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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4291
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    Meanwhile, I found a copy of Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, in a thrift store the other day and am going to be reading it whenever it's cool enough for me to think. (I don't do heavy reading in hot weather.) I've been meaning to read it for a while now.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  2. #4292
    Just finished Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kako.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  3. #4293
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    I just finished The Testament by John Grisham. It was published 20 years ago but was still very enjoyable. And along the way i learned a few things about Brazil, Ipica tribes and the Pantanal. Which I wasnít expecting since the core story is about the disposition of a very wealthy manís estate.

  4. #4294
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    It must have been in the "bugs me" thread that I noted I thought I was getting The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat for Kindle and wound up with The Real Cruel Sea, nonfiction by Richard Woodman. I've been slowly working my way through the latter, which is very long because the author is basically documenting EVERY ship sinking and U-boat attack from 1939 to 1943! I'm only into early 1942 at the moment.
    Between half an hour or so a day of that, I've been re-reading some Pratchett, in semi-random order. Currently it's The Truth.

    I did finally order a paperback of The Cruel Sea, which is still not available for Kindle. It's kind of expensive at US$20, but that's better than the hardback or "trade paperback" which are listed at over $800!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #4295
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    It's kind of expensive at US$20, but that's better than the hardback or "trade paperback" which are listed at over $800!
    Every now and then, some weird algorithmic glitch on Amazon briefly shoots second-hand copies of my first book, Munro's Fables, into the pricing stratosphere. I once saw a couple of copies being advertised for something over £600 each. I've never understood what goes wrong to make a couple of sellers get stuck in that sort of continuously increasing price war.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #4296
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    I've been reading Christopher Tolkien's final three compilations of his father's Middle-earth writing: The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, and The Fall of Gondolin. It makes me resent those damn hobbits even more than I did previously--to some extent they derailed the entire project, though perhaps the narratives of the First Age would never have seen the light of day if it hadn't been for the popularity of the damn hobbits.

    Anyway, the final volume contains a couple of interesting quotes from JRR Tolkien's letters to his publisher.
    On The Lord of the Rings:
    My work has escaped from my control, and I have produced a monster: an immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and very terrifying romance, quite unfit for children (if fit for anybody); and it is not really a sequel to The Hobbit, but to The Silmarillion.
    On The Silmarillion:
    You may, perhaps, remember about that work, a long legendary of imaginary times in a 'high style', and full of Elves (of a sort). It was rejected on the advice of your reader many years ago. As far as my memory goes, he allowed it a kind of Celtic beauty intolerable to Anglo-Saxons in large doses.
    Grant Hutchison

  7. #4297
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    “Winning Space” by Brandon Weichert on my to-buy list.

  8. #4298
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    Nicholas Monsarratt's The Cruel Sea (fiction) and Richard Woodman's The Real Cruel Sea (non-fiction), at the same time. Both on the same topic, of course. My current interest in the Battle of the Atlantic was spurred by C.S. Forrester's The Good Shepherd.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #4299
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    I finished The Cruel Sea yesterday. It's very very good. In spite of the tragedy near the end, which I was pretty much expecting.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #4300
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    Ok, somewhat long story:
    A couple of years ago, Amazon, having noted my interest in naval historical fiction recommended The China Station, by Andrew Wareham*. I bought it and found it interesting because it was set near the turn of the 20th century and covered aspects of naval history -- and world history -- with which I wasn't all that familiar. It was book one of a series of four. When I got to the end, there were recommendations for not just the remainder of the series, but a plethora of other series by the same author. "Wow!", I thought, "this guy's a bit of a hack!" Or maybe a pseudonym used by a publisher for multiple hacks.

    Anyhow, hack or no, I read and enjoyed the rest of the series. And have re-read it twice. (I re-read nearly everything.)

    So recently when Amazon recommended another book by him, this time naval fiction from the beginning of WWI, I bought that as well. And the sequel. And then, (stuff that bugs me) discovered that the second one was published only just this month and I'll have to wait for the rest of the series! Oh, well.

    *Not, as far as I can tell, this Andrew Wareham.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  11. #4301
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Starborn and Godsons, the recent Niven/Pournelle/Barnes addition to the "Avalon" series. Published by Baen, with one of Kurt Miller's strangely contorted pieces of cover art--this one depicting someone apparently shooting himself in the leg.

    Considerably better than most of Niven's recent collaborations, and genuinely tense in places, but it feels kind of sloppy. Character motivation is sketchy and inconsistent, and the plot sometimes progresses because characters make elaborate correct guesses on the basis of scant information.
    I got around to picking up this book and agree with your comments. It wasn't bad, but unusually for me, I would have liked to see a bit longer story with some points filled in. For instance, there were a couple of relationships that occurred almost entirely off screen, to the point I didn't understand why certain characters seemed to suddenly be so close.

    I did find some of the comments about Jerry Pournelle to be moving. Pournelle was an interesting author for me. I disagreed with his views a lot, I especially was unimpressed with his connection to extremist Vox Day (though I do understand it was partly financially motivated) but I've been reading his commentaries back to "A Step Farther Out" and his Byte magazine articles, as well as stories. He was bombastic but was also interesting. I was also sad to hear his wife, Roberta Pournelle, died in August. Not that I know that much about her, but so many of the authors and families of authors I grew up with have been going away. Ah well.

    On a more amusing note, I was going to mention this months ago and forgot, but this site presents bad science fiction and fantasy covers with comments:

    https://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/

    Some are really funny, but others are just meh.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2020-Oct-08 at 11:52 PM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

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  12. #4302
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    I also picked up another Baen book, Knight Watch by Tim Akers. This is what I call a popcorn book - something that is meant for light entertainment but you shouldn't expect any deep story. It's like an action movie you might watch while eating popcorn.

    It is a fantasy story, where myths can intrude on reality in a somewhat interesting way. I found the first eight or so chapters to be quite amusing, and had a fair number of chuckles reading it, but it turned more serious later with less humor. There is plenty of action, but I would have liked to see more world-building and development of the characters. The ending was adequate, but felt too abrupt.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  13. #4303
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    On a more amusing note, I was going to mention this months ago and forgot, but this site presents bad science fiction and fantasy covers with comments:

    https://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/

    Some are really funny, but others are just meh.
    The cover for Starborn and Godsons might be a candidate for that site; the book has a quote on the cover from Tom Clancy saying that it's a swell story. The only problem is that Clancy died in 2013 and the book has a 2020 copyright. I realize the quote is for the overall story but please...

  14. #4304
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    Has anyone here tried Liaden universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller? And are there any you would recommend? Years ago, Baen had a sale on a set of Liaden books, they were listed as space opera and they are apparently fairly popular. I went ahead and took a chance, Iíve tried a couple different books and had difficulty finding the science fiction. Yes, they were nominally set in space with interstellar spacecraft, but the spacecraft could have been seagoing ships for all the difference it would make and all the action (such as it was) happened on very earthlike worlds, to the point it could have all happened on Earth. In other words, it didnít feel much like science fiction or have the type of stories that would catch my interest. It felt more like historical fiction to me, although Iím given to understand the setting is supposed to be well into the future. I ended up giving up on both books.

    Iím just curious if anyone here likes them and if maybe I started with the wrong books.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  15. #4305
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    Reading: Ruskin's Praeterita

  16. #4306
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    Quote Originally Posted by agassiz View Post
    Reading: Ruskin's Praeterita
    Ah, a great autobiography, and very poignant in context. His Dilecta is worth a look too, I think.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #4307
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    The curious progression of my current depression has meant that I've been reading a lot; it's the only thing I can focus on without pressured thoughts' intruding. Perhaps Ken Follett's World Without End wasn't the best choice I could've made, given its extensive plague section, but I found my copy of Pillars of the Earth this morning, and that will do nicely.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  18. #4308
    The Trigger by Arthur C Calrke, it is about a device that set of explosives remotely. So if there is gun nearby all gunpowder goes off in the bullets like a slow fizzle. It is more a thriller than sci-fi but years ago I must of seem the authors name and just picked it up.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

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