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  #51  
Old 03-17-2020, 12:23 AM
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For entertainment, Death's Door: An Alastair Stone Novel by our very own Infovore.

Less entertaining. The Windows Server 2019 MCSA study guide.
  #52  
Old 03-19-2020, 01:56 PM
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Finished Record of a Spaceborn Few, by Becky Chambers. It was very good.

Now I'm reading Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963, by Sharon Robinson. (She's the daughter of Jackie Robinson.)
  #53  
Old 03-20-2020, 01:14 PM
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Started today on Qualityland by Marc Uwe-Kling, a novel about a futuristic society in which everyone's lives are determined by their assigned rank, and a poor schlub named Peter Jobless who decides to fight the system. Pretty good so far.
  #54  
Old 03-20-2020, 05:44 PM
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Finished Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963, by Sharon Robinson, which was okay.

Now I'm reading Goddess of the Green Room, by Jean Plaidy, which is a fictionalized biography of Dorothy Jordan, an 18th century actress.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 03-20-2020 at 05:46 PM.
  #55  
Old 03-21-2020, 04:40 PM
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Finished The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara. Excellent book. I definitely got more out of it this time around, reading it like I did right after Stephen Sears' Gettysburg.

Next up is Company of Liars, by Karen Maitland. A medieval mystery set at the advent of the Black Death in England in 1348. "Nine travelers. Nine secrets, One by one, their stories unfold. Who is the liar"? I've read a couple other of her medieval novels, and she's pretty good.
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  #56  
Old 03-22-2020, 07:36 PM
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I've ...gone on to Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard, a very entertaining crime novel about the unlikely, star-crossed romance between a cop and a fugitive....
I finished it and really enjoyed it.

In recent weeks I've re-read Asimov's Foundation and Foundation and Empire for the first time in many years, and have now gone on to Second Foundation. Big ideas, fascinating worlds-building, terrific premise, but cardboard characters and less-than-convincing dialogue. Still worth it.

I'm now about two-thirds of the way through the giant Van Gogh bio I mentioned earlier. Not a page-turner, by any means, but certainly a very detailed and well-researched look at his mostly-depressing life.
  #57  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:45 PM
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Finished Goddess of the Green Room, by Jean Plaidy. It was interesting, like all of her books in this series.

Now I'm reading Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 03-23-2020 at 02:45 PM.
  #58  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:46 PM
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For the last few weeks, I've been listening to an audiobook in the car. It's second in the Bloody Jack YA series, The Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L.A. Meyer. The Mary Sue-ness (and idiocy) of the main character is getting on my nerves to the point where I am talking back to the book (totally normal, yes?) but at the same time, I need to find out what happens next. And Katherine Kellgren, who performs the audiobook, is beyond amazing.
  #59  
Old 03-23-2020, 06:12 PM
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Recently I read the following:

Plot it Yourself by Rex Stout. A Nero Wolfe mystery. I think I may have read this one quite a while ago -- it seems familiar -- but if so I forgot the plot. Nero Wolfe is almost always a good read

A Matter for Men by David Gerrold. I'd wanted to read this one for a long time. It's the first volume of his War Against the Chtorr series, all of which are thick bricks of books with alliterative titles -- this one's followed by A Day for Damnation, A Rage for Revenge, and A Season for Slaughter. He's written but not released (even after over four years!) A Nest for Nightmares, and the last volume is supposed to be A Method for Madness.

Hmmm. a series of really thick genre books with four-word alliterative titles and the last books never seem to come out. I wonder if this is where George R. R. Martin got the idea?

In any event, I'm not in a hurry to read the others. Gerrold seemed to be trying to out-Heinlein Heinlein with his version of Starship Troopers, only his version is more depressingly real, with officers who aren't perfect saints, mendacity, and officers who really ARE trying to kill some of their own men. At which point I realized that he'd actually taken the opposite point of view from Heinlein's, but went too far the other way. I'll take Joe Haldeman's Forever War over those two extremes.


I just finished up Richard Snow's Disney's Land, a fascinating chronicle of the conception and construction of Disneyland through 1959. My wife got it for me because it's sort of like my Wonderland book, but goes into much more detail about the people who built the park. I'd have loved to have done the same, but none of Wonderland's builders wrote memoirs about the experience, so I had to cobble it together from secondhand sources. Snow is a Popular Historian, and his book looks at both the Park and its builders with historical perspective, which other books I've read about this don't. An interesting book.

Next up, I've got a whole stack to choose from. I pulled out an Ace Double, both halves of which are by Fritz Leiber -- Night Monsters and The Green Millennium. The green cat head on the Green Millennium side at a quick glance looks like Baby Yoda -- http://www.isfdb.org/wiki/images/2/24/TGMNM1969.jpg


On audio I'm getting close to the end of Oliver Twist. I'm still enjoying it. Had I been commuting in to work every day I'd have finished it by now. Not sure what's up next -- the libraries are closed, so I have to fall back on my collections.
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  #60  
Old 03-23-2020, 11:25 PM
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...I'll take Joe Haldeman's Forever War over those two extremes....
You might also like John Scalzi's Old Man's War, another excellent military sf novel, although he doesn't take himself as seriously as either Heinlein or Haldeman. Haldeman's short story "A Separate War," in the collection A Separate War and Other Stories, is also a very interesting take on The Forever War, told from the perspective of Marygay Potter.
  #61  
Old 03-24-2020, 06:52 AM
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You might also like John Scalzi's Old Man's War, another excellent military sf novel, although he doesn't take himself as seriously as either Heinlein or Haldeman. Haldeman's short story "A Separate War," in the collection A Separate War and Other Stories, is also a very interesting take on The Forever War, told from the perspective of Marygay Potter.
I've read it, and its sequels. Good reads, but somehow less... filling than Heinlein, or even Haldeman. I don't feel drawn to re-reading it.
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  #62  
Old 03-24-2020, 10:51 AM
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Gotcha. Did you read "A Separate War," too?
  #63  
Old 03-24-2020, 11:13 AM
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Meant to, but Haven't found a copy yet. Nor The Forever Peace
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  #64  
Old 03-24-2020, 11:40 AM
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I wouldn't recommend Forever Peace. Not one of Haldeman's best, and beware, it isn't a sequel to The Forever War. But A Separate War and Other Stories has some great stuff, including the title story.
  #65  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:42 PM
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Finished Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction, by Lisa Kroger and Melanie R. Anderson. It had some interesting-sounding titles I might read and also gave me some story ideas.

Now I'm reading A Horse to Remember, a YA novella by Sam Savitt.
  #66  
Old 03-26-2020, 09:41 AM
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I started reading Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, but returned the book when I realized I'd practically read the book already. I've read so many books on behavioral economics, and they cite many of the same studies and researchers. It made me realize that I really ought to expand my list of nonfiction books to read. So I bought Incognito: The Secret Lives of Brains by David Eagleman, which also cites many studies I've seen before but has enough new information for me to keep reading. And then I went on Amazon and spent a good hour or so gathering together a list of nonfiction books to read that weren't psychology related. Or, at the least, seemed like psychology from a new perspective.

I am also reading Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, and holy crap, it is good! The plot is that one year ago, there was an explosion at a small business that killed several clients and injured several more. The story unfolds during the jury trial afterwards, where the mother of one of the dead clients (a child) is accused of murder. And as the trial goes on, you discover that a whole bunch of people are either lying or hiding stuff -- not just from the jury, but from their spouses as well. And you get to wondering what is such a big secret that someone would be willing to impede a murder investigation in order to keep the secret? It's very well-written and engaging. It's written by a Korean-American with a law degree, and her background shines through in the writing. Her insights into the experience of being a Korean-American immigrant, as well as her familiarity with courtroom proceedings, is something I don't often encounter in fiction writing. (A lot of fiction writers seem to have never had any career other than writing, and they make all their main characters into writers, and that gets old.) I haven't finished the book yet, but unless the ending completely sucks, I'm going to go ahead and recommend this one.

Last edited by The wind of my soul; 03-26-2020 at 09:41 AM.
  #67  
Old 03-26-2020, 10:08 AM
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Finished A Horse to Remember, a YA novella by Sam Savitt. Meh.

Now I'm reading The Court of Last Resort, by Erle Stanley Gardner. It's not one of his mystery novels. Instead, it's about how he and others looked into the cases of people who had been unjustly convicted of serious crimes. It was published in 1954, as a revised edition, but it's not clear when this project started.
  #68  
Old 03-27-2020, 02:00 PM
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Started today on Qualityland by Marc Uwe-Kling, a novel about a futuristic society in which everyone's lives are determined by their assigned rank, and a poor schlub named Peter Jobless who decides to fight the system. Pretty good so far.
The satire was amusing at first, but grew tedious. I was glad to close the cover on this one.

Re Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Held my interest, but I couldn't have gotten through it on paper. Katherine Kellgren is gold.
I also knocked off a star for an animal death that hit me hard.
  #69  
Old 03-29-2020, 10:22 AM
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Finished The Court of Last Resort, by Erle Stanley Gardner. Not bad overall, and parts of it were very interesting.

Now I'm reading The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson.
  #70  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:13 PM
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The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather

"The true story of the resistance hero who infiltrated Auschwitz"


Incredible book. Absolutely grim, heartbreaking yet at the same time surreal. Youngsters need to be taught the story of Witold Pilecki. What a hero.
  #71  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:41 PM
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Finished The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson, which was okay.

Now I'm reading Live and Learn and Pass It On, edited by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  #72  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:21 AM
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Started today on Old Man's War, by John Scalzi (as I've been told to many times). Hey, not bad!
  #73  
Old 03-31-2020, 01:36 PM
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Finished Live and Learn and Pass It On, edited by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. It's a collection of advice from people 5 to 95, of which my favorite is from a 7YO. "I've learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing Silent Night." (Sniff.)

Now I'm reading Tales of Adventure and Medical Life, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's previously published non-mystery short stories.
  #74  
Old 03-31-2020, 03:05 PM
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Started today on Old Man's War, by John Scalzi (as I've been told to many times). Hey, not bad!
Oh, good! A military-sf favorite of mine. The whole series is worthwhile IMHO.
  #75  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:35 PM
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New thread: So? How ya doing?
  #76  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:36 PM
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Started today on Old Man's War, by John Scalzi (as I've been told to many times). Hey, not bad!
I think I got a copy of that one for free awhile back from Tor. I should read it while I'm stuck home...

(Just got Redshirts recently as well)
  #77  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:42 PM
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Redshirts is a must-read for any Trekker. An affectionate meta take on the show, with (I thought) a surprisingly touching ending.
  #78  
Old 04-04-2020, 06:39 PM
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Last edited by Siam Sam; 04-04-2020 at 06:40 PM.
  #79  
Old 04-04-2020, 08:02 PM
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CalMeacham @59: Nero Wolfe novels are always worth a re-reading. The mystery is usually the least memorable part, so it seems new again. And Fritz’s cooking and Archie’s quips are always worth revisiting.

I’m gonna reread Too Many Cooks pretty soon, and I haven’t read The League of Frightened Men since I was a teenager, when I thought it was the best one of all.
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