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Whatcha readin now? (book, books, reading, read)

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22 hours ago, Sand said:

Oh, but it gets so damn good.   The second half of book 1 is better than the first - it takes a while for Sanderson to set the environment. 

I read a lot and I can honestly say that the last 1/3 of book 3 is the most compelling literature I've had the pleasure of taking in in at least the last decade.  

So damn good I pre-ordered the Book 4 audible as soon as it became available.

Thanks for the input. I know it's highly regarded, which is why I picked it up. I'll stick with it. I don't often read books of this length. I probably just need to give it more time. 200 pages is not even 20% of the way in after all 

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On 12/10/2019 at 2:49 PM, Senor Schmutzig said:

Love reading Nelson DeMille novels. His protagonist always has a witty, snarky sense of humor that I enjoy.

Saw that Nelson was in Coral Gables a few weeks back for a book signing so I was able to by his new one, The Deserter, that he co-wrote with his son, get it signed and get a photo. 

That was cool.

It was a good read.

:thumbup:

Looked him up after reading the above post and thought I would like them. And I do.  Now on my third of the John Corey books. 

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On 2/17/2020 at 9:42 PM, shader said:

Not sure if Red Rising has been mentioned here or not.

Its my favorite series since Game of Thrones and resembles that series if it took place in space.

The first book has a Hunger Games feel to it.  It’s limited in scope but sets the stage.  But where the hunger games books got exponentially worse with each book, this story gets exponentially better.  As an example book 5 starts off with an epic battle that lasts like 300-400 pages. (Don’t seem how that could be a spoiler) It blew my mind.

I can’t recommend enough 

I’ve been putting this series off for a while, because I’m a little tired of dystopian novels, but your feedback is making me interested. 
 

Finished Scalzi’s Consuming Fire, 2nd in the collapsing empire series. I guess you would call it space opera. Quick read, good plot twists. Decent Scalzi snark, my favorite line “never bring a spoon shiv to a tooth brush shiv fight”.

Right now reading non fiction book on Alexander the Great by Anthony Everett. Not bad so far.

 

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My recent favorites from audible

We are legion/we are Bob.  Loved this trilogy so much. 

The Martian - i saw the movie first and still enjoyed the book quite a bit. 

Children of Time - explores the way distant future of the human race. 

Apparently I'm just done with this place.  

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13 hours ago, The Man With No Name said:

:thumbup:

Looked him up after reading the above post and thought I would like them. And I do.  Now on my third of the John Corey books. 

That's fantastic! After finishing DeMille I was looking for something along the same lines and saw a post here about the Jack Reacher books. I'm on my 3rd also, reading them in chronological order.

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On 1/23/2020 at 1:11 PM, SouthJersey said:

Finished "The Art of Fielding" and really enjoyed it.

Read this a while back and enjoyed it. 

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12 hours ago, TheFatKid said:

I’ve been putting this series off for a while, because I’m a little tired of dystopian novels, but your feedback is making me interested. 
 

Finished Scalzi’s Consuming Fire, 2nd in the collapsing empire series. I guess you would call it space opera. Quick read, good plot twists. Decent Scalzi snark, my favorite line “never bring a spoon shiv to a tooth brush shiv fight”.

Right now reading non fiction book on Alexander the Great by Anthony Everett. Not bad so far.

 

Big Scalzi fan here.  The Old Man's War series is excellent, as well.

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Finished The Institute by Stephen King.  Thought it was good, worth the read.  

Now on Full Throttle by Joe Hill (King's son).  Collection of short stories.  I think Joe might be more twisted than his old man.

Edited by facook

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11 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

Big Scalzi fan here.  The Old Man's War series is excellent, as well.

Agreed just skip Zoe’s tale as it is a retelling of part of the story but from Zoe’s perspective. Or at least don’t expect it to be the next chapter after the Last Colony.

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On 2/17/2020 at 10:42 PM, shader said:

Not sure if Red Rising has been mentioned here or not.

Its my favorite series since Game of Thrones and resembles that series if it took place in space.

The first book has a Hunger Games feel to it.  It’s limited in scope but sets the stage.  But where the hunger games books got exponentially worse with each book, this story gets exponentially better.  As an example book 5 starts off with an epic battle that lasts like 300-400 pages. (Don’t seem how that could be a spoiler) It blew my mind.

I can’t recommend enough 

While I enjoyed the series overall I think it kind of tailed off near the end myself.

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1 hour ago, facook said:

 

Now on Full Throttle by Joe Hill (King's son).  Collection of short stories.  I think Joe might be more twisted than his old man.

There's one in there that messed me up more than anything King wrote. And I have no idea why. 

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"American Kingpin" about the kid who started the online drug marketplace Silk Road was a really engrossing read.

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After starting last summer, I finished the most recent Jack Reacher book yesterday.  It's so awesome when you start a new series that you enjoy and you have so many to read, and it makes it sad that now I'm caught up.  And now that Lee Child is retiring from the series and turning it over to his brother, I sure hope they're still as good as I've come to expect.  I just started "The Drifter" by Nick Petrie, as it was described as somewhat in the same vein as Reacher.  

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Currently reading the John Sandford books in which Lucas Davenport is the main protagonist. 

I like that there are 28 books as of now. Am on book 4. 

Good reads. Nothing astonishing. 

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2 hours ago, Uruk-Hai said:

There's one in there that messed me up more than anything King wrote. And I have no idea why. 

Late Returns?

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13 hours ago, bostonfred said:

My recent favorites from audible

We are legion/we are Bob.  Loved this trilogy so much. .  

Somewhere in this thread I named Bob as one of my top three literary characters, though that is sooo cheating.

I highly recommend to anyone to go read it to find out why. :D

Currently reading The Wandering Inn 2. Not sure why it's so compelling, but it is.  At the same time while I'm painting the house I've been listening to book 9 of The Expanse.  Best space opera ever.  

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11 hours ago, facook said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Late Returns?

 

Nope, though that one stuck with me, too.

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Decided to grab a couple Crichton books at the library.  I think he and King were some of the first authors that I started in on during my teen years as a jumping point into longer books.  Curious how they hold up, and now reading it in the perspective if I think my son would like them.  Still holding onto hope that I will get him something that will grab him and get him into reading again.    Started with Sphere yesterday.  

Edited by KarmaPolice

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7 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Decided to grab a couple Crichton books at the library.  I think him and King were some of the first authors that I started in on during my teen years as a jumping point into longer books.  Curious how they hold up, and now reading it in the perspective if I think my son would like them.  Still holding onto hope that I will get him something that will grab him and get him into reading again.    Started with Sphere yesterday.  

I re-read Jurassic Park a few years back and it was still enjoyable. It’s a quick read. Actually my biggest takeaway was that the movie did a pretty decent job capturing the feel. The book is better, but the margin is much less so than most transitions. 

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Very Kingish- Nick Cutter "The Troop".

Adolescent humor among boy scouts while camping on a remote island. Unfortunately (for them) an escaped patient undergoing medical experiments joins them.

A fast read guaranteed to make you squirm.

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

Decided to grab a couple Crichton books at the library.  I think he and King were some of the first authors that I started in on during my teen years as a jumping point into longer books.  Curious how they hold up, and now reading it in the perspective if I think my son would like them.  Still holding onto hope that I will get him something that will grab him and get him into reading again.    Started with Sphere yesterday.  

I'm not sure if he's into Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, but I think it was Tom Clancy for me when I was teen.  Clancy's books got a bit longer, but could start off with something shorter like Cardinal in the Kremlin, Hunt for Red October, or Patriot Games.  Some good action and suspense.

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18 hours ago, Shaft41 said:

After starting last summer, I finished the most recent Jack Reacher book yesterday.  It's so awesome when you start a new series that you enjoy and you have so many to read, and it makes it sad that now I'm caught up.  And now that Lee Child is retiring from the series and turning it over to his brother, I sure hope they're still as good as I've come to expect.  I just started "The Drifter" by Nick Petrie, as it was described as somewhat in the same vein as Reacher.  

I was a little disappointed in the last Reacher book (Blue Moon)

It just felt like he was an unstoppable machine this time.  Seemed like every idea he had worked the first try, and I never felt like he was in any danger.  I mean, you know he's going to win out in the end, but there are usually some twists and turns and "how is he going to get out of THIS one?" moments.  I never felt that this time around.  IDK if that's Child coasting into the transition, or just a one-off hiccup.  Still a satisfying read, but it lacked something.

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5 hours ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Nope, though that one stuck with me, too.

I'm on the last story.  Would love to hear which one if you're willing to share.

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11 minutes ago, facook said:

I'm on the last story.  Would love to hear which one if you're willing to share.

It was the one with the coin-operated guy. Something like 'All I Ever Cared About Is You". I don't know why that one hit me like it did, but that twist at the end........

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50 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

It was the one with the coin-operated guy. Something like 'All I Ever Cared About Is You". I don't know why that one hit me like it did, but that twist at the end........

Cool story, but didn't hit me like it did you.  Late Returns and Mums both got to me for different reasons.  He's a talented author for sure.

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9 minutes ago, Senor Schmutzig said:

That’s a real niche?

Space opera has nothing to do with music or singing if that is what you are thinking. 
 

I agree the Expanse is awesome.

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20 minutes ago, Senor Schmutzig said:

That’s a real niche?

It's the name given to epic adventure sci-fi books set in space.  An area of literature I read a decent bit and enjoy.  

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/55-essential-space-operas-last-70-years/

I remember as a kid reading Rendevous with Rama (which is ####### awesome) and getting hooked into this area.

Edited by Sand

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4 hours ago, heckmanm said:

I was a little disappointed in the last Reacher book (Blue Moon)

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

It just felt like he was an unstoppable machine this time.  Seemed like every idea he had worked the first try, and I never felt like he was in any danger.  I mean, you know he's going to win out in the end, but there are usually some twists and turns and "how is he going to get out of THIS one?" moments.  I never felt that this time around.  IDK if that's Child coasting into the transition, or just a one-off hiccup.  Still a satisfying read, but it lacked something.

 

 

I enjoyed it a lot, but I see where you're coming from.  I actually thought something very similar as I was reading it.  Having read all 24 in a fairly short period of time, I found myself thinking that he seemed to run into a whole lot more trouble, both physically and plan-wise, in the earlier books.  

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23 hours ago, Shaft41 said:

After starting last summer, I finished the most recent Jack Reacher book yesterday.  It's so awesome when you start a new series that you enjoy and you have so many to read, and it makes it sad that now I'm caught up.  And now that Lee Child is retiring from the series and turning it over to his brother, I sure hope they're still as good as I've come to expect.  I just started "The Drifter" by Nick Petrie, as it was described as somewhat in the same vein as Reacher.  

I'm in the same boat.  Have read just about all the Reacher stuff so I tried the "David Rivers" series and it's good, very quick easy reads.  The last one just came out I think - I've read the first 5.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N2NLNH5?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_0&storeType=ebooks

 

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26 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

I enjoyed it a lot, but I see where you're coming from.  I actually thought something very similar as I was reading it.  Having read all 24 in a fairly short period of time, I found myself thinking that he seemed to run into a whole lot more trouble, both physically and plan-wise, in the earlier books.  

I also don't recall him getting laid in EVERY book earlier in the series :lmao:

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21 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

I also don't recall him getting laid in EVERY book earlier in the series :lmao:

See, I thought he was hitting a dry spell more later, rather than earlier. 

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51 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

See, I thought he was hitting a dry spell more later, rather than earlier. 

Maybe there was a stretch in the middle that I'm thinking of. I didn't go in order for the first 8-10 books. 

The last few books it seems like he's batting 1.000

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1 hour ago, heckmanm said:

I also don't recall him getting laid in EVERY book earlier in the series :lmao:

All 24 in order. My favorite is "The Affair". He certainly rattled the tracks. That's for damn sure!

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On 12/29/2019 at 11:02 PM, facook said:

1 and 2 are great, bordering on AMAZING.  3 builds the plot.  4 is very VERY good.  Persevere through 5-6.  7 is a perfect ending to the series, which as we all know is not Steve's strength.  He nailed the ending to an epic series, though, in this case.

Finished The Gunslinger, Drawing of the 3, Wastelands, Wizard and the Glass, and Wind through the Keyhole so far. Wolves of Calla starts today probably. 
 

So far so good. I really enjoy the backstory / young Roland stories in Wizard and the Glass and Wind through the Keyhole. The entire thing is good and have very few nitpicks through the first 2400 pages. 

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2 hours ago, bigmarc27 said:

Finished The Gunslinger, Drawing of the 3, Wastelands, Wizard and the Glass, and Wind through the Keyhole so far. Wolves of Calla starts today probably. 
 

So far so good. I really enjoy the backstory / young Roland stories in Wizard and the Glass and Wind through the Keyhole. The entire thing is good and have very few nitpicks through the first 2400 pages. 

Just fyi and not that it matters, Wind was added after the series was complete.  I actually forgot about it.  But it's not part of my original ratings.  :) 

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2 hours ago, bigmarc27 said:

Finished The Gunslinger, Drawing of the 3, Wastelands, Wizard and the Glass, and Wind through the Keyhole so far. Wolves of Calla starts today probably. 
 

So far so good. I really enjoy the backstory / young Roland stories in Wizard and the Glass and Wind through the Keyhole. The entire thing is good and have very few nitpicks through the first 2400 pages. 

Be interested to hear your thoughts on the last 3 volumes when you're done. 

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24 minutes ago, facook said:

Just fyi and not that it matters, Wind was added after the series was complete.  I actually forgot about it.  But it's not part of my original ratings.  :) 

Yeah, I knew that it was kind of an addendum but the boxed set I received had it 5th out of 8th so I just kept going. I also used a read order list and it said it was basically book 4.5, almost an extension to Wizard and the Glass. It was good though, I liked it a lot. 

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Got through Watchmen as I was watching the show.  Not a big a graphic novel guy but this was pretty good.  Although it felt pretty disjointed at time.

Finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  I enjoyed the second half much more, but I just think this was way longer than it needed to be.  

Next up is King's The Institute.

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I feel like the Dark Tower series is my book version of something like Mad Max Fury Road or something - always gets brought up in the "best of" conversations, but didn't click at all with me.  To me it felt like the worst of King battling the best of King and the first part winning out more often than not.    Oh well, can't agree on everything.  

Been more into the "blockbuster" style books lately.  Finished up Sphere, which was better than I remember.  Staring at my pile, I am deciding between Lucifer's Hammer, Darwin's Radio, and The Expanse books.  

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12 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I feel like the Dark Tower series is my book version of something like Mad Max Fury Road or something - always gets brought up in the "best of" conversations, but didn't click at all with me.  To me it felt like the worst of King battling the best of King and the first part winning out more often than not.    Oh well, can't agree on everything.  

 

"Best of"........... what? 

There's really nothing else to compare it to - in ways both good and bad. I first read it as the books were released, maybe over a period of 25 years or so. With the gaps between books, I didn't notice the tonal shifts nearly as much as readers must today. The last 3 were written in a rush after King almost died and it shows plot-wise - they became almost autobiographical and his thesis on Creator-vs-Art. The plot suffered greatly, IMO, but those last 3 volumes also contain some of his best writing. 

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37 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

"Best of"........... what? 

There's really nothing else to compare it to - in ways both good and bad. I first read it as the books were released, maybe over a period of 25 years or so. With the gaps between books, I didn't notice the tonal shifts nearly as much as readers must today. The last 3 were written in a rush after King almost died and it shows plot-wise - they became almost autobiographical and his thesis on Creator-vs-Art. The plot suffered greatly, IMO, but those last 3 volumes also contain some of his best writing. 

I mean not great literature or up for the Pulitzer - but the series is constantly brought up as great series to read, or the best of King's work, etc..  

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Reviews of "The Mirror and the Light" (the last book in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy on Thomas Cromwell) are starting to trickle out, and they have made me even more excited for the book than I was.  March 10th can't get here soon enough.

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750 pages into The Way of Kings. It’s starting to pick up

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Just finished The Concrete Blonde a Harry Bosh novel by Michael Connelly which I enjoyed.

Just started The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez - So far I am liking it. Subject of suicide right off the bat which is not something I really want to read about but it has me intrigued pretty quickly. So far it is an easy read.

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Non-fiction

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by J.Hoberman combined a history of Hollywood during the blacklist years and film criticism exploring themes of the era (e.g. monster movies, film noir).  It was OK but I wasn't as familiar with the films from 46-56 as I am of later periods.

Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton covered the boom and bust of the cattle business during the open range era.  At its core, it's an economics lesson but the West was full of colorful characters and extraordinary tales.  Highly recommended.

Fiction

Munich by Robert Harris is a spy story set during the 1938 peace talks between Hitler and Neville Chamberlain.  Harris is a but I've always liked but there was too much diplomacy and not enough thrills.

A Long Way from Home (in progress).  This is the latest novel by the Australian Peter Carey who's best known for the True History of the Kelly Gang.

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Posted (edited)

Finished Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School. It got a lot of “best book of the year” type of publicity, but I was a bit underwhelmed by it. It is just kind of a dull.

Started Louise Erdrich’s new release, The Nightwatchman. I was recently saying in another thread that she deserves a spot in the conversation of the greatest living American authors. It is a novel about Native American dispossession in the 1950s, based on her grandfather’s experience.  Up to her usual standards so far.   

Edited by Don Quixote

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