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Old 02-28-2014, 06:21 PM
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Khadaji's Whatcha Readin' - March 2014


Well, for us folks in North America, this is ideal reading weather - fireplace on, check. Dog curled up, check. Beverage appropriate to the hour, check. I'm cheerfully working my way through some of Mount Toberead.

First off, I finished Ann Ireland's "The Blue Guitar" - I had to break off reading it for a bit as I was preparing for an important concert. Reading about a young, hotshot classical guitarist who had a nervous breakdown onstage, and a different 40 year old classical guitarist who couldn't find enough time to practice because of her family obligations was just not helping my find my Zen for the performance.

It's a good book, but not a great book. The parts that I found most interesting were the extremely realistic depictions of what goes on at a major guitar competition. For the first time in ages, I thought a book was too short - I would have liked about 30 more pages that filled in some of the details about the SARS-like virus that had Toronto under quarantine, and some of the relationships were left hanging a bit.

I also finished Frederic Norton's "A Nervous Splendour", which was a fascinating glimpse into ten months of Viennese history, circa 1888.

I'm currently reading "A Feast for Crows", the fourth book in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire". I'm also re-reading Richard Dawkin's "Climbing Mount Improbable", an exploration of species that evolve symbiotic relationships. Also on the pile - Chris Hadfield's "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" and Iain Banks' "Stonemouth".


And you - whatcha readin'?


A link to last month's thread.


For those of you unfamiliar with him, Khadaji was a long time doper with a kind heart and an encouraging word for everyone. One of his passions was books, and he started this long chain of book discussion threads many years ago. When he died in January of 2013, it was decided that the best way to honour his memory was to continue these threads, and name them after him. May his corner of heaven have a well stocked library, a comfy chair and lots of light.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:34 PM
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Oh this looks cozy. It's 40's and raining where i am, pass the hot teas please.

I started A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva today. Maybe it's just me and maybe I haven't read enough espionage fiction, but the omniscince of the enemies in his books is a bit tiresome. The hero hasn't been in Vienna a full day yet and already surveillance is in place and I can say which side characters are going to bite it in the next couple of chapters.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:21 PM
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Close to finishing LaBrava, by Elmore Leonard.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:50 PM
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I discovered a new series I must read. I checked out Mike Carey's The Devil You Know and now I must find the rest of the Felix Castor books. It's the Vish Puri thing all over again. Dammit Mt. ToBeRead! Quit growing ever taller!
I've had this on my ToRead list for awhile & thanks to your recco, am bumping it up near the top!

I've been surrounding myself with SF short stories lately - am working on the following collections & enjoying both:
Brave New Worlds (John Joseph Adams ed.) As you might guess, it's a collection of dystopia stories, ranging from Shirley Jackson's classic "The Lottery" to "The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away" by Cory Doctorow. Mostly new-to-me material that I'm really enjoying, but a bit heady/depressing to read in long stretches. I've trying to alternate it with lighter fare.

The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century (Harry Turtledove ed.) isn't really that much "lighter", but there's some great stuff in here as well. A couple of standouts: "The Winterberry" by Nicholas DiChario, and "The Undiscovered" by William Sanders, both of which were new to me and "Dance Band on the Titanic" by Jack L Chalker, which I'd read before. "Bring the Jubilee" was wonderfully detailed; I think I've read some of his stuff in various anthologies, but want to track down more of Ward Moore (so to speak).

Last edited by Politzania; 02-28-2014 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:07 AM
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I finished Red Mars and started Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson but then had to travel a bit and wanted something lighter to carry so I paused to read the excellent Attica by Gary Kilworth. It's a YA novel with shades of Narnia - three children end up exploring their new home's attic and discover it's very much larger than they expected! Bizarre adventures ensue. I read his autobiography On My Way to Samarkand last year, which is how I heard about this book...

And now, before returning to Green Mars, I'm zipping through Pillar to the Sky by William Forstchen, a slightly alternate history about how we're pretty much at the point of being able to build a space elevator. So they do, in great detail! Interesting mainly for the concept and it's realisation over the course of the book, not the writing.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:20 AM
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I'm reading Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I read her other take on this fairy tale (Beauty) a few years ago, so I'm interested to see how this compares. Apparently Robin McKinley decided to write this version after she began growing roses - I can certainly see it. Beauty is a gardener, roses are exceedingly rare flowers that usually only grow in the presence of magic, and her love for the blooms leaps off the page.

I'm also reading N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy with an online bookclub, and we're almost at the end of the third book, The Kingdom of Gods. This series is some of the most unique fantasy I've ever read. The world, characters and mythology are rich, complex and wonderful.

The same bookclub has just started Terrier by Tamora Pierce. I read it 5-8 years ago, and don't remember too much about it, except that I didn't enjoy it as much as Tamora Pierce's other works. I'm hoping I'll like it better this time around, what with all the enthusiastic reading companions I'll have.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:30 AM
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I'm on We Were the Mulvaneys. Interestingly, its opening line is "We were the Mulvaneys, remember us?" I can't think of another book that opens with the exact title.
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:21 PM
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I'm reading Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I read her other take on this fairy tale (Beauty) a few years ago, so I'm interested to see how this compares. Apparently Robin McKinley decided to write this version after she began growing roses - I can certainly see it. Beauty is a gardener, roses are exceedingly rare flowers that usually only grow in the presence of magic, and her love for the blooms leaps off the page.
She definitely loves roses.

I'm reading Frances Carpenter's Tales of a Korean Grandmother for the first time in mumblety-odd years. I used to have a copy that wandered off somewhere sometime. Most of the book takes place before WWII in a traditional upper-class Korean home. The stories are framed in descriptions of everyday life with the Grandmother telling folk tales to the children to illustrate whatever is going on in their day.

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Old 03-01-2014, 08:59 PM
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I'm reading Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez, and I'll probably read her In the Time of the Butterflies after that.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:45 AM
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Strongly recommended: Snow Wolf, by Glenn Meade, one of the best cold war thrillers I have read in a long time.

Did Joseph Stalin die of natural causes, or at the hands of a CIA agent at the direction of Eisenhower?
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:54 AM
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I'm reading The Con Man by Ed Mcbain. Having read the 87th Precinct series over the last 30 years I decided to go back to the start and read them all again now that they were cheap on Kindle. Also doing the same with the 11 mysteries written by Georgette Heyer, which I originally read about 20 years ago, now that they're on kindle.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:51 AM
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Finished LaBrava, by Elmore Leonard. Very Good. Joe LaBrava is an ex-Secret Service agent, now a freelance photographer living among colorful characters in Miami. He becomes caught up in a rather odd scam.

Next will be a volume containing the first three novels of Anthony Powell's 12-novel series A Dance to the Music of Time. First up: A Question of Upbringing.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:00 AM
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Next will be a volume containing the first three novels of Anthony Powell's 12-novel series A Dance to the Music of Time. First up: A Question of Upbringing.
Ya know What? Scratch that. I don't want to start another series yet until I finish what's been written to date with A Song of Ice and Fire. But first, I'm going to read The Gods of Guilt, the latest Lincoln Lawyer novel by Michael Connelly, which I just picked up this weekend. That one's the next up.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:18 AM
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After binging on two Dan Simmons expedition doorstoppers, The Abominable and The Terror, I'm back to litfic with The Goldfinch. I probably should have read a mystery or an espionage book first to ease the period of adjustment because I keep mentally stranding the poor motherless protagonist up at Camp 3, or out on the Arctic ice.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:34 PM
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... I'm zipping through Pillar to the Sky by William Forstchen, a slightly alternate history about how we're pretty much at the point of being able to build a space elevator. So they do, in great detail! Interesting mainly for the concept and it's realisation over the course of the book, not the writing.
Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise is a pretty good near-future book about building a space elevator.

I'm making my way through the short story collection The Best of Joe Haldeman, ed. by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe. They included some favorites of mine but criminally omitted some others. So it goes.

Also on my bedside table is Roy Jenkins's 1974 political essay collection Nine Men of Power, with short profiles of John Maynard Keynes, Joe McCarthy, RFK, Lord Halifax and others. Not bad.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:08 AM
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I'm reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:57 AM
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Last week I was happily swallowed up by Ransom Riggs’ Hollow City. This has been a wonderful series so far. I just can’t bear to think of how long I now have to wait for the next installment!

I’m almost finished with Tesseracts Fourteen: strange Canadian stories, which is very much living up to its subtitle. A lot of the stuff here is, in the immortal words of Moe Syzlak, “weird for the sake of being weird”, but there are a couple of good ones. Mostly, I had to read this book because I was so enamored of the cover art.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:00 AM
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Two recent winners and a dud, not too bad.

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Long Division by Kiese Laymon. Time travel in a coastal Mississippi town, with stops in 2013, 1985, and 1965, told with a "book within a book" format. It does have some problems -- I thought 1965 seemed significantly weaker than the other two times, for example, but overall, it was terrific and had a great narrative voice. Even when the events spin out of control, and the plot focuses more on issues than individuals, I was really impressed by how much of an emotional connection I had with the main character, 14 year old City Coldson. It's one of those books that has teen protagonists, but I would say it's solidly an adult novel.

Tubes, by Andrew Blum, non-fiction, pop tech look at the physical structure of what makes the internet work. As a geeky person, I was very excited by the descriptions and explanations of things like router hubs and submarine cables, and the enthusiasm of the author is pleasant. I could have done without some of the author's musings on "the internet isn't a place, but it has physical places, yet is a place not a place if the place is sometimes physical and sometimes not ..." -- the book was interesting enough without that, and it sounded like his editor thought it would be a good idea if the book had an overarching theme other than "hey, switching hubs are neat."

The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd was dreadful. I think it's supposed to be a vaguely titillating musing about people's secret lives, but it ended up being tiresome.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:44 AM
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I finished "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman. I considered putting it down (or throwing it across the room) multiple times, but for some reason I finished it. It was a decent enough story, I guess, but I thought it was poorly written. I have very little tolerance for head hopping (being in all the characters' heads), and it switches tenses constantly.

I'm now reading "The Girl Who Played With Fire," the second book in the "Millennium" series. I began reading it several years ago, right after my daughter was born, but never finished. I had a hard time reading anything at that time, and it was a little too violent for me as the mom of a newborn. I'm liking it much better this time around.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:15 PM
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I've been re-reading John Grant's excellent tetralogy Discarded Science, Bogus Science, Discredited Science, and Denying Science. Well-written, quick reads (although, if you want to search deeper into the topics he covers, you really need footnotes rather than a bibliography)

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Old 03-04-2014, 07:41 AM
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Started this morning on This House is Haunted by John Boyne. Purports to be “written in Dickensian prose”, but I wouldn’t say that.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:57 AM
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I just picked up Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson and the little one is off to Grammie's for a week for March break! It is going to be a good week!
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:58 AM
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Started this morning on This House is Haunted by John Boyne. Purports to be “written in Dickensian prose”, but I wouldn’t say that.
I'm reading the Thomas North translation of Plutarch's Lives and I'm enjoying the High Forsooth English it's written in. Sometimes it's unintentionally hilarious, like with this story which is "neither true nor likely" of Romulus's birth.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:25 AM
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"continued there many days" - yeah, I'm not buying it either.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:26 AM
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Jane Austen's England by Roy and Lesley Adkins. Very good so far. A fascinating social history of the timeframe of her life and novels. A world about two hundred years removed from us but still much more different than you might imagine. It was hard to get basics back then that we take for granted today like food, light and clean water. I'm even more grateful I'm not a woman living during that time as they basically had no rights at all. Marriage turned a woman into a slave of her husband.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:55 AM
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This might also interest you, Lavender and other Austen fans: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=542103
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:33 AM
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Started this morning on This House is Haunted by John Boyne. Purports to be “written in Dickensian prose”, but I wouldn’t say that.
"Dickensian" prose -- what is it? I think sometimes the blurb writer means "lots of words".

I've read two by Boyne -- House of Special Purpose and The Absolutist. I liked them and will be waiting for your final judgment on this one.

I'm almost finished with Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. Lewis has Arrowsmith on the verge of an important discovery in the lab, and his description of a man being overstressed by work is IMHO brilliant and realistic.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:54 AM
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"Dickensian" prose -- what is it? I think sometimes the blurb writer means "lots of words".
I thought, "People with really dumb names."

I haven't read this writer before so I'm glad to at least hear he doesn't suck!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:59 AM
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"Dickensian" prose -- what is it? I think sometimes the blurb writer means "lots of words".

I've read two by Boyne -- House of Special Purpose and The Absolutist. I liked them and will be waiting for your final judgment on this one.

I'm almost finished with Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. Lewis has Arrowsmith on the verge of an important discovery in the lab, and his description of a man being overstressed by work is IMHO brilliant and realistic.
I read Arrowsmith years ago and enjoyed it a lot. Was actually wondering how it would hold up for me today, different phase of life for me and all that. On the one hand, he is so good at getting into the heads of Americans of his time, including some truly great dialogue; on the other hand, I appreciate subtlety more than I used to and nobody has ever accused Lewis of being subtle.. Glad you're enjoying it, hope you continue to!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:21 AM
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Because I like the movie Amazing Grace, I picked up a copy of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, by Eric Metaxas. It was a pretty good read, but I didn't realize beforehand that Metaxas was primarily a writer of religious works. The book is an enthusiastic hagiography and has a strong Christian perspective. It’s a little preachy, actually, with corny jokes thrown in to keep the congregation engaged. I wish I'd picked something more scholarly and objective, but I suppose it's suitable for Wilberforce, who credited his evangelical Christianity as the motive for his work against the slave trade.

I started the 1987 post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song, by Robert McCammon, which is something like The Stand except with a nuclear apocalypse. I don't like the writing style very much, though, so I don't know if I will finish it.

I'm reading City of Diamond by Jane Emerson, which is a pen name for author Doris Egan, who wrote the Ivory trilogy. This is the last novel she published in the late 90's before switching to television writing. It's soft science fiction about people who have lived for centuries in giant interstellar spaceships.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:36 PM
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...I started the 1987 post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song, by Robert McCammon, which is something like The Stand except with a nuclear apocalypse. I don't like the writing style very much, though, so I don't know if I will finish it....
You might want to read War Day by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, about two guys wandering through America after a brief but disastrous World War III. It's a very realistic, calm but chilling travelogue.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:38 PM
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I started the 1987 post-apocalyptic novel Swan Song, by Robert McCammon, which is something like The Stand except with a nuclear apocalypse. I don't like the writing style very much, though, so I don't know if I will finish it.
I read all his stuff years ago and really liked him. Recently re-read Stinger and thought it was a bit too pulpy but still compelling. It's about an alien creature that takes over a desert town, with a side of teen angst and race relations.

He can be smarmy and sentimental. Boy's Life didn't hold up at all.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:58 PM
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"Dickensian" prose -- what is it? I think sometimes the blurb writer means "lots of words".
Never use one word when ten will do.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:30 AM
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I'm reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
I finished it today. And it wasn't bad, I did like it (I found the chimeras and their magic really interesting), but I was kind of disappointed. I picked up this book in the first place because I'd already read and utterly loved the same author's much more obscure Blackbringer. This didn't wow me in the same way, and I couldn't understand why it became so much more popular, but then I realised it's because Daughter of Smoke and Bone has paranormal romance. So now I'm vaguely annoyed.

I'm now reading The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I'm enjoying it. Some stories are better than others, as with all anthologies, but I went in with moderate expectations so I can be pleased with the good ones and just shake my head indulgently at the bad ones.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:43 AM
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...I'm now reading The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I'm enjoying it. Some stories are better than others, as with all anthologies, but I went in with moderate expectations so I can be pleased with the good ones and just shake my head indulgently at the bad ones.
I read that awhile ago. It really is a mixed bag. For consistently good Sherlockian pastiches, try June Thomson, who has several collections of short stories.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:57 PM
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I finished it today. And it wasn't bad, I did like it (I found the chimeras and their magic really interesting), but I was kind of disappointed. I picked up this book in the first place because I'd already read and utterly loved the same author's much more obscure Blackbringer. This didn't wow me in the same way, and I couldn't understand why it became so much more popular, but then I realised it's because Daughter of Smoke and Bone has paranormal romance. So now I'm vaguely annoyed.

I'm now reading The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I'm enjoying it. Some stories are better than others, as with all anthologies, but I went in with moderate expectations so I can be pleased with the good ones and just shake my head indulgently at the bad ones.
I read that ages ago, when it came out (It was published on the 100th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes' first appearance in "A Study in Scarlet" in Beeton's Christmas Annual). It's OKAY, but some of the stories seem awfully far from Doyle's Holmes. For my money, the very best faux Holmes is The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, by Adrian Conan Doyle (Sir Arthur's son) and John Dickson Carr.


http://www.amazon.com/Exploits-Sherl.../dp/0517203383
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:18 PM
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Just finished a library read of https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...e_Dracula_Tape by Fred Saberhagen. This is a novel I'd heard about for awhile & I think I finally checked it out from the library after seeing it mentioned in a thread about alternate history stories.

I'm a bit of a sucker for alternate takes on familiar stories, and IMHO Saberhagen's novel is one of the standouts of the genre, not only in terms of age (published in 1975) but in quality as well. While the frame story (Dracula meeting up with the Harker's descendants, and recording his version on cassette tape) is a bit hokey (and now dated), the actual retelling of the events is engrossing.

While I'm no scholar of the Stoker source material; having listened to the Audible full-cast version of the classic fairly recently made reading this novel both more accessible and more enjoyable. Saberhagen obviously covers the same ground as Stoker, but makes Dracula, if not a hero, at least the protagonist. Harker is painted as a well-meaning nebbish, and Van Helsing a scheming malcontent whose claims to scientific knowledge are proven wrong several times by Dracula.

Mina is portrayed as not only a willing accomplice, but a worthy consort to one such as the Count. While I liked her character in the Stoker novel, seeing her as a strong female within the context of the times; Saberhagen gives her even more agency as she is torn between her love for Jonathan and fascination with Dracula.

I would have liked more insight to Renfield, and the ending felt a little rushed, but I'm glad I finally got around to reading this novel, and would recommend it to anyone interested in an alternate take on the classic vampire tale (after reading/re-reading the Stoker version, of course!) I may pursue the sequels at some point, after I check out their reviews here.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:24 PM
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Aargh - I meant The Dracula Tape of course...
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:22 AM
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I'm still reading Catharine Arnold's The Sexual History of London: From Roman Londinium to the Swinging City - Lust, Vice, and Desire across the Ages. An interesting lens through which to view the city.

I've been working my way through William Marshall's Yellowthread Police Station series set in Hong Kong in the 1970s & beyond. A great combination of police procedural / whodunit and black humor enriched with layered character development as the novels draw on. Nice details of pre-handover Hong Kong, too.

I've also picked up a couple of Bill James' Harpur & Iles mysteries: The Lolita Man & Roses, Roses. The mysteries don't interest me nearly as much as the psychological portraits of the people involved, so to speak; James does an upstanding job creating characters who somehow ring true - except Harpur's daughters, who seem a little too precocious and aware to be real. That Desmond Iles is quite the piece of work.

I finished Lucy Lethbridge's Servants: A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times. I'd seen it recommended as a must for any Downton fan, and I agree. It brings to life what servant life was like in Britain from the 1800s through roughly the 1960s or so, and also why it went away: not just the wars, but the attitudes of the young who decided against 'going into service' despite its relative security.

Next up from a fiction perspective: another Yellowthread Street - good treadmill book - and Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I started it shortly before my daughter was born, and now that she's 18, I can get round to finishing it.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:19 PM
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Some may consider my tastes simplistic, but I prefer novels where the protagonist is likable (one reason I've yet to read Lolita, I suspect). However, I found Ron Rash's Serena quite an engaging read, despite my feelings towards the two main characters, the Serena of the title and her husband Mr. Pemberton (yes, just "Pemberton"; even his wife uses his surname when addressing him!).

I wanted to like Serena, as a strong female character proving her worth in the man's world of a Depression-era South Carolina lumber camp; however, her heartlessness and self-interest soon turned me off. Not only did she become a cold blooded killer, but her husband also takes a life (albeit with the excuse of self-defense for his act of manslaughter). Being lumber barons playing dirty pool in their fight against the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park didn't endear them to me, either. Admittedly, my own sociopolitical views may color that last remark, despite being the great-great-granddaughter of a lumber baron.

Rash's historical novel paints a detailed picture of a time and place, with well-developed characters and a compelling story, even if it starts a bit slow. Pemberton himself feels a bit flat, but I believe that is intentional. Serena is perhaps the most detailed character, despite her mysterious past. Rachael is pretty much is the only sympathetic character, and she's a bit on the one-dimensional side as well.

I first heard part of this novel on Dick Estelle's Radio Reader show back in December 2009 & ran across it while browsing the Indiana Digital Media site and am glad I finally had a chance to read it. Recommended to fans of historical fiction in a rural, early 20th century setting.
  #41  
Old 03-07-2014, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Politzania View Post
Some may consider my tastes simplistic, but I prefer novels where the protagonist is likable (one reason I've yet to read Lolita, I suspect). However, I found Ron Rash's Serena quite an engaging read, despite my feelings towards the two main characters, the Serena of the title and her husband Mr. Pemberton (yes, just "Pemberton"; even his wife uses his surname when addressing him!).
I really liked that book. Serena reminded me of the Gene Tierney character in Leave Her to Heaven -- another obsessive, sociopathic woman, but someone you almost admire for single-mindedness and strength (sort of).

I've meant to check out Ron Rash's other books but haven't gotten around to it.

I'm reading The Here and Now, a time travel/romance by Ann Brashares, who wrote Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And I just realized that a name like "brashares" might have been the inspiration for a novel about sharing an item of clothing.

It's YA in tone, and it's about a young woman who with a few hundred others have traveled back to 2014 from a future where mankind has been devastated by plague. It's better than expected (so far).
  #42  
Old 03-08-2014, 12:16 AM
Joey P is offline
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I need some help with Lolita, I'm sure most of you have read it, hopefully someone remembers it.
For the sake of anyone who hasn't read it, I'll spoil it.
SPOILER:
When HH catches back up with Lolita at the end and asks her who kidnapped her she said "Waterproof" and that was all he needed to know exactly what was going on. My question is, why would she know to say that. I went back and checked. When "waterproof" was first spoken back at Hourglass lake, she was off at Camp Q, she never heard the word. I feel like I must be missing something. This book was written so well, I'm sure I didn't just find a gaping plot hole, right? One that would be pretty easy to close.
It is possible I missed something, I do tend to read while tired. Also as I went flipping around trying to find the first time they used that word I was surprised at how many clues were dropped throughout the book, of course, like many whodunits, without THE clue, it's not really possible to solve.
  #43  
Old 03-08-2014, 10:12 AM
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I finished A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva on Thursday, I've just been too distracted to report in here

Overall I think the series is getting better, I suspect that many of my complaints have to with a lack of famliiarity with the tropes of the espionage genre. It was interesting and perhaps evil of him to make the former Nazi a somewhat sympathetic character. Not entirely but some...

I am nearly half way through the new Jonathan Kellerman mystery Killer. As usual it is a page turner, and to see Alex and Milo angry at each other is a big departure for the usual. It is fueling my desire to get to the end of the book even more than the murder itself. I need to see them make up!
  #44  
Old 03-08-2014, 03:14 PM
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I'm reading City of Diamond by Jane Emerson, which is a pen name for author Doris Egan, who wrote the Ivory trilogy. This is the last novel she published in the late 90's before switching to television writing. It's soft science fiction about people who have lived for centuries in giant interstellar spaceships.
City of Diamond was good, recommended if you like 90's soft sci-fi. It's long, loosely plotted and character-driven.

I'm watching season two of Vikings on the History Channel, and it has put me in the mood to pick up another of Cornwell's Saxon stories: Sword Song. King Alfred of Wessex has ordered Uhtred to drive the Danes and Norsemen out of London (since they wouldn't accept Alfred's bribe to leave). As always, Uhtred seriously mulls his options, which include reneging on his oath to a king whom he doesn't like very much and who fervently practices a religion he doesn't believe in.
  #45  
Old 03-09-2014, 09:39 AM
Siam Sam is offline
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Finished The Gods of Guilt, by Michael Connelly, who really is in top form with this latest installment in the Lincoln Lawyer series. Micky Haller takes the case of a pimp accused of killing a prostitute whom Haller tried to help leave the profession in the past. In this series' universe, the movie The Lincoln Lawyer exists, and Haller has made mention of the movie in subsequent novels, the movie being inspired by his "real life" exploits. In this one, Haller says due to the success of the movie, he now sees several Lincoln Town Cars with drivers parked near the courthouse, all belonging to attorneys all claiming to be the actual inspiration for the film. So many that he often jumps in the backseat of the wrong one.

Now it's back to George RR Martin and his series A Song of Ice and Fire. I will this week start the fifth and last novel to date, A Dance with Dragons. At least two more novels are planned for the series, but I don't know when they'll be released.
  #46  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:02 AM
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Finished The Gods of Guilt, by Michael Connelly, who really is in top form with this latest installment in the Lincoln Lawyer series. Micky Haller takes the case of a pimp accused of killing a prostitute whom Haller
I'm working my way there... I want to READ a few of the books I have stacked up here before I run out and buy more. But I'll start the 4th Harry Bosch book sometime next week.
  #47  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:09 AM
Siam Sam is offline
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I'm working my way there... I want to READ a few of the books I have stacked up here before I run out and buy more. But I'll start the 4th Harry Bosch book sometime next week.
Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch are half-brothers. They share the same father. You'll see some overlap in the two series. (That's not a spoiler.)
  #48  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:15 AM
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Finished The Here and Now by Ann Brashares. YA time travel with a side of romance. Maybe I'm showing my age and my distance from adolescence, but I could have done without the sexual tension. Prenna and Ethan want to do it but the cause of the future plague is unknown, and Prenna's worried that she'll pass something on to Ethan. Ethan doesn't care -- having sex with Prenna is worth dying for.

I made it sound worse than it is, because
SPOILER:
it turns out that another traveler who had sex with several "time natives" may indeed have started the plague
so I guess it was a necessary plot point. But it made me wonder if it's a requirement to have sexual tension in a YA novel.

Anyway, it was an okay read, and the book would be fine for young teens. Sequels are possible, but I won't bother to read them.
  #49  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:32 AM
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I'm reading The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope. It's interesting to see the workings of a Ponzi scheme are basically timeless. My favourite quote:
Quote:
John Crumb raised him, and catching him round the neck with his left arm, — getting his head into chancery as we used to say when we fought at school, — struck the poor wretch some half-dozen times violently in the face, not knowing or caring exactly where he hit him, but at every blow obliterating a feature.
The next time I get someone into a headlock, I'll say: "I've got your head in chancery, old fellow!"
  #50  
Old 03-09-2014, 10:37 AM
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Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch are half-brothers. They share the same father. You'll see some overlap in the two series. (That's not a spoiler.)
Yeah, I've discovered that. I'm planning to read them pretty much in order, so Lincoln Lawyer before The Brass Verdict and so on..
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