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January 5th, 2021, 03:32
wiretripped, Three Body Problem is in my queue. Let us know how it is.

I am re-reading Ancillary Justice, after appreciating the more character-oriented second book Ancillary Sword.

Why? Because when I read the first book, a few years ago, I was sort of underwhelmed, even though it's the only book to simultaneously win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards.

The book was ponderous, disorienting, and made oblique references to concepts that weren't explained until much later in the book (and even then not very clearly). It plodded at times. At other times, sped so fast I couldn't quite figure out exactly what was going on, even after multiple reads. The author's use of run-on sentences at times to connote a racing mind certainly didn't help with understanding. Calling everybody a she was also confusing. It was not an easy read.

I finally picked up the second book, and found the protagonist very likable and well-written. The world and character concepts gelled in my brain. I really wanted to better understand the history of the protagonist. So, despite my lukewarm feelings towards the first book a few years ago, I've been reading it again.

Let me tell you, my re-read of the first book has been absolutely fantastic. I never would have thought a second read of a book would be so much more interesting. The pieces make a lot more sense now, and the hints of hidden depths are are now revelatory rather than disorienting. I guess most of my other reading is simple in comparison.
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January 5th, 2021, 15:39
In my opinion, the book is a mastery of the rest like the rest of King's books. I love his writing style, how he introduces him to the story, how he guides the reader through his thoughts and finally surprises. He is one of my favorite writers precisely because you don't know what's going to happen
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January 13th, 2021, 18:01
. . . and now for something completely different.
By recommendation, I downloaded a wonderful CYOA book, with a wonderfully silly title:
Choices That Matter: And The Sun Went Out by Tin Man Games (PC and Switch)

Now then.
This stuff is massive. CTM:ATSWO is a proper novel sized reading material, with LOTS of binary choices in-between - and thus, several different paths over the story.

The novel is a fast paced sci-fi thriller, with a wonderfully wacky premise: our sun goes out for a few hours, and obviously, this is kinda unexpected. Scientists are investigating the phenomena, but someone murders them.

Silly premise, yes, but the story is actually quite good pulp fiction, well written and genuinely gripping. The choices are also very organic, the kind of stuff you may think when reading a regular novel: e.g. should Hallorann rush straight to the Overlook Hotel (and die) or should he be prepared first (and may live)? (wink, wink, Mr King)

The app is very reader-friendly: the text is easy to read (dyslexic fonts are available should you require), you can bookmark, review earlier passages, you can even compare your choices to other readers. The Switch version is preferable: its portable nature is great for reading anywhere.

Kudos to the writer collective for this -- this is truly book reading experience Version 2.
Highly recommended: both as a novelty, and as a solid pulp fiction book.
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January 13th, 2021, 19:50
Still reading Commodore: A Company on the Edge, but since it's about technology and what I'm doing is also tech-oriented, I was looking for something else just to relax

And apparently, I had a (physical) book that I hadn't read yet: Making Money (Discworld #36) by Terry Pratchett.

For those who know a bit about the Discworld series, it's in the Moist von Lipwig theme, and coming right after Going Postal (that any respectable geek should love unconditionally).
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January 13th, 2021, 23:06
Enjoying “ The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century” by Ian Mortimer. It is very detailed and a slow read … but really well researched and does a great job placing you in the 1300s in England.
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January 15th, 2021, 07:39
Since I finished the Harry Potter movies, I figured I'd want to also finish the books. Very lighthearted and fun.

I also bought the whole Malazan Book of the Fallen series and the Stormlight Archive books, since I keep hearing about them.
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January 15th, 2021, 13:12
I've once again started reading the Lexicon Of Celtic Mythology by Sylvia and Paul F. Botheroyd - it's a very ood book, seemingly available only in German language ? but it you see it in English language, I can really recommend it.
It focuses mostly on Irish and Welsh mythology, but other Celts are mentioned, too.
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January 15th, 2021, 16:39
Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus View Post
Since I finished the Harry Potter movies, I figured I'd want to also finish the books. Very lighthearted and fun.
I have been working my way through the HP series as well - every 3rd book is a HP book, on 'Half Blood Prince' right now (sidelined to focus solely on the Ian Mortimer book). First time reading them since we read aloud with the kids when they first came out.
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January 21st, 2021, 20:00
Finished Making Money, that was fun. I never liked the parts with the wizards though, I don't know why.

Now, reading The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis. The mini-series got my curiosity, we'll see how's the book like.
I forgot most if not all the openings, it's been a while…
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January 21st, 2021, 21:25
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Enjoying “ The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century” by Ian Mortimer. It is very detailed and a slow read … but really well researched and does a great job placing you in the 1300s in England.
So I finished this book - it was quite good and I recommend it if you are a fan of history.

Finishing up Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which is so much better as a book than ‘Order of the Phoenix’ (sadly the Half Blood Prince movie is the worst of the series IMO) and early into To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Eragon author Christopher Paolini. Not sure what I think so far … and it is a huge book, let’s see if I get through it.
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Last edited by txa1265; January 21st, 2021 at 23:20.
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January 21st, 2021, 23:15
I just finished Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont. Kind of essential reading in the combined series , though, given the major upheaval in the make-up of certain… organisations. I imagine skipping it would have resulted in some "Huh!?" moments in some later Erikson novels.
Once again, massively complex, but with the epic bits not as well written, quite frankly. Wasn't as enjoyable a read as the six or so Malazan novels I've read by Erikson, but had its moments.
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January 22nd, 2021, 05:39
Yesterday morning I finished the Well of Ascension, book two of the Mistborn trilogy. This is my first re-read of the series, having initially read it some ten years ago, and the second book, while good, seems a bit less-than to me when compared to the first. There is some important character development, and a new threat for the people involved to deal with, yet it just seems a bit subdued. It does bring up a new and serious threat, which leads us into book three, the Hero of Ages, which I started last night.
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January 24th, 2021, 19:12
I'm reading the 4th Stormlight Archive book - very good stuff so far!

@Carnifex, did you read the extra little story in his Cosmere collection?
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
wiretripped, Three Body Problem is in my queue. Let us know how it is.
I liked the very start of it but, when it got to the story proper, my interest dropped off hard. Maybe it was the cultural differences but the reactions people were having just weren't making any sense to me.
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January 24th, 2021, 21:23
Is that a short story/novella of the Archive series? Unless it was part of one of the four novels, I've not read it.
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January 24th, 2021, 22:26
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
I just finished Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont. Kind of essential reading in the combined series , though, given the major upheaval in the make-up of certain… organisations. I imagine skipping it would have resulted in some "Huh!?" moments in some later Erikson novels.

Once again, massively complex, but with the epic bits not as well written, quite frankly. Wasn't as enjoyable a read as the six or so Malazan novels I've read by Erikson, but had its moments.
Did you read any other of the many books in the universe? Especially the kharkanas trilogy.

I have read all 10 original books + night of knives and the return of the crimson guard, but those guys just keep on publishing. Hard to keep up, even if the original series was among my favorites.
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January 24th, 2021, 23:23
Originally Posted by ilm View Post
Did you read any other of the many books in the universe? Especially the kharkanas trilogy.

I have read all 10 original books + night of knives and the return of the crimson guard, but those guys just keep on publishing. Hard to keep up, even if the original series was among my favorites.
I've read the first six from Erikson, plus Night of Knives and Crimson Guard by Esslemont.
I've been slowly going through them over the last couple of years or so (interspersed with other, shorter books, so I don't get fatigue!), following approximately this order:
https://thewertzone.blogspot.com/201…ing-order.html

So, next up (after the nice n short Bob Shaw SF novel I'm reading) is Reaper's Gale.
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January 28th, 2021, 22:50
And today I finished Hero of the Ages, book three of the Mistborn series. The best kind of conclusion, for me at least, is one that leaves you wondering what happens next, how the world will develop after such significant changes. This volume nails that perfectly, and I know there are other books that take place in this world that I've yet to read, that will happen someday. As for now, this series is well worth reading, and you can really see how Sanderson grew into the monster-hit writer that he is, as of now.
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January 29th, 2021, 18:18
Last night I picked up Elantris, which is Sanderson's first novel, and one I've not read until now. I had a friend that compared it favorably to another book that I like, and since I've spent so much time reading Sanderson novels, I figured one more wouldn't hurt. I'm roughly fifty pages in so far and enjoying it, the set-up so far is pretty fun, consider me hooked!
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January 31st, 2021, 13:28
Yesterday I finished The Queen's Gambit (by Walter Tevis, also known for the adaptation of another of his novels, The Color of Money).

The book is much more interesting than the mini-series. It conveys Beth's internal conflict with more depth, which was to be expected from a book, but I also think the series was over-edulcorated for the wider audience. While the beginning closely matches the book, a whole section describing Beth's struggle with addiction and picking herself up after a defeat is mostly absent from the series. The reason behind this defeat is important because its nature is the cause of this descent to Hell; in the series it's been completely changed to a random fact invented by the film maker to attract more viewers.

The series isn't bad, but puts suggestive sex and fantasy where the book deals with deeper psychological issues.

The book is easy to read, though. There is a good share of descriptive and introversion, but the style is direct and punctuated with a lot of "action", and a lot of chess of course. The author went into a lot of trouble describing the strategy and tactics of the games, and what a good player perceives during those games, which could be most interesting for non-players because it gives them a chance to understand people who play it - and why they love that game.

I would have liked to see diagrams of some of the games, actually, I'm sure the author had them, but it's not always possible to reconstruct the positions from the description (or at least it's too high-level for me).
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January 31st, 2021, 14:15
Still reading the ton of free novels on Amazon. Best membership I ever bought.

All those harem novels and male power fantasy novels are a blast.
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