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  1. - Top - End - #571
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I found the rest of the Trilogy a bit unfocused and rambling towards the end. The short story collection Galactic North and The Prefect (the pre-prequel) are both quite good, though.
    Fair, it does play with some fun/interesting ideas though overall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  2. - Top - End - #572
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wookieetank View Post
    Not to mention Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap, might as well finish the main trilogy if you liked the first book. The pacing thing seems to be part of his style, where the first 350-400 pages are semi-calm character/story building bits and then the last bit of the book is mad-dash action. I've learned to not pick up one of his books near bedtime if I'm in the last 200 pages or so, otherwise I don't sleep till I'm done!
    Honestly, Redemption Arc and Absolution Gap both suffer from a few pacing issues, clearing up some of the mysteries a little too much, and arguably suffer from adding more magical tech than the conjoiner drives.

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    So no FTL because it violates causality, except the Conjoiners have already violated causality by getting designs for technology from the future (I mean, this is explicitly called out as where the designs for conjoiner drives and hell-class weapons came from). I'm still not sure on how that all works.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  3. - Top - End - #573
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    So, I went insane and decided to try and read like half a dozen books all at once.

    Bought and read Marissa Meyer's Archenemies like I wanted to. It feels mostly like a continuation of the first book in the series, but somewhat weaker since it's lacking the compelling antagonist Renegades had in Ingrid/Detonator, and new villain Hawthorne doesn't get nearly as much development or page time. Too much of the book was spent building up for the final confrontation(s), and the actual ending felt like a bit of a cop-out, particularly for Adrian's subplot. Ah well. I'm still looking forward to the final book in November, if only to see how this whole wacky saga ends.

    Started Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series; currently up to Academ's Fury. After reading a lot of breezier modern-set fiction in recent times, it was a little jarring to transition over to epic fantasy, especially with the much stiffer prose, but Butcher works so hard to stuff so much awesome into every chapter that I can more than forgive him for his deficiencies in characterization and narrative flair.

    At the same time I'm picking my way through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which is my second foray into Haruki Murakami. If I could describe Murakami's work in one word, that word would probably be dreamlike - everything in the book is just to the left of reality, weird enough to stand out but still "normal" enough I don't have trouble expecting it. He handles magic realism a lot better than most other authors I know. Not deep in so far, but what I've gotten through is pretty weird, and if my past experience with Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is any indication, it's only going to get weirder. We'll see.

    Read Three Shades of a Heart in an effort to convince myself that love triangles in fiction aren't contrived and aggravating. It didn't work, but some of the individual short stories were pretty fun.

    The Golden Compass and Letters To a Young Writer are my current college books. I haven't gotten through much of either, but hopefully soon.
    My Homebrew
    Healer: Pathfinder remake of the 3.5 class of the same name. Light, restoration, and more positive energy effects than you can shake a cleric at.

  4. - Top - End - #574
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Kafka by Murakami.

  5. - Top - End - #575
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Right now I'm reading a bunch of things.

    My audiobook is Turn Coat by Jim Butcher, on my second time through the series. I've also picked up a print copy of Brief Cases though I haven't really started it yet.

    For my Young Adult book talks this month I'm reading You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino, and either Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram or Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (I haven't decided which yet).

    I've also got On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, which I'm super looking forward to when I have time for it because The Hate U Give was excellent.

    What has me most excited of all though, is that after 2+ decades of wanting to finish it and ~5 years of actively looking for it, I've FINALLY got my hands on the complete Age of Apocalypse saga from the X-Men comics. I was never able to get my hands on all the issues back when it came out, and every comic store, comic con booth, and bookstore that I've checked has not had it. Finally though, my library came through and I am reading them now, and they are SO good. It's a shame the X-Men titles haven't been this good in a very long time.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  6. - Top - End - #576
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    What has me most excited of all though, is that after 2+ decades of wanting to finish it and ~5 years of actively looking for it, I've FINALLY got my hands on the complete Age of Apocalypse saga from the X-Men comics. I was never able to get my hands on all the issues back when it came out, and every comic store, comic con booth, and bookstore that I've checked has not had it. Finally though, my library came through and I am reading them now, and they are SO good. It's a shame the X-Men titles haven't been this good in a very long time.
    Dang I am jealous. I really wanted to know what happened to Gambit but the compilations I could find seem to jump years at a time.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  7. - Top - End - #577
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Dang I am jealous. I really wanted to know what happened to Gambit but the compilations I could find seem to jump years at a time.
    Well I'm not done yet, but I haven't noticed any big time gaps. The collection I am reading contains these three volumes: Alpha, Reign, and Omega. I also read this Age of Apocalypse Prelude that covers the events that bring about the alternate timeline. A little bit of that (one or two issues) is also in the Alpha book, but there's a lot more in the Prelude book so I think reading them both was definitely worth it for me.

    ---------------

    On another note, I zipped through You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! in a few hours. While I approve of the messages it's trying to get across, I couldn't escape that "after-school special" feeling. The whole book is clearly a vehicle to deliver the author's social/political viewpoints, and all characters and story are 100% in service to that. I don't see that as an inherently bad thing, but it does come across as more than a little preachy, and I can't help but think kids looking for entertainment would recoil from this like a sick toddler from cough medicine. I didn't hate it by any means, but am unlikely to read more from this author.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  8. - Top - End - #578
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I really need to pick up the rest of that trilogy.

    Anyway, working my way through the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe, which will, and has already been, interrupted by forays into other others. My resolve to not waste money after Christmas broke down last weekend and I picked up Tsutomu Nihei's "Blame!" and read it in two sittings. In my weak defense, a few of them were marked down for slight damage to the covers.
    I'm now about a hundred sixty pages into Here in Cold Hell, the sequel, which maintains the atmosphere of the first book perfectly. The imagery of Hell is surreal and decidedly creepy, and the world of mortals is, yep, still weird as all get-out. The plot, insofar as one reads a series like this for the plot, is progressing in legitimately unpredictable ways, but Lee is so far off the beaten path of normal foreshadowing and standard fantasy structure here that this is no surprise. I can think of any number of books that use magic as a metaphor, but precious few that use metaphor as magic

    The thing that continually strikes me about this series is Lee's talent for describing things that I've never thought about before, but somehow feel like they're ideas and images I've always had buried in the back of my mind. Like I'm remembering things that are entirely novel to me. Some of this is that a substantial portion of the imagery is Biblical, stripped of any medieval trappings and reworked in substantially different ways, which puts even the identifiable imagery well outside of the standard fantasy vocabulary. And part of that is that Lee is really pulling out all the stops with the prose here. It's the sort of series that makes me wish I was a lot smarter about literature, because I'm fairly sure about half her intended design is going right over my head.


    Because a person cannot live on Tanith Lee novels alone, I'm also reading an unfortunate little number called Touched By Venom that had a suitably ridiculous cover and was going for $4 at the shrine drug dealer's used book store. I grabbed this expecting, basically, a light romance + dragons. What I got was Literary Fiction With Aspirations of Feminism, seasoned heavily with dragons. It's overwritten to hell and back; one chapter opens by commenting on the familiar wet smell of the jungle three times within a paragraph. Every single thing must be described in at least three clauses, each of which shells out out adverbs like it's trying to buy it's way onto the last lifeboat on the Titanic. This would merely be a combination of tedious and amusing if it weren't for the constant obsession with eroticised and frequently homoerotic sadism, all delivered with total seriousness and the apparent attitude of exhuming great truths about sexism.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting that one cannot have a perfectly good and serious examination of sexism in fantasy. I'd rate Sarah Micklam's Firethorn * for instance as a very good examplar of just that. The presence of dragons in no way prevents this. The presence of a page plus obsessing over how being flogged by dragon-venom soaked whips causes certain embarrassing physical reactions in men however is just ridiculous, however it's, ahem, packaged. If this was done for audience enjoyment of the obvious kink potential of the setup, that would be one thing, albeit not my thing. Unfortunately however, it's played entirely, ahem, straight. As if it's some cutting insight into something; though what exactly eludes me.

    What I'm saying is that this book is terrible, and I obviously have to read the whole thing because I need to see just how bad it gets.

    *Not the sequel though. We don't talk about the sequel. Particularly it's failure to have anything resembling a plot.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2019-02-21 at 08:05 PM.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  9. - Top - End - #579
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Still working on the 2019 Reading Challenge that I mentioned in a previous post. Since last time I've read 'an award-winning book' (Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov), a 'book I can finish in one day' (Thornhill by Pam Smy) and a 'book written by an author with the same first name as me' (Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer).

    I enjoyed all of them very much. Thornhill was a bit of a surprise - I had never heard of it before, but my girlfriend strongly recommended it after she had just read it. It's a graphic novel that takes place across two different timelines, with one half of the story told in text (in the form of a diary), and the other half told entirely in pictures. It's very atmospheric and more than a little creepy. I guess it's technically a children's story, but we both enjoyed it immensely.

    Also still plodding through the New Penguin History of the World at a chapter a day - just got past the fall of the Roman Empire, so still quite a way to go!

  10. - Top - End - #580
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corlindale View Post
    Also still plodding through the New Penguin History of the World at a chapter a day - just got past the fall of the Roman Empire, so still quite a way to go!
    I'll be honest here, I saw that title and immediately went to go look it up. I was immensely disappointed to learn that the book does not feature penguins, or at least a history of the world as seen through the eyes of penguins.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2019-02-22 at 12:39 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  11. - Top - End - #581
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    I'll be honest here, I saw that title and immediately went to go look it up. I was immensely disappointed to learn that the book does not feature penguins, or at least a history of the world as seen through the eyes of penguins.
    Have you tried How to Avoid Huge Ships?
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-02-22 at 12:45 AM.
    The Mod on the Silver Mountain avatars by the wonderfully talented Cuthalion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  12. - Top - End - #582
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Have you tried How to Avoid Huge Ships?
    I was hoping this was a penguin eyed view of the difficulties in dealing with ships in and around the Antarctic Ocean, and was disappointed. I hadn't thought that it was a standard technical name, for a rather mundane book.

    I may just keep the book in mind to surprise mail a copy at a friend.

  13. - Top - End - #583
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    I was hoping this was a penguin eyed view of the difficulties in dealing with ships in and around the Antarctic Ocean, and was disappointed. I hadn't thought that it was a standard technical name, for a rather mundane book.

    I may just keep the book in mind to surprise mail a copy at a friend.
    Mundane? I'll admit, it's certainly no Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers, but it's still a page turner, I tells ya!
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-02-22 at 11:14 PM.
    The Mod on the Silver Mountain avatars by the wonderfully talented Cuthalion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  14. - Top - End - #584
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Mundane? I'll admit, it's certainly no Greek Rural Postman and Their Cancellation Numbers, but it's still a page turner, I tells ya!
    Say what you want about huge ships. But in the right circumstances , they can have one hell of a pitch.

  15. - Top - End - #585
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Say what you want about huge ships.
    ....what do you say about huge ships?
    The Mod on the Silver Mountain avatars by the wonderfully talented Cuthalion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  16. - Top - End - #586
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    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    It's a universal truth, all of us can say truthfully 'I like big boats and I cannot lie'.

    For the record still reading Fellowship, I'm breaking out up every couple of chapters with some of the short stories in Analog.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  17. - Top - End - #587
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    ....what do you say about huge ships?
    I wonder if they ever met the actor Huge Lorry.

  18. - Top - End - #588
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Hi ,
    11 minutes by paulo coelho.

  19. - Top - End - #589
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    The Fifth Season by NK Jemisen. It's really good, but also REALLY BIG on the child abuse, coerced sex, coerced pregnancy, bit of rape, and murder of a child.

    I just finished the Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor, which while it still had a lot of blood and death, it was at least limited to teenagers and adults.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
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  20. - Top - End - #590
    Ettin in the Playground
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    I finished Fred Saberhagen's "Woundhealer's story: the First Book of Lost Swords" a couple days ago.
    I haven't read any of the others in that particular universe, so I may have enjoyed this one more if I know more of the characters and background. As it was, it was OK. I did like how the magic swords were presented, with powerful effects but certain serious limitations and curses - proper D&D artifacts.

    I read "BlacKkKlansman" by Ron Stallworth yesterday. It's a short book - my copy comes in at 188 pages, and in a proper paperback size and type size, it would probably be closer to 150 pages. It's very to the point and minimalist, almost dry, but the prose just manages to be effortlessly readable and the subject is so damn hilarious and fascinating it doesn't need fancier writing. The movie, which I liked, took some liberties, but the core of the story is the same.

    Now reading Frank Herbert's "Dune". Extra SF's episodes on the book, inspired me to reread it, since I the last (and first) I did so was twenty odd years ago in high school. I think I'm enjoying it more this time around.

  21. - Top - End - #591
    Troll in the Playground
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    'Casino : the rise and fall of the mob in Las Vegas' by Nicholas Pileggi. Very interesting and its good he uses a lot of interview material to let the people involved tell you about the events from their point of view. Not as good as 'Wiseguy the book he wrote about the life of gangster Henry Hill (and on which the film 'Goodfella's' is based)
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  22. - Top - End - #592
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    I finished Fred Saberhagen's "Woundhealer's story: the First Book of Lost Swords" a couple days ago.
    I haven't read any of the others in that particular universe, so I may have enjoyed this one more if I know more of the characters and background. As it was, it was OK. I did like how the magic swords were presented, with powerful effects but certain serious limitations and curses - proper D&D artifacts.
    You'd probably get more out of that one after reading The complete book of swords. That establishes a lot of concepts.

  23. - Top - End - #593
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    "Time to gather your arse up off the floor,
    (have a bana-na)
    Brush your teeth and go toddling off to war.
    Wave your hand to sleepy land,
    Kiss those dreams away,
    Tell Miss Grable you're not able,
    Not till V-E Day, oh,
    Ev'rything'll be grand in Civvie Street
    (have a bana-na)
    Bubbly wine and girls wiv lips so sweet--
    But there's still the German or two to fight,
    So show us a smile that's shiny bright,
    And then, as we may have suggested once before--
    Gather yer blooming arse up off the floor!"

  24. - Top - End - #594
    Ogre in the Playground
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    I finished up the Age of Apocalypse, and found myself surprised that it wasn't longer. Still, I enjoyed it. Probably my favorite X-Men storyline.

    Over the last couple weeks, I've read quite a bit, including:

    1. The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang - a new take on a WW2-era superhero created by a Chinese-American author at a time when non-white superheroes were not a thing that existed. After American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints, I will happily read anything Yang puts out, and this was up to his usual standard of awesomeness.

    2. Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott - a novella supposedly based on The Little Mermaid (though I'm apparently not familiar enough with the original story to see the similarities). It tells the story of a young woman taken aboard a slave ship back during the slave trade, and a revolt aboard ship with a little supernatural assistance. Pretty decent, and a very fast read.

    3. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahesi Coates - written in the form of a letter to the author's son, this book touches on a whole lot of issues that are verboten on this forum, but is a pretty good read nonetheless.

    4. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson - six teens in an alternative education program are given a couple hours every week to talk freely about whatever is on their mind, without their teacher's presence. Is it a little unrealistic that they'd be given that much time unsupervised in class? Sure. Is it worthwhile anyway? Yeah. Each of the kids slowly opens up about the issues affecting their lives, such as one whose father is deported, one who gets bullied every day, one who lives with her uncle because of absent parents (one deceased, one in prison), and so on. More thought-provoking than entertaining, but still worth a read.

    5. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas - second novel by the author of The Hate U Give. This one is about a young aspiring rapper who struggles with anger issues, her family life, and racial profiling at school, among other things. I don't want to say more because it touches on a lot of sensitive topics, but this book absolutely blew me away.

    6. Just finishing up my second listen to the audiobook of Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. Excellent as always.

    and I'm finally, finally getting started on Brief Cases, the second short story collection from the Dresden Files. I was holding out for an audio edition, but it doesn't look like any libraries in my system are getting one and my patience ran out.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  25. - Top - End - #595
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I finished Astor's Crisis in the Pacific, and decided to do something not history.

    So I grabbed O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, since the movie's coming out this year.

    I need to read something cheerful next.

  26. - Top - End - #596
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Reading and loving the Winternight Trilogy! Book 1 is the Bear and the Nightingale, book 2 is the Girl in the Tower. It's a wonderfully dark fairy tale set in 1300's Russia, where the Christianity and Paganism coexist in uneasy balance and the Tartars reign over an increasingly rebellious Russia.

    The first book is a lot of fun, but the real party starts in Book 2. The characters are gloriously flawed and the world is beautifully written, but the best part is that the book that precariously narrow path between being a charming fairytale and a gritty realistic drama. This book pulls off the impossible and manages to be both at the same time. Highly recommend!

  27. - Top - End - #597
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Just finished Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I was surprised at how different it was from the movie, both thematically and in terms of characters and plot. While I enjoyed it and am glad I read it, I can't say it was super gripping. Overall I give it 3.5/5 stars.

    My library's sci-fi/fantasy book club is doing Dragons of Autumn Twilight this month, so I'm going to read that since I've never read it before. I've read a couple of other Dragonlance novels but never the original trilogy, so I'm looking forward to this.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  28. - Top - End - #598
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Since I read anything by Bujold, and she just pushed a new long-novella, I'm reading Knife Children.

    Continues her tradition of keeping all the previous POV characters that you'd really like to read more of completely offstage, but still quite good.

  29. - Top - End - #599
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Got hella sick last week, so put No Flame But Mine, the last book of the increasingly weird Lionwolf trilogy on the back burner for something requiring much less brain power: R.A. Salvatore's Hunter's Blades trilogy, which I hadn't read in something like 15 years.

    Which I have to say was much better than I would have given it credit for. To be fair, that's not clearing a very high bar, since I tend to think of Drizz't Do'Urden books as one of those humiliating aspects of adolescence one tries to forget about, like pimples, or first sexual experiences*.

    But I found it actually pretty good. The characters are mostly two dimensional, but at least they're interesting dimensions, and the action is genuinely well written. Sure it's totally ludicrous, but the you always know what's going on, there's a pleasant absence of unnecessary italics, and they generally fit into the overarching plot reasonably well, i.e. it makes sense for there to be a fight scene here, instead of it being shoehorned in for pacing or because the author needs some way to infodump.

    And the plot was actually pretty solid as well, in the sense of being a very good version of fantasy nonsense. I'll give that a lot of credit, because good versions of fantasy nonsense are both a lot of fun, and hard to actually pull off. Book one had an enjoyable sense of impending doom, cut with a rather interesting dispute between duty to people vs. duty to country, book two continued the sense of doom with basically wall to wall orc murder and so much dwarven gruffness I think my beard grew four inches just reading it, and book three pulled the very gutsy move of having the bad guy win. Not totally by any means, but the end was very far from the status quo of the beginning, and he got far more of what he wanted than pretty much anybody else.


    *Or humiliating aspects of your late twenties, depending on personal circumstances. I'M TALKING ABOUT PIMPLES WHY DO YOU ASK


    Now it's back to Lionwolf which, yep, opens with a description a side character being impregnated via divine acrobatic lesbianism. So the weird game is still on point.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  30. - Top - End - #600
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post

    Because a person cannot live on Tanith Lee novels alone, I'm also reading an unfortunate little number called Touched By Venom that had a suitably ridiculous cover and was going for $4 at the shrine drug dealer's used book store. I grabbed this expecting, basically, a light romance + dragons. What I got was Literary Fiction With Aspirations of Feminism, seasoned heavily with dragons. It's overwritten to hell and back; one chapter opens by commenting on the familiar wet smell of the jungle three times within a paragraph. Every single thing must be described in at least three clauses, each of which shells out out adverbs like it's trying to buy it's way onto the last lifeboat on the Titanic. This would merely be a combination of tedious and amusing if it weren't for the constant obsession with eroticised and frequently homoerotic sadism, all delivered with total seriousness and the apparent attitude of exhuming great truths about sexism.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting that one cannot have a perfectly good and serious examination of sexism in fantasy. I'd rate Sarah Micklam's Firethorn * for instance as a very good examplar of just that. The presence of dragons in no way prevents this. The presence of a page plus obsessing over how being flogged by dragon-venom soaked whips causes certain embarrassing physical reactions in men however is just ridiculous, however it's, ahem, packaged. If this was done for audience enjoyment of the obvious kink potential of the setup, that would be one thing, albeit not my thing. Unfortunately however, it's played entirely, ahem, straight. As if it's some cutting insight into something; though what exactly eludes me.

    What I'm saying is that this book is terrible, and I obviously have to read the whole thing because I need to see just how bad it gets.

    *Not the sequel though. We don't talk about the sequel. Particularly it's failure to have anything resembling a plot.
    This sounds perfectly horrible. (I would totally read a blog post that details its horribleness in detail, though. I am too easily bored to hate-read books myself, but I like reading reviews of horrible books.)

    Where was the feminism?

    I mean, sure, providing women who suffered under patriarchy with some much needed revenge fantasies against men might be counted as feminist cause if you squint, but I don't see how writing about men being flogged by dragon-venom soaked whips would work to achieve things like bodily autonomy or equal pay for women.

    So, where do you get the idea that the book had aspirations of feminism?

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