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May 31st, 2021, 13:25
I just finished The Dark Forest, the sequel to The Three Body Problem.

Well the ending is mind-blowing. Highly recommended! The Dark Forest theory explanation of the Fermi Paradox is amazingly imaginative and paranoid. If Steven Hawking said we should be wary of alien civilizations, should we be hiding?
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May 31st, 2021, 20:54
I completed book one of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Hounded, yesterday afternoon. It's such a fun series, reading about an ancient druid in today's world, with all the current foibles to deal with, as well as having massive issues from the past due to living twenty-one centuries, to date.

And I snatched up book two, Hexed, which I'm already halfway through. Volume three is on standby!
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June 1st, 2021, 04:34
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I just finished The Dark Forest, the sequel to The Three Body Problem.

Well the ending is mind-blowing. Highly recommended! The Dark Forest theory explanation of the Fermi Paradox is amazingly imaginative and paranoid. If Steven Hawking said we should be wary of alien civilizations, should we be hiding?
Yeah, I liked it considerably better than the Three Body Problem. The next book takes it up a notch, though the end felt a bit rushed through and meh.
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June 1st, 2021, 09:27
Originally Posted by wiretripped View Post
Yeah, I liked it considerably better than the Three Body Problem. The next book takes it up a notch, though the end felt a bit rushed through and meh.
I think that the writing was better in the Dark Forest. The characters were more human and relatable.
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June 2nd, 2021, 18:21
I knocked out Hexed yesterday, a solid way to spend the afternoon out on the porch. Our iconic druid has to deal with the likes of some nasty witches, the local police department all up in his proverbial business (like, literally), a cranky vampire/equally moody werewolves, and a new apprentice to teach. It's enough to make anyone reach for some smooth whiskey!

Of course I picked up book three, Hammered, and am already well into it.
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June 4th, 2021, 17:36
I completed Hammered this morning, which is basically the end of the first act of the Iron Druid Chronicles. Now, after all his shenanigans, the intrepid druid and mates will be on the run and hiding for their very lives!

To make the series last a bit longer, I picked up Dark Matter, a solo novel by Blake Crouch, of the Wayward Pines trilogy. And, of course, I still have to get back to the Expanse at some point.
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June 5th, 2021, 17:42
And I whipped through Dark Matter pretty quickly. It's an interesting premise, what lengths would you go to to correct something you were unsatisfied about in your life, had you the means to do so? Of course, the other shoe is on the foot of the victim, when someone takes something of yours, something dear and special, what would you do to get it all back? It's such a different tale than Crouch's other books that I've read, and I enjoy how he analyzes situations and posits decisions.

Now back to the Iron Druid tales, Tricked is next up on the list!
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June 6th, 2021, 15:32
The Face of Battle - John Keegan

Basically a military history of 3 legendary battles - Agincourt, Waterloo, and Somme, with an opening couple chapters of navel-gazing. I was a bit put off, as the opening of the book is a downright exhausting analysis of "what is a battle?", "what is a soldier?", "what is military history?", and his own clarification that he's never been in a battle (over and over again).

But once it finally lurches forward into the analysis of the 3 battles, this analytical style shines. He breaks down the armies involved, and everything subsequently happens to them, and it's pretty compelling stuff.
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June 7th, 2021, 21:48
This morning I finished Tricked, book four of the Iron Druid series. Coyote puts the druid through some interesting scenarios in this offering, along with Granuaile and poor Oberon, of course. Druid philosophy runs smack dab into Native culture, and things get a bit messy.

To not chug through the series quickly, I'm stepping out again and picking up Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (book one of the Flavia series). I've only read this once before, and that was over ten years ago so I'm looking forward to revisiting this savvy sleuth!
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June 7th, 2021, 22:08
I'm most of the way through Stoneweilder by Ian C Esslemont, 3rd book in the something something Malazan something series which Esslemont writes alongside Steven Erikson's Malazan series.
This one I'm finding to be thoroughly good, way better than the two previous Esslemonts, up with the middle of the Erikson pack.
I got it for 50c at a library sale, too, so that's a win.
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June 12th, 2021, 12:16
I'm reading the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman and right now I'm at the "Amber Spyglass". It's just unusual and surprising enough to keep reading but I'm not blown away. It's a bit of a Frankensteinian mishmash with steampunk, quantum mechanics, religion and high fantasy rolled into a book caught between children's and adult level. My immersion gets stretched a bit too far on this one. Next up is "Down Under" by Bill Bryson (I like how that sounded ). "A small history of nearly everything" was the first book I read by him and I was completely blown away. Imagine a page-turner in the popular scientific literature. I think that's rare. Then I discovered more work by him and liked that too. Because I'm set to become a dad for the first time in september I alternate a bit between reading "pregnancy literature for men" and aformentioned stuff.
@Alrik: I actually haven't read anything by Karen Horney but she is a widely respected author in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I'm surprised to see somebody here who reads her work. I rather would expect people to read Freud, Jung, Fromm, Eriksen or a more contemporary author like Yalom. Is it any good? Are you employed as therapist yourself?
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June 16th, 2021, 00:42
Originally Posted by sojosos View Post
I'm reading the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman and right now I'm at the "Amber Spyglass". It's just unusual and surprising enough to keep reading but I'm not blown away. It's a bit of a Frankensteinian mishmash with steampunk, quantum mechanics, religion and high fantasy rolled into a book caught between children's and adult level. My immersion gets stretched a bit too far on this one. Next up is "Down Under" by Bill Bryson (I like how that sounded ). "A small history of nearly everything" was the first book I read by him and I was completely blown away. Imagine a page-turner in the popular scientific literature. I think that's rare. Then I discovered more work by him and liked that too. Because I'm set to become a dad for the first time in september I alternate a bit between reading "pregnancy literature for men" and aformentioned stuff.
@Alrik: I actually haven't read anything by Karen Horney but she is a widely respected author in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I'm surprised to see somebody here who reads her work. I rather would expect people to read Freud, Jung, Fromm, Eriksen or a more contemporary author like Yalom. Is it any good? Are you employed as therapist yourself?
Just a comment, as someone from ‘down under’ Bill Bryson takes a LOT of poetic license with his book. And, yes, I have read it and others by him.
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June 16th, 2021, 04:39
I'm re-reading Michael Manning's series, Art of the Adept. It's a coming of age tale of a boy wizard. He moves around a lot during the series. Trains one on one with teacher, joins army, attends magic school (more college than high school), and falls in love with a princess though there are major drawbacks there. His main goal is to protect the city and people he cares about, so it's fairly typical but well written.
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June 16th, 2021, 17:46
I'm up to book eight now of the Iron druid chronicles, Staked. As the name might imply, this time our druid(s) are dealing with some vampires, as well as other possible foes. Now that we've three active druids to follow, the stories are a bit more leaner and somehow seem a bit less than. The last three books in the series do seem a tad weaker than how it started, yet they are still good, well worth reading. One book in this series to complete after this, and then I may return to the Expanse books or pick up something else.
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June 16th, 2021, 18:33
@Carnifex you're eating up those books at an impressive rate!

I'm tempted by the Expanse, I may give it a try when I'm finished with my George Smiley spree.
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June 16th, 2021, 21:36
I read a lot, especially while the weather is good and I'm free of the Everquest curse. =p

Seriously, I may be exiled in Florida these days, yet the weather is usually gorgeous. Even when it rains it doesn't prevent me from living on my porch, fully protected from bugs or other critters. Unless the wind makes the rain sheet in sideways, I'm perfectly safe. When I lived in Canada, in Alberta, you often couldn't stay outside very long for the thick smoke that's constantly in the air from forest fires And I've never had a home with a porch like this, I'm totally spoiled, now.

The Expanse books are pretty decent, at least the first three, which are all that I've read to date. I'm hoping the Prime sale next week puts some of them at a marked-down price. If you're currently reading about Smiley, you are in reading nirvana!
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June 17th, 2021, 15:39
Actually, just finished Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the best of the series so far. Thanks for your advice, @Carnifex, it was worth continuing the series Of course I still have to see whether I continue it further. For now, a break anyway.

Not sure yet what's next, I'm tempted to try The Expanse, but I'll probably read Raven One first, since I bought it a while ago. It's a completely different style of course, even if it's fiction, I'm curious to hear how the author writes about operations in the Navy.
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June 17th, 2021, 17:47
I finished Staked this morning, and went right into the final book of the Iron Druid series, Scourged. There are also some novellas to track for this series, and they can be difficult to find, yet some kind soul put audio versions on you-tube, so that's one option. The author permitted these, so it's all good. These missing stories are important because some minor characters are introduced, and sometimes the action has changed locations/significance because of these missing tales.

Scourged is the end, and Ragnarok is upon the world. With the vampire situation semi-resolved and a tacit treaty in place, it's time for the big final battle.
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June 17th, 2021, 21:26
From Paul to Mark: PaleoChristianity
Nearly two thousand years ago the seeds of a new religion were sown in the eastern fringes of the Roman empire. An apostle named Paul wrote letters to his small congregations offering support, rebukes, and the outline of the gospel that would come to be known as Christianity
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June 18th, 2021, 21:31
Scourged is done, and with that I've finished the Iron Druid Chronicles, including three stories that are available in a short story collection, or you can find the audio versions, as they don't exist in a book of their own. They are well worth checking out, but I'll warn you that two of them are from the point of view from Oberon, so take that as you will. Scourged finds Siodhachan having to deal with Ragnarok, and also some very poor decisions he's made over the course of the entire series. All three druids emerge changed from what they were before.

Up next for me will be a revisit to the Wild Card series. This is my absolute favourite superhero volume of tales, taking place in a parallel and somewhat different world to our own. They are mosaic novels, and feature some of the best science fiction authors you can imagine.
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