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Carnifex December 16th, 2021 18:27

Last evening I completed Solar, a book about a despicable bloke that won a Nobel prize in his past, yet is such a cad in the rest of his living that it's almost painful to read, especially when he interacts with other humans in the story. I like to think he got his come-uppance though, in the end!

Now I'm back to the world of Flavia de Luce! I own the first two books, so I reached out to the library and plucked the third onto my Kindle shelf. I've read up through the first five books in the past, this time I plan on going all the way. Right now I'm one hundred fifty pages into A Red Herring Without Mustard.

Carnifex December 20th, 2021 18:31

I had a friend talk me into watching Gone Girl the other day, which, in comparison to the book is completely not-so-good. So, two days ago when I finished the Flavia book I was reading, I grabbed the Gone Girl book to re-read, and man, this is where you find out just how psycho Amazing Amy and Nerdy Nick really are, lol!

Carnifex December 21st, 2021 18:44

I finished Gone Girl last night, I'd say this book is one that you can easily revisit, as you'll likely key in on items that you might not have noticed the first time around. I'd say this author does a great job of actually developing and then delivering on decent themes while keeping the entire story well nuanced. I've enjoyed some of her short stories as well, so I intend on checking out some of her other full length books.

Next up for me is Little Big Man, a book I read in the late seventies yet have never re-read.

Carnifex December 23rd, 2021 18:27

The entire Foundation series is well worth reading, enjoy! And of course it goes without saying that Doug Adams never wrote a bad book either. -)

SveNitoR December 25th, 2021 19:37

I'm reading the Malazan book of the fallen series right now. I'm at the ninth book and will finish it soon. A pretty good series.

Every book has been really slow at first, but finish in interesting ways. They are quite wordy and it seems the author enjoys using uncommon words, but it's a good way to learn new words.

He has an immense amount of characters, but spends little time letting the reader get to know most of them, so it can get confusing but at least it doesn't bog down the tempo unlike some other authors.

Some of his races are explained very little about how they look, which makes it up to the reader. Fine by me, but it ends up making me imagine them similar to trope races.

I really enjoy how he has characters with vastly different philosophical and political thoughts about life and society and he describes their thoughts without it feeling like he takes a stand, unlike a lot of authors.

I also enjoy how he writes about the rise and fall of civilizations and very different ones as well. It's obvious his previous work has influenced and given him a lot of knowledge about this area.

All in all I've enjoyed reading them, even if the beginning of every book has been a bit of a struggle to get through.

SveNitoR December 25th, 2021 20:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by FurtiveNyctophile (Post 1061665118)
Somehow out of every fantasy and sci-fi book series I have read, and that includes almost all the very famous ones… I haven't read the Wheel of Time books. I recall once starting the book about thirty years ago (the first one in the 14 or whatever book series) and… I guess I couldn't get into it at the time. That has no bearing on how I'll feel about the series now, so I am kind of looking forward to picking these up again.

I'm enjoying the Amazon show. It's pretty good, and I like Pike as an actress a lot.

Otherwise, I have weirdly found the new Star Trek books to be somewhat decent, and I haven't read one since the whole origin of the Borg books that came out a while back. The Picard books are really delightful, and the Coda books are pretty good. I very much like that the books were written with continuity in mind, so they go together with the previous books written and the entire history that was written about in the couple of decades we had no Trek on TV at all. TNG and DS9 and Voyager ended; there were a couple of decades of books that built on what happened after the shows ended, and the producers decided to keep all of that history and have the new books tie into the new shows instead of declaring the books "not canon" which just… annoys a lot of people, as evidenced by some fans of the Star Wars base.

Anyway, blather blather, the new Star Trek books aren't bad and I'm interested in seeing if I like the Wheel of Time books. Isn't Sanderson writing the next book or the final book in that series because the original author didn't finish them or something of that nature?

The wheel of time books are very uneven, though mostly good. I enjoyed the first ones a lot, but later books become bogged down with too many characters and not enough story progression. The books Sanderson finished picked up the pace and made a nice finish to the series.

Carnifex December 26th, 2021 02:35

I finished Little Big Man last night, a solid story set in the western era, I believe lots of authors in that genre used this book as a reference for others set in the same time period and areas. Well worth reading if books like Lonesome Dove or other westerns are works that you enjoy.

Carnifex December 27th, 2021 18:56

For the past two or three days I've been reading one of Caleb Carr's novels, a book I've not read before. I've read the others that also were set in New York, the Alienist and the Age of Darkness, back when they were first released, yet I'd no idea that he'd done another set in the state. So far it's really good, I love how he can immerse you so quickly not only into the plot and scope of the story, but the characters as well. This guy knows how to position themes and also visualizes much of the book for the reader to further enjoy.

This one is called Surrender, New York, and is mostly set in a small town, rather than a large city like the previous books were.

Carnifex December 28th, 2021 18:34

This morning I completed Surrender, New York, a truly engrossing crime thriller, unlike Carr's other novels that I've read, this one is set more in current times. The author has much to say about today's current emphasis on forensics vs actual criminal research, which works quite well in ramping up the key elements in this story. If you've read his other works, I'd highly recommend this one, and you'll see some references to a classic character from his earlier novels.

Next up for me is a dip back into the Flavia pond, with a foray into book four, I am Half-Sick of Shadows.

Carnifex December 29th, 2021 22:52

This afternoon I finished book four of the Flavia series, Half-sick of Shadows. This one takes place at and around Christmas, with the home being let to a cinema company in order for a film to be shot there. As money is a constant issue for the father, any income to stave off the regulators helps, so all is going well….until the lead actress winds up dead! And only Flavia can suss out the details! This is a solid read, though feels a bit shorter than previous books, that or I simply sped through it.

Up next for me is Hail, Mary, a science fiction yarn that I'm already ten percent into. I believe it's penned by the same bloke that wrote the Martian.

SveNitoR December 30th, 2021 10:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061667360)
This afternoon I finished book four of the Flavia series, Half-sick of Shadows. This one takes place at and around Christmas, with the home being let to a cinema company in order for a film to be shot there. As money is a constant issue for the father, any income to stave off the regulators helps, so all is going well….until the lead actress winds up dead! And only Flavia can suss out the details! This is a solid read, though feels a bit shorter than previous books, that or I simply sped through it.

Up next for me is Hail, Mary, a science fiction yarn that I'm already ten percent into. I believe it's penned by the same bloke that wrote the Martian.

Hail, Mary is supposed to be good! And yes it's the same author. Haven't read the Martian, though it's supposed to be really good as well.

Carnifex December 30th, 2021 18:32

Yeah I found the Martian book really good, way better than the film. Hail Mary is great so far, a totally different premise yet very enjoyable, the kind of book that has you thinking a lot about it every time you take a break. I really like this writer, I'll be reading everything they write from now on, no questions asked.

txa1265 December 30th, 2021 19:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by SveNitoR (Post 1061667392)
Hail, Mary is supposed to be good! And yes it's the same author. Haven't read the Martian, though it's supposed to be really good as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061667442)
Yeah I found the Martian book really good, way better than the film. Hail Mary is great so far,

Agree on The Martian - good book and much better than the movie. Hadn't heard great things so have ignored "Hail Mary", but if you guys are thinking it is solid I might give it a look in the new year! Thanks for that!

Not sure if others have read the "Tattooist of Auschwicz" books - the first one is excellent and definitely worth reading. It was a retelling (with some 'fill in the gaps' historical fiction) from an actual survivor.

The second book is "Cilka's Journey", which is a semi-fictionalized retelling of what happened to one of the interesting side-characters from the first book. There are factual elements from historical records and oral accounts, but a lot of things had to be made up to fill in the blanks. I liked that one less - just finished it yesterday. The end felt incredibly rushed.

There is a third book (Three Sisters) which is now 'inspired by true events' which means even less connected to real things. After the first two I feel that the author (Heather Morris) is best at writing historical fiction but less so at actual fiction … making me wary of the third book. Anyone read it?

Carnifex December 30th, 2021 22:52

I've not completed Hail Mary as of yet, I'm about halfway through, though I find it hard to imagine that the ending of the book will differ from what I have read so far. If you enjoyed the Martian, you'd dig this one!

SveNitoR December 31st, 2021 06:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carnifex (Post 1061667468)
I've not completed Hail Mary as of yet, I'm about halfway through, though I find it hard to imagine that the ending of the book will differ from what I have read so far. If you enjoyed the Martian, you'd dig this one!

I can buy the Martian at a reduced price right now, which seems like a good idea since so many liked it.

Off topic: Your reading speed must be really high to finish so many books! :)

For me work + kids + training + duties at home leave little time to read, but I almost always manage to read at least half an hour in the morning and in the evening. When I'm off work I often read a few hours a day.

Carnifex December 31st, 2021 18:28

No children here, and I live alone, so few distractions. I don't watch much telly or films these days, I prefer to be out on the porch with a book, weather permitting. I used to spend a lot more time watching tv or playing on the computer, yet now I've reverted back to my youth in some ways, getting lost in a book is far more my style! My reading speed is probably at least above average, I would guess.

SveNitoR December 31st, 2021 19:03

Reading is also my primary hobby right now. Before that it was a lot of gaming and movies, but I just enjoy the often deeper impact of books more than the story in games. I read a lot as a kid and youth, and then lost the motivation while studying at university.

Started reading again when I was home with my second kid and got into it more and more.

I love reading in bed in the evening until I fall asleep, and when I eat breakfast in the morning, before heading off to work.

txa1265 December 31st, 2021 19:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by SveNitoR (Post 1061667570)
Reading is also my primary hobby right now. Before that it was a lot of gaming and movies, but I just enjoy the often deeper impact of books more than the story in games. I read a lot as a kid and youth, and then lost the motivation while studying at university.

Pretty much same - started a 'reading challenge' seriously in 2019 and managed 12 books, then 27 last year and 41 this year. Considering how busy work has been (and on site … 7 billion vaccine doses worth of glass!), that has definitely taken away from gaming - but actually more from mindless scrolling and social media. So I consider that a net positive.

SveNitoR December 31st, 2021 20:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by txa1265 (Post 1061667577)
Pretty much same - started a 'reading challenge' seriously in 2019 and managed 12 books, then 27 last year and 41 this year. Considering how busy work has been (and on site … 7 billion vaccine doses worth of glass!), that has definitely taken away from gaming - but actually more from mindless scrolling and social media. So I consider that a net positive.

Yeah, when I stopped using social media a few years ago I suddenly got more time to do things I actually enjoy doing. I miss out on some social stuff sometimes (since I'm not on FB et al, people forget to invite me) , but overall my life got a little bit better.

Carnifex December 31st, 2021 22:52

Two hours ago I completed Project: Hail Mary, and what a marvelous read it was. The ending caught me by surprise, as did a few other reveals in the book, and I always enjoy when that happens. The premise is an extinction-type event threatens Earth, yet at the same time the problem could also be a huge solution in the sense that it provides safe, renewable energy, save for the fact that it's currently devouring the sun. The author does a magnificent job of well-using an unreliable narrator, for reasons you'll discover as you go through the book. I will be seeking out any other books this guy writes, and if you enjoyed the Martian, I'd highly recommend checking this one out.

Next up for me is Survivor Song, which seems to be some type of zombie/rabies plague tale.


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