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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    CapnRedBeard's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Shogun is a fantastic novel about a English ship captain who lands in Japan during the sixteenth century. He lands (more like crash lands) during a period that is pivotal to Japan in that the nation is on the brink of all out war. Will this war tear the nation asunder or finally unite the people under one ruler? Which Daimyo has enough strength and intelligence to grasp the coveted title of Shogun? Where does our Englishman fit into this scene? His ship is wrecked...his crew is starving...and he doesn't speak the language of the very aggressive natives.

    It's a historical fiction based action adventure romance thriller. Not a short book by any means...my copy weighed in at about 1,200 pages...and I've read it three times. Each time took me about 1 week. It's a book that absolutely captures your imagination and refuses to let go...
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Whales on Stilts is just fun. Very quick read...very unusual premise...makes fun of itself and the whole Nancy Drew kid sleuths genre.

    and yes there are whales on stilts. Many of them in fact...one might even imagine that they might be up to something...or one might find it completely commonplace.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Get an Octavia Butler book.
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    Star Wars canon is one of those things where people have started to realize that the guys in charge are so far off their rockers that it's probably for the best to ignore them.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaintRidley View Post
    You're not missing anything on Gatsby. Gatsby's terrible.

    Something that could be fun, if you like fantasy as well (though predating most fantasy):

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    One of my all-time favorite stories right there.
    Hmmm. Arthurian Legends are pretty fun, but they do get kind of old after a while. How is this one any different from the dozens of Gawain interpretations out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    It has a very interesting setting - alternate colonial America where magic, or rather native power, creeps from behind and starts getting more and more involved. Mostly interesting on showing us the lives of common people and siritual themes. it' stronly inspired by Mormon religion. it has that feel you can hardly find anywhere else.
    Hm, I think I'll pass on this one for now. I'm trying to avoid any Colonial America stories until after I've played Assassin's Creed III.

    I'll say, start with what I started, the Cyberiad - it's a series of SF Fairy Tales that are full of insane ideas and clever social satire. Adventurers of two mechanical engineers who can make pretty much anything. It's parent series, Fables For Robots (published in Mortal Engines collection) is very similiar in tone, but without these two guys (except for 3 fables featuring them, that were re-assigned to Cyberiad later). For more serious works, try His Master's Voice, humans try to decode signal from space, touches themes of our inability to communicate with aliens, that are prevalent in his works.

    One more suggestion: Looking For Jake And Other Stories by China Mieville, because wow, those insane, often terryfing ideas this guy has. He can create amazing visions (titular story, Mirrors) or make you scared like hell (Details, The End Of Hunger). This guy is something else, really.
    Hmm, this sounds interesting. I'll try to dig up copies of these.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    I forgot about Wild Cards, by George R. R. Martin. The premise of the series is that shortly after WW2, an alien bomb explodes over new york, sending a virus throughout the world. 90% of those infected die horrible deaths. 9% become terribly mutated. The fortunate 1% become "aces", with powers far beyond that of normal man. It's an incredibly realistic view of superheroes, rivalled probably only by Watchmen in scope and vision. It's about 70000 books, but only the first two and the last four are available. Fortunately, the last four feature mostly brand new characters, and are made to be more accessable to those who haven't read the first ones. I've only read 1-10 and the last four minus the last one, so I can't account, but apparently it gets too grimdark during the teens.
    This sounds pretty awesome. Unfortunately, most of Martin's works are on extremely long holds at the library (probably due to the recent popularity of Game of Thrones). I have A Dance With Dragons on reserve, but I'm something like 470th+ in line, which is why I didn't even bother to put it on the list.

    The library website is currently down as of this moment (which Man on Fire, if you're reading this part of the post, is why I have neglected to add your suggestions to the list). Hopefully it will be back up tomorrow afternoon, and I'll get around to adding everyone's suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnRedBeard View Post
    Shogun is a fantastic novel about a English ship captain who lands in Japan during the sixteenth century. He lands (more like crash lands) during a period that is pivotal to Japan in that the nation is on the brink of all out war. Will this war tear the nation asunder or finally unite the people under one ruler? Which Daimyo has enough strength and intelligence to grasp the coveted title of Shogun? Where does our Englishman fit into this scene? His ship is wrecked...his crew is starving...and he doesn't speak the language of the very aggressive natives.

    It's a historical fiction based action adventure romance thriller. Not a short book by any means...my copy weighed in at about 1,200 pages...and I've read it three times. Each time took me about 1 week. It's a book that absolutely captures your imagination and refuses to let go...
    Hmm, Shogun seems like an odd reverse of a book review I heard on NPR, about a Japanese boy, shipwrecked on an island and picked up by New England Whalers... Basically the complete reverse. Well, maybe that's an oversimplification, considering I haven't even read Shogun yet. This sounds promising, but I'll put it on the backburner for now, while I try to chew through some of these series.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnRedBeard View Post
    Whales on Stilts is just fun. Very quick read...very unusual premise...makes fun of itself and the whole Nancy Drew kid sleuths genre.

    and yes there are whales on stilts. Many of them in fact...one might even imagine that they might be up to something...or one might find it completely commonplace.
    Hmm, I'll try to find a copy then.

    Quote Originally Posted by turkishproverb View Post
    Get an Octavia Butler book.
    Err, pardon me. That just went over my head. Or was that directed at somebody else?

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    turkishproverb's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Octavia Butler was a great scifi author. I was saying you should read some of her work.
    Last edited by turkishproverb; 2012-06-10 at 11:01 PM.
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    Star Wars canon is one of those things where people have started to realize that the guys in charge are so far off their rockers that it's probably for the best to ignore them.
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    OH GOD THEY'RE COMING! RUN! RUN, TURKISHPROVERB, RUN!

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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    One more suggestion: Looking For Jake And Other Stories by China Mieville, because wow, those insane, often terryfing ideas this guy has. He can create amazing visions (titular story, Mirrors) or make you scared like hell (Details, The End Of Hunger). This guy is something else, really.
    I seem to be one of the very few people who can't stand China Miéville's work. There's something about his writing style that rubs me the wrong way. I have yet to finish a single chapter without putting his book down in disgust. I think he tries to take the "weird" part of new weird a leeeetle too seriously.
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    Also, this is the internet. We're all borderline insane for simply being here.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Hmmm. Arthurian Legends are pretty fun, but they do get kind of old after a while. How is this one any different from the dozens of Gawain interpretations out there?
    It's been translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, for one.
    ... I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post

    Hmm, which one should I start with?
    Hmmm...been awhile since I've pulled out the books, but I would say:

    If you want something stand alone, Faded Suns Trilogy [really one book with three parts in it] or Hammerfall are pretty good.

    If you are looking into a series, the Foreigner series starts with Foreigner. The other two books in the first series are Invader and Inheritor.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    I seem to be one of the very few people who can't stand China Miéville's work. There's something about his writing style that rubs me the wrong way. I have yet to finish a single chapter without putting his book down in disgust. I think he tries to take the "weird" part of new weird a leeeetle too seriously.
    Well, I couldn't stand Tolkien's narrative in Lord Of The Rings, so everybody up to their taste, I pressume.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kindablue View Post
    Yeah, but then we're straying back towards my argument against putting I believe it was Orson Scott Card's (or was it Garth Nix...) work on the list, simply because it was written by said author. Or in more direct form, "being famous doesn't automagically make all your works good." Does this translation do anything exceptional to stand out from the pack of other, similar legends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgan View Post
    Hmmm...been awhile since I've pulled out the books, but I would say:

    If you want something stand alone, Faded Suns Trilogy [really one book with three parts in it] or Hammerfall are pretty good.

    If you are looking into a series, the Foreigner series starts with Foreigner. The other two books in the first series are Invader and Inheritor.
    Hm, I'll look into these.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Yeah, but then we're straying back towards my argument against putting I believe it was Orson Scott Card's (or was it Garth Nix...) work on the list, simply because it was written by said author. Or in more direct form, "being famous doesn't automagically make all your works good." Does this translation do anything exceptional to stand out from the pack of other, similar legends? .
    Ok. I'll defend it.


    Sir Gawain and the green knight is the quintessential, long thought lost, Sir Gawain tale, retold a number of times afterward. Tolkien's translation is a more poetic one than most, managing to keep the feeling of the text by taking certian liberties literalists would refuse, and in refusing lose more than they kept.

    Remember, while Tolkien was an Author, he was before that and above that a linguist. Translating that work was his forte.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd-o-rama View Post
    Star Wars canon is one of those things where people have started to realize that the guys in charge are so far off their rockers that it's probably for the best to ignore them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Triscuitable View Post

    OH GOD THEY'RE COMING! RUN! RUN, TURKISHPROVERB, RUN!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxios View Post
    GENERIC FLAMING COMMENT, POSSIBLY INVOLVING YOUR MOTHER !

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Okay, I had to think about posting this one, but I figured I'd take a risk.

    Look Me in the Eye
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    This was a rather remarkable book. I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with this just yet, but in a way, this book hit close to home. Maybe I’m just prone to seeing myself in a lot of literature, or movies, etc. ...hmm, does that make me arrogant, just for saying that? Anyways, I don’t know if other people are like this as well. I figure it’s something similar to the psychological phenomenon of seeing faces in things (Pareidolia?). Anyways, back to the book.

    The writing style was excellently paced for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I read a few short chapters in the morning, took a break, and read a few more. Short and to the point, and elegantly written. Every chapter fit nicely into the greater work, with short messages or lessons about Robison’s life. Actually it was rather interesting to read about how he ended up working for all these different people, companies, organizations, and so on. Now, I haven’t heard any of Pink Floyd’s music or watched recordings of their concerts, but just the descriptions of all the various special effects makes me kind of interested in looking them up now. Smoke belching out of a guitar? Or flying guitar suspended by invisible cable? Or get this one... rocket launcher airburst confetti shell guitar? I want one of those.

    But what about the real focus of the memoir? From reading this book, Aspergers seems to be somewhat malleable. Social “functionality” improved and degenerated throughout the course of his lifetime, with corresponding shifts in intellect. It would be interesting to learn more about other famous people with Aspergers, just to compare their lives and stories. I sometimes wonder if it should even be called a mental “disorder” or “condition”. From another perspective, it might actually even be a gift (forgive me if I offend anyone by saying this). I mean, how many people do you know are phenomenally gifted at one and one thing only? You can teach somebody to interact in a social setting. Robison did it. Well, learned to do it. On the other hand, you can’t make somebody smarter overnight, turning them into genius inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, scientists, and so on. Sometimes, you just see things, and other times, you miss something entirely.

    I suppose that’s one of the interesting things about reading memoirs. They’re a sort of window into another person’s life. Decades of experience crammed into a few pages as best as possible. There’s a whole life story out there, but the clock is ticking, not just for the author (I’m thinking along the lines of Tuesdays With Morrie), but also for us, to apply the knowledge acquired from reading about the lives of others.




    I finished The Graveyard Book yesterday as well, but didn't have a chance to type all my thoughts up yet. I also just finished the third book in the Fallen series, which was quite good. Next up, probably Stranger in a Strange Land.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Oh it is so hard not to spoil Mistborn. So very hard. I keep writing things and then backspacing them.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Skip everything on your list and go read Roadside Picnic, a sci-fi novel about a mysterious wasteland left behind by an unknown influence, and the men who explore it. Closest parallel of the setting would be to the STALKER games, which are very loosely based on it, but the book was written before Chernobyl happened and is frankly better off for it. I also recommend everything else by the Strugatsky brothers you can find, though some of their best stuff was never translated.
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    I'm going to be honest, "the Welsh became a Great Power and conquered Germany" is almost exactly the opposite of the explanation I was expecting

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volatar View Post
    Oh it is so hard not to spoil Mistborn. So very hard. I keep writing things and then backspacing them.
    I just finished the second book. The third book is on its way, and the fourth is sort of in limbo at the library administration center place thing. Umm, yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Skip everything on your list and go read Roadside Picnic, a sci-fi novel about a mysterious wasteland left behind by an unknown influence, and the men who explore it. Closest parallel of the setting would be to the STALKER games, which are very loosely based on it, but the book was written before Chernobyl happened and is frankly better off for it. I also recommend everything else by the Strugatsky brothers you can find, though some of their best stuff was never translated.
    O.o this is quite a long read. I'm going to go copy this to my phone and read it on the subway I think.




    Anyways, I'll have another batch of book reviews up soon. I've been putting a bit more time towards getting my website up and running, so it hasn't quite been a book a day, but hopefully I'll be able to catch up at some point.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    I just finished the second book. The third book is on its way, and the fourth is sort of in limbo at the library administration center place thing. Umm, yeah.
    The fourth one isn't really connected to the third: It's set hundreds of years later, with different characters and all. It's actually the first Sanderson book I didn't really like, though I'm in the minority.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    I took the David Weber books off the holds queue. I know they're at the local library and in easy reach, so I'll just pick them up when I head there later today, assuming nobody has swiped them off the shelf this week.

    I also added Partials to the list, after hearing about it on Schlock Mercenary. Anyways, I've added Storm Front through Altered Carbon to the holds queue (check the OP for the current ordering). Keep the suggestions coming in! I'm trying to keep my holds queue as full as possible (cap of 15 books).

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    The fourth one isn't really connected to the third: It's set hundreds of years later, with different characters and all. It's actually the first Sanderson book I didn't really like, though I'm in the minority.
    Hmm, good to know. Well, I'm OCD about completing things, so it's on the list now. I went ahead and pre-emptively reserved several other series' books since the holds queue is so long for them (e.g. Divergent, I've been stuck at #22 for a week now, so I added the sequel).


    Onto other matters... book reviews time!


    1

    The Graveyard Book
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    This was a bit of an odd book to read. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on initially, though I suppose the bit where the boy is taken in and gains special powers just by living in the graveyard kind of made sense to me. Well, made sense from a fantasy standpoint. In terms of how this played out, I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. I mean, after all, it starts off with a set of vicious murders in the backdrop of a swirling night. Would this be some sort of revenge novel? Does Bod somehow use powers acquired in the graveyard to rain ghostly doom and destruction upon his enemies (actually yes?). Okay I’m probably taking it a bit too far at this point.

    Anyways, perhaps what really stood out though was the stark contrast between Bod’s honesty compared to everyone else. I don’t seem to recall him ever telling a lie, or being unnecessarily deceptive, beyond protecting his identity. I’m pretty sure he keeps all his promises too; for instance, he returns the brooch to the Sleer. Okay, well, not all his promises, since he leaves the graveyard against the wishes of his guardians, so maybe this wasn’t such a great angle to examine.

    I thought the inclusion of Scarlett was an excellent move as well. Bod’s past is already murky enough. After all, he’s never gone anywhere, and lives in a graveyard with a bunch of dead people. The result is that all his stories aren’t really his stories. They’re the former lives of all the ghosts in the graveyard, plus some embellishments, as noted by his schoolteacher while grading essays. Anyways, back to Scarlett. This girl that’s young enough to believe in Bod’s existence beyond an “imaginary friend” of sorts… that’s what Bod really needs I think. Well, at that point in his life, he just needed someone who wouldn’t judge him for what he was. Then to have Scarlett come back a decade later, (sorry, spoilers!)… and still believe! I felt rather vindicated in that whole mushy “hope for humanity” sense.

    The ending was incredibly disappointing (in a good way). So maybe I shouldn’t call it disappointing. I suppose it was a gentle reminder that all things (good or bad) must end. At least this way Bod gets to move on without the pressure of being some sort of chosen one (though the book never did get around to explaining why he was special, only that he’s special…). Anyways, I was feeling relatively uninspired while writing this so… I’ll just call it quits on this one for now.
    Passion
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    Whereas Torment seemed to go through some necessary fluff and filler regarding the mechanism of transportation via announcers, plus some background on the whole shadows business, Passion gets right to the crux of the matter. Why are these two souls locked into this cycle of eternal love and reincarnation? I mean, after millennia, somehow Lucinda and Daniel seem to find each other… over and over again. I mean, only one of them retains their memory, so there has to be some reason for why they’re magnetically attracted to each other. This book was rather enlightening as to how this all started.

    So while I left off with “Why! Why are you running away from all the people who have spent months protecting you!” I slowly changed my mind as I read the rest of this book. This is one of those personal journey quests that all great protagonists seem to go through. You know, one of those “voyage of discovery” types of narratives? Anyways, so here we are, stepping through centuries of history. It was rather interesting actually, watching Lucinda trace her past lives. I rather enjoyed reading the Moscow, Milan, and Versailles sections, but that’s the European history lover in me I guess.

    An interesting portion of this book seems to be devoted towards seeing Daniel in a new light. Or rather, revealing more about him. Without giving any spoilers away, there was a bit of an interesting reversal of roles in a number of ways. First, there’s the whole “Daniel can’t seem to catch up with Lucinda” part, whereas it had always been Daniel calling the shots in the previous two books. Then there’s a little bit with Cam and the first “Lilith” (in a long line of Liliths), which completely revised how I saw the guy. Oh, and there’s this last guy, Bill, but I don’t want to spoil anything there, beyond the fact that his character is excellently written.

    The very ending of this book left me a little puzzled though. All this jumping through time, and they haven’t made any catastrophic changes yet… and then we reach the very beginning (of where everything started). I mean, that’s not a spoiler, it was leading up to that point anyways. I don’t quite get the passage of time in this book, but perhaps all will be made clear in the following novel.

    As for an unrelated piece of the puzzle, what’s the connection between Lucinda and Lucifer? I’m not sure this is some idle coincidence. Perhaps this is one of those masterful strokes, where the author has the entire story planned out already. Either way, this seems too hard to have magically worked in there. Either way, this had better be covered in the last book…
    Mistborn: The Well of Ascension
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    This book actually made a lot more sense than the first book did. I’ll just put that out there. There was a lot less focus on lots and lots of people. It was more a character study on the people I was actually interested in: Elend, Vin, and Renoux (OreSeur? Okay, that Kandra). It was also an interesting read on governments. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but the government created by Elend seems to be failing horribly, as I figured it would. It’s probably true too. People like to say lots of things and feel rebellious, but in the end, most seem to pick stability over freedom. I suppose it’s a good thing the crew is actually rather dedicated to preserving the city.

    So, regarding Vin. I think Zane raised a lot of rather important points, forcing her to think about her role in everything. She really has become somebody else’s knife. As some mystical power that committed… okay is there even a word for “deposing a deity”? I suppose regicide will have to settle for now. Anyways, Vin seems to have gathered some degree of cult following among the citizens. I don’t think she really has a choice in whether or not she’s just another tool in a big game of politics, but it’s comforting to know that she can at least recognize as much.

    We also didn’t see much of Elend Venture in the first book, beyond young and rebellious idealist. He’s rather capable in this book, which was refreshing. Okay, also a bit naïve, but few people are thrust from “rebellious youth” to “running entire cities” overnight. The whole conflict between who he is, and who he needs to be (or who Tindwyl seems to think he should be) was rather amusing to read actually.

    It was also good to learn a lot more about the history of the world, for instance: Sazed’s measured and scholarly approach to knowledge. Or the conversations with OreSeur (or should I say TenSoon… gah! Name identity crisis!). What I don’t really understand is why this book is called “The Well of Ascension” when the well is found in the space of a very short period of time. That, and there’s relatively little knowledge on what the well is, or does (without spoiling anything). Perhaps the third book will be more revealing on this matter.

    I did dock a star for a few small reasons though. It just dragged on longer than it probably should have. I’m not against long books by any means, but there were portions that felt unimportant with respect to the overall narrative. Then it also introduced some confusing elements. For instance, Marsh is their friend… right? So why did he go all crazy at the end (sorry for the spoiler)? So, yeah, I’m confused.

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    So I just finished reading one of the few David Gemmell books I have not read.

    Knights of Dark Renown David Gemmell

    While this standalone book is not his best work, I still think its absolutely worth reading because it very much shows Gemmels strength.
    While other authors require 4+ books (wheel of time, song of ice and fire etc) Gemmel manages to put out a story of similar scope in just one book.

    So even while the ideas are not unheard of (its a pretty old book 1989) and the "big twist" was forseeable I still very highly recommend it
    Last edited by Emmerask; 2012-06-16 at 01:24 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Default Re: A Book a Day, to Keep Autumn Away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    So I just finished reading one of the few David Gemmell books I have not read.

    Knights of Dark Renown David Gemmell

    While this standalone book is not his best work, I still think its absolutely worth reading because it very much shows Gemmels strength.
    While other authors require 4+ books (wheel of time, song of ice and fire etc) Gemmel manages to put out a story of similar scope in just one book.

    So even while the ideas are not unheard of (its a pretty old book 1989) and the "big twist" was forseeable I still very highly recommend it
    This sounds right up my alley! I've added it to the list.


    I've also decided to scratch Strange in a Strange Land from the list. It has a really weak hook, and I've little to no motivation to read it after a rather confusing and disappointing first chapter.

    Next up: Name of the Wind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Mistborn: The Well of Ascension
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    I did dock a star for a few small reasons though. It just dragged on longer than it probably should have. I’m not against long books by any means, but there were portions that felt unimportant with respect to the overall narrative. Then it also introduced some confusing elements. For instance, Marsh is their friend… right? So why did he go all crazy at the end (sorry for the spoiler)? So, yeah, I’m confused.
    Book 3 explains a lot of the questions you asked, but especially this one. I recommend, after you finish it, to go through Sanderson's website. He has annotations for the books, that explain quite a bit, including behind the scenes things that happened that he didn't put in the books.
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    On Graveyard Book:

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    though the book never did get around to explaining why he was special, only that he’s special…
    I always assumed that prophecy about Bod we self-fulfilling. He was said to be the one who wll cause downfall of Jacks and their actions to prevent it from happening are what triggered their destruction. Through I may misunderstand what you're reffering to, I have read Graveyard Book some time ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    Book 3 explains a lot of the questions you asked, but especially this one. I recommend, after you finish it, to go through Sanderson's website. He has annotations for the books, that explain quite a bit, including behind the scenes things that happened that he didn't put in the books.
    Oh! That's good to know. Yeah, I saw a summary of Book 1 in the back of Book 2. I just thought it was rather odd for Marsh to do that, especially since he basically wasn't in the entire book until the very end.

    Overall though, Mistborn is an excellent series. Among the better ones I've read too. I've also got "The Way of Kings" next to me here, but I figured I'd finish the Mistborn books first, before starting another series and sidetracking myself. Are there any of his other works that you'd recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    On Graveyard Book:

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    I always assumed that prophecy about Bod we self-fulfilling. He was said to be the one who wll cause downfall of Jacks and their actions to prevent it from happening are what triggered their destruction. Through I may misunderstand what you're reffering to, I have read Graveyard Book some time ago.
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    Yeah, that's what I was referring to. It seems as if the Jacks basically invented their own downfall. I mean, Bod doesn't even do anything of his own accord to actively take out the Jacks, except for the very end, at which point, it's the last four Jacks anyways. Seems rather crazy to think that a boy with absolutely no special powers whatsoever ...


    Okay good, so I didn't completely miss some important section of the book.

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    I cannot reccommend highly enough, the works of Robert J. Sawyer. He's a brilliant writer who has won more awards for his novels than anyone else in the Science Fiction and Fantasy fields.
    My personal favorites:
    *The Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy
    Far-Seer
    Fossil Hunter
    Foreigner


    *The Neanderthal Paralax Trilogy
    Hominids(Hugo Award)
    Humans
    Hybrids

    *The WWW Trilogy
    Wake
    Watch(Hal Clement Award)
    Wonder

    *The Terminal Experiment(Nebula Award)

    *Mindscan(John W. Campbell Memorial Award)

    *Flashforward(Basis for the TV series)
    *Starplex
    *Calculating God
    *Illegal Alien
    and his latest novel - Triggers

    What I love about his writing is his very relatable characters,and his relatively hopeful view of science and the future.

    I also reccommend the works of Jasper Fforde. Especially the Thursday Next series, and the Nursery Crime series. They are a lot of fun!
    “Wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair and all the terrible things that happen to us, come because we actually deserve them? So now I take comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the Universe”- Marcus Cole

    This has become my philosophy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnRedBeard View Post
    Shogun is a fantastic novel about a English ship captain who lands in Japan during the sixteenth century. He lands (more like crash lands) during a period that is pivotal to Japan in that the nation is on the brink of all out war. Will this war tear the nation asunder or finally unite the people under one ruler? Which Daimyo has enough strength and intelligence to grasp the coveted title of Shogun? Where does our Englishman fit into this scene? His ship is wrecked...his crew is starving...and he doesn't speak the language of the very aggressive natives.

    It's a historical fiction based action adventure romance thriller. Not a short book by any means...my copy weighed in at about 1,200 pages...and I've read it three times. Each time took me about 1 week. It's a book that absolutely captures your imagination and refuses to let go...
    I read this in High School and though I don't remember many of the finer details, I'll second the suggestion. I especially liked the twist that came near the end, though I won't spoil.

    I also have two suggestions of my own, both Fantasy... The first is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (the first book in the series is A Game of Thrones). I wouldn't be surprised if this has already been suggested (infact, I'd be surprised if it hasn't), but it is without a doubt my favorite book series. A low fantasy world with no (well, very few anyways) characters who can clearly be defined as clearly good or evil. No evil overlords. No all-powerful wizards. Very little that is explicitly magical in nature, and the only dwarves are short humans rather than bearded guys who live in mines. The story is all about the power struggles going on between the various powerful families.

    My second suggestion is a book that I just finished today. Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams. I'm not sure if you're an animal person, but if you are, and especially if you love cats, you'll probably enjoy this one. I picked this one up on a whim simply because the cat on the cover reminded me of my cat and I'm happy I did. The book is from the perspective of young a feral cat (the titular Tailchaser) who gets wrapped up events far larger than himself. Though the book is classified as Fantasy, the only thing it shares with more traditional Fantasy settings is the inclusion of actual physical gods (while Tailchaser interacts with them, he's more of a witness to events as they transpire than any sort of chosen one able to have any more effect than anyone else), that said, the animal perspective thing really does make it hard to place it in any other genre. A note if you do read this one, there's a glossary in the back with translations for the cat-terms that sometimes come up. While you can usually figure out the meaning through context quite easily, I do wish I had realized there was a glossary before I finished the book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    So I just finished reading one of the few David Gemmell books I have not read.

    Knights of Dark Renown David Gemmell
    Yeah, Knights of Dark Renown is a great book. Gemmell's standalone books are unfortunately usually underrated. Dark Moon and Echoes of the Great Song are two other good books if you enjoy this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    My second suggestion is a book that I just finished today. Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams.
    I remember reading it back in school. It's a good book.


    On The Graveyard Book; isn't it a children's book? That's the only reason I haven't bothered getting it. If it's good enough, I might give it a try.
    Awesome fremetar by wxdruid.

    From the discomfort of truth there is only one refuge and that is ignorance. I do not need to be comfortable, and I will not take refuge. I demand to *know*.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zale View Post
    Also, this is the internet. We're all borderline insane for simply being here.
    So I guess I have an internets? | And a trophy. | And a music cookie (whatever that is).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Overall though, Mistborn is an excellent series. Among the better ones I've read too. I've also got "The Way of Kings" next to me here, but I figured I'd finish the Mistborn books first, before starting another series and sidetracking myself. Are there any of his other works that you'd recommend?
    The Way Of Kings can't be called the beginning of a series, as it is the only book out. You can read it safely enough. While it ends on a cliffhanger, it manages to resolve most of the issues it brings up.
    Warbreaker is my favorite Brandon Sanderson novel, for a variety of reasons, which I will not state for spoiler reasons. Safe to say: Read carefully.
    EDIT- I can't believe I didn't mention The Lies of Locke Lamora. One of my favorite fantasy novels. The sequel doesn't quite match up, but then again, nothing really does. It's a mix between Ocean's 11 and A Game of Thrones with a twist of The Godfather. The main characters are a gang of con artists pretending to be a gang of thieves working for Capa Barsavi, a crime-lord, while actually conning nobles. The novel cuts between flashbacks of the main character's somewhat insane childhood and what happens as their current "game" begins to go wrong.
    Last edited by pita; 2012-06-18 at 11:08 AM.
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    TheSummoner and thomper, I'll get back to your posts sometime later this week, time permitting. I'll also get to everyone else's book suggestions as well. I'm just a bit time strapped at the moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Feytalist View Post
    On The Graveyard Book; isn't it a children's book? That's the only reason I haven't bothered getting it. If it's good enough, I might give it a try.
    I think it would be age appropriate for perhaps ages eight to fourteen? Nothing wrong with reading a childrens' book though.

    I liked it enough. Anything with at least three stars on my list is probably something I would suggest to someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by pita View Post
    The Way Of Kings can't be called the beginning of a series, as it is the only book out. You can read it safely enough. While it ends on a cliffhanger, it manages to resolve most of the issues it brings up.
    Warbreaker is my favorite Brandon Sanderson novel, for a variety of reasons, which I will not state for spoiler reasons. Safe to say: Read carefully.
    EDIT- I can't believe I didn't mention The Lies of Locke Lamora. One of my favorite fantasy novels. The sequel doesn't quite match up, but then again, nothing really does. It's a mix between Ocean's 11 and A Game of Thrones with a twist of The Godfather. The main characters are a gang of con artists pretending to be a gang of thieves working for Capa Barsavi, a crime-lord, while actually conning nobles. The novel cuts between flashbacks of the main character's somewhat insane childhood and what happens as their current "game" begins to go wrong.
    Oh, it's the only book out? Interesting. In that case, I'll give it a start tomorrow, since it looks to be a rather lengthy tome.

    Hmm, Warbreaker you said? What's it about?

    Lies of Locke Lamora... I'll look into this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neftren View Post
    Hmm, Warbreaker you said? What's it about?
    I was actually about to check if you had Warbreaker on your list. The plot is that two countries whose values are diametrically opposed are on the brink of war. The king of the smaller country sends one of his daughters to marry the large country's God-Emperor, who's an evil monster. Only instead of sending his oldest, who has prepared her whole life for this, he ends up sending his youngest, who never bothered to actually learn anything about the other country. She has to learn to live in the High Court, while her older sister tries to rescue her. Plus it features Lightsong, one of the Gods of the court, who's trying to figure out why he became a god.

    It's a mix of action and political intrigue, and it features one of Sanderson's trademark awesome magic systems. It's probably my favorite book of his.

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    I hope I don't repeat anybody, but this is a fairly long post and I didn't have a chance to read through all the suggestions:

    Did anyone suggestion The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman? Very cynical, but fun. Bashes the heck out of Narnia, and is like a grittier, more sexualized Harry Potter.

    How about Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr? It is about a super-genius who starts hearing a disembodied voice in the womb, before he's even born that tells him the exact date and time of the end of the world.

    Also, if you are into fantasy / horror / sci-fi with a bit of noir and counter-culture / alternative-sexuality thrown in, check out anything by Caitlin R Kiernan.

    Also, a personal favorite of mine is The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. Awesome counter-culture / sci-fi / conspiracy theory / anarchistic mash-up from the 70s. It will help you see the Fnords! As they say, Holy Cow, and Wholly Chao.

    If you want to read something outside of sci-fi / fantasy, try Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco... it's a bit of a difficult read, but awesome. The best conspiracy theory book I've ever read (although it deconstructions them).

    Finally, I second all the suggestions for anything by Gaiman, Pratchett, and Susanna Clarke.
    Last edited by JoeMac307; 2012-06-20 at 03:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helanna View Post
    I was actually about to check if you had Warbreaker on your list. The plot is that two countries whose values are diametrically opposed are on the brink of war. The king of the smaller country sends one of his daughters to marry the large country's God-Emperor, who's an evil monster. Only instead of sending his oldest, who has prepared her whole life for this, he ends up sending his youngest, who never bothered to actually learn anything about the other country. She has to learn to live in the High Court, while her older sister tries to rescue her. Plus it features Lightsong, one of the Gods of the court, who's trying to figure out why he became a god.

    It's a mix of action and political intrigue, and it features one of Sanderson's trademark awesome magic systems. It's probably my favorite book of his.
    Oh, sounds good! I'll add this to the list along with everything else when I get the chance.

    In other news, I just got ten books in from the library today, so I can start clearing through the backlog.



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    More Reviews! By the way, Volatar, your suggestions were awesome.


    The Name of the Wind
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    This was a masterfully written tale tracing the growth of Kvothe from… young child to… young man? He seems much older than he really is. Well, at least, I don’t think he’s more than twenty-five or so years old? Still, reading this was like reading an autobiography from a third person perspective. I suppose the book was written that way intentionally, though at this point I think we’re the fourth dimension, no? It was rather interesting tracing Kvothe’s life from a character perspective. At different times in his life, his character changes entirely.

    For instance, he starts off as this little kid in a travelling caravan of minstrels… okay, troupers. This would be what, the precursor to a circus? He learns to act and sing and dance. For the most part, it seems like his life is perfect, or perfect enough. Then this old guy comes along (and yes, it HAS to be an old guy, because what story is complete without one?) and teaches him all these cool things. So now we have Kvothe the little performer boy, to Kvothe the apprentice scholar. By now you’ve probably figured out that names have some measure of importance in this book (and I’m just casually tacking a few more on for fun). Anyways, it seems as if everything is going perfectly for Kvothe, and then of course, we have our catastrophe, setting up the rest of the novel.

    The next thing we know, Kvothe is on the streets. I suppose I ought to call him Kvothe the beggar? Either way, any semblance of Kvothe the scholar, or the performer, seems to be erased. Even his lute is broken, if you’re the type to read into symbolism and such. I’m going to skip ahead a bit now since I don’t want to give away the book, so suffice to say, Kvothe the beggar turns into Kvothe the magician, and so on.

    The fascinating part of this entire book is that Kvothe is somehow all of these people… performer, musician, beggar, scholar, wizard… yet at the same time, is none of these people. Rothfuss seems to have struck it on the nail when Kvothe’s friend notes that while Kvothe’s story is larger than life, Kvothe himself is hiding away, and by hiding away, Kvothe is losing all of his talents. Or in short, Kvothe is becoming what he believes he is… a simple innkeeper. This book left some unanswered questions at the end, but then again, it’s the first book in a series, and what we got was already an incredible work by itself. If I were feeling more intelligent right now, I’d go write a full character study on Kvothe, but that’s something for another time…
    Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
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    Of the three books in the series, this one was most definitely the best. I don’t think I’ve seen any other series wrap up so nicely. Sanderson managed to tie in things from the first book that I had totally forgotten. In hindsight, I now realize that the three books roughly follow the development of three systems of “magic” (or whatever you choose to call it).

    At first glance, Allomancy seems to be the primary system in all three, and for the first book, it pretty much is. It’s the most common among the characters, and is probably the best described of the three. Then book two went into a great deal regarding Feruchemy. I didn’t really notice it at first, but book three turned into essentially a treatise on Hemalurgy. Did anyone else notice that at all? In any case, Hemalurgy really cleared up a lot of my questions regarding the Steel Inquisitors, Koloss, and even the Kandra. The way it was presented was also brilliant, especially with all the scenes involving Spook (Lestibournes?). It’s comforting to know that those of strong will can resist or even overcome the influence of Ruin (TenSoon and Marsh come to mind here). I just realized that Zane was pierced by a spike… so he wasn’t insane after all. I wonder how he was pierced. Was he Mistborn before or after the spike? And even Vin’s earring! That takes a massive amount of forethought and planning to pull off.

    Among series, this is probably one of the finest that I have read. Sanderson is incredibly capable. Things that seemed unimportant became important and clicked in a way that I would have never thought possible. The love-hate relationship of the mists was explained quite well too! I love how it was tied into the Church of the Survivor. Superstition can really be a powerful thing. Oh, and the whole book revolving around the number sixteen was really a masterful stroke. It integrated so well that I kind of forgot about it by the time I started the third book. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go back and check the other books, but the idea with all sixteen metals, the sickness, the mists snapping people, and so on… are there sixteen different hemalurgical spikes? Or what about sixteen creatures created by Hemalurgy? I suppose the same question stands for Feruchemy. I suppose my only question… if Sazed is the Hero of Ages (is he?), who was the Announcer?

    The other books may not have earned perfect scores, but this one definitely earns all five. Sanderson built such a compelling, realistic world together, with characters that live, breathe, and act like real people. It makes me wonder if anyone can do better. Whatever fantasy novel I read next will have a tough standard to beat. This series is one that I will most likely read again and again. It’s that good.
    Fallen in Love
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    Okay so this wasn’t exactly part of the main story (I totally thought it was). It was a decent read, but probably one that can be skipped in the grand scheme of the series. What can I say about this though… hmmm…. Well, it was a rather short book, but as a collection of stories about Daniel and Luce’s friends, it certainly revealed a good deal of information about Arriane and Roland.

    So this starts off with Shelby and Miles (those two Nephilim). I’m assuming you’ve read the previous books by the way. Anyways, there’s this whole soppy “I bought this for you! I bought that for you!” which wasn’t particularly interesting. Then they meet Roland (of the present day), who somehow managed to land up in the same timeframe of the Middle Ages, and somehow acquired a horse plus requisite shining armor. Roland is (was) apparently the Angel of Music, yet can’t write poems to impress anyone. That was rather amusing actually. It was rather strange learning that Roland fell because he was unable to pick between Heaven and Hell, but I didn’t learn anything about why he turned into a demon. An interesting thing to draw is that Cam and Roland loved mortal women… both of them are demons. On the flip side…


    Arriane loved a celestial entity. Okay, demon, but still, fallen angel nonetheless. This one was a bit awkward with the whole concealed romance and all. I’m not sure what to make of this yet, and I don’t want to invoke the wrath of anybody, so I’ll just leave it at that. Setting aside Daniel for the moment (I think reincarnated Lucinda probably doesn’t count as “mortal” in the holistic sense), I’m wondering if the whole Demons <> Mortals, (Redeemed) Angels <> Other Angels is part of a larger pattern.

    The most important thing to read from this book I think is that all of the characters we’ve met so far had something to lose. There hasn’t been anything about Gabbe or Molly yet, but I would presume something similar for them as well. That probably raises the biggest question. If everybody has something to lose… well, Lucinda is bound to grow old and die, right? What happens to Daniel then… I mean, even Roland reached that part. In some ways, that curse was also a blessing. Who else is lucky enough to see your soul mate every twenty years or so? I mean, even if they die, they’ll come back… This was a bit of a weird side-novel, so I’m just rambling again at this point. Hopefully the final book comes in soon.

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