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  #161  
Old 26 March 2012, 02:10 AM
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Thanks Sue and Auburn Red. Apparently her reading teacher and a few other teachers have been talking up the books, so she wanted to read them. She didn't know that they were aimed at 12-and-up but I did tell her that when she mentioned wanting to read the trilogy. She's pretty close to the recommended age; just one year off.

I think that she's getting to the age where I want to help her think critically about what she chooses to consume as far as books, music, TV, etc go, but I don't want to outright forbid most of it and drive it underground. I'm hoping to keep the lines of communication open. Now I'm really looking forward to discussing the books with her later.
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  #162  
Old 26 March 2012, 02:32 AM
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I'm moving through Angelmaker at a good clip. Just got to where Joe Spork activates the doomsday machine with the whojimmied doodah. Apparently this doomsday machine is made of clockwork bees. Not quite sure yet how mechanical bees = DOOM, but it does explain all the bees on the cover.

I'm also about halfway through both RVS Redick's The Ruling Sea and Donald Westlake's The Hot Rock.
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  #163  
Old 01 April 2012, 08:25 AM
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I'm about half-way through War and Peace, but I did put it aside this month for a while to read some other things.

* One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde. I don't think it's possible for fiction to get any more meta than this.

* Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson. My copy was new on the shelf of Waterstones in Birmingham centre, but I noticed the pages were a bit yellow, so I looked in the front. It's inscribed "To Dave, very best wishes, and thank you for you [sic] fab hospitality, Jon xxxxxx". I showed the women behind the desk, who couldn't remember Jon Ronson coming in for a signing (the book is from 2001) and spent five minutes discussing who it might be dedicated to, before deciding it was a manager who had left a couple of years ago. Then they gave me 10% off on the grounds that my name isn't Dave.

I also finished reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, and may possibly have understood one or two more paragraphs.

And I've nearly finished A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin. It's good. I'd been looking for a straightforward swords-and-knights-and-castles fantasy author who was any good for years - I used to like fantasy, but as I left my teens I found that most of it was so badly written and clichéd that I couldn't read it. So I'd given up for the last ten or fifteen years. For once I do think the TV series is slightly better - more lesbian sex for one thing. The TV and the book are very similar, but almost all the details that are different I think the TV programme has managed to polish it slightly more or increase the impact in the right way. The good thing about the books is that there are seven in the series already, so I can find out what's going on without needing to wait for more TV programmes to be made.
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  #164  
Old 09 April 2012, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Currently reading John Dies At The End by David Wong (aka Jason Pargin, senior editor of Cracked.com). It's...how can I describe it...one of the most original, stupid, silly, WTF horror-comedy novels I've ever read.
I adore that book. John Dies at the End did for horror-comedy what The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy did for Scifi-Comedy.
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  #165  
Old 09 April 2012, 07:49 PM
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They've made it into a movie that's gotten fantastic reviews at film festivals. I'm anticipating the national release date.
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  #166  
Old 09 April 2012, 08:20 PM
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The sequel This Book is Full Of Spiders is due October 12th.

http://www.johndiesattheend.com/spiders_preorder.html
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  #167  
Old 10 April 2012, 01:52 AM
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AMillion Little pieces. I know some of the book was found to be false, but I had it for a long time and decided to read it.
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  #168  
Old 10 April 2012, 09:15 AM
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the Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw, one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in a while- very odd book, quirky, and all the way through, I'm thinking 'do they, don't they?' can't say more for fear of spoiling it, but a very sweet, not sappy romance.

I'm also rereading, though I only just finished it, Fairest YA fiction by Gail Carson Levine, who wrote Ella Enchanted. I'm not sure I like her writing style, but the story is delightful, and a lovely way to reframe the whole 'I look different, and am therefore ugly' thought track.

Lil has me pinned to read Coraline next so we can talk about it. She started reading Fairset, and liked it, but is also reading Tomorrow When the War Began, HP the Deathly Hallows, and... I forget the other. But she's kind of full up anyway.

Kismet, I've taken a similar tack with Lil's reading. She was keen to read Twilight, thankfully hasn't started yet, because I don't really want to, but I'd want to know what she's reading to be able to talk about it. I'm thinking Hunger Games will be our next books to fight over who gets to take them to bed.
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  #169  
Old 10 April 2012, 03:44 PM
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I'm two stories within finishing Geoff Ryman's short story collection Paradise Tales.

Some truly beautiful work in there, and some really incomprehensible stuff as well. In other words, typical Ryman.

Next up is Caitlín Kiernan's The Red Tree.

I also read three of Jim Hine's Princess novels, after reading a few of his excellent blog posts. Not bad. Very light. Very fun.
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  #170  
Old 13 April 2012, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
And I've nearly finished A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin...The good thing about the books is that there are seven in the series already, so I can find out what's going on without needing to wait for more TV programmes to be made.
Are the books published differently in the UK? In the US, there are only five volumes: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance With Dragons. Were some of these broken up into two volumes in the UK? At any rate, don't expect to be able to find out how the story ends for another 5-10 years. GRRM has two more books planned, and based on the speed (or lack thereof) with which he has been publishing them, we've got a long wait ahead of us.
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  #171  
Old 14 April 2012, 06:36 AM
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Yes, I think both books 3 and 5 are sold in two volumes as "Book 3 (or 5) part 1 / part 2". I've not checked how many pages are in them, but each half is still pretty chunky and not obviously much thinner than the other books in the series.

My brother gave the wait for the end of the series as his reason not to read the books. I'm not sure how he knew that though - is it a common theme on forums dedicated to the series, or did he just look at the copyright dates? (To be fair, I think he was more concerned with the TV series catching up with the books and making everything go wrong, but that won't happen for a few years yet either, even if the TV series keeps going that long...)


(eta) The only split one I have is Book 3 part 1, which is called "A Storm of Swords 1: Steel and Snow" and has 570 pages as opposed to 873 for A Clash of Kings and 780 for A Game of Thrones. So it's a bit shorter, but still a good size. The next one is "A Storm of Swords 2: Blood and Gold".

Last edited by Richard W; 14 April 2012 at 06:46 AM.
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  #172  
Old 15 April 2012, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
My brother gave the wait for the end of the series as his reason not to read the books. I'm not sure how he knew that though - is it a common theme on forums dedicated to the series?
Is it a common topic of discussion among fans? Well, let's see . . . Is the Pope Catholic? Is the sea wet? You get the idea. Although he's seemingly in good health, GRRM isn't a young man, so we're hoping he won't die before he finishes the series!

In fairness to the author, to some extent the delays have been caused by the publishers' requiring him to divide a planned large book (A Dance With Dragons) into two smaller ones (A Feast for Crows and ADWD), which isn't as easy to do as one might think. It called for extensive rewriting, rearranging, etc., which took much more time than anyone anticipated.
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  #173  
Old 15 April 2012, 07:57 AM
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It just surprises me that my brother might read Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire fan sites, I suppose!
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  #174  
Old 22 April 2012, 03:34 AM
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Currently reading Annabel by Kathleen Winter. It's the coming-of-age story of an intersex child born in a small town and raised as a boy, who eventually becomes aware of his female self.

VAGUE BUT POSSIBLE SPOILER:

On thing that's bugging me about the book is that there's a major plot point that is biologically impossible. I think most people who have a basic knowledge of intersexed humans would be aware of this. There's no author's note to explain her decision to use this plot point, so I don't know if she didn't do any research, or threw biology out the window in favor of a story arc, or what. A lot of reviews recommend this book to fans of Jeffrey Eugenides' "Middlesex" but that's a far superior story dealing with the subject matter and treating it legitimately.
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  #175  
Old 22 April 2012, 05:36 PM
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I'm finally fianlly almost finished with Anna Karenina! Good book, but very long! Soon I will be starting Crime and Punishment by Dovsteovsky (Yes because I can't just read one dark depressing philosopical Russian novel about the human spirit)


Still reading London and Creativity

I have also become interested in sociopolitical themes so I bought books on Philosophy, Political Science, and Psychology so I will begin reading The Story of Philosophy.

I also went on a Time-Life books craze where I ordered 7 Enchanted Worlds, 6 Mysteries of the Unexplained, 4 Myth and Mankinds, and 2 What Life Was Like, so I am starting with Myth and Mankind: Titans and Olympians.
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  #176  
Old 29 April 2012, 11:28 AM
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And I've almost finished War and Peace (for the second time). I've not been reading very fast lately - and have interrupted it for a few other books - as three months seems a bit slow even for something 1400 pages long.

I've got Anna Karenina on my pile too. I've not read that yet, but I might give Tolstoy a rest for a bit before getting to it, even though it's relatively short compared to War and Peace... I was going to read it first, but as I was buying it remembered that I'd wanted to re-read War and Peace, and bought that as well.

Also in April, as well as finishing A Game of Thrones, I read:

* John Dies At The End - David Wong (Jason Pargin), because everybody was recommending it. I liked it too, although I liked the first half more than the second; it wore off a bit once I got used to the humour. Also it has one of those plots where the 'bad guys' really seem to be fighting among themselves, and it's not very clear what the 'good guys' really have to do with any of it. Every so often, apocalypse will be averted for no easily-understood reason, and then everybody will forget about it for a bit even though nothing much seems to have changed. I suppose a degree of randomness is part of the territory though. I'd never criticise The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy for being completely random and nonsensical and having no real plot. I will read the sequel, though.

* The Wandering Falcon - Jamil Ahmad. This is a set of interlinked short stories about people in the tribal areas of Pakistan / Afghanistan. It's very good and has a lot in it for such a short book. Ahmad doesn't play down the brutality of the place.

(eta) Oh, it's still April. For some reason I thought today was 1st May. I may have time to finish War and Peace this month after all...
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  #177  
Old 01 May 2012, 05:58 PM
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Halfway through Mockingjay, I think I've stopped caring.

I have a stack of stuff to read. Survival of the Sickest, John Dies at the End, Game of Thrones, Aquaponic Gardening. But I can't start them until I finish Mockingjay, and I can't get past more than a page at a time right now. I'm finna skip to the end.
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  #178  
Old 01 May 2012, 06:27 PM
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Just finished "In the Country of the Blind" by Christopher Brookmyre and "Holy Moly" by Ben Rehder. I'm in the middle of the Antipope by Robert Rankin. Brookmyre's books are hard to find here. I keep getting recommended "Coffin Dodgers" by Gary Marshall and "Stunt Fight" by Leonard Lynch. Anyone read these two authors?
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  #179  
Old 01 May 2012, 06:37 PM
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Isn't Brookmyre awesome? I have a couple of others, I think, if you want them. I'll check.
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  #180  
Old 01 May 2012, 06:55 PM
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I read one of his once and didn't like it. (Boiling a Frog, I think). Are the others better or do I just not like him?

I thought it started well, and I wanted to like it, but it all became a bit over-the-top and straw mannish. (Spoilers) Not only did the evil tele-evangelist turn out to be trying to destroy California (literally), but he was a paedophile as well. One or the other, please... There's no need to demonise people to that extent to make your point. I mean, I'm sure I dislike tele-evangelists as much as the next person, but most of them surely aren't megalomaniacs AND paedophiles.


(Joke I was told by a Presbyterian minister recently: A priest, a gay man and a paedophile walks into a bar...)
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