though those creatures are related. Also the term vermin pops up a lot maybe even too much.

Jimmy

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2000 on: July 11, 2018, 12:33:40 PM »
There's definitely a problem with speciesism in the Redwall books, but they're still pretty enjoyable. I never made it further into the series than Pearls of Lutra, but I've been thinking of continuing them since they're pretty fun and not too much of a commitment. I bet they'd be nice to relax with during the semester...

Greganox

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2001 on: July 11, 2018, 10:12:38 PM »
There's definitely a problem with speciesism in the Redwall books, but they're still pretty enjoyable. I never made it further into the series than Pearls of Lutra, but I've been thinking of continuing them since they're pretty fun and not too much of a commitment. I bet they'd be nice to relax with during the semester...
One group I forgot to mention is that birds are all over the place. Some are good while others are antagonists. Plenty are in-between.If you're interested in reading some of the last books in the series, the ones written before Brian Jacques passed away I highly recommend Rakkety Tam. It has a memorable protagonist and the bad guy is a wolverine which is pretty unique.

Atm I'm reading Salamandastron.

Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2002 on: July 15, 2018, 10:28:25 PM »
I recently read War Against the Weak by Edwin Black, about the eugenics movement during the first half of the twentieth century in America that spread overseas to countries like Germany. Definitely a good look into an overlooked part of U.S. history.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2003 on: July 29, 2018, 08:32:19 PM »
I finished The Three Musketeers earlier this month.  I enjoyed it thoroughly and talked about it at length in the Discord. 

So, thanks to a special Amazon Kindle sale, I managed to snag J.C. Kang's Dragon Songs Saga series, all four books, for a buck.  I had read a sample earlier this summer and was pretty sold on continuing.  I'm about 7 chapters into the first book (Songs of Insurrection), and I'm absolutely loving it. 

What I like about it is that the setting is based on ancient Asia rather than medieval Europe as most fantasy novels are.  This greatly appeals to me as someone of Indian descent.  What also appeals to me is characters like Prince Hardeep, whose homeland in this book's fantasy world is heavily inspired by ancient India.  Growing up in America, the only portrayals of Indian guys I saw (and currently see) on TV or movies show them as awkward, dork-nerd-geeky, socially inept (especially with the ladies), etc; like Apu on The Simpsons or Raj from Big Bang Theory.  So seeing Prince Hardeep as a suave, smooth, powerful, and heart-throbby guy with rock star charisma flat out rocks!  Finally, a south Asian guy who's cool!  I think Prince Hardeep will continue to be full of surprises as the story unfolds. 

Right now, he's an engaging foil for Princess Kaiya.  Kaiya is shackle-bound to her duty and beneath a glass ceiling (both due to the law of the land as well as her own insecurities), yet for the first time in her life she is gently being enticed to try and shatter it.  Will she be able to handle that internal push and pull, or will it be too much for her and cause her to shut down?

There are also a couple of spies named Tian and Jie, and I could easily see them (especially Jie) becoming audience favorite characters.  They have really great banter between the two of them, especially since both are very much opposites.  Jie is a very methodical planner whereas Tian tends to improvise on the fly and act on hunches. 

The biggest challenge is that several people have very similar names.  For example, Kai-Guo and Kai-Long.  The former is Kaiya's eldest brother and the latter is Kaiya's cousin, and both were in the same room with her.  So I had to double check that I was keeping them straight.  No biggie.  I like it when a book challenges me like that.

So far I'm really digging this Dragon Songs Saga series.  After the DNF disappointment that was Blackmark by Jean Lowe Carlson (despite positive reviews, I found that book amateurishly written), I'm glad to have stumbled upon a new fantasy series that's tickling my fancy.  I truly feel like I'm in a whole new world and the worldbuilding promises to be rich and heady.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:04:52 AM by Dincrest »
"If marriage were a woman's grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen year-old Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral." 
     -The beginning of Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang

Greganox

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2004 on: July 30, 2018, 09:45:28 PM »
Borrowing the book The Road from a friend. I picked it out cause I really liked the movie. One interesting thing so far is that quotation marks aren't used for dialogue.

Rucks

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2005 on: July 31, 2018, 08:58:04 AM »
After talking about wanting to read it for years, I'm finally going to start The Confessions of St Augustine today.  I honestly can't wait to sink my teeth into it.  Everyone I've ever talked to about it (who isn't a militantly atheist knob) says it's a fantastic book.

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

Arvis

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2006 on: July 31, 2018, 10:14:32 AM »
An autobiography from the end of the 4th century definitely sounds interesting, @Rucks
"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 #2007 on: July 31, 2018, 11:54:15 AM »
10 chapters into Songs of Insurrection and Prince Hardeep just became a heck of a lot cooler.  The way the book described a skirmish he got into was like the motions of kalaripayattu- a martial art originating from the southern Indian state of Kerala (where my mom is from).  Kalaripayattu is considered the oldest martial art in the world and has influenced kung fu, karate, jiu jitsu.  I had the honor of visiting a kalari (dojo) during my last visit to India and saw a demonstration, and I was totally visualizing that.  In general, the book does a great job in describing martial arts action scenes. 

EDIT: And if you're not reading the Mark Waid Archie reboot, do yourself a favor and read it.  I've read volumes 1 and 2 and they are phenomenal.  Now I'm thoroughly invested in buying volumes 3-6.  6 isn't out yet, but I'll put money aside for this series. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 02:58:25 PM by Dincrest »
"If marriage were a woman's grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen year-old Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral." 
     -The beginning of Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2008 on: August 21, 2018, 08:19:59 PM »
I recently finished Songs of Insurrection (Book 1 of J.C. Kang's The Dragon Songs Saga) and I absolutely loved it!  It was like Game of Thrones style political maneuvering meets a wuxia piece (e.g. films like House of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon; books like Jin Yong's Condor series.)  Before I begin the second book, Orchestra of Treacheries (which seems like it will go deeper into people doing political power plays), I've started reading the prequel short story Prelude to Insurrection.  So far, I'm enjoying it since it's fleshing out one of the more interesting characters. 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 08:35:17 PM by Dincrest »
"If marriage were a woman's grave, as the proverb claimed, sixteen year-old Kaiya suspected the emperor was arranging her funeral." 
     -The beginning of Songs of Insurrection by J.C. Kang

Rucks

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2009 on: August 22, 2018, 03:46:36 PM »
Last Continent c 1998 really might be peak Discworld/Terry Pratchett.  It's fantastic.

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